Service Console Imaging

I looking for some information re backing up the service console:

In the Virtual machine backup backup it quotes the following.

During its lifetime, the service console doesn’t experience any major changes other than periodic upgrades. In case of a failure, you can easily recover the state of your service console by reinstalling ESX Server. Therefore, although you might consider backing up the service console, it doesn’t need to be backed up as frequently as the virtual machines and their data.

It then goes on to say that one of the methods for backup would be imaging.

Use third‐party software to create a backup image that you can

restore quickly. Use your boot CD or whatever the backup software created to

restore the service console

I'm assuming that when they say "service console", they mean the entire ESX server - Can anyone confirm?

Has anyone tried Imaging the service console and if so has anyone had any success with Acronis?

I'm not even sure I want to go down this route as the reinstall option is so quick and my ESX has no

management agents etc installed - It's just vanilla.

Does Virtual Centre hold all the network, storage confirguration even when you do a reinstall of ESX?

Any help/comments appreciated.

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VMware Employee
VMware Employee

When they mention Service Console they mean ESX server installation yes.

I don't see any use for imaging the Service Console. If you want to backup the service console you can backup /etc, because that is where most of the configuration data is located.

However never restore the /etc to a newly installed ESX. use the backup as a reference for recreating the configuration.

You can also run vm-support in the service console. It will create a config+log bundle of your ESX server which you can also use as a reference.

In my opinion you can better create a scripted installation or at least a postinstallation script which will recreate your ESX server's configuration.

There are examples enough on the net which can guide you through this.

vCenter does not keep any ESX configuration data when reinstalling an ESX host.!

This gap will be filled up with Host Profiles in the upcoming release of VMware vSphere. So you will have to wait for that.

-Arnim van Lieshout




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