SharePoint on a VM: Can Peter rescue a nonprofit in peril?

A naive server setup compounded by lack of backup forces our intrepid columnist to make a leap of faith -- that falls a bit short

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But I didn't. Instead, I moved forward, preparing for the crash with the mindset that I was going to blame the original configuration for all the woes -- which was only partially true.

I hope this in-the-trenches story teaches you two things. First, set up Hyper-V properly. Keep the parent bare, with minimal applications. Second, don't take risks without knowing how to recover if things go horribly wrong.

So what happened? I went to install SC DPM -- and it failed, even though it reported that I met all the prerequisites. But the SQL install didn't work out and left me a message to manually install SQL 2005 with Reporting features.

Having landed short, I tried something else
I decided I'd had enough. I went back to the drawing board and found a solution for using Windows Backup with the VSS service to back up my virtual machines. Of course, it had its own issue: It backed up the whole volume, not the individual VMs. But at this point I just wanted a backup, any backup. It worked; I got my backup and a somewhat happy ending.

Of course, I can't let go of this challenge; my next move will likely be to get SC DPM up and running, even if I don't ultimately use it to back up the virtual machines. However, there is another solution I'm looking into testing: a product called BackupAssist. I'm intrigued by the manufacturer's claim that BackupAssist can make a VHD from the host that allows you to granularly restore VMs; also, it costs $250, but it's available for only $150 to nonprofits. I'm going to test it out and let my faithful InfoWorld audience know the results in a future column.

What experiences have you had with Hyper-V?

This article, "SharePoint on a VM: Can Peter rescue a nonprofit in peril?," was originally published at Read more of J. Peter Bruzze's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows Server technologies at

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