Vmware ESXi Recommended recovery for Windows servers and Domain Controllers?

Hi

Just wanted to know what is the recommended backup and recovery process for VM's when using Backupexec 2010

We are backing up to tape -  
ESXi 4.0 with two vm's (domain controller  and exchange)

Do we backup as we would a physical server? or backup the VM's?

Also in the recovery do we still have to to an non-authoritive restore for AD?
pancho15Asked:
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JohnLoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
is this a new setup or existing?
I would backup like normal with a scsi passthru if your going tape.

Another option is I would reccoment as a secondary backup is using a software called Veeam that can backup the VM to Cheap USB disks or SAN as a second more rapid form of backup and recovery. i have recovered an entire server all files and services from a veeaam backup in as little as an hour. everything back up even exchange. WORKS GREAT!
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coolsport00Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Since you have ESXi, your backup options are limited, as far as 'automatic' backups go. VMware took backup capability out of its free hypervisor (ESXi) in June of last year. So, if you want to back up your VM, you'll have to power it down for a while during a 'copy' of the VM files (e.g. using Veeam FastSCP: http://www.veeam.com/vmware-esxi-fastscp.html), as "JohnLo" stated, configuring ESXi for 'unsupport mode' and using WinSCP to copy your files to some disk storage. Otherwise, just doing guest (VM) OS backups like you do your physical servers is your only option. If your DCs go down, you restore them like you would a physical DC (authoritative or non-authoritative); same with Exchg..backup like you do if it was on a physical box.

Recovery process of DCs is dependent on the type of DC failure in deciding if you do authoritative or non-authoritative:
Authoritative: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc779573(WS.10).aspx
Non-authoritative: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc784922(WS.10).aspx

Hope that helps.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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JohnLoCommented:
Ummm no you have to buy vsphere which is on ESXi and you can do live backups. They did not remove it they asked Veeam  not to use the backup hooks unless the customer pays something to VMware.  This is FACT if you purchaced Veeam before June of last year you can still backup FREE ESXi.
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GKaloskyCommented:
There is an agent for VMware Backups that is available for Backup Exec 2010.  This will allow you to backup your vm's completely.  From this you can restore the entire VM or just files.  What has been removed is the old VMWare Consolidated Backup (VCB).  It has been replaced by a set of API's that backup tools such as Backup Exec 2010 now access.
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JohnLoCommented:
VCB HAS NOT BEEN REMOVED!! IT JUST CAN NOT BE USED WITHOUT PAYING FOR IT NOW!!!

Stop telling people false info.

http://www.vmware.com/products/vi/consolidated_backup.html
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coolsport00Commented:
"John"...I AM aware that b/u capability is still a part of ESXi; I just forgot to mention "specifically" you have to pay to have the capability. The main reason people are using ESXi?...it's free; most posts on EE are inquiring about b/u possibilities that are also free. Regardless, I should have mentioned that b/u capability *is* still possible...but not for free like it used to be. If you re-read my post more clearly, I did suggest to this fact - "VMware took backup capability out of its *free* hypervisor (ESXi)".

~coolsport00
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JohnLoCommented:
No that is not the main reason for using esxi. I have a vCenter with 10 esxi hosts. And paid for vSphere but all my hosts are esxi. I understand that pol use the free one but misleading that coolsport tells ppl things have need removed when they haven't. Also VMware asked veeam to stop using the backup if ppl don't pay. Veeam can still do if you bought Vesak before june of last year.
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coolsport00Commented:
Well, since I've been a regular contributor on EE for 2yrs now, in my experience...yes, it is why the majority of those posters are using ESXi. It's not exclusive as you have a different reason for using it, just as there are others who have their reasons, as well.

And, I am not misleading people; re-read my post. Again, I said it's not capable in the *free* version. In other words, you have to pay to have b/u capability in ESXi. And yes, you are correct...those that got and used Veeam before June are able to do so. Since vSphere wasn't out in June, it's safe to assume the poster wasn't using any of these products back then.

~coolsport00
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shairozanCommented:
One thing you want to take into account is that, regardless of how it's done, image based backups are not supported in a Windows Domain Controller instance. If there are other domain controllers in the environment that are live while the DC in question is being restored from backup, you will run into a UNS fallback, which means replication will not work across domain controllers.

It can be fixed, it just takes doing metadata cleanup on all other servers until you can remove the object from the directory and add another or run dcpromo on the server again. Just something I recently ran into that I wanted to share, because it sucks :)
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pancho15Author Commented:
I believe you mean UNC rollback?  You can still use image based backup but you need to ensure that when the image is restored, you must go into active directory recovery mode and do a non-authoritative restore, if there are other DC's in the domain. If you fail to enter recovery mode and the server boots normally you will have issues
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pancho15Author Commented:
I meant USN rollback
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