Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people, just like you, are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions

Replicating VMWare server files

Posted on 2009-04-02
Last Modified: 2013-12-16
I am researching open source and free disaster recovery options for implementing VMWare Server (Free version). I want the Virtual machine files to replicate to another server, which I activate if the first one fails. So far I'm looking at two options:

1) LVM Snapshots, with periodic sync through rsync or the like
2) DRDB live replication

I'm looking at the downside of trying this. People who have experienced problems in live environments with either of these setups. Please advise on what I should beware of with LVM/DRDB, and if alternative methods exist that will be better. As far a possible, Free and/or Open Source solutions.

Thank you very much for any input!
Question by:Morne Lategan
  • 3
  • 3
LVL 21

Accepted Solution

za_mkh earned 400 total points
ID: 24053814
I would say that you ensure that your VM's are powered off before you do the sync regardless of the method you choose, doing a similar thing in Windows is possible in that, we use a script to shutdown the VM's and then use basic Robocopy to copy the files from one server to another! After the copy is complete, we just start up the VM's again. It does work. Of course these are our non-critical VM's. The critical ones are on ESX / Vmotion!

Assisted Solution

MrMintanet earned 100 total points
ID: 24054777

Author Comment

by:Morne Lategan
ID: 24055009
Thank you for the comments.

I agree that ESX is the way to go if you have a large infrastructure and the budget that goes with it, but I'm looking at a more cost effective solution for small offices with one server virtualizing two or three guests.

And I'm trying to do it in such a manner that the VM's are up all the time while being replicated or periodically backed up. I might have my hopes up too high, but my logic says it should be possible :)

Has anyone ever worked with VM's on DRDB replicated disks?

Use Case: Protecting a Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

Microsoft Azure is rapidly becoming the norm in dynamic IT environments. This document describes the challenges that organizations face when protecting data in a hybrid cloud IT environment and presents a use case to demonstrate how Acronis Backup protects all data.


Expert Comment

ID: 24055115

Author Comment

by:Morne Lategan
ID: 24055292
Thank you MrMintanet, and sorry for not commenting on your fist post.

Rsync most certainly solves one part of what I am attempting to do. The other part however is that I want to do it on a live system. Working with large disk images of several GBs changes will almost certainly occur in the files from where I start syncing to where I'm finished syncing, leaving me with an inconsistent backup unless I turn off the VM.

I would like to attempt it in a manner that the VM does not need to be powered off.

In theory it should work with either DRDB or LVM, but does it actually work in practice? If not, Is there any other free/open source option that will do what I want, or am I stuck with powering it off?

Expert Comment

ID: 24055364

Author Closing Comment

by:Morne Lategan
ID: 31565724
Didn't get an answer, but thanks for the comments. Splitting the points.

Featured Post

NAS Cloud Backup Strategies

This article explains backup scenarios when using network storage. We review the so-called “3-2-1 strategy” and summarize the methods you can use to send NAS data to the cloud

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

Google Drive is extremely cheap offsite storage, and it's even possible to get extra storage for free for two years.  You can use the free account 15GB, and if you have an Android device..when you install Google Drive for the first time it will give…
Giving access to ESXi shell console is always an issue for IT departments to other Teams, or Projects. We need to find a way so that teams can use ESXTOP for their POCs, or tests without giving them the access to ESXi host shell console with a root …
In this Micro Tutorial viewers will learn how to restore single file or folder from Bare Metal backup image of their system. Tutorial shows how to restore files and folders from system backup. Often it is not needed to restore entire system when onl…
This tutorial will walk an individual through locating and launching the BEUtility application to properly change the service account username and\or password in situation where it may be necessary or where the password has been inadvertently change…

840 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question