Hornetsecurity VM Backup v9 Review

VM Backup v9 it's here a long time with a lot of improvements. I haven’t written about VM Backup for a long time now. Today we are going to take a better look at VM Backup v9 that can help you with your Backup Strategy.

I reviewed VM Backup a long time ago. In the meantime, new features have been added to VM Backup. Altaro was also acquired by Hornetsecurity.


What is VM Backup

For those that don't know, VM Backup is a fast, affordable, high-performance backup and replication solution. It is aimed for small, medium and enterprise business environments.


Let's see most of the Backup & Replication Features of the VM Backup.

  • Ransomware Protection leveraging Immutable Cloud Storage 
  • Augmented Inline Deduplication 
  • WAN-Optimized Replication
  • Continuous Data Protection (CDP) 
  • Concurrency 
  • Back up live VMs by leveraging Microsoft VSS with zero downtime.
  • Fully supports Cluster Shared Volumes & VMware vCenter.
  • Specify backup retention policies for individual VMs.
  • Back up VMs to multiple backup locations.
  • Performs data clean-up operations concurrently with any other backup or restore operations.
  • Native integration with multiple cloud storage providers 
  • Back up to other public clouds
  • Grandfather-Father-Son Archiving (GFS) - Archive backup versions in addition to your continuous and daily backups, by setting up separate backup cycles so you can store a new backup version every week, every month, and every year.
  • 3-2-1-1 backup 
  • 256-bit AES encryption for the Offsite Backups.



Before proceed with the installation or updates of the VM Backup v9 you need to have in place the following prerequisites.

  • .NET Framework 4.8 or higher

It's recommended to install the latest Windows Updates in the Backup Server and Hypervisor Side to avoid errors with the VM Agent installation

Supported Hypervisors

Let's see in which Hypervisors can setup the VM Backup v9

For Microsoft Hyper-V

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 
  • Windows Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 SP1 (core installation) 
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 (core installation)
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 (core installation)
  • Windows Server 2016
  • Windows Server 2016 (desktop experience)
  • Windows Hyper-V Server 2016 (core installation)
  • Windows Server 2019
  • Windows Hyper-V Server 2019 (core installation)
  • Windows Server 2022
  • Windows Hyper-V Server 2022 (core installation)
  • Azure Stack HCI

 For VMware

  • vSphere: 5.5 / 6.0 / 6.5 / 6.7 / 7.0 / 8.0
  • vCenter: 5.5 / 6.0 / 6.5 / 6.7 / 7.0 / 8.0
  • ESXi: 5.5 / 6.0 / 6.5 / 6.7 / 7.0 / 8.0


Today I will describe how can use the following 3 Features in VM Backup v9

  • Enable Immutable Cloud Storage in Azure Blob Storage for Ransomware Protection
  • How can use the GeFS
  • Monitoring your backups through Reports

However , you can download VM Backup v9 from here.



Enable Immutable Cloud Storage in Azure Blob Storage for Ransomware Protection

Before start to explain how can use this feature note that the VM Backup v9 support the Immutable Cloud Storage in the following Cloud Storages

  • Azure
  • Amazon S3
  • Wasabi


Step 1 - Create the Azure Blob Storage for the backups

First step is to create the Storage in Azure if you don't have it.

  • Login to the Azure Portal.

  • Click on Menu Icon from the left top side.
  • Select Storage accounts.
Azure Storage accounts


  • Click Create.


  • Click on Create new in Resource group and type only the name of the new resource group.
  • Type a name for the Storage account.
  • In Performance keep the Standard that use General Purpose v2 accounts which suggested as it will result in the lowest cost.  
  • For the Redundancy keep the Geo-redundant storage  and check the Make read access to data available .....
Azure Storage setup


  • Click on Tab Advanced. In the Blob Storage change the Access tier to Cool (Recommended for Backup).
Azure storage account


  • Go in Tab Data Protection. In the bottom of the page find the Access Control and check the Enable version-level immutability support. The specific option enable the immutability to use it with the VM Backup.
Azure storage account


  • Click on Review Tab. Check all the settings for the Storage. If all it's ok click Create.
Azure Storage setup


  • Go back to the Storage Accounts. Click on the Storage that we created.
Azure storage account


  • From the right side select Blob Services.
Azure storage account


  • Click on button Container. Type the name that you would like to use for the Container.



That's it!!

We create the Storage that will be use for the Offline backups from VM Backup v9.


Step 2 - Setup the Offline Backup in VM Backup

Before starting the configuration let's copy the Connection String from the Storage Account

  • In the Azure Portal go in Storage Accounts

  • Click on the Storage that we created
  • Click on Access Keys. In the right side copy the Connection String.
Azure Storage Access keys


  • Now Login to the VM Backup.
  • Click on Backup Locations
  • Click on Add Offsite Location
  • Select Cloud Backup on the Azure Storage Account and Click Next
VM Backup Offsite Location


  • Type the Container name that will create in the Azure
  • Copy the Connection String.
  • Enable the Immutable Backups
  • In the Immutable Policy type the number of the Days that you would like to protect the Backups. Note that the Retention policy is automatically set to match the Immutable policy.
VM Backup connect Offsite Location


  • Click Finish. If the connection is working you will see something like this.
  • It’s important to schedule a job which includes an Offsite Copy for our backups.
  • Drag & Drop the VMs to the Offsite Location and Schedule the Backup Job.
  • Offsite Copies of these VMs will be immutable for the duration of the defined immutable policy
VM Backup Offsite Location




Grandfather-Father-Son (GFS) Archiving

One of my favorite features in VM Backup is the GFS Archiving. It's not a new feature of the v9 but it's very useful for your Backup Strategy.

You can enable the Backup Archiving with two clicks. The process it's very simple.

Let's see in practice how can configure the GFS Archiving for better understanding.

  • In VM Backup Menu click on Backup Settings - - Retention Policy.
  • By Default the VM backup include all the VMs in 2 weeks.
  • Drag & Drop the VMs in the Retention Policy that you want.
  • Edit the Retention Policy. In the Archival Plan of Backups .... select the Archive Old Backups Version(GFS).
  • Type the appropriate numbers for your Archiving Policy.
  • In my GFS Archiving i selected the followings:
    • 1 backup per Week for 4 Weeks
    • 1 backup per month for 12 Months
    • 1 Backup per Year for 6 years
  • Click Modify and That's it!!!
VM Backup GFS


With a few steps you have configure your Archival Plan for your Backups.




Backup monitoring is an important task. Troubleshooting is not an easy task. You need the right tools for better results. 

The Reporting Tool of VM Backup can give you all the details that you need to troubleshoot a failed backup Job or be proactive to avoid a backup job failing.

You might think that Reporting is a tool that you will have by default. However, I have used various Backup applications, and in some of them, the Reporting Tool is almost non-existent.

Reports must be one of your requirements when you are searching for a Backup Application.

Let's see how can use the Reports.

  • You can find Reports it in the Menu Reports.
  • If you expand the Reports you will see 2 options. 
  • The Operations History that you can see all the Reports from a successful Backups Jobs
VM Backup Reports



  • The Error History  include all the Failed Backup Jobs.
VM Backup Reports




I am very impressed by the Support, 24/7 human support that is ready to assist and ensure that your backup is up and running! 

You can open the support from the Application.

Altaro Support




Companies that look for a good Backup Solution for their virtual or physical environment VM Backup is a good solution.

An easy-to-use product to work with a lot of features. Features like inline deduplications can reduce costs in a company. Immutable Backups can give you another one security level for your Backups to be protected from Ransomware.

You can download a 30-day trial for VM Backup v9 from here.