Oracle VirtualBox – virtualisation made quick, simple and free

Over the past few years we’ve used a variety of different virtualisation tools but have historically always stuck to a mixture of either VMWare tools (esxi, Player and Workstation) or Microsoft’s Hyper-V platform.

These have worked really well for building larger virtual server platforms but recently I was looking for a quick and easy to configure tool that I could use on my own desktop PC. I was just looking to build some simple test machines for evaluating software in a range of scenarios.

After some browsing I came across Oracle VirtualBox and I must say I’ve been impressed with it so far. Continue reading

How to back up Microsoft Hyper-V servers using BackupAssist

One of the key benefits of using BackupAssist in a Hyper-V environment is that only one licence is required on the physical host server in order to perform file level backups across all of the guest machines.

In this post I’m going to step through a Hyper-V scenario I come across quite frequently, and show you how to configure a single backup job to provide the following:

  1. Bare metal backup
  2. Recovery of a guest machine in its entirety
  3. Recovery of files from a guest
  4. Exchange mailboxes and near-continuous SQL backup

For this scenario the following set of licences must be purchased for one installation of BackupAssist on the Hyper-V host server.

1 x BackupAssist with Upgrade Protection
1 X Hyper-V Granular Restore Console
1 x Exchange Mailbox add-on
1 x SQL add-on

Scenario 1 – Server configuration2008-server.jpg

In this example I’ll be backing up a single 2008 Hyper-V server running two 2008 guests.

VM 1 – 2008 SBS including Exchange

VM 2 – 2008 Server R2 with SQL Continue reading