Overview - Virtual Server Agent for Microsoft Hyper-V

Table of Contents


The Virtual Server iDataAgent provides a unified protection and recovery vehicle for all virtual machine data in a Hyper-V cluster or a standalone Hyper-V server. In addition to complete protection of entire virtual machines for disaster recovery, the Virtual Server iDataAgent also provides granular backup and recovery options.  The additional options such as customized automatic discovery, deduplication, and reporting ensure all your virtual machine data is easily traceable and retrievable whenever the need arises.

The following illustration displays various components of Virtual Server iDataAgent and how the data flows:

Key Features

The Virtual Server iDataAgent offers the following key features:

Virtualization Client

The Virtualization client serves a single point of administration for all cluster nodes. All administration actives such backups, restores, schedules, reports etc can be performed from the Virtualization Client.

Protection of Migrated Virtual Machines

The cluster will be seamlessly backed up even if the virtual machine migrates from one host to another. The incremental backup cycles will also be maintained.

Automatic Protection for All Virtual Machines in a Cluster or Server

Once you configure the Virtual Server iDataAgent for a cluster or a server, all the virtual machines in the Hyper-V Cluster or server are automatically selected for backup. This behavior is designed to ensure all virtual machines are backed up.

Customized Discovery

If you want to backup only specific virtual machines in a cluster or a server, you can set criteria to search the virtual machines and automatically select them for backup. This is useful in environments where virtual machines are frequently added, or removed . You can easily browse and select objects such as CSV or Hosts to set criteria for automatic discovery.

Customized Filters

If you want to exclude specific virtual machines from the backup, you can set criteria to filter virtual machines.


You can view a detail report about each backed up virtual machine. It contains information such as size of the data, status of integration services, guest operating system, the host on which the virtual machine is running etc. You can view all this information from the CommCell console when the backup job is running. It appears on the Virtual Machine Status tab of the View Job Details dialog box.

SnapProtect Backup

SnapProtect Backup enables you to create a point-in-time snapshot of a virtual machine by temporarily quiescing the data, taking a snapshot, and then resuming live operations. SnapProtect backups work in conjunction with hardware snapshot engines.

Block Level Deduplication

Deduplication provides a smarter way of storing data by identifying and eliminating the duplicate items in a data protection operation.

Deduplication at the data block level compares blocks of data against each other. If virtual machines contains blocks of data that are identical to each other, block level deduplication eliminates storing the redundant data and reduces the size of the data in storage. This dramatically reduces the virtual machine backup data copies on both the disk and tapes.


The Virtual Server iDataAgent documentation uses the following terminology:


The virtualization software being used (such as Hyper-V or VMware).


The Hyper-V server on which the iDataAgent is installed. This computer facilitates most of the data movement from the Hyper-V server to the backup media. Such computers are referred to as a Node.
Virtual Client A logical entity that serves as a single point of administration for all servers in a Hyper-V cluster.
Virtual Server iDataAgent A software module that performs backup and restore of virtual machine data.
Backup Set A group of subclients defining data to be backed up by the iDataAgent.
Subclient A logical entity that uniquely defines a set of virtual machines to be backed up.
Discovery Searching Virtual Machines in the Hyper-V cluster or server based on a specific criteria.

Guest Host

A virtual machine.

Guest OS

The operating system running on the virtual machine (such as Windows or Linux).