Mark_Bayliss
Contributor
Contributor

Advice - Backing up ESX host

Hey,

We have 3x Dell 2950 servers running ESX. We use esxexpress to backup our VM's which is no problem. However, I am wondering what everyone is using to backup there physical ESX servers in the event of a disaster. Also, I am wondering is it possible to get a copy of the running configuration of each ESX host?

Cheers

Mark

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11 Replies
dkfbp
Expert
Expert

Hi,

Most people don't do backup of their ESX servers. It is pretty easy to build from scratch. I havent heard of a good way to do this and even if you made the backup there is no real way to restore it.

If you really want a backup and you are running RAID1 you could pull out a disk and replace it with another. Then you would have a complete backup Smiley Wink

Best regards

Frank Brix Pedersen

Best regards Frank Brix Pedersen blog: http://www.vfrank.org
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wila
Leadership
Leadership

This is not supported at the moment. You can create a scripted installation

The next version of ESX is supposed to have a host configuration backup tool for this (anyone in the know correct me if I'm wrong please)



--

Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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mdix
Contributor
Contributor

Hi,

I am also interested to backup and restore the ESX server host. I came across a vicfg-cfgbackup command for ESXi. Is there also something similar for the ESX server? ESX server seem to not have this command built in. Does it exist as a separate backup utility package that can be installed? How about the remote CLI, I noted this one includes this command and remote CLI is generally also for managing ESX server, but the documentation mentioned that the specific vicfg-cfgbackup command is not available for ESX server. What is the best practice to backup the host?

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Mark_Bayliss
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks everyone for the replies. Its fantastic.

Since its easier to rebuild an ESX server - then where is the best place to print out the running setup/configuration of each ESX host? Assuming I need to know the disk setup, hostname, IP address and so on...just in case of an event failure.

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RanCyyD
Contributor
Contributor

What about using an imagetool like Acronis?

IMHO this is recommended by VMWare (see backup-guide)

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mdix
Contributor
Contributor

For the purpose of just saving a couple of configuration files of ESX to a backup-folder to be able to reprocude the last working configuration, I wonder if a several 100dollar backup tool is not an overkill. My question is which those files are for the virtual network, ESX users, and all the other things you have to configure after you installed ESX. It would be good to get a backup script that includes all neccessary files, or even better, if ESX has a tool for the thick-version of ESX such as cfgbackup

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gary1012
Expert
Expert

Here's a few that you could pipe to a file:

esxcfg-info -n

esxcfg-vswif -l

esxcfg-vswitch -l

You could backup /etc/vmware/esx.conf too as it has some helpful config reference info. If you have compliance requirements, then you may want to backup /var/log and retain the backups for the length of your retention period. It goes without saying that the VM backups must be addressed by other means.

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RanCyyD
Contributor
Contributor

Acronis TrueImage Home can create images from Ext2/3-Partitions:

http://de1.download.acronis.net/pdf/TrueImage2009_datasheet.en.pdf

and is about 50,-$

But I think, you can use dd or Partimage:

http://www.partimage.org/Supported-Filesystems

also.

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Mark_Bayliss
Contributor
Contributor

Hey,

I just found it easier to rebuild the ESX server providing good documentation and few scripts with all the vswitch, firewall configs etc etc.

We backup our VM's using HP DP 6.1 and it works like a treat.

Cheers,

Mark

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scerazy
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

If you can power off the host ESX then g4l (Ghost 4 Linux) does great job from bootable CD (or PXE)

Seb

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petedr
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

We also found that just reinstalling esx was the easiest approach, even doing a kickstart script to make it easier.

copying the /etc folder is a good idea for reference

www.thevirtualheadline.com www.liquidwarelabs.com
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