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backup virtual machine, rsync inplace is ok?

Posted on 2009-06-29
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
I want to backup VM every night.
I've made a script that suspend VM and then make a backup by rsync with option --inplace.
I've seen that each file is recreated and the total time to make about is more than 1 hour.
First question : is the option "inplace" correct?
Second question : is there anyway to make a faster backup? thank you
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Question by:tratti
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by:larstr
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What VMware product are you using?

For hosted products (Server, Player, Workstation) such a rsync solution is good, while on ESX there are other methods too.

For shorter downtime it's also possible to take a LVM snapshot right after the VM is suspended, then start the VM and backup the snapshot.

Lars
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by:tratti
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VMware Server
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by:larstr
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by:giovannicoa
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Hi,

for ESX you can use VCB, Veem, vRanger, esXpress or Platespin products for the backup purpose.
At the moment Veeam is the best choice for us.

If you use VMware Server or Workstation you can use rsync or whenever you want as a normal files (only verify that your utility can support file greated than 2GB).

Hope this can help you,
Giovanni Coa
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by:tratti
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what is vmbackup exactly? it makes a copy by rsync?
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by:tratti
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another useful info : my virtual machine is splitted into 2gb files...
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by:larstr
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vmbackup doesn't use rsync, but the effect is the same. vmbackup is open source so you can probably modify it to use rsync if you want. Having the vmdk split in 2GB files is fine.

Lars
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by:tratti
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but using rsync with inplace is correct?
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giovannicoa earned 500 total points
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Hi,

rsync option "--inplace" presume that:

a) During transfer your destination file is inconsistent
b) If the copy is interrupted your destination file result inconsistent
c) It's optimized for disk bound, not for the network bound
d) It's better for large files with block level changes
e) Without inplace option you need more disk space

My personal opinion is that you need to test :
a) How many time with and without "--inplace" do you need to copy the VMDK
b) Check how many spaces do you need to remove "--inplace"

After that if the difference in terms of time is irrilevant and you don't have disk space issue, you can choose to don't use --inplace because your backup need to be more reliable possible and any inconsistence in the backuped file can be a problem for you.

Hope this can help you,
Giovanni Coa
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by:tratti
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I've checked and the "--inplace" option is very longer than without it... it takes about 2 hours and without it only 1 hour!
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