y2farrukh
Contributor
Contributor

Backup individual file on my Virtual machine

HI,,

I am currently using VMware workstaion pro and I've 5 machine created on it.

Now the problem is that, I've set the frequency of snapshot on weekly basis due to which it is using a lot of space on hard disk.

What I am planning to do is buy 12tb wd mybook and the move the location of 5 vms from hard disk to external drive.

Query: How can I do that (moving location from hard disk to external usb drive)

I am also planning to buy my Mycloud drive so that I can create back up Mybook. The problem is I don't want to create the back of all snapshots on mycloud. I ONLY want to create a back up/mirror of individual files/folders running on 5 vitual machine mybook (non cloud) to mycloud just in case if mybook goes down.

I am beginner in this Vm side and trying to solve a storage and backup issue. If there is/are any other solution around this issue then please let me know.

Regards

Muhammad

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3 Replies
wila
Immortal
Immortal

Hi Muhammad,

A snapshot is not a backup and there is no way to change that into a backup. In fact it makes your VM more vulnerable to corruption.

A snapshot is a "moment in time" and consists of a delta of your data, each snapshot adds more delta.

When you have a VM with multiple snapshots open then the data you are seeing needs every snapshot in the chain in order to work.

More details on how it works here: Using Snapshots To Manage Virtual Machines (the link is for VMware vSphere, but the technology is the same)

Moving your VMs to an external disk also makes them more fragile. If you run your VM and then by accident cut the connection between the host and your external disk, chances are that the VM that is running is now corrupt. You might be lucky, but it is a configuration where I press users to make regular backups.

If you want to use a cloud product to store your data, then my recommendation is to do so in the VM.

You cannot reliably make copies of your VM to the cloud by adding VM's directly to the folder that is kept synchronized to the cloud. The reason being that when you run your VM, the virtual disk is open and is not changed in a consistent state. IOW, data is saved by the guest OS and what is on disk and the data structures that are synchronized are handled by the guest OS.

Your backup of a complete VM in that way is very likely to end up being corrupt.

A backup of a VM can be made manually by shutting down the VM and then copy all the files in the directory of that VM to an external disk.

If you want to automate that, then you could use the software that I wrote for this purpose (see my signature), it is called Vimalin.

With Vimalin you can make complete backups of your VM to an external disk, even when the VM is still running and schedule those backups to run at a certain time frame.

You can try for 60 days, after that you can still use Vimalin, but the scheduler won't run these backups automatically for you.

Hope this helps,

--

Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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y2farrukh
Contributor
Contributor

Thanks for the detailed reply Will.

I understand what snapshot is and it's not a backup. However, even if I go for your back up program or someother this doesn't solve the storage issue.

I need to buy a external storage may be just to save the snapshot or backup and run the machine from primary disk.

I can manually backup the VMs as the softwares are pricy. I downloaded VEEAM which was for free and bulked up my pc further.

Can you guide me which one would be a good external drive for the discussed purpose

Which External hard drive would be good LACIE 10tb (usb 3 or thunderbolt) or WD mybook 10/12 tb or WD du0 10/12 tb

Regards

Muhammad

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wila
Immortal
Immortal

Hi,

Veeam's backup software is mostly targeted at vSphere VMs and is doing a great job there.

I _think_ you can use it for making backups of VMs on VMware Workstation after installing their in guest helper software, but I'm not sure.

Honestly I'm not the best person to ask for how Veeam works and if you can even use it with VMware Workstation.

I'm sure that there are plenty of other people down here who can give you better advice on that.

Vimalin does not depend on in guest helpers in order to make a backup.

Normally you would keep on running the VM from your primary disk and backup to external media. That is the preferred way as it protects you if the primary disk dies.

Which brand of drive to buy is a matter or preferences.

I think both the Lacie as well as the WD My Book are similar in what they offer.

The WD duo offers RAID 1, so should offer better protection as your data is still available even after one disk of the WD dies.

FWIW, Vimalin is free if you don't mind to manually restore and backup. The free version includes the "make a backup while the VM is running" feature as well.

--

Wil

| Author of Vimalin. The virtual machine Backup app for VMware Fusion, VMware Workstation and Player |
| More info at vimalin.com | Twitter @wilva
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