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NT Backup for VMware Virtual Machines

Posted on 2008-06-24
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Last Modified: 2008-06-26
We are going to have a 2003 server running VM Ware server.  If we have 3 virutal machines running on this (Exchange 2007, Sharepoint, and BES).  We want to have a backup of the virtual machines only, so if the server crashes we can put the virtual machine backups on another server and have them running quick.

If we use NT backup on the 2003 server to backup the Virtual Machines folder that will have the virtual servers' data nightly while the 3 virtual servers are running - will this backup be sufficient and work?

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Question by:brandywine
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by:bevhost
bevhost earned 248 total points
ID: 21860521
Yes, but it's best if the VM's are not running at the time of the backup.
See
http://www.petri.co.il/virtual_script_startup_shutdown_vmware_servers.htm
OR
you could invest in ESX and use Consolidated Backup which can backup a live machine.
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agriesser earned 252 total points
ID: 21864925
A cheap solution (without using vmcb) would be to use scheduled snapshots that are created nightly (including the virtual machines memory if you want). You can now pull these snapshots away with ntbackup as they're not modified during the backup process, which gives you a good chance to have no corrupt data in your backup.

Although I'd think about shutting Exchange and Sharepoint down before making the snapshot (could be a scheduled task, I don't know if Exchange accepts some kind of a "pause" command too), so that in the time when the snapshotting runs the database is in a good state.
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