Hyper V backup module or VHD backup

What are the advantages of using the Hyper V Ahsay module over a straight backup of my VHS files online? The module costs money, but a simple backup doesn’t have a license charge. We are using SVR 2016


Hyper V module
The Hyper V module will also back up the virtual environment such as vNIC, vCPU etc. This will allow you to restore the complete VM and its environment back to the host server. One stop for everything.
Currently the Hyper V module costs £2.50 per guest per month.

This manual explains all about the Hyper V module and how it is used https://bobcloud.net/manuals/guide_obm_user_hyperv/guide_obm_user_hyperv.html

The Hyper V module will also backup AVHDX files which are created during the backup on Windows 2012 and later. These files are created by Hyper V during the backup.
This was a shift from Microsoft in Windows 2012 where they stopped using VSS to backup VMs and started to use an in-built Hyper V backup. This is the same process as Hyper V snapshots.

This approach improves data integrity and streamlines the backup \ restore processes. This will also add an extra cost to the backup as the AVHDX files are created and backed up. Considering the benefits, this extra cost is negligible.

Basic VHD(X) file copy
You can easily backup these files through a simple file system backup. They are backed up in real-time and in-effect just grab the disks at a moment in time. When you come to restore, the VM will look like it has crashed (blue screened) and will boot as normal.

Because the underlying VM doesn’t know it is being backed up, it won’t be able to prepare for it. We haven’t experienced any issues in our basic lab with backing up in this way, but you should run your own restore tests periodically.

With more complex VMs, i.e. those running Exchange and busy databases, you will need to consider is all transactions are safe from corruption.

DR process

Hyper V module
If the Hyper V host server needs to be rebuilt, it will have to be built in the same way as the original one before the VM can be restored, i.e. same name, active directory membership and virtual network etc.

Basic VHD(X) file copy
You can restore the VHD(X) files to any Hyper V host server and manually recreate the virtual environment. Version control considerations need to be considered, i.e. you can’t restore a Windows 2016 VM to a Windows 2008 Hyper V host server.
It is unlikely this will happen though because you will probably create a new Hyper V host server during DR.

The virtual environment can be recreated manually easy enough. You will need to get the VM type correct (gen 1 or 2). If you take a few screenshots of the VM’s config beforehand and update them when you make changes, that will be sufficient.

The question you asked is somewhat open-ended and we can advise much better if we know more about your environment. If you don’t know about Hyper V replication (nothing shared), it is a great preventative measure to protect you from a single server failure.
We can assist is setting this up to Azure or another server of yours should you require it.