vmITguy88
Contributor
Contributor

connect VMware ESXi 4.0 to network storage

I have a VMware ESXi 4.0 server up and running, but I am having trouble connecting it to network storage to make backups. We have a storage server running Windows 2003 R2 that has a shared folder I would like to connect to and backup the VMs to. It is an NTFS share I do believe and it requires a username and password to connect to. Can anyone out there help me get this working?

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15 Replies
marcelo_soares
Champion
Champion

ESX can't connect to windows shares. You must use NFS for this.

Additionally, what kind of backups you want to do?

Marcelo Soares

VMWare Certified Professional 310/410

Technical Support Engineer

Globant Argentina

Consider awarding points for "helpful" and/or "correct" answers.

Marcelo Soares
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vmITguy88
Contributor
Contributor

Ok, I would like to do full backups of the virtual machines to the storage server. I have followed these two tutorials to setup an NFS share.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9JVwXw102E&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCXYS7uCYDY&feature=related

Now, how do I get backups made and to the storage server?

I currently have a script that shutsdown the VM and compresses all the VM files into a compressed zip file. I would like to be able to move this compressed file to the storage server. Unless there is a better, free way to do this?

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Lightbulb
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Not Vsphere but the windows side should still be of use

http://vmblog.com/archive/2007/01/23/using-windows-based-nfs-in-vi3.aspx

For backups check out "ghettoVCBg2 - Free alternative for backing up VMs in ESX(i) 3.5 and 4.x (no SSH console required!)"

http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-9843

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vmITguy88
Contributor
Contributor

Ok, I am running Server 2003 R2 64 bit on the storage server. WSFU does not work on 64 bit or Server 2003 R2. I am using the ghettoVCB script to backup the VMs to the local disk at the moment, but I am not able to get the ESXi server to connect to the storage server.

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kac2
Expert
Expert

are you running any licensed version of vSphere? If so, why aren't you using VMware Data Recovery. Using vDR you can now save it to a network folder. Also, VCB has been given a temination date. It's going to die soon, so prepare for the changes.

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vmITguy88
Contributor
Contributor

Ok, sorry for the really long response time. I had to put this project on the side for a while to get cought up with my studies.

@kac2

How do I know or find out if I have a licensed version of vSphere? I am just using the version that comes with ESXi 4.0. This is hard as I am running Windows 7 and the software does not run properly all the time. If the VCB that I am running is working with no problems, is there a reason for me to worry about its termination to much? As long as it does what is needed, why change it?

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kac2
Expert
Expert

Did you pay for it? haha. If you are using Free ESXi, you will not have vDR. Once you connect to the vSphere Client you can head to licensing to see if a license key was entered based on what you either got for free or purchased.

VCB will be gone, terminated, as in either no support or it won't even be a functional part of VMware any longer.

Kendrick Coleman

www.kendrickcoleman.com<http://www.kendrickcoleman.com>;

twitter: @KendrickColeman

vmITguy88
Contributor
Contributor

@kac2

We did not pay for the ESXi software, it was the free download. Guess we don't have vDR. :_|

I thought VCB was not part of VMware, that it was a third party script written by someone.

This is proving to be a really frustrating nightmare for me. Why is it proving to be so hard just to do a simple backup? I am about ready to just start making Norton Ghost images of the whole drive.

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kac2
Expert
Expert

OHHHHH......

Your talking about William Lam's vGhetto VCB and not VMware Consolidated Backup

William just wrote a script that mimcks VCB and is a free "ghetto" way of backing up your VMs. That will continue to work as long as William still supports it Smiley Happy

You can always do agent based backups (but you have to pay for those as well)

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kac2
Expert
Expert

Another free backup option could be Trilead VM Explorer. Do a quick google search and it will come up. It will do network based backups of your VMs

vmITguy88
Contributor
Contributor

@kac2

Yes, sorry for not being more clear.

The Trilead VM Explorer software works for me, but unless I pay $700, which is at least $300 over my budget, I cannot schedule the backups. I was hoping for software that can be scheduled to do the backups automatically, but I think I can write a VB script to automate the process.

@everyone

If anyone can find replacement software that I can use to schedule the backups, it would be much appreciated.

I think until I get everything backing up properly, I am going to leave this open, just in case.

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vmITguy88
Contributor
Contributor

@kac2

Thanks again for pointing me to Trilead VM Explorer, but as I stated before, it is out of my price range and as such I cannot schedule backups.

Writing a VBscript to perform the necessary keyboard presses and mouse clicks is proving to be quite a task and a challenge, but I like this scripting challenge. So far it's looking like a good short term backup solution as this is not to dependable. If the application launches to slow, opens in a different position, or something else interupts it, it will fail and cause backups to fail from then on. At least, so far. I hope to find a better, more dependable solution to perform backups.

Please, anyone have some more solutions? Even if it's not free, but (hopefully) within my budget.

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kac2
Expert
Expert

Veeam is an awesome backup solution. But it cannot be used with Free ESXi. Only licensed versions. Almost all backup vendors are going to be like this bc that's what VMware told them to do

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vmITguy88
Contributor
Contributor

Sorry for not keeping this updated. Time has really gotten away from me. I managed to get a working VB script to do the needed steps to perform a backup using  Trilead VM Explorer. I never debugged it fully as I ran out of time to finish it fully. I have successfully finished college and left the task for the next person to figure out, with all of my documentation of course.

I used the AutoITX3.dll file, thanks to the AutoIT developers, to perform some of the needed steps in my script and made sure I made many in script descriptions to help figure out what happens when. This script it to be run on the windows backup server that has the  Trilead VM Explorer application installed and a user has to be logged into windows for the script to run at all. You can, however, run  Trilead VM Explorer on a different Windows computer and map the backup location as a drive on that computer. Then run the script as normal changing the backup location to the mapped drive. Open the file in a text editor for a little help.

I figured I would post my script here for anyone to look at, use, or get ideas from.

Thanks for everyones help,

vmITguy88

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ECRMITALIA
Contributor
Contributor

Hi all, i've similar problem, but i need to add on my ESXi 4.1 another datastore.

i want use lacie network nas but when server try to connecto i'll receive the follow error:

Call "HostDatastoreSystem.CreateNasDatastore" for object "ha-datastoresystem" on ESXi "192.168.0.154" failed.
Operation failed, diagnostics report: Unable to complete Sysinfo operation.  Please see the VMkernel log file for more details.
what is the problem?
thanks
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