We have a single server running VMWare View 3, with ESX 3.5. We have implemented a simple backup system where vcenter schedules VM shutdowns, then schedules exports, and then re-starts the VM's.
The VM's are exported to a USB drive which is connected via a Belkin Network USB hub. The software for the Belkin unit is on another VM, which sort of act's like a proxy for the data to get to the USB drive(s). The drives are rotated on a daily basis.
With this system we have full images of all of the VM's + are able to perform file level restores with the use of VMWare diskmount software. All in all it works perfectly and provides us with a decent backup system without having to pay $$$ for dedicated software and/or hardware.
The problem: we can easily use vcenter to schedule shutdowns, converts and power-on's for all of the VM's we need to backup with 2 exceptions.
1. The backup proxy VM (which doesn't really matter because it doesn't have any real data on it and can easily be rebuilt)
2. The vcenter VM - we can't schedule this VM to shutdown, because it is the VM doing the scheduling!
We have set up a schedule to clone the vcenter VM and then another schedule to export it - this works fine, however the next scheduled clone will not work, and an error is produced that there is already a clone with the same name (which is correct). We can manually delete the clone (Right Click, and Delete from Disk) and the schedule will work fine.
What we need is a way to schedule the "Delete From Disk", so there doesn't have to be any human intervention with the backup system. Any ideas / thoughts would be much appriciated.