eqj
Contributor
Contributor

Free backup solutions for VMware ESXi?

I would like to back up the VM images from one datastore to another with the aim that I can just start it up in VSphere if the primary one falls over. The backup process needs to take place once a day and seamlessly without shutting down the VMs.

Are there any free solutions which can do this for me?

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19 Replies
eqj
Contributor
Contributor

Oh I am using Hypervisor/ESXi 4.1

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VTsukanov
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

VMware vSphere Hypervisor is a new name for ESXi Smiley Happy, ESXi 4.1 is supported

07/20/10 -

Enhancements:

Support for vSphere 4.1 (ESX and ESXi)

....

from ghettoVCB.sh

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eqj
Contributor
Contributor

Great! I will check it out. Thanks.

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

See also:

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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eqj
Contributor
Contributor

What about Veeam Backup vs ghettoVCB?

Which is better?

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VTsukanov
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

In my opinion Veeam Backup is better, support storage API, integrated VSS support etc ... but it isn't free

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eqj
Contributor
Contributor

I got something called Veeam Backup and FastSCP, which looks to be free.

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VTsukanov
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

FastSCP provides features for copying and managing your files, but does not provide an automatic backup. Comparing FastSCP and ghettoVCB.sh, ghettoVCB is better.

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

What about Veeam Backup vs ghettoVCB?

IMHO, if you plan to use a backup solution for a production environment consider a commercial product (that will have also a support if you need).

Veeam Backup can also be use for Replication, and this could be also interesting.

Andre

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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msvendsen
Contributor
Contributor

There is also Arkeia (www.arkeia.com) - they have now FREE product for virtual environments:

http://www.arkeia.com/en/partners/technology-partners/vmware

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EXPRESS
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

How about vRanger 4.5 Pro DPP? What do you guys think of this product?






Thank you,

Express

Thank you, Express
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Catbass
Contributor
Contributor

You can use ghettovcb and veeam-fastscp to do a backup using NFS for backup location.

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idle-jam
Immortal
Immortal

It's a great product and we used it alot. the new version 5 (beta now) has even virtual machine replication built in. However i think you will need a paid version of ESXi to use it.

... well one of the way is to run windows native backup inside the virtual machine 😃


iDLE-jAM | VCP 2, VCP 3 & VCP 4

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J1mbo
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

My spin on things...., nowhere near as polished as ghettovcb but it works and doesn't need any mods to esxi via the support cli:

http://blog.peacon.co.uk/completely-free-backup-for-esxi/






http://blog.peacon.co.uk

Please award points to any useful answer.

Unofficial List of USB Passthrough Working Devices

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Catbass
Contributor
Contributor

Setting up a ESXi 4.1 (free version) backup system

Requirement software on hand:

-           ghettoVCB-20100727.tar.gz. or the lastest version

-          Veeam_fastscp_3.0.3.272_u.zip  (free with schedule tasks) or the lastest free version (not sure about the new version did not test)

-          Putty

Install Veeam to backup server (Windows XP/7 Joined to domain).

In Veeam, copy ghettoVCB to ESXi server in datastore1 folder.

Use PUTTY to remote to ESXi server

Extract the contents of the tarball:

[root@himalaya ~]# tar -zxvf ghettoVCB.tar.gz

The script is now ready to be used and is located in a directory named ghettoVCB

[root@himalaya ghettoVCB]# ls -l

total 36

-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 28775 Mar 27 11:31 ghettoVCB.sh

-rw-r--r-- 1 root root   380 Mar 27 11:31 ghettoVCB-vm_backup_configuration_template

Setup QNAP to use NFS share or some kind of NSF server

I setup a folder with NFS share

Now back to ESXi in PUTTY

Edit the ghettoVCB.sh file

Example of my  config file:  (in Red color is my changes)

########################################################################

VM_BACKUP_VOLUME=/vmfs/volumes/ESXDatastore1

# Format output of VMDK backup

# zeroedthick

# 2gbsparse

# thin

# eagerzeroedthick

DISK_BACKUP_FORMAT=zeroedthick

# Number of backups for a given VM before deleting

VM_BACKUP_ROTATION_COUNT=1

# Shutdown guestOS prior to running backups and power them back on afterwards

# This feature assumes VMware Tools are installed, else they will not power down and loop forever

# 1=on, 0 =off

POWER_VM_DOWN_BEFORE_BACKUP=0

# enable shutdown code 1=on, 0 = off

ENABLE_HARD_POWER_OFF=0

# if the above flag "ENABLE_HARD_POWER_OFF "is set to 1, then will look at this flag which is the # of iterations

# the script will wait before executing a hard power off, this will be a multiple of 60seconds

# (e.g) = 3, which means this will wait up to 180seconds (3min) before it just powers off the VM

ITER_TO_WAIT_SHUTDOWN=3

# Number of iterations the script will wait before giving up on powering down the VM and ignoring it for backup

# this will be a multiple of 60 (e.g) = 5, which means this will wait up to 300secs (5min) before it gives up

POWER_DOWN_TIMEOUT=5

# enable compression with gzip+tar 1=on, 0=off

ENABLE_COMPRESSION=0

############################

####### NEW PARAMS #########

############################

# Disk adapter type: buslogic, lsilogic or ide

ADAPTER_FORMAT=buslogic

# Include VMs memory when taking snapshot

VM_SNAPSHOT_MEMORY=0

# Quiesce VM when taking snapshot (requires VMware Tools to be installed)

VM_SNAPSHOT_QUIESCE=0

##########################################################

# NON-PERSISTENT NFS-BACKUP ONLY

#

# ENABLE NON PERSISTENT NFS BACKUP 1=on, 0=off

ENABLE_NON_PERSISTENT_NFS=0

# umount NFS datastore after backup is complete 1=yes, 0=no

UNMOUNT_NFS=0

# IP Address of NFS Server

NFS_SERVER=192.168.5.39

# Path of exported folder residing on NFS Server (e.g. /some/mount/point )

NFS_MOUNT=/ESXDatastore1

# Non-persistent NFS datastore display name of choice

NFS_LOCAL_NAME=ESXDatastore1

# Name of backup directory for VMs residing on the NFS volume

NFS_VM_BACKUP_DIR=ESXDatastore1

Example on how to run ghettoVCB:   (I use only ./ghettoVCB.sh –a)

