Unitrends recently announced in VMworld a free backup solution on the free ESXi.
Can anyone confirm what's the official position of VMware on this? Will we see other vendors do the same? Will this continue working on ESXi 5.5 once it's released and made compatible? Historically VMware did not allow backup solutions to run on the free ESXi, and requested vendors to remove them.
A couple of days ago I read something about the free edition (unfortunately I cannot find the article right now), and if I understood it correctly, the free edition only supports an agent-based backup for the VMs, so this doesn't conflict with VMware's APIs.
Yes, at VMworld Unitrends announced that it’s Free Edition of Unitrends Enterprise Backup™ would also now supported the free version of VMware’s vSphere hypervisor.
How did we do that when VMware doesn’t allow the use of VADP (VMware API for Data Protection) in the Free vSphere hypervisor?
We didn’t break any laws of physics – nor any other laws of man or nature (or VMware!) – we simply extended our licensing such that a limited set of VMs would be supported at the GOS (Guest Operating System) level. Because Unitrends supports data protection at both the HOS (Host Operating System) level as well as the GOS level, it was straightforward to make this happen. It’s actually no different than many of our customers who use our products to protect 100% virtual environments with granular combinations of HOS- and GOS-level protection or those that have mixed physical and virtual environments who of course use HOS- and GOS-level protection (obvious because in the physical world there is only GOS-level protection.)
So you can restore files, or a whole VM. You can even take bare metals of the VM and do V2P or V2V... you get all the functionality we provide to backup servers.