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Clone and Backup VM machine

Posted on 2011-02-24
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I wonder if Cloning VM machine is the same as backing up the VM machine at the image level?
what 's the difference?

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Question by:jskfan
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by:Kruno Džoić
Kruno Džoić earned 166 total points
ID: 34968816

Clone takes drive 1 and copies it to drive 2 such that drive 2 is identical to drive 1 although it is possible to clone different sized drives. True Image only clones entire drives it will not clone selected partitions. Cloning is intended to be used when you are replacing a drive with a new one but since you have a made a copy it does work as a backup.

An image reads the source drive and copies the in-use sectors to a file. It does not copy the pagefile or hibernation file (if present) since they are created on reboot. The data can be compressed and it is saved in a file or files. You can store as many images on the target drive as it will hold - compare this to only 1 copy if you are cloning.

When the image is restored it puts the data back but it does not necessarily put the data that was in sector ABCD back into sector ABCD; the file system is adjusted accordingly.

Since you can have multiple images and you can also make incremental backups (only the files that are created/changed since the last full or incremental are backed up) or differential backups (all the files created/changed since the full backup are backed up). This flexibility makes images more suitable for backup purposes.

copy & paste from http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=238515
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nappy_d earned 334 total points
ID: 34968859
It is almost the same.

The differences are that with cloning, via the VMWare converter:
-allows you to increase/decrease the guest disk space
-if it is a Windows guest OS, you can integrate sysprep for template VM's
-the VMWare converter comes in two versions. The free version allows you to copy a guest when it is powered on. The paid version can also perform cold cloning of powered off physical or virtual guests.

If you were to backup a guest OS:
-it has to be done with a backup client agent using either tcp/ip, VCB or VDDK.
-if you were to use VCB, you require as much diskspace as you have VMDK diskspace for temp storage of the guest during backup.
-VCB or VDDK requires the guest to be powered on for backups.
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Author Comment

by:jskfan
ID: 34968948
- before you make a change to a VM machine(install Applications), you can either clone it or take snapshot.[they both sound the same] are they different?
- when you need to increase disk space or partition space, I believe the Converter will help too [though I am not sure about increasing the partition if vmware converter will do the job or we need third party].?
-I am not sure also if the VCB works like third party file level back up such as Veritas or it works as image level back up such as vranger pro.?
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by:nappy_d
nappy_d earned 334 total points
ID: 34969063
A snapshot is NOT a backup and should never be used as a proper backup. Snapshots should only be used for troubleshooting. Snapshots should b deleted a few days after new apps or config changes are made and a system has been deemed stable.

VCB is I not a backup. VCB is. Framework that MUST be used in conjunction with some b/u software for backups.

Th converter can be used to increase the boot volume's size. You no longer need o use 3rd party utilities for guest VMs.
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by:jskfan
ID: 35100037
thanks
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