Running True Image when a Virtual Machine is open?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Brcobrem, Jul 28, 2009.

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  1. Brcobrem

    Brcobrem Registered Member

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    Hi,

    I have a site that runs XPPro and they use Microsoft Virtual PC. They run Windows 98 in a virtual machine to support some ancient LOB application.

    They had a problem with Acronis not running a scheduled job (Fyi -a reboot fixed that). I logged after hours on and saw that they still had the Win98 VM open on the XP desktop.

    I have recommended that they shut down the VM before they go home, but apparently they know better. So my question is, when True Image runs at night and that VM is opened and the vhd gets backed up too, is this a recommended scenario?

    I am guessing that since the VM is a large single file (~4GB) and is doing so much writing within that one file (registry updates/etc), that for True Image to create a usable backup, that the VM should be shut down before the image is made.

    I look forward to your thoughts and comments on this one.

    Regards,
    Brcobrem
     
  2. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Brcobrem:

    Welcome to the forum. The Windows version of TrueImage uses snapshot technology. A snapshot of the current file system is made at the instant the backup is started. Subsequent changes to the file system are NOT recorded in the image file. When you restore the image the PC is restored to the state it was in at the instant the snapshot was taken.

    It should not matter that the file system also contains a virtual hard disk file - the .vhd file will be included in the image, and if you restored it, the VM would be restored to the state at the instant the snaphot was made.

    Here is an Acronis KB article about the snapshot technology used in TI. You should not need to stop the VM before imaging.

    **Edit** To add additional clarification, TI saves a snapshot of the file system; not a snapshot of the current contents of the processor registers or RAM. So it is important that any open applications have saved their changes to the disk (or virtual disk) if the changes are to be included in the image. Otherwise the image contains the contents of the files without the unsaved changes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  3. Brcobrem

    Brcobrem Registered Member

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    Hi Mark,

    Thank you so very much for the informative reply. I really appreciate the link to that Acronis KB Article. I've looked for a technical synopsis like that before and never found one. I'm keeping that one for reference.

    I know that you and the article say that you can take the snapshots and create the image file while th OS is live. I just would like to ask about Microsoft SQL instances running on XP workstations (ie. this is common for entry level accounting programs):
    Does Acronis handle this ok when SQL database is using the "Full" Recovery Model. In a Full Recovery Mode scenario, data transaction logs are periodically generated before the data in these logs is finally flushed to the database. The flushing (aka committing) happens when the SQL database's full backup job is run.

    I've always been a little nervous about having an Acronis image being generated when SQL is running. So currently, I'm still running a task to stop the SQL instance(s) before Acronis, then restart the instance when the Acronis job is done. Is this unnecessary?

    Again, I look forward to any direction that you or others care to offer on this.

    Regards,
    Brcobrem
     
  4. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Brcobrem:

    I can't answer that one for you, but I believe that it has been asked previously on the forum. I would suggest searching the Acronis Knowledge Base for additional information on SQL server.
     
  5. Brcobrem

    Brcobrem Registered Member

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    Thanks again Mark. I'll see what I can find around the forum and web.

    Regards,
    Brcobrem
     
  6. Brcobrem

    Brcobrem Registered Member

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    Hi Mark,

    Just for the record of this post, looks like on non-VSS aware OS's (like XP), you need to quiesce (stop) the database. On VSS aware OS's (like MS Server 2003+), the Acronis server versions have an option to enable VSS support for VSS aware apps like MSSQL and Exchange servers.

    Regards,
    Brcobrem
     
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