Need To Backup Onsite 2 ESX Servers

I have two VM ESX servers that are currently running offsite backups. I need to convert them to either a tape backup or an external hard-drive backup. Of course we are a small company and don't have a SAN, so any suggestions on how to do the cheapest and best way would be deeply appreciated.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
That is correct, you cannot mount an external USB drive on an ESX server.

But you can connect a USB hard drive to a workstation, and backup to it.

or you can attach a USB drive to the server, and access it within a virtual machine.

see here
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
How are you providing Offsite backups at present?

Some options for you for FREE.

1. VMware Converter Standalone 4.3

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.x Documentation

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 User Guide

With VMware Converter you can convert and copy a Virtual Machine to another datastore, this advantage is you can do this whilst the virtual machine is Online or Powered-Up.

2. Veeam FastSCP (

Fast Virtual Machine / File Transfer. Faster than WinSCP and other SCP-based tools as it uses full network capacity. The Veeam FastSCP engine also features traffic compression and empty block removal for best file copy performance.

You can use FastSCP to connect to the ESX/ESXi server, and download the entire virtual machine folder/directory to the current workstation or server, where yov've connected from. You must ensure that the virtual machines are powered off to complete this operation.

3. Datastore browser

The datastore browser is included in the vSphere GUI Client, and enables you access to the datastore, virtual machines are stored on. You can simple use the cut and paste, or download/upload options to backup and restore virtual machines. Again to copy a virtual machine, the virtual machine must be powered off.

and once you have the flat files copy to tape or USB external disk.
PelicanManAuthor Commented:
Offsite backups are running from within each virtual server setup in the ESX server.

I was hoping to use Symantec Backup Exec and an external E-Sata or USB Drive.

My understanding is that you cannot see a USB drive from within the virtual server to do this.
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