samprior
Contributor
Contributor

ESXi Host Configuration Backup

Is there any other way to backup the configuration of an ESXi host other than using vicfg-cfgbackup.pl? I need a process whereby we can restore an ESXi host with all it's configuraiton i.e. inventory list, registered datastores, virtual switches, within 35 minutes of failure.

Also I have not yet been able to play around with Host Profiles in ESXi4. If we upgraded would these provide a solution for recovery? I'm not sure if the profiles are stored on vCenter and therefore could be used if the original host is lost or whether vCenter needs an existing source host to utilise this feature.

Thanks as always

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4 Replies
dtracey
Expert
Expert

Hey,

with a 35 minute recovery window it's probably quicker to reinstall ESXi and use a tool such as ITQ VLAN and Portgroup Manager:

http://www.p2vd.com/2007/07/21/tools-itq-vlan-and-portgroup-manager/

...to restore the vswitch config. (i'll admit that i've not tested it with ESXi though...

Dan

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bulletprooffool
Champion
Champion

Hi Sam,

Your host backs up its configs every hour at 1 muinute past the hour, but I guess this does not hlpe you if you lose the host. Ideally the Vmima way is best as it keeps your backups on seperate storage (if you like)

Host profiles will provide a solution as they will copy pretty much all the settings that you need for a build, but you have to remember that the licensing is not included on the lower end ESX4 licenseas . . so there may be a cost.

the ITQ port app is very good . . and can export Network config to an XML . .which you could easily restore at any point.

One day I will virtualise myself . . .
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samprior
Contributor
Contributor

When you say hosts backup their config at 1min past every hour is this sent to vCenter or do not mean they write it to disk? If it's to vCenter I think I'm right in saying that you are not able to restore the config. of one host to a replace host using vCenter?

I will look at the ITQ port app but it seems to only export/import network config. I need to export/backup the whole configuration.

Would the vicfg-cfgbackup.pl script allow me to backup the complete ESXi config?

Also am I right in saying that although ESXi boots from a USB key (we're using the embedded version) you could in theory remove the USB key after boot? The reason I ask is I want to check whether the failure of a USB key would immediately bring the host down. My current research leads me to believe that the host would continue to run but you would not be able to make changes to the host configuration.

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bulletprooffool
Champion
Champion

Download & install VMware Infrastructure Remote CLI from VMWare web site :

Before all enable SSH on your ESXi, to do that follow this procedure : http://www.vmware.com/download/download.do?downloadGroup=VI-RCLI-U2

Backup procedure :

1. Open SSH connection to your ESXi with "[putty|http://chiark.greenend.org.uk/%7Esgtatham/putty/download.html]"

2. Backup your "/bootbank/oem.tgz" file to a datastore :

Sample cmd : cp /bootbank/oem.tgz /vmfs/volumes/[datastore]/tmp/

3. Open "RCLI Command Prompt"

4. Add "Perl\bin" directory to default windows path with command :

cmd : set path=%path%;"C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware VI Remote CLI\Perl\bin"

3. Backup ESXi configuration to a local file :

Sample cmd : vicfg-cfgbackup.pl --server -s

Restore procedure :

1. Open "RCLI Command Prompt"

2. Add "Perl\bin" directory to default windows path with command :

cmd : set path=%path%;"C:\Program Files\VMware\VMware VI Remote CLI\Perl\bin"

3. Restore ESXi configuration from the local backup file :

Sample cmd : vicfg-cfgbackup.pl --server -l

4. Reboot ESXi

5. Open SSH connection to your ESXi with "[putty|http://chiark.greenend.org.uk/%7Esgtatham/putty/download.html]"

6. Restore your "/bootbank/oem.tgz" file from the datastore :

Sample cmd : cp /vmfs/volumes/[datastore]/tmp/oem.tgz /bootbank/

7. Reboot ESXi

(from http://www.simple-tech.info/article_read.asp?title=Export%28backup%29-Import%28restore%29ESXandESXiconfigurationfromaUSBKeytoanother&item=73)

One day I will virtualise myself . . .
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