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Not every business can afford so-called "enterprise" disaster recovery (DR) software. Today we'll consider the use case of the small or medium business that runs a primarily virtualized Hyper-V shop.
This company needs to protect their VMs with as little overhead as possible, which means no agent software required, no multi-server dependencies for the DR software, and so forth. Oh, and there's the "small detail" that the business is profoundly budget-conscious. How can we help them accomplish their goals?
Today I'll show you Iperius Backup VM. This product has power, flexibility, and affordability as its chief advantages. With it you can perform "hot" VM backups from local or remote Hyper-V hosts, back up to disk, tape, or the cloud, and save money with a simplified, perpetual licensing model. Although Iperius Backup VM works with both the VMware ESXi and Hyper-V hypervisors, in this review we'll examine only the latter model. Let's take a closer look, shall we?
Installation and configuration ^
Download the 21-day fully functional free trial from the Iperius website. You can install the product on your Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 desktop workstation, or on one of your Windows Server domain member servers. No database back-end is required—this is a small-footprint application.
To facilitate agentless network connectivity, you'll need to register Iperius Backup to run as a service with appropriate network credentials. To do this, open the Iperius Backup tool and click the Service status link as shown in the following figure.
Visit the General Settings window to set the temporary files location, change overall program options, and optionally install the Iperius Console. The basic Iperius Backup UI serves to manage VM backups defined on the local system. By contrast, Iperius Console is a centralized interface from which you can manage multiple Iperius Backup installations.
Note: Iperius Console is sold separately from Iperius Backup VM.
Perform a backup ^
Your first choice when creating a backup job is to determine its type. Of course, today we'll choose the Hyper-V option, but additional options are available:
- File & folder
- Windows drive image
- ESXi VM
- Exchange server database
- SQL Server database
- MySQL database
- PostgreSQL database
- Oracle database
The Hyper-V backup option requires that you specify the following information:
- Credentials and connections to remote Hyper-V hosts (the default connection is localhost); I show you this interface in the next figure
- The VM(s) you want to back up
- Whether you want a single-image backup or individual VHD files from each target VM
- Destination: choices include local or remote disk, tape, FTP, or cloud
- Backup schedule
- Advanced settings (compression, create a log file, etc.)
- Email notifications
- Run a script before and/or after the backup
I show you the backup progress window in the next screenshot.
You can either view the log file directly within the Iperius Backup application or export it to a plain text file set. Here's a figure so you can see for yourself:
What's cool about the no-frills approach Iperius VM takes to VM backup is that the resulting backup includes the native .vhd or .vhdx files. Thus, you have no proprietary vendor lock-in if you need to restore the virtual hard disk by using, say, Windows File Explorer.
Perform a restore ^
The Iperius VM restore workflow couldn't be simpler. In fact, it's a single dialog box! Authenticate, point to your backup folder, identify the VM to restore, choose a backup location, and click Run restore. Here's a screenshot:
Additional notes ^
Iperius Backup has an interesting FTP Download backup type that is useful for backing up websites and remote databases.
The cloud services to which you can back up your Hyper-V VMs from Iperius Backup include:
- Google Drive
- Microsoft OneDrive and OneDrive for Business
- Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)
- Microsoft Azure Storage
- Google Cloud Storage
- S3 API Storage
As I stated earlier, one of Iperius VM Backup's selling points is its low-cost licensing. Iperius sells the product not as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) subscription but as a perpetual license with no renewal fee. You also receive free perpetual product support and updates.
Let me clarify how the Iperius Backup product family is organized:
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- Iperius Backup Free: Freeware desktop/server version for standard copy of files and folders, but that does not support advanced features like Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS), cloud destinations, and Drive Image.
- Iperius Backup Desktop/Essential: basic licensed versions, respectively for desktop and server OS, supporting Drive Image, VSS (Volume Shadow Copy) for the backup of open files, and FTP/Cloud destinations.
- Iperius Backup Advanced VM: specific version for virtual machines backup and restore, supporting Hyper-V and VMware ESXi (even ESXi free) environments, along with all the Iperius Backup Essential version features.
- Iperius Backup Advanced Exchange: version dedicated to the Exchange Server backup, with both granular backup/restore of the single mailboxes and complete image backup. All the basic features of Iperius Essential are included too.
- Iperius Backup Advanced Tape: version specifically made for tape backup and restore, compatible with all kind of tapes (DAT, DLT, AIT, LTO, etc.). Coming along with the Iperius Essential features too.
- Iperius Backup Advanced DB: dedicated to the backup and restore of local/remote databases, such as SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB, etc. Like all the Advanced versions, it also includes all the basic functionalities.
- Iperius Backup Full: complete version that includes all the features of the software. If you you need multiple layers of functionality, that’s the right version for you.
Iperius Backup is a fast, solid product that ran like a champ in my Hyper-V test environment. This is a good fit for businesses that want an affordable and flexible backup solution and don't have the time, expertise, or finances for a big, enterprise DR solution. Iperius Backup VM gets the job done in a clean, straightforward manner.