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How to backup Vmware ESXi

Posted on 2010-09-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Hi,
I'm currently installing ESXi 4.1,
it is my understanding that there is no "shell", and that it should be managed from a remote console.
however, Id like to backup the vmdk file directly from the server on a NAS,

is it at all possible, with the "Essentials" license, without adding another expensive license?

thanks in advance!
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Question by:mistoiic
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Expert Comment

by:Deepak Kosaraju
ID: 33733383
You cannot backup vmdk files using essential license. You have to use VCB for it which requires Ad
vdifference.pdf
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Expert Comment

by:Deepak Kosaraju
ID: 33733389
You cannot backup vmdk files using essential license. You have to use VCB for it which requires Standard+ License.
ESXi-and-The-Command-Line----Vir.pdf
vdifference.pdf
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Assisted Solution

by:coolsport00
coolsport00 earned 250 total points
ID: 33733596
You can backup your VMs, but you'll need an additional b/u tool like VCB, Veeam (my recommendation), vRanger, or other 3rd party VM b/u utility. There is a 'free' way to backup your VMs, but it's not automated as you'll get with any of the 3rd party tools mentioned above. Veeam FastSCP (or WinSCP) can be used to make a copy of your VMs (http://www.veeam.com/vmware-esxi-fastscp.html). You can install it on your local workstation, and if you have a mapped drive on your workstation to your NAS, or there is a datastore connected to your ESXi host, you can copy your VMs to the desired volume. Two caveats exist using this method -> 1. It's not automated, 2. Your VMs need to be powered down to be able to make the copy.

Hope that helps.

Regards,
~coolsport00
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by:coolsport00
ID: 33733640
The 'Kit' comparison chart is listed here (notice the API feature under Essentials, which is what's needed to b/u your VMs):
http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/buy/small_business_editions_comparison.html

~coolsport00
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Accepted Solution

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BloodRed earned 250 total points
ID: 33733744
Another free way to accomplish this is to use the vMA appliance from VMware, which is essentially a Linux VM with the standard ESX utilities installed and an authentication method for remotely executing commands against an ESXi box.  Combine that with GhettoVCBg2, and you have a fully functional backup utility which can be scheduled.  

I've used GhettoVCB extensively, it will create a snapshot of your VM, backup the underlying disks and associated files, delete the snapshot and compress the backup all with one command.  Very handy.  I've been meaning to write up an article on installing and using vMA, maybe today is the day ;)

http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-9843   <---GhettoVCBg2 tutorial
http://www.vmware.com/support/developer/vima/  <--- vMA download

Good luck!
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by:coolsport00
ID: 33733759
I was going to mention ghettoVCB, but personally think it's too 'messy' (me = not a scripting person per sè), but you're correct...it is another option. :)

~coolsport00
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Author Comment

by:mistoiic
ID: 33742374
thank your for the replys,
I will try "ghettoVCB" which appear to be what I need, or fall back to 3rd party, should I be fail :)
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Author Closing Comment

by:mistoiic
ID: 33742386
thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:coolsport00
ID: 33743169
Glad to help...best of luck! :)

~coolsport00
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