Altaro is raffling off a license of the Unlimited Edition of their new version 3 of Hyper-V-Backup. This review gives an overview of the easy-to use Hyper-V virtual machine backup software.

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

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

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

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

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 - Notifications

Summary ^

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.

  1. Manuel 10 years ago

    I tested altaro in two Hyper-V Core Servers with at least two VM’s each. The size of the backups are eating all my HD even with the reverse-delta and incrementals. I have to delete backups manually since the automatic rule does not goes below 5 days. Just for visualization, I have a 140GB VM and 1.3TB HD for storage. In 5 days I eat all that space even with compression.

    The other thing is the restore. Takes a long time to restore those 140GB even in a GB network and no turn-key of VM to check if it will start. You have to restore fully with another VM Name in Hyper-V, then start. Takes way long.

    Maybe if they had continuous replication instead of backup. Windows 2012 has that feature and others are coming out now with it as well.

    I have plans to check Veeam. Fits better with my DRP since it has replication and backup for offsite hd rotation, plus something I did not know you can have a free iSCSI appliance connected go Google Storage and have a separate replica go outside of your business network and save you in case of theft or fire.

    For us Altaro Hyper-V did not cut it. I like a product that Quest retired called vConverter. Easy to use and did a replica every couple of minutes. The HD side was the same as the production HD size always, so no headaches about HD space there.

  2. Manuel 10 years ago

    By the way, mirror backups is not the same as replication. The mirror backup is just a copy of your backup in another storage location for safe keeping.

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