rpcblast
Contributor
Contributor

backup methods/devices?

I sometimes do consulting work for small businesses, and I am considering trying isntalling vmware esxi as the base OS, then something like SBS or server standard ontop of that. I would plan on doing backups from inside the VM, using something like backup exec etc. I would like to do this w/o having to have a second PC/server to host the backup device. I am open to removable SATA, tape drives, etc, just something removable. Any input on whats the best way to approach this?

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5 Replies
Bartmosss
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I am in the same situation than you. For now, my only solution consist of using an external PC and export some filesystem with NFS. You should use also the RCLI interface either as appliance or installed. You could perhaps use some NAS-like device than can export his filesystem as NFS share.

As Esxi is an appliance-like OS, there is no way to add driver or peripheral.

MCP, A+, Network+, Linux+, VSP, VTSP, VCP
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Peter_vm
Immortal
Immortal

If you enable ssh, you can use SCP client to transfer data back and forth from ESXi host.

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rpcblast
Contributor
Contributor

can a USB/SATA/IDE device be mapped to the guest OS, as it can in vmware server?

I am fine doing the backups at the guest level, I just want a way to have the backup hardware(whether that be a tape drive, USB Hard drive, etc) to be on the host and not require another PC/server

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jsykora
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I haven't tested this, but from what I recall from reading the docs you can instal an internal scsi tape drive in your ESXi host and attach to it from one of your guest VMs if the scsi controller is using an Adaptec chipset. You can also use an external scsi tape drive, but I also recall reading that you're more liable to have problems with that setup as opposed to an internal drive because an external drive might not be fully powered up before ESX enumerates all the scsi LUNs at bootup.

This way you could leverage BackupExec inside your SBS guest to backup that guest to an LTO drive or some such.

There's not really a solid way to do full image backups of the guest VMs using the free ESXi without having an external physical backup host, and even then you'd need something like vRanger, Veeam backup, or esXpress to back up the images as VMware Consolidated Backup doesn't come with or work with the free ESXi. You need a foundation license in order to access ESXi with VCB I believe.

The only other way I can think of to do a full image backup of your guest VM's vmdk files would be to enable ssh via the unsupported method and use WinSCP or FastSCP. Note that using this method, unless you shut down the guest VMs first, you're only going to get crash-consistant full image backups.

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rpcblast
Contributor
Contributor

is scsi the only way to do it? What about ESATA/SATA/ide/USB/ieee1394?

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