Backup up XenDesktop7 1

What should you be looking to backup when looking to protect your XenDesktop environment. At a minimum, backup the following XenDesktop7 components so that it is possible to recover from a complete failure of your environment. Naturally since you will be reliant on your XenDesktop environment, that you will have built, your environment to be fully redundant, haven’t you?


  • XenDesktop database: 
  • Provisioning Services vDisks (virtual desktops and XenApp servers) 
  • Virtualisation Platform (XenServer, Hyper-V or VMWare)
  • Dedicated virtual desktops 
  • Web Interface configuration 
  • License files 
  • User profiles / home folders

How you actually backup your environment, really depends on what Backup Software you are using, but in the virtualised world you really should be using the backup benefits this brings. By this I mean the backup software really should hook into the Hyper-visor to take a backup of the running VM without any downtime, by using snapshots.

For Hyper-V & VMware, you could look at Veeam or PHD Virtual and if you have  Xenserver I would recommend you should have a look at PHD Virtual. Both these products will allow to backup your running VM’s and they also then allow you to also replicate them, giving you further resilience.

You may be wondering how to backup the users personal vDisks this can be done by using  two PowerShell scripts supplied on the XenDesktop media allow you to back up and restore Personal vDisks.

The scripts are located in the Support\Tools\Scripts folder:

migration-backup.ps1 captures the mapping between each user and their Personal vDisk in a machine catalog and stores this information in an .xml file.
migration-restore.ps1 uses the .xml file to re-create a user’s desktop in a machine catalog.

A couple of point to remember are that:

  • The scripts work with the hypervisor API so the hypervisor’s PowerShell snap-in must be installed on the Delivery Controller where the scripts are executed.
  • Run the scripts from a location that has access to the Delivery Controller where the machine catalog was created
  • The scripts are supported on the following hypervisor platforms: Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V, and VMware ESX

This was taken from Manage Personal vDisks on the Citrix website.

Any questions let me know, I have written a post on how snapshots work in Hyper-V, and will get round to XenServer & VMWare soon.

One comment on “Backup up XenDesktop7

  1. Reply Fred Sep 24, 2014 4:57 pm

    Hello Gavin, I’m trying to use Veeam for backuping my PvD. For the restore, in the readme, I have to restore all the PvD in a folder inside a Vmware Datastore. Did you find a way to do this or Am I doing the right way ?
    Thanks again !

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