14 Replies Latest reply on Aug 6, 2008 10:15 AM by JBane

    Backing up a VM without shutting it down

    prisoner881 Enthusiast


      I know this question has been asked elsewhere, but I've been unable to find a definitive answer on the question:  what is the preferred strategy for backing up a VM that does not involve taking it down or pausing it?  I'm not talking about backing up the VM as if it were a physical server, I'm talking about backing up the VM itself for easier disaster recovery.



      I tried an experiment the other day with VMWare Server 2.0 RC1.  I copied all the files of a running VM from one folder to another.  I expected the OS to get to the .VMDK file and complain that it was open and couldn't be copied, but that didn't happen.  The copy completed normally.  I didn't try bringing up the newly-copied VM so I don't know if it was viable.  Has anyone else tried this strategy of backup?  What were the results?



      I've also heard some people tried using snapshots as a backup methodology, but I've also seen posts saying this is not a good thing to do.  I've not seen any posts saying why this is bad thing, though, so a rationale would be much appreciated. And if snapshots can be used as a backup strategy, what needs to be backed up to tape in order to ensure I can completely recover the VM if something disastrous were to happen to the host server?



      There's probably other things people have tried that I'm unaware of.  If so, I'd love to know what works for you and your VM setup.



      Many thanks to all in advance!