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Druva Documentation

Hyper-V virtual machine backup workflow

Phoenix Editions: File:/tick.png Business File:/cross.png Enterprise File:/tick.png Elite


Druva Phoenix backs up virtual machines based on the schedule defined in the backup policy, or if a backup is triggered from Phoenix Management Console. The backup workflow is explained below:

Hyper-V_backup_ workflow.png

Virtual machine backup workflow

Step Operation

Step 1

Virtual machine backup request is initiated based on:

  • Schedule defined in the backup policy.
  • On-demand backup

Druva Phoenix forwards the backup request to the agent.

Step 2

Phoenix agent verifies that the VSS service is running. The Phoenix agent requests the VSS service to create a snapshot. If the VSS service is not running, Phoenix agent starts the VSS service and instructs VSS to create a snapshot.

Druva recommends that you enable Backup (volume snapshot) under Hyper-V Integration Services. If the Backup (Volume snapshot) is enabled, the VSS service can create a snapshot without interrupting services on the virtual machine.

Phoenix agent validates if snapshots are created successfully and initiates the backup job.
For  Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2 host:

  • If Druva Phoenix is backing up virtual machines that are stored on a clustered shared volume, then Druva Phoenix can backup only one virtual machine at a time. 
  • A hardware VSS provider is required if  you want Druva Phoenix to create snapshots for multiple virtual machines simultaneously on a single host and run parallel backup jobs. For information on how to configure Druva Phoenix so that it can use third party VSS providers, see How do I configure Druva Phoenix to use third party VSS providers?.
Note: Integration Services are available for virtual machines with Windows guest OS. However, Microsoft provides Integration Services for certain Linux distributions also. For more information, see: If integration services are not available for a virtual machine, Druva Phoenix cannot take a snapshot and backup fails.

On Windows Server 2016 or later, the Phoenix agent can back up virtual machines using the Resilient Change Tracking (RCT) feature if:

  • The Phoenix agent installed on the host is 4.7.5 or later, and
  • Virtual machine configuration version is 6.2 or later. If the virtual machine is hosted on a Hyper-V cluster, then the virtual machine cluster functional level must be level 9 or higher. 

The Phoenix agent can back up virtual machines using RCT on a Hyper-V host that meets the criteria above and:

  • Efficiently keep a track of what has changed on a virtual machine between backup jobs
  • Incremental backups will be faster

Note: The Phoenix agent can take virtual machine snapshots using the RCT feature if it is backing up virtual machines for the first time from a host that meets the criteria. The Phoenix agent continues to use VSS if snapshots of the virtual machines from a host exist that were created using VSS. However, if:

  • VSS snapshots exist from a host that meets the criteria above, and
  • You want subsequent backup jobs to use the RCT feature   

Upgrade the Phoenix agent on the host and change backup method to RCT.  

Step 3

Druva Phoenix determines the type of backup. 

  • If this is the first automatic backup, Druva Phoenix performs a full backup. 
  • For all subsequent backups, Druva Phoenix performs an incremental backup. 


Step 4

Agent estimates the data for backup

Step 5

Agent backs up the data based on the VSS provided snapshot

Next steps

If you want to configure Druva Phoenix for backup and restore, see:

To learn more, see: