The Export and Import functions of Hyper-V are not well understood. Are they a simple tool just to move virtual machines about?
I challenge that thinking, the functions can be used for much more, such as 'fixing' some VM behavior in Hyper-V.
First of all - lets explore what these two function do:
Export collects the pieces of a Hyper-V virtual machine and collects them into a single folder (with the same name as the VM) on a volume or at a local path.
Import simply 'attaches' to the exported virtual machine, reads in the configuration, and allows you to run the VM from the location that you imported it from.
Cases where these functions are useful:
The obvious - export, move, import
The not so obvious:
Fixing Failover Clustering of a VM. - When a VM is created the default settings place the configuration and snapshots under the path %programdata% and the virtual disk files under \users\public. If you want your VM to be highly available, you need all of these bits in a shared storage location. Using Export to do this is a really simple solution to collect the VM together and to change its configuration, snapshot, and VHD location to that shared volume. *Poof* a bit of administration magic, you just fixed your VM for failover clustering.
Enabling a VM for easy backup and recovery - All administrators know that backup and restore is an exercise that involves chicken sacrifices, finger crossing, and sweaty palms. You quickly learn how good your backup plan is when you work through the exercise of a performing a staged disaster recovery of a particular VM or application within your enterprise.
Anyway, just like for failover clustering, having your VM neatly bundled in one location makes it easier to comb through volumes and folders within your backup catalog (not everyone uses DFS).
You can also Export a copy of your running VM, just for safe keeping, until that application is upgraded again, then you have a quick machine to use for testing and recovery.