mikey2mikey
Contributor
Contributor

Need to backup an ESX host image to USB hard drive or other media

Hi. I need to be able to do a local backup of of an ESX host and VM's - basically the entire image of a ESX host - to a USB hard drive or another smaller device.

Here is why:

I have a VM Host at a remote site running VM Ware ESX 4 and containing VM's of various sizes up to 2 TB total.

I want to get a disk image of that ESX host over to the USB or other smaller device and have it shipped to me. I need to be able to repeat this over and over.

Is there a tool or process that would allow this? I have been told that ESX does not support USB device which makes this a challenge.

Thanks.

Mikey

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7 Replies
mlubinski
Expert
Expert

Basically you don't need backup of ESX, because it is faster to reinstall it (in case of problems), and then restore configuration then by restoring from backup.

From your post I understand, that VM's are on ESX local disks and you want to back them up on regular basis. If yes, then you can either use some vmware converter tools or connect iSCSI lun from somewhere (if possible) and schedule copying vmdk files (or cloning VMs) or use normal Windows backup tools to back VMs up from OS level. if you would like to copy vmdk files, then VM would need to be shutdown.

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Stu_McHugh
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

I've had to do a similar thing were I had to build an environment, shipping the backups and restore from a USB device. What is did was very simple. Using a seperate server, backup all the servers using a backup tool such as Veeam backup or Vizioncore vRanger and then once you have that backup plug in the USB drive and copy it over. You could schedule this copy if necessary.

Also as the precious post says, don't worry about backing up the ESX host but if you do need to remotely rebuild for a customer then has a scripted build ready.

Stuart

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continuum
Immortal
Immortal

To clone the full ESX to USB - get large USB disks and boot the ESX into Knoppix - then dd each disk into a file you store on USB.

Not smart - but simple




___________________________________

VMX-parameters- WS FAQ -[ MOAcd|http://sanbarrow.com/moa241.html] - VMDK-Handbook


________________________________________________
Do you need support with a VMFS recovery problem ? - send a message via skype "sanbarrow"
I do not support Workstation 16 at this time ...

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mikey2mikey
Contributor
Contributor

That is the best I have heard so far.

Smart is relative to the need. I will explain further soon.

Mikey

What matters? Change and adapting to change.

On May 12, 2010, at 19:25, continuum <communities-emailer@vmware.com

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continuum
Immortal
Immortal

if necessary you can later used the dd-images with virtual ESX VMs ... incase you need to access data




___________________________________

VMX-parameters- WS FAQ -[ MOAcd|http://sanbarrow.com/moa241.html] - VMDK-Handbook


________________________________________________
Do you need support with a VMFS recovery problem ? - send a message via skype "sanbarrow"
I do not support Workstation 16 at this time ...

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mikey2mikey
Contributor
Contributor

Thank you. I am actually hoping to synch up the image locally with the

remote vm host to synch up data.

It's a lengthy process and I am in route to a PC to type safely.

Mikey

What matters? Change and adapting to change.

On May 12, 2010, at 19:56, continuum <communities-emailer@vmware.com

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mikey2mikey
Contributor
Contributor

Hello. I worked out a deal to accomplish what I was attempting. It took a long time and a lot of thinking but for this task it was simple.

The challenge?

The challenge was to move vast amounts of storage from different cities around the nation. I use a replication product to perform Disaster recover build outs. I gather the clients data by sending them an appliance to mirror their servers and PC data to. This can get upwards of 8TB or more. The previous solution was to send a similar appliance to the site, replicate the data from the onsite appliance to the "swing device" and have it shipped back to our HQ where we offload the data to our DR servers and setup replication from the client site to our DR site. In this manner, all that needs to come across the wire is whatever delta's have built up since the swing device was disconnected and shipped back to HQ.

The solution.

This may work for some and not for others. Depends on your budget and your relationship with your hardware vendor. I worked our hardware vendor to get an additional 15% discount on Enterprise class servers and was able to eliminate the need for a swing device by using RAID1 on the appliances. Once the server and pc data is replicated across to the local appliance now, I simply have the customer pull the hotswappable mirror drive and replace it with one that we shipped with the appliance. The difference is awesome. Instead of buying two devices, we only buy one for 3/4 cost of the two we used to buy. Instead of 2nd day and overnighting 28lbs for the swing device, it's only a 3 lb hard drive that gets shipped. Instead of cumbersome remote connections to move the data, it's done automatically when the servers and PCs are replicated to the local device.

We have a similar appliance at HQ that we use to offload the data from the disk when it arrives.

Thanks for all of you help. It was a foray through the options listed by you guys that led me to the ultimate path.

Mike

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