VMWare ESX 4.0 Backups

Hi,

What is the best way to do the backups and retention for VM's, such as software and long term storage, like disk to tape.  Also ability to do granular restores.  We have the EMC storage, but prefer to rotate to disk.  Also, what type of tape drive is best to use with the EMC storage?
Jack_son_Asked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
If you have EMC storage I would investigate Snapshot options within the EMC SAN, and NDMP tape backup of the Snapshots from the EMC SAN to tape. Not to be confused with VMware Snapshots of the Virtual Machine.

otherwise options exists as

VMware vDR
Veeam Backup and Replication (World Leader and won many awards).
Quest vRanger Pro
phd Virtual Backup

The above options backup the VM to Disk, you'll then need to arrange transfer of these backups to tape, with tape based software.

Symantec Backup Exec to disk and tape.

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Jack_son_Author Commented:
great, thanks.  So once I have the vm backups with a software.  It is good practice to use the Symantec Backup Exec to store it to tape for retention, granular backups, etc?
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IanThCommented:
You can just copy them from the datastore in vclient  and copy them on to anywhere such a server thats backuped by tape
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Jack_son_Author Commented:
Okay, so copy the vm's to a server that is backed up by tape?
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Jack_son_Author Commented:
I mean the vm backups to another windows server that has Symantec installed?
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IanThCommented:
yes I do the same but its not for a backup its a training suite so I copy my vmdk's of my viclient so our trainees can bash their virtual pc till its bust and then I can fix it by just putting the vmdk file back and restarting the vm so its back to the start state if you use snapshots its best to copy the whole folder as there snapshots are also required using a tool like veem will handle the snapshots for you
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It really depends on your Backup Policy, we dont use tapes anymore, and nor do our clients, we use disk storage, and offline storage on the Internet or Cloud, or to another datacentre.

But some organisation still exist on having backups on tape! (they feel it's nice to be able to hold them!)

Tape backups are for the dark ages.
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Jack_son_Author Commented:
true, but currently only have 1 data center.  how can this be worked around in this case?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Online Storage using the Internet.
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Jack_son_Author Commented:
Is this with Iron Mountain?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Any Online Storage company, some of our clients use that company, others use, Gigasoft Data Backup. http://www.gigasoftdatabackup.co.uk/
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Jack_son_Author Commented:
online storage looks interesting, what is the bandwidth requirements?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It doesn't matter, depends on the size of your backups, incrementals, I know Gigasoftdatabackup, will load the first backup from tape/dvd for you, so you can start using incrementals. We drip feed about 7GB a week, over a low speed connection.
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