This post is continuing on from my last blog about protecting your Hyper-V host server.
I certainly share the school of thought that creating single-purpose servers to host your Hyper-V guests is undeniably a best practice. Given adequate budget, rack space/server room real estate, and administration headcount, I believe having dedicated servers (clustered if possible) per application is ideal.
In the real world, however, most of us rarely have unlimited or even adequate budget. We have more and more customers, data and compute resources we must manage with fewer administration headcount. We typically are under severe time crunch to spin up storage, applications and shares.
Given these pressures and limitations, I repeatedly run into many IT admins who are forced to load up servers with more applications, features and roles than just the virtual host role. While they realize this is not best practice – it is the unfortunate reality for many shops.
Additionally, MSFT, with Server 2012 and Windows 8, has significantly improved the accessibility and ease-of-use for setting up and enabling Hyper-V. Since it is now as simple as turning on a feature in Server Manager or via PowerShell cmdlet, many IT generalists (as opposed to virtualization specialists) are enabling Hyper-V and purposing VMs to address their exploding client and server needs.
With these trends and pressures, it is irresponsible to put practices in place which do not include some type of backup of the server hosting your Hyper-V environment. Granted, backup practices should protect applications (including Hyper-V VMs) and associated data separately and with a specialized product knowledgeable of their content. Having a backup product which allows you to put practices in place to address your entire gamut of VMs, applications and storage in addition to the host server itself is ideal.