Backing up virtual machine templates with Veeam Backup & Replication v5

One of the conversation points that comes up frequently when discussing data protection for virtual environments is the backup of the template virtual machine (VM). A lot of work is put into making a VM template; therefore, it may be worth the disk space and time to back it up.

Backing up a VM template will function a lot like backing up a powered-off VM (See my recent post on backing up powered-off VMs). Within Veeam Backup & Replication v5, there is an option to switch the view to include templates in the display, as shown in the figure below:

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This type of object will occur much like any other backup job with the notable exception that a snapshot is not performed. Secondly, the template VM backup will be quicker to skip if there are no changes. Likewise in the restore wizard, it is generally the same as what would occur on a normal VM. The only caveat is the Instant VM Recovery feature does not work the same for a template as it would a normal VM. The primary reason for this is that a template cannot be powered on. This leaves individual file recovery and full VM recovery as options for the templates. There also is not support for changed block tracking (CBT), so each change is picked up as a full backup.

The default behavior for backup jobs is to exclude VM templates, and that is an easy option to change within the exclusions options of a job as shown in the figure below:

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