VMFS files backup in NTFS


I intended to backup the VM files(.VMFS files) to the windows machine (2k3 64 Bit) .

Question : Will there be any performance impact if i do a file copy of .VMFS file to windows machine which has NTFS file system.

Question2 : I need to backup nealy 16 VM's which are stored in SAN with different LUN's. (Each 4 LUN's has 4 VM's.)

any suggestions or BKM to backup ? provided i dont have VCB feature in my license.

Thanks in advance


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2 Replies

I assume you mean you intend to Browse the VMFS Datastore and download the VM's VMDK and VMX files as a means of backing up the virtual machine.

If this is accurate then I would recommend finding a different way of accomplishing this. Downloading the files in this way is slow and requires human intervention which is dangerous when backing up VM's on a regular basis. I would recommend either installing a backup agent on every VM and backing up only the data that is important via your existing backup software. Or purchasing a VCB license and using a proxy server to perform either full image or file level backups of the VM's. Manual tasks that requires humans to remember and perform them will affect reliability of your backups.

In answer to your initial question copying the files to a NTFS volume on a server will work however takes quite a while to do depending on the size of the VM's.

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If this is ESX, you have lots of options available. If this is ESXi you have less options available. contains a comparison of backup tools that could help decide how to do what you desire. If you use ESXi it is either as you describe, use a RCLI script, or use VCB. If you are not using VCB performance will be an issue.

Best regards,

Edward L. Haletky

VMware Communities User Moderator


Author of the book 'VMWare ESX Server in the Enterprise: Planning and Securing Virtualization Servers', Copyright 2008 Pearson Education.

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