Usage:

[root@himalaya ghettoVCB]# ./ghettoVCB.sh

###############################################################################

#

# ghettoVCB for ESX/ESXi 3.5 & 4.x+

# Author: William Lam

# http://www.virtuallyghetto.com/

# Created: 11/17/2008

# Last modified: 07/27/2010

#

###############################################################################

Usage: ghettoVCB/ghettoVCB.sh -f [VM_BACKUP_UP_LIST] -c [VM_CONFIG_DIR] -l [LOG_FILE] -d [DEBUG_LEVEL] -g [GLOBAL_CONF] -e [VM_EXCLUSION_LIST]

OPTIONS:

   -a     Backup all VMs on host

   -f     List of VMs to backup

   -c     VM configuration directory for VM backups

   -g     Path to global ghettoVCB configuration file

   -l     File to output logging

   -d     Debug level [info|debug|dryrun] (default: info)

(e.g.)

Backup VMs stored in a list

        ghettoVCB/ghettoVCB.sh -f vms_to_backup

Backup all VMs residing on this host

        ghettoVCB/ghettoVCB.sh -a

Backup all VMs residing on this host except for the VMs in the exclusion list

        ghettoVCB/ghettoVCB.sh -a -e vm_exclusion_list

Backup VMs based on specific configuration located in directory

        ghettoVCB/ghettoVCB.sh -f vms_to_backup -c vm_backup_configs

Backup VMs using global ghettoVCB configuration file

        ghettoVCB/ghettoVCB.sh -f vms_to_backup -g /global/ghettoVCB.conf

Output will log to /tmp/ghettoVCB.log

        ghettoVCB/ghettoVCB.sh -f vms_to_backup -l /tmp/ghettoVCB.log

Dry run (no backup will take place)

        ghettoVCB/ghettoVCB.sh -f vms_to_backup -d dryrun

To do a schedule in crontab:

Cronjob FAQ:


Please take a moment to read over what is a cronjob and how to set one up, before continuing

The task of configuring cronjobs on classic ESX servers (with Service Console) is no different than traditional cronjobs on *nix operating systems (this procedure is outlined in the link above). With ESXi on the other hand, additional factors need to be taken into account when setting up cronjobs in the limited shell console called Busybox because changes made do not persist through a system reboot. The following document will outline steps to ensure that cronjob configurations are saved and present upon a reboot.

Task: Configure ghettoVCB.sh to execute a backup five days a week (M-F) at 12AM (midnight) everyday and send output to a unique log file

Configure on ESXi:

1. Setup the cronjob by appending the following line to /var/spool/cron/crontabs/root:

Since root is read-only file to need to change it to writeable.  I backup a copy of root first.

Type in chmod +w root

Now you can add the line below

0    0 * * 1-5 /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/ghettoVCB/ghettoVCB.sh -a  > /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/ghettoVCB-backup-$(date +\%s).log

Change the root back to read-only by chmod  -w root

/var/spool/cron/crontabs # ls -l

-r--r--r--    1 root     root                285 Nov  3 15:55 root

-r--r--r--    1 root     root                158 Nov  1 18:25 rootbk

Kill the current crond (cron daemon) and then restart the crond for the changes to take affect:

On ESXi 4.0

~ # kill $(cat /var/run/crond.pid)

~ # busybox crond

Now that the cronjob is ready to go, you need to ensure that this cronjob will persist through a reboot. You'll need to add the following two lines to /etc/rc.local (ensure that the cron entry matches what was defined above)

On ESXi 4.0

/bin/kill $(cat /var/run/crond.pid)

/bin/echo "0 0 * * 1-5 /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/ghettoVCB/ghettoVCB.sh -a > /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/ghettoVCB-backup-\$(date +\\%s).log" >> /var/spool/cron/crontabs/root

/bin/busybox crond

On Windows 2003 backup server, run Veeam

Create a backup job for the virtual machines

   I put them in my external USB drive.

Back to backup server (XP/7)

Once you have the ghettovbc backup to NFS share with success, you can use Veeam to point to the NFS share folder to backup to an external hard drive.

Done

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sfarrell
Contributor
Contributor

vmware replication is now free in v5.1 under most licences.

I have linked a short howto video to help people get acquainted with vmware replication

http://esximo.com.au/2013/vmware-replication-howto/

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AndreTheGiant
Immortal
Immortal

Please note that replication is not a backup solution.

If could be a Dr solution and it can protect VMs, but the VMware version, for example does not handle multiple version.

So if you lose a data, after X time you will lose also the replica.

Andre | http://about.me/amauro | http://vinfrastructure.it/ | @Andrea_Mauro
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HMAAdmin
Contributor
Contributor

Andrew Mauro wrote:

Please note that replication is not a backup solution.

If could be a Dr solution and it can protect VMs, but the VMware version, for example does not handle multiple version.

So if you lose a data, after X time you will lose also the replica.

Exactly. We should all be aware of the difference between Fault Tolerance and Backup.

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