For VMs, Veeam or Altaro are great solutions. I think Veeam has no limits when choosing VMs to back up however with Altaro is limited to 2 VMs per host or something like that.
To save your ESXi configuration, you can do it by command line on the ESXi, more information: https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2042141
Anything else, let us know!
So I installed Veeam tonight to find out that it does not support the free version of ESXi. So that still leaves me looking for a vm backup solution. If the other mentioned product only allows 2 vm's to be backed up, that won't work for me as I have 5 VM's (Windows & Linux).
Sorry Roveer, but as you didn't mention you had a free version of ESXi I couldn't know it.
Then, you could use Trilead. I use it time ago and it was good.
You will have to run the schedule manually as it's the free version, but it works for a lab.
It seems like all these backup programs are doing is making a copy of the VM directory and zipping it.
Since my VM's are very static in nature I am fine doing that myself manually.
I tried pulling a WIN10 VM over to my nas, zipped, unzipped, moved it back to ESXi under a different directory and re-added it to the inventory and it seems to be working just fine.
So, if just preserving copies of my VM directories is enough to effectively "backup" my VM, then that's probably the easiest way for me to go.
What am I missing here? I've read something about not being able to restore on a different license number (different instance of ESXi). Is that true?
If I were to lose my ESXi and had to re-install it would I apply the same license I had before? Would it still allow me to re-install my VM's the same way I'm describing above?
Since my lab is so small It's really not worth it to me to try and use backup software which tons of features I really don't need. Of course unless I'm totally missing something here and my proposed methods would be unrecoverable.
What about export / ova? Does that work as well?
Where have I gone wrong?
I dug into the cli stuff tonight and all it generated was a very small 35k file. That surprised me.
My ESXi is very small. I have only a single disk on my system. It's a raid 5 array and looks like this:
So. based on how I'm looking at it I would think I would have to make backups of the following:
USB KEY - This would give me my boot environment should the key ever die
DATASTORE drive (above) would give me all my VM's and ISO directory
Configuration? (the file I made with the cli)
Would backing these 3 things up allow me to restore in the event that my datastore drive or USB key went south?
I'm thinking if it were to die due to usb key failure I would just restore the usb key. If the array ever died I'm thinking I'd have to do a base ESXi install, then restore the configuration file and the datastore directory and I should get everything back? Does this sound feasible? If not, is there a document that would outline how to totally backup and recover an ESXi free 6.0 (Dell specific) system?
I just feel totally unprotected and having put a ton of hours into setting it all up, I'd like to know i could recover it should it die.
> I dug into the cli stuff tonight and all it generated was a very small 35k file. That surprised me.
That is all you need to restore your current config.
Reinstalling ESXi to a new USB-stick and restoring your last config is a matter of maybe half an hour.
So imaging your USB is not really necessary.
To backup your VMs you could power off your VMs occasionally and use tar and gzip to create a compressed archive for each VMs directory.
Download that tarball to a safe location and you can restore your VMs in case the datastore dies.
By the way - I highly recommend to use thick provisioned VMs in such small environments.
That will radically reduce the risk of losing your VMs when you have a power failure of the host.
Yes, I tried iperius. That's what led me to understand that I can just preserve the VM's other easier ways.
I also seem to have had success exporting to an ova template. That also seems to have compressed the file as well. Seems like that would be the easiest way to backup and restore VM's. Is there something wrong with doing it that way?
It shouldn't as there are files in a particular state.
But anyway you could use the way you want it. Backup your VMs with a 3rd party, exporting, zipping a file from esxcli, etc.