Again, I'm new to VMware and I've recently installed ESXi on a server and currently have one virtual machine up and running on it. What tool/tools should I use to handle back and restores of this virtual machine? Does vSphere Client have some way of doing them or do I need to look at a third party product like Veeam? Using the free ESXi version from VMware is it possible to do backups without shutting down the virtual?
If you are using free ESXi, possibilities of VM-backup are rather restricted. I'm using ghettoVCB.sh - Free alternative for backing up VM's for ESX(i) 3.5, 4.x & 5.x . IIRC, ghettoVCB.sh can backup VMs even without shutting VMs down (but I'm not sure).
Depending on what is contained in the VM, you may just use a traditional backup client inside the VM. Essentially treat each VM like a physical server for backup purposes.
I use Veeam myself. There is a free version, but I am not sure what the limits are.
This VM Explorer you suggested worked very well. There are some nice features in the paid version but the free version backed up the EXSi while it was running just fine and I was able to restore the backup file to new virtual that seems to be running just like the old one. I'll play around with it some more but so far so good. Thanks for the suggestion!
Using the free ESXi version from VMware is it possible to do backups without shutting down the virtual?
Please be aware that free ESXi is not supported by Veeam, since Free ESXi has vStorage API for Data Protection and other management APIs locked down, that prevent Veeam from being able to backup/manage such hosts.
Ya, I realized that when I tried to download the backup product from Veeam. Andre directed me to a free product...VM Explorer...that does do the backups on the free version of ESXi without having to bring down the virtuals first. You cant get the automated scheduler running in the free version along with some other handy features but it does work fine by hand. I may end up going with the paid version but for now it's doing the trick.