There are several options to consider when discussing Hyper-V backup planning. A backup can capture
an entire virtual machine, as a point-in-time snapshot of the entire system. This type of snapshot can be
initiated from the Hyper-V manager or VMM.
However, backup software can also backup applications within the virtual machine, known as application aware
backups. Often, both methods are combined to provide the highest level of integrity and data
recovery. For most Microsoft environments and applications, VSS is the preferred and often only backup
method supported. VSS providers can be both software and hardware based. Most solutions make use of
hardware-based VSS if it is available, as it allows the storage system to do the heavy lifting, rather than
the operating system.
For Hyper-V, the IBM
VSS Hardware Provider supports installation within the VM and provides VSS
snapshot capability of direct-attached volumes just like a physical server. These are application-aware
backups, using a VSS requestor and the application writer such as Exchange or SQL Server to coordinate
the snapshots. IBM provides a proven VSS backup solution with IBM Tivoli® Storage FlashCopy®