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vmware esxi 4.1 free edition backup options

can you please tell me the  best solutions for virtual machines  which is hosted on the  vmware esxi 4.1
1 Solution
The best option is to use ghettoVCB. Take a look at the following vmware article http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-10780

Also you could try http://www.trilead.com/Editions/ looks like they support a gui but no automated backup in the free edition. I did not have the time to test it yet.
The easiest would be to just copy the VM from the datastore to a backup location. Just make sure the VM is down while copying. Another easy option would be to use a backup utility supported by your VM itself and use it to backup to a network location. this will just not be as fast as copying the VM itself.
Brian GeeCommented:
Veeam FastSCP is what I use as a free option for my home ESXi server. It's quick enough for my purposes, very easy to setup, and very easy to use.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I'm afraid if you are using the FREE (not paid for license of ESXi), your options will be very limited.

Unfortunately ghettoVCBg2 - Free alternative for backing up VMs

http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-9843 (this one is unlikely to work, because you need a licensed version of ESXi to use the licensed APIs in VMware ESXi).


If you had a licensed version of ESXi (paid for license) you could use

1. Veeam Backup and Replication (very popular, won many awards at VMworld 2010, World Leader)
2. vizioncore Vranger Pro
3. phd Virtual esxPress
4. VMware vDR

all the above require the licensed version of ESXi to operate.

If you want to backup you machines whilst power-on your options are very limited.
hanccocka, as you are the real pro in this area, shouldn't the direct copy work? Once the VM has been backed up this way one could do regular snapshots and just copy the snapshot files to the backup place. That way it shouldn't be necessary to shutdown the VM anymore, and I guess one could probably script this to automate things?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes it is possible to create your own rolled scripts, to put the VM in Snapshot Mode, which takes the lock off the main VMDK, and then copy the VMDK off the server. Unfortunately when the VM is in Snapshot Mode, the lock is on the Snapshot file, it's being written to, so is locked. If you Delete the Snapshot, it's written back to the main vmdk.

Another issue, with free version of ESXi, you cannot manage it, you only have read access to the server, via vMA, CLI, you cannot run remote scripts against the server.
An optiom you can do while the VM is up is use vCenter Converter Standalone (free tool). You can convert/copy the VM to another datastore or any storage location that has any VMware-based hypervisor installed on it. Regardless what you choose to use, scheduling is your limitation. It's all pretty much a manual process.

You could backup your machines as if they are physical machines, it would be slower to get up and running after a disaster but it depends on how complex your systems are and how big your virtual machines are. If you haven't used thin provisioning then it can take a long time to copy the whole virtual machine off the esxi server.

You could set up the virtual machine, make sure everything is working then shut it down and take a copy of that VM off the esxi server then after that backup the settings/config/database/data etc from the server using more traditional backup software and in the event of a failure you can revert to your saved VM, perform updates and restore the lost data.

Its not the best process and doesn't leverage some of the benefits of ESXi, however you can do it without purchasing the licences for more features in ESXi.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Personally I don't think Veeam FastSCP is the *best solution*. It's one of many solutions which exist. But if it works for you.

Check out the following article VMware ESX/ESXi Backup Guide


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