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IT_Architect
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

I wish I could do snapshots on the host OS

I wish I could do snapshots on the host OS

Anybody have any ideas how I can do snapshots with the host OS currently?

Thanks!

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continuum
Immortal
Immortal

A snapshot captures the current state of the computer and writes it to a file.
So the more appropriate term for the host OS would be "backup"

Yep - I know - not the answer you were looking for 😉

Well to create a snapshot of the host you would first have to create a VM for the host - thats possible.
Then you would have to create a snapshot of that VM - thats possible as well.
But then you would have to run the host while at the same time running the VM.
Both - the host and the VM would then access the same filesystem. And this last part would immediatly corrupt the snapshot as the basedisk would change underneath ....

So - to sum it up  .... sorry - there is no healthy way to do this


________________________________________________
Do you need support with a VMFS recovery problem ? - send a message via skype "sanbarrow"
I do not support Workstation 16 at this time ...

IT_Architect
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

This is more what I was thinking:
1.  During boot up, you can hit a key, and get into Workstation's basic console, just like with any boot driver.
2.  As the boot continues, the master Windows VM displays on the monitor.  It contains the tools necessary to make and maintain the other VMs, not a lot different than a Windows Server VM in ESXi that has the VSphere Client installed, which can easily do a snapshot of itself.

3.  You could probably change master VMs by hitting a key on boot up to make the master Windows VM upgrade easy
4.  The master VM would interact with the client VMs as it does today.
5.  You may be able to come up with a way to run ESXi VMs unchanged in this environment.

6.  Something like this might have appeal even if you never ran a VM other than the master VM.

7.  There may end up being more common code between Workstation and ESXi

Whatdaya think? :smileygrin:

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RDPetruska
Leadership
Leadership

What you describe is basically how MS's Hyper-V works.  And ESX(i), being a complete bare-metal OS, under complete control by VMware, can do this much like Hyper-V + Windows, being a complete bare-metal solution, under complete control by Microsoft, can (essentially) do this.  VMware Workstation, as a software application running on another Host OS, controlled by another company, likely will never be able to do this.

IT_Architect
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

What you describe is basically how MS's Hyper-V works.

Can Hyper-V make a snapshot of Hyper-V's parent partition?  If it can, that is good to know how, but the OS that would be interacting with the console would then be 2008 Server.  A lot of desktop software wouldn't install on it, and even simple things like AV cost and arm and a leg.

VMware Workstation, as a software application running on another Host  OS, controlled by another company, likely will never be able to do this.

What I'm looking for is a means to duplicate the behavior of something like ESXi with a master Windows machine if your own choosing, that would interact with the console like Workstation does, so that I can make a snapshot of of the master, like VMs.  I knew any solution wouldn't be obvious.  What I was hoping is that someone had a clever idea of how to accomplish this.  The only thing I could think of when I started this thread was something like Deep Freeze, but that would be a little awkward for this, and I didn't want to poison other people's thinking by mentioning it.


Thank you for your thoughts!

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jschellhaass
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Windows  system restore?

jeff

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jschellhaass
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

edit:  Windows system retore point.

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IT_Architect
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Windows  system restore?

System restore points do not work that way.  System restore points choose what to protect based on file type, not folder  location. It backs up .exe files, .dlls, batch files, scripts, shortcuts, etc.  What that means is if you upgrade from AProgram 7 to AProgram 8, and the install crashes, a system restore leaves you with executables for version 7, and version 8 converted data files, icons, and sound files.

1.  Uninstalls only affect the app causing the problem, and may have the capability to reverse data file changes to an earlier version.  They always leave plenty behind in your registry and often datafiles and settings on disk that come back to haunt you if you reinstall later.

2.  System restore points make fine parachutes to get your system back.  You don't lose your data files, but you also have to be cognizant of the carnage goes with it.

3.  Snapshots, like you have in VMware and the UNIX ZFS file system, can make it as though that time period never happened.

