Is there a VMWare application or an image backup solution for Windows Server 2008R2 that will save directly to a VMWare ESXi datastore located on an iSCSI partition? Here is my inventory:
Primary Server: ESXi 4.1 with internal SAS and solid-state drives hosting three Windows servers: SBS (200GB), Server 2008 (>100GB), Server 2008R2 (>100GB)
Second Server: ESXi 4.1 with internal SATA drives to serve as a stand-in server
QNAP TS-459+ Pro NAS device partitioned with one iSCSI partition and one Windows-accessible partition
Layer 3 Network Switch
The goal is to backup each Windows Server from the Primary Server to the NAS so that a nightly backup image could be immediately mounted directly by the Second Server in the event that the Primary Server fails.
I am not confident that the QNAP device is robust enough to rely on for a vMotion/shared storage scenario. I feel more comfortable relying on the fast internal drive array in each ESXi server. I’d welcome any thoughts on this though.
I have been using both Symantec BESR 2010 and Acronis image backups at various client sites but the conversions from the backup image set to the virtual machine format are cumbersome and (depending on the version) sometimes need to be run manually. I have not tried BESR Virtual Edition nor do I know exactly what that product does. It seems like there must be some way bring the second server online quickly (short of vMotion) that does not require restoring an image from a backup set. Any ideas?