Backing up multiple esxi virtual servers

We have several physical esxi servers (Free version) and under them several vm's spread across them.

What is the best way to back these VM's up ? ....I have seen veeam installed on the management PC but this doesnt seem to backup the machines whilst they are 'powered up', is there a way for the esxi to do snapshots in the daytime and let me store these on a NAS ? ..

Many thanks,
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
For most backup prodcucts to operate on ESXi, you'll need to upgrade from the FREE version to at least Essentials.

and then use one of the third party products, Veeam Backup, vIzioncore Vranger Pro, phd Virtual Esxpress or try the free GhettoVCB for free
Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Keep in mind vmware snapshots are not backups, they are differential files.  Without upgrading to a paid version you can try something like Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery Virtual Edition.  It will install an agent inside the VM, image it and allow you to restore using vmware converter and also to restore to a physical machine if needed (V2P).
Kent KellerCommented:
You can also use the free VMWare convertor to do VMWare backups for the OS's that support them.  We are using GhettoVCB with our VMWare 4.1 free server, however we have had some Snapshot corruption issues so I try to do the backups when the VMs are off.

I use a NFS store as the target for the backup for the GhettoVCB script. Currently I don't have it scheduled and just logon and do it when I want to.
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vmwarun - ArunCommented:
How many ESXi hosts do you have in your environment ?
deepslalliAuthor Commented:
We have 5 physical servers with ESXi on and then about 3 virtual machines under each....

Just trying the above comments to are the best solution, powering them down isn't good as we have a Pbx a domain controller etc
I have 2 esxi servers running 15 servers everything from a DC, email file all in a 24x7 environment for a small company. I do a daily backup with Veeam it takes a snapshot with the server powered on, then removes the snapshot when the backup is finished. I installed Veeam on a seperate server with a cheap promise iscsi array. It really works great and was the only product that for the same price also allows me to push a replica of the server to our remote site. The replica at the remote site stays powered off unless we need it. Everything is replicated and backed up at least once a week all critical servers are backed up and replicated at least once a day. Check out the website and sign up for the webcast they go over everything in detail and will answer all questions at the end.

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