TAOH
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Contributor

Using VCB to perform backup using SMB over ESX Console

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Hi

we have a very small ESX install with a single ESX 3.5 server using local hard disk storage so no SAN. I have a licence for VCB so this can be used via the ESX console or from my external, physical backup server where it is also installed.

I have a 1Gb link between the ESX console and the backup server and would like to do full VM-Level backups of the few VM's guests I have on the ESX server via the ESX console.

I have two 750GB external hard drives which are rotated weekly and I would like to be able to copy the VM-Level backups directly to these exteranal hard drives, preferably via SMB protocol as I think that will be faster than an SCP copy. As I also don't have large amounts of spare HDD space on the ESX server, I don't think I can afford to create a copy first to the ESX server and then move that copy to the backup server, if this information is relevant. The backup needs to go directly across the network without taking up excessive additional space on the ESX while being performed.

I am having trouble trying to find information on how to do this - most information is relevant to a SAN setup. I have not used VCB before so it is a bit of a learning curve for me.

Can anyone give any advice on how this would be best be achieved?

Thanks

Simon

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depping
Leadership
Leadership

Just install VCB on the backup server.

Open config.js

set the required options like username / password / server and change the mode to "nbd".

you can use a script that I wrote to dump all vm's with using the config.js:

http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2008/01/30/vcb-backup-all-running-vms/

Duncan

Blogging: http://www.yellow-bricks.com

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

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ChrisDearden
Expert
Expert

Just because you have a VCB licence , you dont have to use it Smiley Wink

try VISBU from Xtravirt. It'll do exactly what you want.

http://engineering.xtravirt.com/products/visbu.html

If this post has been useful , please consider awarding points. @chrisdearden http://jfvi.co.uk http://vsoup.net
depping
Leadership
Leadership

Just install VCB on the backup server.

Open config.js

set the required options like username / password / server and change the mode to "nbd".

you can use a script that I wrote to dump all vm's with using the config.js:

http://www.yellow-bricks.com/2008/01/30/vcb-backup-all-running-vms/

Duncan

Blogging: http://www.yellow-bricks.com

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

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TAOH
Contributor
Contributor

Hi All

I was able to successully do this from my VCB Proxy after a bit of playing around. I ended up using the the following version of the command

vcbMounter.exe -h <ESX-Host-IP-Address> -u <username> -p <password> -a moref:<number> -m nbd -r <Proxy-Storage-Location> -t fullvm

The trickiest thing was getting these to restore correctly as part of my testing though.

I was initially trying to restore my backups using VMWare Converter but found that it kept failing continuously even after trying different backups of different VMs and having more than enough disk space on the host to perform the task.

I found out after a call to VMWare Support that there is an internal KB article that states that a VM backed up using optimsations (the default) will not restore properly using Converter. I am not sure if this is just for Console based backups or with SAN or other methods also. I then tested this without optimisations and found I was able to restore the VMs in Converter fine however I was left with backup images much larger than I would have hoped.

After playing around with a few things I got the directory on the VCB Proxy mounted on the ESX server via SMB and as a result was able to restore the VMs using the vcbRestore command on the ESX Hosts across the network from the proxy via SMB which was great. This had the added benefit of seemingly being a little faster than Converter though I won't say it is fast. It took about 70 minutes for a 20GB VM to restore but I feel that is most likely due to my RAID 5 array write speed more than anything.

I thought this may have been of assistance to someone out there.

Thanks to those for their assistance.

Simon

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