How can I backup a server to a virtual machine image in case of disaster?

I'm working on an off-site disaster recovery plan.  What I'm trying to do is create virtual machine backups of all our physical servers that are onsite, and transfer them to be stored on an offsite location on a nightly basis.  This way if something happened to the building, I would have a few VERY beefy machines running Virtual Machine, and I could restore these backups, making all my servers virtual temporarily and we could stay in business.

Is this idea possible?  Where do I start?

Thanks!
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DrPcKenAsked:
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adolphus850Commented:
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DrPcKenAuthor Commented:
Good article, but it seems to tell you how to back up virtual machines already in production.  I want to backup physical servers to a virtual machine file, and then restore it later if needed.
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adolphus850Commented:
do you mean as in a clone or the virtual machines are setup as the live servers ready to take over as an interim?

If your looking at a kind of clone then have a look at doubletake (www.doubletake.com).

If your looking at standby servers then you just treat the virtual machines just like any physical machine.  

I am not aware of any software which can do what you want.  As far as i am aware you can only backup virtual machine files of machines already in production.  Presumably these beefy machines would be in production anyway for desaster recovery?

Adol
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ArtellosCommented:
Yes it is possible.
What you'd need to do is make a backup of your server then restore that backup on the virtual machine like you'd do with a phisical PC that just crashed and has nothing left on the hard drive.
You'll then have a exact copy from that date on. You'll basicly have a running backup.

Is this what you're looking for?
Olrik
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adolphus850Commented:
If think what he wants (DrPC correct me if i'm misunderstanding) is to backup an entire server straight to a virtual server file.  Then if he needs to he can add the virtual server file to a virtual server and be up and running.  I don't think this is possible.
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DrPcKenAuthor Commented:
adolph,

yes this is what we I want.  Is it really not possible?
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ArtellosCommented:
Ah. I'm not sure if a direct convert is possible. However if you have some time on your hand you can backup your server and restore it on a virtual PC.

Olrik
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DrPcKenAuthor Commented:
Looks like I may go with the other option and put a cluster or backup servers at the other location
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pghzooitCommented:
This is what you want...
http://www.vmware.com/products/converter/

Microsoft is a little slow still on virtualization.
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DrPcKenAuthor Commented:
Thats it! Thats definately what I'll implement. I have to get a fast enough connection between here and the remote location (about 10 miles).

Thanks!
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Microsoft Virtual Server

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