Hi, i have an 2 esx 3.0.1 server with 8-10 development serveres that i just have moved to that server. They virutal machines are placed on 2 different SAN disk that are share among the esx servere. Befor i move more serveres, and specially more critical servers i need at backup solution. Up to know i have stoped the virtual machines and used ftp to copye out data to an windows server with an large disk. But i need an better solution. Qustion:
Will consolidated backup be the best solutions? If so, do i need an windows server with FC card, that has connection to my two SAN disk to make it work? Are there any other good software to use? I assume i need a FC card because ftp seems a little bit slow, and i do not want to stop the servers for 1-2 hours to make the backup happend.
Hi. We use two backup solutions, one for disaster recovery, one for file-level backups. Both solutions operate without having to stop servers, by relying on snapshots. For disaster recovery, we use esXPress by PHD; it runs natively under ESX. For file-level backups, we use CA BrightStor ARCServe 11.5, which runs under Windows and accesses various server volumes that are encapsulated in various VM. It does so by using VMWare Consolidated Backup. Both solutions rely on a separate backup server runnning Windows 2k3. This backup server also runs VMWare server, and hosts two VMs; one is an FTP server running Linux that is the target repository for the esXpress backups; the second VM is our VMWare license manager. Backups using these two systems must be carefully scheduled so that there are no extant snapshots remaining from the esXpress backups whle the file-level VCB-Proxy ARCserve backups are running. The ARCserve backups run using disk staging in order to minimize the time the snapshot is open; then the staged backups sets are written to 8mm tape. If you don't need file-level backups, or, if you can deal with the inconvenience of restoring a disaster-recovery backup to separate hardware just to retrieve a file, then esXpress by itself, would server you better.
We have had this running for nearly three months without serious issue. You will need to size the backup server's storage appropriately.