9 Replies Latest reply on Nov 13, 2019 12:55 PM by Tomkan

    Esxi free version backup solution (4 VMs)

    scherian Novice

      Hi folks,

       

      I've been reading up on a lot of VM backup solution options...including this one, but still not able to make a decision for a backup solution that will allow me to backup the entire VM  (.vmdk) file and allow for easy restore.

       

      The backup solution (if possible) should work with the Free ESXI version.

      I've been using the free Veeam Agent backup to do file level backups daily and full and it has been working great for about 2 years now, but I'm concerned that if I have a total host failure.. my RTO will be very high.

       

      Any suggestions on what I should do.. I'm willing to spend a bit of money if that is the right/only thing to do.

      Appreciate your comments

        • 1. Re: Esxi free version backup solution (4 VMs)
          a.p. Guru
          User ModeratorsCommunity WarriorsvExpert

          Since you are already familiar with Veeam, it may be an option to license a vSphere Essentials Kit. This contains licenses for up to 3 ESXi hosts (max.2 CPUs each) plus vCenter Server for Essentials. Once the host is license, you can use the Veeam's B&R community edition, which covers up to 10 VMs free of charge. Please check the details on Veeam's web page.

           

          André

          • 2. Re: Esxi free version backup solution (4 VMs)
            Finikiez Master
            vExpert

            If you are limited to free version of ESXi then use vghetto VCB GitHub - lamw/ghettoVCB: ghettoVCB , as API is closed in free version and you can't you use any agent less versions of backup software.

             

            Or buy any license.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Esxi free version backup solution (4 VMs)
              scherian Novice

              Thanks Andre,

              A few more details on my environment

               

              I have one prod Dell server running 3 licensed 2016 Server VMs

              The Dell server is a 2 socket x 12 core per socket configuration

               

              I also have one HP server being used for lab purposes only ( 2 CPU x 8 core each)

               

              1. Will the vsphere Essentials Kit of of 3 hosts (max 2 CPU each) limitation be ok for both of these hosts?

              2.  Where should I install the v-sphere essentials kit (can it be installed on a licensed win 10 workstation?)

              3. Is it overkill to want to backup entire VMs? or is that considered best practice

              4. The largest server config of drives i have is C: 100GB; D:400 GB + S: 100GB -- these .vmdk flat files are quite large so would the Veeam B&R community edition be able to back this size overnight?... or is this not realistic?

               

              I appreciate your help..thx

              • 4. Re: Esxi free version backup solution (4 VMs)
                a.p. Guru
                User ModeratorsCommunity WarriorsvExpert
                1. Yes, you can have license to 3 hosts, each with up to two sockets (no limit regarding cores)
                2. The Kit consists of a bunch of license keys. No need to install anything. Setting up vCenter Server (which comes as a virtual  appliance) is optional.
                3. That's actually up to you, and depends on your requirements. You can also use other backup methods, which cover your requirements regarding e.g. restore options, and restore time.
                4. Assuming that you have gigabit networking, and a decent backup repository, this shouldn't be an issue at all.

                 

                Please don't get me wrong. I'm not telling you that this is the only solution. There are of course other options too. However, with your comments regarding RTO, and the fact that you are already using a Veeam backup solution, I think that this is at least something to take a closer look at.

                 

                André

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Esxi free version backup solution (4 VMs)
                  Radio1 Novice

                  I used veeam for quite a while and was mostly pleased.  Do be careful with the "free" upgrades they offer.  I bit the bait, only to later find out that the annual renewals has swollen far too much.  What was sad was that I didn't use any of the upgraded features and couldn't downsize back to what I previously had.  I even canceled everything and tried to just buy the basic version again.  I was told I could not do that.  I was flat out told by a sales person that they would rather loose all business from me than allow me to buy a smaller product from them.  If I had never accepted the free upgrades, I probably would still be with the company today.

                   

                  Just to be clear, when i say upgrade, I mean from basic to enterprise.  I do not mean from version 1.0 to version 2.0.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Esxi free version backup solution (4 VMs)
                    scherian Novice

                    thank you for the feedback .. so were you using the B&R community version?

                    • 7. Re: Esxi free version backup solution (4 VMs)
                      scherian Novice

                      great comments Andre.. I understand and I want to explore the Veeam a bit further.

                      So lets say i get the VM essentials kit licenses. I would have to

                       

                      1. install the licenses on the host

                      2. download and install Veeam B&R Community edition on ? - a separate device (like a Windows 10 PC?)

                       

                      Currently I have the Veem agent directly on the VMs doing file level backup..

                      • 8. Re: Esxi free version backup solution (4 VMs)
                        a.p. Guru
                        User ModeratorsvExpertCommunity Warriors

                        Assigning a paid license to the ESXi host is all that's needed to unlock the API, which is required for Veeam backup to be able to do it's job.

                        Btw. there's a known backup issue with ESXi versions 5.1 (and earlier) running the Essentials edition. I do assume though that you are not using that old versions anymore!?

                         

                        Yes, Veeam B&R can be installed on Windows 10 (see System Requirements - Veeam Backup Guide for vSphere). I'd recommend that this system has sufficient local disk space to hold the Backup Repository. It's basically also possible to store the backups on e.g. an attached USB disk, but this should then be at least USB 3.0.

                         

                        Hint: If you want to test the whole setup to see whether it is what you want/expect prior to purchasing any licenses, you could reinstall (even with preserving the VMFS datastore) one of your ESXi hosts, and run it in evaluation mode.

                         

                        André

                        • 9. Re: Esxi free version backup solution (4 VMs)
                          Tomkan Lurker

                          Hint: If you want to test the whole setup to see whether it is what you want/expect prior to purchasing any licenses, you could reinstall (even with preserving the VMFS datastore) one of your ESXi hosts, and run it in evaluation mode.

                           

                          Thx for this idea, André. I didn't know, that simple switch to evaluation mode unlocks  ESXi API we required.