When using the right tools, moving a VHD or VHDX file is actually quite simple. There are four options:
- Move VHD to a New Server via the LAN network or a UNC share
- Move VHD to another disk drive
- Moving a VHDX to a NAS device for the purposes of archiving or backup
- Moving a VHDX to the Cloud
Step #1: Get the Tool
Download BackupChain and install it on your server where the original VHD files are stored.
Step #2: Create a New Task to Move VHDs Over
Now you need to set up a simple task that will move the VM data (VHD and/or VHDX) over to the other side, whether it is a cloud server, new Hyper-V server, or another disk.
Select Hyper-V Backup and enter the task name. The task settings will remain in BackupChain; hence, the task may be repeated if necessary in the future, either manually or based on an automatic schedule:
Then skip the Hyper-V Backup settings, accepting the defaults as they are:
Step #3: Select Virtual Machines to be Moved
Now you simply place a check mark of the VMs you need moved. In our example, we are moving an Ubuntu Server VM VHD:
Step #4: Decide Whether You Need a Copy or a Backup
If the purpose of moving the VHD is for archiving or backup, you would now accept the default settings as shown below.
However, if you want to move the VHD over to a new server or disk for the purpose of running it there, you need “No File Processing” selected.
“No file processing” basically means that VHDs will be copied and not compressed or de-duplicated to save space.
Step #5: Select the Target
This is the step where you select the target folder or device.
If the target is a cloud server, select FTP and enter the FTP user name, password, and the address and port number of the FTP site.
If the target is another local disk, use “Local Folder” and browse to the folder.
The example below shows a network target sample setting, that you would select when you want to move the VHD to a NAS device or another Hyper-V host on the LAN network.
In the latter case, you’ll need to first set up a network share on the receiving server, then enter the network details as shown below:
Very Important: To prevent authorization issues you would want to enter the user name as ServerName\UserName as shown above, or DomainName\UserName if the servers are all part of a domain.
The “Always authenticate” option is useful when the network server permits read-only access to everyone but write access is only permitted to authenticated users. If that’s how the network is configured or if you get write access errors when running the task, you’ll need to switch ‘Always Authenticate’ on.
On some larger networks with multiple domains you may need to append the domain name to the server UNC path. For example, \\MyServerOrNas\mySharedFolder would be rewritten as: \\MyServerOrNas.MyDomainName\mySharedFolder
Step #5: Run the Task
After entering the task details, click through all following screens and click ‘Start Now’ at the end and the task will start automatically.
If you need this task to be repeated again, you can use the Scheduler tab in the main screen of BackupChain to set up a schedule.
Bonus: Move And Keep Just One or More Copies
When you create a task to move the VHDs elsewhere, it is possible to keep more than one copy of each VHD.
The default setting in BackupChain “Number of Backups” is 10, and it’s stored in the File Types tab:
The above table allows users to fine-tune their retention settings as necessary.
Boot VMs Instantly on Recovery Server
You could set “number of backups” to 1 and have BackupChain move each VHD over to another host and then delete the older VM copy.
This is in fact a common method used to create a backup recovery server. Many users set up their “move task” to run nightly and send the VHDX to another host.
In case of a disaster you would simply power up the VM on the recovery server without the need to go through a restore operation, as would be the case when using backups.
Feel free to contact BackupChain tech support if you need assistance (9-5 ET)