wb2
Contributor
Contributor

options for backing up VMs

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I'm planning on doing regular Backup Exec backups of my VMs just as I would normally do with a physical server.

What other options are folks using for taking backups of thier VMs? I imaging there are snap shot options within vcenter, I could also take snapshots on my SAN,....anything else?

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paradoxxaz
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

VCB is part of VMware, mostly command line.. There are a few 3rd party tools you can look at that build upon VCP, some add a gui, they are pricey though, one is VRanger, look it up. Backup exec can work if you installed the agent on the VM etc, but that only gets the files within the guest. Getting a backup of the actual files that make up the VM is a little more difficult... the VM needs to be suspended so to speak in order to get a good backup of the vmdk files etc, that is what the 3rd party tools can do.

If you cant spend the dough, then research VCB. You will have to know some scripting, but there are tons of rescources here and out there that can assist.

Hope this helps.

Jim

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paradoxxaz
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

VCB is part of VMware, mostly command line.. There are a few 3rd party tools you can look at that build upon VCP, some add a gui, they are pricey though, one is VRanger, look it up. Backup exec can work if you installed the agent on the VM etc, but that only gets the files within the guest. Getting a backup of the actual files that make up the VM is a little more difficult... the VM needs to be suspended so to speak in order to get a good backup of the vmdk files etc, that is what the 3rd party tools can do.

If you cant spend the dough, then research VCB. You will have to know some scripting, but there are tons of rescources here and out there that can assist.

Hope this helps.

Jim

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wb2
Contributor
Contributor

Is the VCB option available to me with Enterprise licensing for Infrastructure 3.5? Or is this an additional option I'd have to purchase?

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bbambrick
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

VCB is included with Enterprise licensing. It'll let you export (thin-provisioned) VMDK files to a local windows disk which you can then back up using your backup software.

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paradoxxaz
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Yup, search this forum for VCB.

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wb2
Contributor
Contributor

Do they have to be thin provisioned?

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bbambrick
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Not on the server... when you create your VM it's thick-provisioned, but VCB will remove any "empty space" so that you don't waste space on your backup tapes/disks. The VMDK files it'll split out will be the size of the data in your VM, but in the case of you restoring them (using VMware Converter), they'll restore back to the original thick-provisioned state.

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lamw
Community Manager
Community Manager

This list is slightly outdated but the information should be helpful with looking at various backup products: http://vmprofessional.com/index.php?content=esx3backups

You may also want to take a look at viops: http://viops.vmware.com/home/index.jspa for some proven practices, I know Dave Convery has documented a whole bunch of backup solutions with the various 3rd party vendors and you should take a look if the one you're interested is available.

As suggested VCB is an option http://www.vmware.com/products/vi/consolidated_backup.html and VMware also has a new product coming out called Data Recovery: http://www.vmware.com/products/data-recovery/

Also check out this free solution that works similar to that of VMware VCB: http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-8760

=========================================================================

William Lam

VMware vExpert 2009

VMware ESX/ESXi scripts and resources at:

If you find this information useful, please award points for "correct" or "helpful".

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