VirtualBox host backup questions


My setup is - Light Linux Debian as Virtualbox host with multiple VM. Some VMs are run every day, some rarely. And also some set of files needed for all VMs. My first idea was to backup the Host and therefore keep all my VMs backed up.
One thing I realize - as soon as I run VM - it is backed up in next incremental backup.

This really is the result I want, but I do not know if it is resource (HDD space) efficient.

Would it be reasonable to back up often used VMs as separate clients and remove their VDI from backup?

Thanks for your opinion, just looking for best practices. :slight_smile:

Depends on what you want to achieve. If you think that data corruption is possible on VM (someone drops a table, deletes a file) leave incremental backups there. If you believe that VM corruption is more likely - backup VMs themselves. I only do second part and even that I do without UrBackup. I would go for both backups if you have the space for it.

Do you do VDI backups in snapshot mode or do you turn off your VMs?

I am starting to plan. As I am planning to do incremental backups every 3h, could be that the VM is up.
Therefore I am thinking to backup the VM settings from HOST. And do the disk image and file backup from GUESTS (since most used are WIN).

By VM settings do you mean .vbox files and such? Might work, never thought about backing up those.

Yes, .vbox and all the VM snapshots I have for those machines.

Do you really need image backups then? I think vbox snapshots cover that, don’t they?

Not really for my case. I do snapshots just for some testing cases, not as a backup. And I am not sure if snapshots work without the original VDI…

Well, you would kinda have the original VDI with images on UrBackup? Just need to write down UUID then. What I do is do LVM snapshot, copy VDI, send it off to a backup server. UrBackup can take care of files on the VM’s FS.

Now I will try following scenario.

  1. HOST linux will do file backup for /home and /var - excluding VDI from both most active used Windows guest VMs.
  2. Windows guests will have both image and file backups - image backup theoretically must be the same VDI, just from inside (must try to restore though)

If point 2 will not work, will try to manually backup the initial VDI for guests. Would be nice to have image backup for host, but it is linux machine.