Top 5 backup solutions for VMware & Hyper-V: HPE-Micro Focus VM Explorer


Micro Focus (formely HPE Software) VM Explorer is a backup solution that offers fast VM and granular restore, replication, and verifcation of VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V environments.

VM Explorer product is currently rebranding since former software division of Hewlett Packard Enterprise was recently acquired by Micro Focus. The current version of VM Explorer still has the HPE logo.


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Micro Focus VM Explorer

Currently available as version 6.6, Micro Focus VM Explorer is a low-cost, easy-to-use and reliable backup solution suitable for small and mid-market environments and supports VMware and Hyper-V virtual platforms. The application can be installed on Windows OS only and the light-weight installer completes the installation in less than a minute and the application requires few resources to run.

The management of VM Explorer is done through an easy to use and intuitive web-based interface available in 9 languages and allows the configuration of backups and replications of your virtual machines in a few simple clicks.



License and available editions

The product is socket-based pricing and the number of CPU socket can be increased without the need to upgrade to the next edition. The solution is very cost-effective since self-service features enables easy maintenance and removes the need for special training.


Micro Focus VM Explorer is available in two editions:

  • Professional – offers an automated and efficient backup and replication solution with the support of tapes, incremental backup, off-site backup, file level restore, scheduled jobs and backup verification.
  • Enterprise – all features of the Professional edition are available with the addition of Instant VM Recovery, backup encryption features and the support for cloud backups (public and private), StoreOnce Catalyst storage device.

Micro Focus offers also a Free edition that provides basic manual VM backup and restore. To test the application, Micro Focus VM Explorer is available as 15-day trial.


Backup features

Micro Focus creates image-based backup (snapshot technology) and all VM backups are forever incrementals and support Changed Block Tracking (CBT) and Resilient Change Tracking (RCT) to send only changed blocks to the repository since the last backup or replication job. Backups are dynamically compressed and use the NBD protocol to transfer data where the throughput is limited only by the available network bandwidth and the disks speed of the source and target systems.

During the backup process, VM Explorer ensures consistency for the file system through the VSS service. The software also supports Active Directory integration and multi-user access mode.


The integration with leading storage products, such as HPE StoreOnce Catalyst, HPE StoreVirtual VSA, HPE StoreEver tape libraries, NAS, VTL, optimizes the storage use and provides a complete flexibility to your environment. The built-in snapshot integration for HPE StoreVirtual VSA and EMC ScaleIO offloads the hypervisor host during backups.



Instant Virtual Machine Recovery

With VM Explorer you can boot VM directly from the backup and supports a granular recovery for files (instant file recovery is not available if the datastore is formatted VMFS 6) and Microsoft Exchange emails directly from any backup. The Instant Virtual Machine Recovery technology allows to power on VMs directly from backup without the need of restoring a full backup first.



Copy backups Offsite and to Cloud

To have offsite backup copies, VM Explorer can securely backup VMs directly to cloud targets including Amazon S3, Rackspace, Microsoft Azure, Scality and OpenStack without any intermediary gateway.




Mission critical VMs can be replicated to another host or copied to the cloud and can be started and accessed on-demand. To keep the environment in sync with a quick disaster recovery, only changes occurred in the source VM since last replication are transferred to the replicated VM in the new target.



Test backups

VM Explorer performs a dual verification to checks the integrity and restorability of VM backups as well as the file system consistency. The verification test doesn't affect the production environment and reports including screenshot images taken at custom intervals are generated as proof and sent via email. Currently this feature is available for VMware only.


A complete guide for the installation and configuration of Micro Focus VM Explorer can be found in this article.