Greetings all, I am new to my organisation and would like to get vRealize Orchestrator Up and running. I have some experience with and working knowledge of VMware/vCenter/vSphere/Fusion and Virtual machines as a concept, I just want to do this correctly.
Main Goal: Keep good backups of our VM's
Given: We have three ESX servers (3 Datastores etc.) and Are running vCenter Version 5. We have about 9 Virtual Servers in production (Backup DC\DNS\DHCP, SQL servers, a wiki, Apache\web host, Terminal Services services etc.). None of them are too complex or large but we want to keep a good and quickly available backup of each. In one of my previous lives we used to keep backups by doing a fresh snapshot everyday, and keeping 3 snapshots per machine. I attempted to set that up here but it appears the ability to have it automatically take a snapshot and then delete any older than "x" days is gone? It's been about three years since I've used vShpere. (My most immediate previous life we didn't use VMWare in any fashion). So a-hunting I went and discovered that VMware doesn't recommend using snapshots as a backup method, they recommend using vRealize Orchestrator instead. I was told by (Someone at VMWare) that this available for free.
What i need: Some basics about how this is used. So far it appears it can be done in two ways, as an add-on to vCenter (Would this be like having a new features pane show up in vSphere or something?) or, as some kind of standalone server. (Is this server also a VM, what OS is it?).
Sorry If i am asking questions that are too basic, but i thought it might be an easy answer from someone with experience. Thank you in advance.
Thank you for your suggestion Richardson. Not to be wise but i guess I would ask the same question of you. "Why not use vSphere Data Protection (VDP)." As I am not familiar with orchestrator, I am not familiar with VDP either. Are there a few words you could spare to help me figure out which one i should be using? Or why one is better than the other? Thank you.
Thank you for your suggestion. I Looked into the classes and I am not able to get my Tech. Director to offer me 40 hours of time off to take the course, or spend the money required. So I am unable to take the class. Do you have any other information that might be helpful? Thank you.
To anyone else who sees this, I am not out here begging for a free lesson, I am just hoping someone can answer the basic questions i posited in my OP. Some of these answers will at least get me moving in the right direction. Thank you again.
I'm always a big fan of Free, and I like videos... the VMwareLearning.com site has numerous videos on a variety of our products ..
Here are two direct links elevant to this thread:
In one of my previous lives we used to keep backups by doing a fresh snapshot everyday, and keeping 3 snapshots per machine.
In addition to VDP you should realy get a better understanding of what a snapshot is, and what it isn't: VMware KB: Understanding virtual machine snapshots in VMware ESXi and ESX
Because it is not a backup. Also you mentioned you're running SQL servers. Be aware that for any agentless backup solution out there you'll need to take care of VSS or other quiesceing technologies in order to get application consistent backups.
If I understand your need correctly...you might take a look at the Replication Service. It allows you to replicate VMs to an offline state, take checkpoints every so many replications (and keep x checkpoints available) and restore any checkpoint you desire. As someone said earlier, free is my price point....it comes with vSphere. Unlike snapshots, the Replication service does not cause significant performance problems.
Also, one tip to get more training $$$...when you purchase hardware, try to add to the purchase VMware training credits. Then it comes out of Capitol budget, not Operating budget. As an old friend of mine says, "If you don't ask, you already got no".
The VDP - VMware Data Protection is a backup tool, that you can use to backup your VMs
Orchestrator is a "automation / orchestration" tool you can use to perform different tasks in your vSphere Environment, if you goal is backing up VMs this Orchestrator is not for you. VMware VDP would be a much better solution for you.
There are also other 3rd party providers out there for VM backups, Veeam is probably one to investigate as well they do have a free tier if you wish the experiment for longer than the eval license.