Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 will not allow virtual machines live backup with NTBackup

Service Pack 1 for Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2, actually in beta and expected for Q1 2007, will introduce the highly expected capability of backup running virtual machines without stopping and restarting them.

The update in fact provides a so-called Volume Shadow Service (VSS) Writer, offering a way to achieve the live backup, which can be used by backup products to seamless copy the virtual disk (.vhd) files of virtual machines.

But the capabilitiy will not be available for the native Windows backup product: NTBackup.

A Microsoft employee reported so in the beta support newsgroup.
No technical details were provided to justify this limitation.

This is a real pity, detracting value from the feature and obliging customers to buy a 3rd party backup product which will be certified to perform VMs live backup.