Vmware, ESXi and Drive Layout

We currently have an SBS2003 server with about 20 clients that connect to it.  
It runs the Domain, File Sharing, Exchange, DHCP, DNS, etc.

The configuration is 2 x 320GB Drives (RAID1) where the OS, Data, Exchange, etc. are stored and 1 x 1.5TB Drive as a backup drive where nightly images are captured.

In an effort to improve reliability and ease/expedite recovery efforts in the event of failure, we were advised
to use Vmware ESXi and take routine snapshots.

I am curious if this is the best route and also how the drives should be laid out.  This is what I have
come up with thus far:

1.5TB Drive - Install ESXi here and move OS to this drive in a small partition and leave > 1TB Free
RAID1 Drives - Move Data and Exchange to these drives

1)  Run daily script to backup Data on RAID1 drives to the 1TB free space on the first drive
2)  Run daily script to take snapshots of VM and save them to RAID 1 Drives
3)  Buy a NAS and run daily script to backup both VM snapshots and Data drive to it
4)  Use Crashplan for Offsite Cloud backup of Data

How does that all sound?  Is there a better/easier method?




afeudaleAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Please do not use VMWare for snapshots, they are not backups.

Snapshots are a point in time incremental virtual disk..so if you take a snapshot your virtual disk becomes read only and any new writes are written to a second, third... virtual disk depending on number of snapshots.  Over time the system becomes slow since any new data is written farther from the where it is read and snapshots may become corrupt and cause your virtual machine to be unstable and potentially unusable
0

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
afeudaleAuthor Commented:
Hi paulsolov,

Thanks for the info.  Maybe I am using the wrong terminology when I say "snapshot" for the VM.  What we are using now is Acronis True Image to backup the server to a second hard drive every night.  In the event of a disaster, we can restore this Image to a new hard drive.

I was under the impression that ESXi has a similar feature (taking a backup image of the drive) so that it can be restored in the event of failure (even to dissimilar hardware).  I thought this was called "snapshot", but maybe it is a different feature?

Thanks.
0
remixedcatCommented:
arconis can backup vmware.
0
jaredr80Commented:
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
0
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
SBS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.