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The raffled license is worth 345 euro and allows you to back up an unlimited number of virtual machines on a Hyper-V host. The deadline of this contest is April 4, 2012. If you want to take part in this contest, please send an e-mail with the subject "Altaro Hyper-V Backup" to .
The interface for Altaro Hyper-V Backup v3 Unlimited Edition is extremely intuitive and inviting. There are so many great products out there that can do a lot for you but require submersing knowledge of the user manual to configure. I was astounded at how easy it was to setup Hyper-V Backup v3. It’s how software interfaces are supposed to work.
Install and setup ^
To get started, I installed the product on one of my clustered host servers. Being new to the product, I was happy to see that the setup process walked me through making one of my nodes a Master controller and installing the Backup Agent on the other node. After only three steps, Altaro Hyper-V Backup already had my host nodes in the Configure section and provided a list of my virtual machines with checkboxes to enable backup of specific VMs.
Altaro Hyper-V Backup - VM selection
Backup location and mirrored backup location ^
At this point I decided I should figure out how to configure the location for those backups. By simply clicking Select a Backup Drive, I was able to setup the primary and mirrored locations for my backups. It took me longer to decide where I wanted my backups than to actually configure. I also liked the option of using a UNC path.
Backup schedule ^
Now I needed to setup a schedule for my backups. This was easily done by clicking Setup a Backup Schedule. By default, two schedules are provided. After the ease of setup so far, I decided to go ahead and configure my own custom schedule. Adding a VM to a schedule was as simple as dragging the VM from the center and dropping it on the schedule in the list on the right.
Altaro Hyper-V Backup -Scheduling backups
Fire drill ^
In any backup solution, getting data backed up is only half the story. You also need to periodically test recovery to assure you aren’t backing up garbage. If you’re like me, you don’t always have time to go through that process as often as you’d like. That’s why I really like the Fire Drill feature. Fire Drill takes care of doing all those test restores for you.
This can also be done on a schedule. As fire drills are performed, the restored VM is made available in Hyper-V Manager where you can fire it up and check it out.
Altaro Hyper-V Backup - Fire drill
Backup retention ^
Any good backup solution also includes the ability to proactively control how long backups are kept. This could be because of disk space limitations or even company policy. Backup retention settings are very easy to configure. Each virtual machine can have its own retention policy.
Altaro Hyper-V Backup - Retention
Alerts and Notifications ^
Alerts and notifications were again very easy to setup. Click Notification Settings and configure alerts for the event log and email notifications for your inbox. I really liked the flexibility here.
Altaro Hyper-V Backup - Notifications
Altaro Hyper-V Backup v3 is a very solid product. I’m still amazed at how the interface seems to walk you through each portion of the backup configuration. I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to simplify backup of their clustered VMs. Note that Altaro also offers a free version Hyper-V Backup.