Hyper-V VM Data Protection and Item Level Recovery with Microsoft Data Protection Manager 2012 R2
Hyper-V Virtual Machine Data Protection with Microsoft DPM 2012 R2
Virtual Machine Data Protection is an important requirement of clients hosting their VMs on public, multi-tenant hosting environments and Item Level Recovery (ILR) of files and folders is very useful and time saving feature for any backup solution. Microsoft has already added this feature in Microsoft DPM 2012 R2 (Data Protection Manager), and it works for even the VHD / VHDX backups, taken from Hyper-V hosts. Only catch in this is that, it requires the Hyper-V feature enabled on the DPM servers.
Nowadays most DPM servers run within VMs as they have the advantage of better scalability and easier storage management. But MS Hyper-V do not allow nested virtualisation. As a result, when you try to add the Hyper-V role within a VM from Server Manager -> Manage -> Add Roles and Features, it will give you an error as seen below.
Hence, to enable Hyper-V features within DPM VM, you have to use DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) command line tool. What a workaround! MS is always the master of workarounds, since the DOS days. You have to run the following commands in command prompt –
DISM /Online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:Microsoft-Hyper-V DISM /Online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:Microsoft-Hyper-V-Management-Clients
The first command will enable Hyper-V feature within the VM and the second command will enable the Hyper-V management features. Once the command executions are finished, reboot the VM. This reboot is going to be bit lengthy process. Keep your patience. Next it is recommended to run the windows update to update the VM.
Once all those feature enabling, updates and cycles of reboots are over, open the Data Protection Manager (DPM) console. Then go to the recovery section and double click on the recoverable VHD file for any available recovery point date and time.
To your surprise, it will change to a level below and show the entry Virtual Machine Volume.
Now again double click on Virtual Machine Volume and it will open the file system, containing files and folders. You can right click on any and select recover to recover that particular file or folder to a network location.
Our Windows 2012 R2 Cloud VPS hosting includes virtual machine data protection for our client hosted Hyper-V VMs thereby offering our clients complete data protection of their hosted VMs on our Uptime Certified TIER IV DC hosting facility in India.