I can't, ahahah, did you list "Backup Gal" as one of the backup methods mentioned for free ESXi? Thank you, you have made my day brighter. That awesome moment of humor aside, yes, there are a lot of solutions listed here.
One thing that you should know before you go down this path is that, to my knowledge, NO software can back up the VM at the VM level on free ESXi because they lack API access (pretty sure it would be a license violation anyways). Any backup software will need agents on the VMs themselves, and be backing up from there.
All that said, even with the Unitrends pushing that Backup Gal was doing, I hear it's a solid product and can backup ESXi free to date. I've also read that Trilead used to be able to handle what effectively amounted to VM cloning for ESXi free? Not sure how accurate that is anymore, or ever was for that matter. In any case, check those two out, I'd bet one of them meets your needs.
You should try XSIBackup, you can download it at: https://33hops.com/xsibackup-vmware-esxi-backup.html
UPDATE 2018-03-22: now XSIBackup free edition features deduplication and differential backup without any limitation. The Pro version offers post-backup data integrity certification by means of sha1 checksums and many other professional features.
We have a free version (the link above) and a commercial version called XSIBACKUP-PRO ( https://33hops.com/xsibackup-pro-vmware-esxi-backup.html )
The free version has no limitations and can backup to a datastore or to any SSH server using Rsync, by means of the Delta algorithm.
The Pro version offers advanced features, like deduplication over VMFS, instant differential backups (no checksum wait), raising events on backup end, support for Borg Backup backends, and much more.
- FREE: performs hot backups, so your VMs will always be available.
- FREE: it also performs cold backups, shutting down your VM prior to the backup and turns it on when the backup has finished.
- FREE: warm backups; shuts down the VM, takes a snapshot, switches it on and back up the guest.
- FREE: cron programmable.
- FREE: can automatically make room for your new backup in the backup device once it is full based on the full size of the device or a configurable space limit.
- FREE: it is capable of using Rsync to perform differential backups, mirrored to a second ESXI box or to a local datastore.
- FREE: can overwrite backups or create a new folder for each new backup.
- FREE: self capable, will run in the hypervisor without the need of additional hardware.
- FREE: it's totally free for personal and commercial use.
- FREE: works on the free version of the ESXi hypervisor.
- FREE: creates and uses it's own SSL key pair allowing to stablish trust relationships between different servers that will be preserved across reboots.
- FREE: super easy to install by just cutting and pasting an install script downloadable here: https://33hops.com/xsibackup-vmware-esxi-backup.html
- PRO: backup ESXi configuration.
- PRO: customize XSIBackup e-mail layout.
- PRO: control and backup 20 servers from one point.
- PRO: chain actions upon backup end, other backup jobs or external progs/ URLs.
- PRO: certify backups, compare data disks hashes upon backup completion.
- PRO: warm backups, maximum compatibility, minimum downtime.
- PRO: © OneDiff Technology, instant diff backups to DS & over IP.
- PRO: Borg Backup support, block level + compression de-duplication backend.
- PRO: © XSINAS, block-level deduplication backup device.
- PRO: © XSITools, block-level deduplication over VMFS.
You can find the man page at: http://33hops.com/xsibackup-help-man-page.html
And a lot of useful posts and how-tos at: http://33hops.com/blog-main.asp?lang=EN
I found this thread this evening, thought I'd respond quickly. First, the Unitrends Free for VMware (including free/unlicensed ESXi) is here: http://www.unitrends.com/products/enterprise-backup-software/unitrends-free This version protects 1TB - unlimited VMs, retention, etc. It also supports Hyper-V and physical Windows servers and clients. You backup locally and can send backup copies to AWS, Google, and other third-party cloud providers. You can also do instant recovery.
Second, to the question "autumnwalker" asks - as everyone knows, VMware does not allow the use of VADP to do host-level snapshots for free/unlicensed ESXi. So we support host-level protection if you had "paid" (or licensed) VMware vSphere - and we support agent-based protection if you're using free. Since we offer instant recovery for VMware and Windows, you can do instant recovery in both the paid/licensed version of VMware vSphere and in the free/unlicensed version of VMware vSphere.
I thought I would give the unitrends new free version a go.
it looks like a wonderful piece of software unfortunately it does not have an option to backup up to a network location just to a local datastore or a cloud provider.
so for me I will keep looking.
I've tried veaam but couldn't get used to it. I didn't like the way you have to setup the backup profiles and backup destination profiles. Although I can think up situations like in huge datacentres where this could be useful. Deal breaker were the many backup failures.
I tried Cloudbacko for a while and I even bought it because they promised lifetime updates. The software was (and still is) quite new and buggy but it was promising. The installation is simple and can be done on just about any computer. This is great for bare metal restore when you have only one ESXi host like me. To setup a backup profile is fairly simple even though the interface is not always very intuitive. There are bugs and faulty features. The email notifications are annoying because both successful and non successful backups have the subject ERROR/WARNING. Retention policies are complex to setup and old backups are not deleted. The interface is slow and sometimes confusing. The many backup destinations options are great. Both local and cloud. Unfortunately Cloudbacko decided to go against their early bird supporters. v2.x has been released but instead of offering the lifetime update, they want to make everyone pay again. They lie about the original policy and have changed their website content accordantly but forgot to remove a blog entry in which they proudly announced the lifetime update policy CloudBacko Offers Free Lifetime Software Updates – CloudBacko Blog
In an email response they say that v2 is not an update but an upgrade. Anyway, I'm moving to other software. I don't do business with unreliable companies.
Next I will try XSIBackup which DanielJGF suggestied earlier and Acronis backup for VMware. Although Acronis is much more expensive, I always liked Acronis backup for normal workstations so I will at least give it a try.
NO ONE can backup VMware ESXi free at the VM level, they just can't. There is no technology to support it and it would violate the license.
yes u can.
trilead ( now HPe VM Explorer) can do that for you.
Try VM Explorer (trilead) next. It's easy to install and you're ready to backing up your ESXi within 5 mins.
Try Paragon VM Copy Tool. It's a new program, lots of useful features. It's ideal when you need to create a full backup of a Linux or Windows virtual machine residing on any version of ESX(i) or vCenter from 4.1 Update 3 to 6.5, including its current state, all available snapshots, and connected external devices. Easy Ad-hoc VM Backup and VM Migration - Paragon Protect & Restore VM Copy Tool
Vertical Backup is a new tool that can back up free ESXi to local or NFS drives, SFTP servers, Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, and Backblaze B2. It supports many features: fully incremental backup, cross-host deduplication, client-side encryption, etc.
I have been using XSIBackup on my homelab as it's free. Wasn't much effort to setup and is currently doing a weekly hot backup of a handful of mixed OS VMs without having to install agents on the guests. It produces .vmdk files for the backup (free version anyway) so should be easy to restore (although I never have which is probably really bad).
I'm building more than you ask, but now project respect where you are looking
If some one can help me, it could be great!