jonq
Contributor
Contributor

Right Product? Backup? In Over My Head?

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Hi All, I had to install a Linux server this week for hosting an internal web site for our company. And after watching the CPU usage never jump above 2% on my 2.8 Xeon server with 4 gig of ram and RAID 5 Hard Drive config i felt that i was really under utilizing my new server (ya i just happened to have it laying around!). So i had the idea to try vmware to vertulize the server and do more with it. I log into the site and see that i should use the new VMWare ESXi and how great it is! (right?) so i load it and format the drive and create the new virtual linux server hosting our internal web site. I think, wow that was easy. Then i start to feel brave...our Windows 2000 file/print server, i load VMware converter...2 hours later i have windows running on the vertual server. Holy Cow this is so easy it is almost dangerious! (and it has been running stable for 2 days sence!)

currently i am doing file backups by haveing a second computer (windows xp) with a neat little file backup program (free) cobain backup to copier the files from the linux server and the windows server and just have a second copy of them, so worse case senario is i have to reload a temp server and copy files back and i would be ok. but i am thinking wouldnt it be neat to backup the entire VM files nightly? so if i have a complete crash i could loadup server ESXi in 20 min and copy the vm files back and be up and running?

So my question is...am i in over my head and useing the wrong product? is there a reliable way to schedual backups of the vertual machines? and of corse i am looking for free.

Again, at presant we we had just a windows 2000 file/print server with about 15 Gig of OS/Data. We are NOT running MS Active Directory and in general are not too conserned about file security, most stuff is just stored in a public folder, the user folder i have maped but noone uses them. I do have the backup software on local workstations that will nightly copy their my documents folder to the user folder on the server. the users dont even know about it but it sure works nice if they have a workstation crash or acidently delete a file.Our old windows server was a Pentium 3 1.4 or so with a gig of memory.

Thanks!!!

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khughes
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Normally I would be backing esXpress 100%, and they make a great product, we use it, love it, etc... but he's running ESXi. I don't believe they have ESXi support yet, along with a lot of other vendors out there who are still trying to catch up after VMware announced that ESXi was going to be free. With that stated, they have an ESXi solution in the works, but nothing out as of yet (I believe).

There aren't that many ESXi backup solutions as of right now, since most utilized the service console which was removed in ESXi. You might want to check out this thread, its rather long, but you might be able to pick out some solutions to backup your esxi box until the big boys release support for ESXi -- http://communities.vmware.com/message/1063420#1063420

With all that said, I don't think you're getting to far out of your league, sounds like you're right on pace with making the leap and showing everyone what can be done with their hardware, what can be saved etc... There are a lot of useful tidbits on the forum boards here, a lot of good tips and tricks on www.vmware-land.com and other personal vmware sites. Go slow, watch your resources, remember that most of the time, 1 vCPU (virtual cpu) is better than 2 vCPU's assigned to a VM and life should be good.

Welcome to the virtual world Smiley Happy

  • Kyle

-- Kyle "RParker wrote: I guess I was wrong, everything CAN be virtualized "

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iviemeister
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

It sounds like what you are doing is a pretty good fit for your environment.

For the backups, esXpress does have a free limited mode that will do what you seem to need:

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admin
Immortal
Immortal

Agreed everything suggested above and beyond will cost, maybe use agents in you windows box as if it's a normal box. With the linux box only servicing requests being a web server I'd maybe take it down once a week and just clone it maybe on your datastore -- keep it simple

www.fritzyboi.com

khughes
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Normally I would be backing esXpress 100%, and they make a great product, we use it, love it, etc... but he's running ESXi. I don't believe they have ESXi support yet, along with a lot of other vendors out there who are still trying to catch up after VMware announced that ESXi was going to be free. With that stated, they have an ESXi solution in the works, but nothing out as of yet (I believe).

There aren't that many ESXi backup solutions as of right now, since most utilized the service console which was removed in ESXi. You might want to check out this thread, its rather long, but you might be able to pick out some solutions to backup your esxi box until the big boys release support for ESXi -- http://communities.vmware.com/message/1063420#1063420

With all that said, I don't think you're getting to far out of your league, sounds like you're right on pace with making the leap and showing everyone what can be done with their hardware, what can be saved etc... There are a lot of useful tidbits on the forum boards here, a lot of good tips and tricks on www.vmware-land.com and other personal vmware sites. Go slow, watch your resources, remember that most of the time, 1 vCPU (virtual cpu) is better than 2 vCPU's assigned to a VM and life should be good.

Welcome to the virtual world Smiley Happy

  • Kyle

-- Kyle "RParker wrote: I guess I was wrong, everything CAN be virtualized "

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petedr
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Kyle thanks for mentioning esXpress.

That is correct esXpress currently does not support 3i. It is in our future plans though.

Pete@esXpress

www.thevirtualheadline.com www.liquidwarelabs.com
admin
Immortal
Immortal

I think VMware have become aware of what customers are asking for, VMware across the board - don't be surprised if they maybe have a backup AND restore solution soon - thats my complete guess Smiley Wink

www.fritzyboi.com

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khughes
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

No doubt, I think they have aquired some software as well which is going to help them in that market of things. I also heard they aquired BlueLane (security solution) most likely for their vSafe they're working on. I think that all the 3rd party companies have a fight on their hands because vmware sees the market for bulk backups and how many people aren't using VCB. But I also think that vizoncore, esxpress, and veeam are coming out with some pretty cool stuff soon, which will fight back against a global vmware backup solution.

  • Kyle

-- Kyle "RParker wrote: I guess I was wrong, everything CAN be virtualized "
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admin
Immortal
Immortal

Sorry NDA's - - - I feels a storm ahead, cap'n

www.fritzyboi.com

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jonq
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for all the help guys! I feel much better now knowing that i wasnt barking up the wrong tree. I thought i had to be doing something right because it was working!

I still say that it is crazy how easy it is to set up and get everything working and then to use vmware converter to transfer an entire system and have it work! i did have to re-setup the nic card but still i am amazed.

Thanks Again!!!

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petedr
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

thanks for the helpful. Sounds like things should work out fine with your environment

www.thevirtualheadline.com www.liquidwarelabs.com
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