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0WayneH0
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Seeing that OS snapshots from Workstation are pretty unlikely to happen, are you interested in suggestions for backup/imaging software? The main reason I ask and the main reason I have been watching this thread is that I have been evaluating a product recently that IMHO is pretty good, but I don't want to go spamming (even though I have no afffilation with the product) if that is not what you are interested in. The product can do regular (many times a day if needed) incremental images (a.k.a snapshots) of the host. You're just not going to get that Workstation snapshot manager integration though!

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WoodyZ
Immortal
Immortal

Are you talking about Deep Freeze?

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0WayneH0
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

No; a more traditional backup/imaging package.

OT: What would deep freeze for a MAC be useful for? Doesn't the most advanced operating system in the world already have Time Machine, or does Time Machine not do what it claims?

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IT_Architect
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

The product can do regular (many times a day if needed) incremental  images (a.k.a snapshots) of the host. You're just not going to get that  Workstation snapshot manager integration though!

We already use that.  Customers can backup to our inhouse computers through unconsolidated snapshots.  Laptops do it at night.  There is WAY more missing than Workstation integration or we would be using it for this.

1.  You would need to maintain a log of what happened when to know when to restore to.

2.  You would need to keep the system drive small so it wouldn't take forever to restore.

A snapshot like VMware and UNIX uses is very efficient and fast.  It's the only kind of system where you actually would try, start over, and try again.

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IT_Architect
Enthusiast
Enthusiast

OT: What would deep freeze for a MAC be useful for? Doesn't the most  advanced operating system in the world already have Time Machine, or  does Time Machine not do what it claims?

1.  With Time Machine at least you can swap media.  However, you have to fool the Time Machine by naming the drive exactly the same.  To its credit, it re-calculates what is missing based on what it finds.  That trick used to work with Vista too, but not W7.  Time Machine works better than 2008+ Windows server backup.  Server is set up to allow media rotation, but each time you switch, it does a full.  It won't go more than two weeks without starting over no matter how long you keep the media in there.  So you either leave it in there for a week or two, and end up with never  more than two weeks of backup history, or swap every day and never have  more than a day.  Moreover, Windows Server doesn't know what it has, and doesn't have.  The catalog goes back to day one.  You have to know to not go back more than 2 weeks.  It will tell you the drive it's on.

2.  Time Machine keeps multiple copies and uses links that makes it appear like VSS, and is self-pruning.

3.  Time Machine is file-based, meaning if one byte changes in a VM, a 67 gig file comes across the wire.  That's why in Time Machine it is necessary to exclude big files.  You would think since it's FreeBSD, they would have used one of rysync's bretheren from the ports tree and made something really nice from it, since everything is already there but the interface, but they didn't take the time to do that.

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0WayneH0
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

IT_Architect wrote:

The product can do regular (many times a day if needed) incremental  images (a.k.a snapshots) of the host. You're just not going to get that  Workstation snapshot manager integration though!

We already use that.  Customers can backup to our inhouse computers through unconsolidated snapshots.  Laptops do it at night.  There is WAY more missing than Workstation integration or we would be using it for this.

1.  You would need to maintain a log of what happened when to know when to restore to.

2.  You would need to keep the system drive small so it wouldn't take forever to restore.

A snapshot like VMware and UNIX uses is very efficient and fast.  It's the only kind of system where you actually would try, start over, and try again.

I'm not really sure what software you are or are not using or what your  specific use cases are; I just asked if you were interested in  recommendations on the basis you were looking for some kind of backup/imaging. I guess not. Your specific requirements are unclear (although I guess one is the ease of use and speed of VM snapshots).

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0WayneH0
Hot Shot
Hot Shot

IT_Architect wrote:

3.  Time Machine is file-based, meaning if one byte changes in a VM, a 67 gig file comes across the wire. 

Funny, Apple's marketing neglects to mention details like that.

IT_Architect wrote:


That trick used to work with Vista too, but not W7.

I didn't know you could get Time machine for Windows.

What I can glean from your replies is that you are cognizant of other backup/imaging technologies and none of them work the way you want.

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