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Looking for advice on a VMware disaster plan (speeding recovery)

December 30th one of our servers bit it.  We overnighted a power supply that didn't arrive for 5 days, but that's another story (*cough* fedex *cough*).  We had in effect a fairly good backup and recovery model, the server mostly hosted VMware machines, so all we had to do was copy them off and run them on another server.

This is when I learned that copying 200+ gigs of data takes a really really long time (yes, there are 200+ gigs worth of data, not just bloated vmware files) and we would much rather not be down for hours copying data.

We have more than enough space to mirror the data elsewhere, but do not know of replication software that can work across the network and will back up a running VMware on a fairly consistent basis (no more than 10 minutes old on our mail server).  Would be nice if said product would made 1 backup and then do backups on a transactional level thereafter and did not eat my network alive, although I could dedicate a nic for it I guess.

Basically I'd love advice on some software solution that I could hit server A with a sledgehammer and then bring up one of my VMs on server B without lost data.  I know VMotion is capable of this, however that's a level of cost (last I checked) our company is not ready to eat, and it's a little bit more than we need.  Advice appreciated.
6 Solutions
take a look at this:


Eliminating duplicate backup copies of the same data from multiple computers results in substantial storage and network bandwidth cost savings. The Acronis® Backup & Recovery" 10 Deduplication module provides affordable file and block level software deduplication functionality, helping organizations of all sizes to make a better use of their storage infrastructure and save costs.
What are you running VMWare ESXi or ESX?  If either case, go into the vmware forums and search for Ghetto VCB.

That will allow you to perform hot backups of running vm's.

If money is no object, consider licensing VCB inconjunction with Arcserve backup or Backup Exec.
Free Backup Tool for VMware and Hyper-V

Restore full virtual machine or individual guest files from 19 common file systems directly from the backup file. Schedule VM backups with PowerShell scripts. Set desired time, lean back and let the script to notify you via email upon completion.  

I would also give something like this a try
If you don't have a common storage platform (NAS/SAN) ... one way to  'replicate' your VMs is to back them up often (say once every two hours - so as to not overly load your Host) and then get the backup software to replicate it to another location/storage volume.
It could work!
This is a piece of software I saw being demo'ed recently. Was quite chuffed at what it did  ... it could also help you ...
Do you have a DR site with an ESX host? If so, I HIGHLY recommend VEEAM to replicate your VM/VMs to this site. That way, you can do exactly what you wanna do...just power on the replicated VM when the source gets corrupted/goes down.


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Granular recovery for Microsoft Exchange

With Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange you can choose the Exchange Servers and restore points you’re interested in, and Veeam Explorer will present the contents of those mailbox stores for browsing, searching and exporting.

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