Backup DOS script for VCB and ntbackup

Backup DOS script for VCB and ntbackup

A Simple DOS script to backup all guests on a specified host using VCB and ntbackup

Hopefully someone will find this useful!

I tired of looking for a reasonably priced backup solution to go with VCB (which I think is great!) so got down to pulling together a lot of googling to create a reasonable batch script for a simple manual backup rotation.

This is effectively a disk-disk-tape solution, although by 'tape' any storage device available to ntbackup could be used. You could also modify the script to omit the ntbackup parts and keep the vcb backup files

The calls the ntbackup are specifically dewsigned to avoid any tape management. The tape currently in the drive is erased, and the backup is written. It is ejected at the end of the operation so that it can be manually rotated.

Hell you can modify if however you like - just share it back to the community if you make it do something nice!

Pre-Requisites for Use


  • Read the 'Terms of Use' for Community sample code! No warranty is offered on this script, it is for your own reference. If you choose to use it for production use, I cannot guarantee your backup. .. Use entirely at your own risk

  • No really - go and read the terms of use

  • A Windows OS VCB Backup proxy machine, with VCB fully installed

  • Enough disk space on this server to backup your largest guest

  • A valid license for VCB on your ESX host

  • A working backup device that can be used for backup by ntbackup

Nice to Haves

I use TrapGen () to fire an SNMP trap to my network management station when the backup fails. You could replace this with any other command to make an alert, it just so happens my NMS like SNMP.

Watching the logs is made easy by use of baretail () - just associate this useful proggy with .log files and double-click the log.


Add a user 'backup' to your ESX host with appropriate rights, set a nasty obfuscated password

Add the environment variable vmpwd to your VCB backup proxy machine, setting it's

value to the password

Make a working directory on your VCB backup proxy machine. For example C:\Backup

Make a subdirectory script

Make a subdirectory vcbmount (your temporary backup storage before going to tape)

Create a script file backup.cmd and paste in the code

Use Task Scheduler or similar to make a job, redirecting output to a backup.log file in your backup directory

You can test by doing a run now on your task

Change the parameters at the top of the script to appropriate values for your system

Find LTO Ultrium and Quantum LTO - change these to your tape library name. For some reason I haven't managed to parameterise these Smiley Sad

If you're not using network based disk method, change the -m nbd parameter appropriately

If you want to use TrapGen.exe then put the executable in your script subfolder, and create another command file backup_failed.cmd to send the trap according

to your requirements. Alternatively make this script take whatever alert action you require.

The Script

::back up all guests on a specified ESX host listed in a control file populated by listing guests on
the host
@echo off
set debug=OFF
for /f "Tokens=1-4 Delims=/ " %%i in ('date /t') do set dt=%%i-%%j-%%k-%%l
for /f "Tokens=1" %%i in ('time /t') do set tm=-%%i
set tm=%tm::=-%
set dtt=%dt%%tm%
set skipguest=:
set bd=C:\Backup
set esxhost=myesxhost
echo --%date% %time% - Starting Backup script for ESX host %esxhost% at %dtt%
echo   Refreshing RSM library
IF "%debug%"=="OFF" (rsm.exe refresh /LF"Quantum LTO 2 Tape Drive")
echo --%date% %time% - Discovering Guest list for ESX host %esxhost%
"C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Consolidated Backup Framework\vcbvmname" -h %esxhost% -u backup -p
%vmpwd% -s Any -L 0 > %bd%\script\%esxhost%_vm_list.txt
echo   Making initial backup of scripts and RSM database
::the next command is REALLY fussy don't fiddle with it if possible!
IF "%debug%"=="OFF" (ntbackup.exe backup "@%bd%\script\InitialLocal.bks" /n "TAPE-%esxhost%-%dtt%"
/d "SET-%esxhost%-%dtt%" /snap:on /v:no /r:no /rs:no /hc:on /m normal /j "JOB" /l:f /p "LTO Ultrium"
if ERRORLEVEL 1 GOTO :errexit
echo   Entering VM Backup loop
for /F "skip=10 tokens=1,2 delims=:" %%i IN (%bd%\script\%esxhost%_vm_list.txt) DO (
IF "%%i%"=="name" (
echo     %date% %time% - Starting VCB backup of guest %%j
IF "%debug%"=="OFF" (
IF EXIST %bd%\vcbmount\%%j (RD /S /Q %bd%\vcbmount\%%j)
"C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware Consolidated Backup Framework\vcbMounter" -h %esxhost% -u backup
-p %vmpwd% -a name:%%j -r %bd%\vcbmount\%%j -t fullvm -m nbd
echo     %date% %time% - Starting backup to tape of guest %%j
IF "%debug%"=="OFF" (ntbackup.exe backup %bd%\vcbmount\%%j /a /t "TAPE-%esxhost%-%dtt%" /snap
:off /v:no /r:no /hc:on /m normal /l:f )
echo     %date% %time% - successful tape backup of guest %%j
) ELSE (
echo     %date% %time% - failed tape backup of guest %%j
set skipguest=%skipguest%,%%j
) ELSE (
echo     %date% %time% - Failed VCB snapshot of guest %%j
set skipguest=%skipguest%,%%j
IF "%debug%"=="OFF" (IF EXIST %bd%\vcbmount\%%j (RD /S /Q %bd%\vcbmount\%%j))
echo   %date% %time% - Ended VM Backup loop
IF "%skipguest%"=="" (
echo --%date% %time% - Generating SNMP trap due to skipped guest
CALL backup_failed.cmd
IF "%debug%"=="ON" (
CALL backup_failed.cmd
echo   Ejecting tape
IF "%debug%"=="OFF" (rsm.exe eject /PF"TAPE-%esxhost%-%dtt% - 1" /astart)
echo   Guests not backup up or skipped%skipguest%
echo --%date% %time% - Ending Backup script for ESX host %esxhost%
goto :finish

echo There was an error existstatus returned from the initial backup command
echo --%date% %time% - Generating SNMP trap due to skipped guest
CALL backup_failed.cmd


Known Issues

The timestamp written to the logs doesn't update - really need to make a function call for this

Couldn't parameterise the tape library name and similar parameter for the RSM refresh for some reason - I blame the ntbackup command as this is very fussy!

NBD method not parameterised


Very Nice! Thanks for the contribution! Now when I tell someone " could create an NTBackup script" I can refer them to this doc.

Dave Convery

VMware vExpert 2009

Careful. We don't want to learn from this.

Bill Watterson, "Calvin and Hobbes"

You are very welcome! The info came from this great community, and some other similar ones. I just put all the pieces together Smiley Happy

Version history
Revision #:
1 of 1
Last update:
‎06-25-2009 09:29 AM
Updated by: