best strategy for backups

Ok so basically i am starting to analyse my companies current strategy for backups and am looking for some advice.

Right now we have a vmware infasturcture with 3 vm's and 2 physical hosts. We also have 3 physical servers and one file server. We also have 2 DC one is one of the physical hosts and one is a virtual machine.

What i need to figure out is the best way to back this stuff up without using tapes. My boss has expressed not wanting to use tapes. This leaves me with disk based backups and offsite backups.

Currentlly i have a backup exec license and a backup exec system restore license.

What i was thinking was maybe to use backup exec with windows agents and vmware agents to backup my systems. Then to somehow push some backups to an offsite location via FTP.

Is this a recommended solution or is there a better way to be doing this?
silviotucciaroneAsked:
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madunixCommented:
Implement a backup policy to answer these ....
- Do you have a backup strategy?
- Do you have written backup and archive procedures?
- Can you access to your past data with your back-up strategy?
- If your backups are manual, do you follow a sound process and written procedures?
- Do you regularly send your backup copy to a safe, off-site archive?
- Do you have retention period on backup data for legal obligations?
- Is your archive system designed to facilitate data format standards and tape tracking method?
- In the event of any disaster case how long does it take for you to stand up your system?
..etc
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
Backup Exec System Recovery can do an ftp job once it's done to ftp the backup to a different site.

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silviotucciaroneAuthor Commented:
what about backing everything up? is backup exec system recovery a cheaper solution to back all my items up?
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raooolCommented:
BackupExec can get pricey in the virtual world. Paragon Drive Backup Virtual might be worth a look.
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silviotucciaroneAuthor Commented:
do you know if paragon drive backup can accomplish all i want? Physical/Virtual server backups and ftp offsite backups?
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Paul SolovyovskySenior IT AdvisorCommented:
The nice thing about backup exec system recovery is that you can convert the image to a vmware or HyperV VM.  Paragon works well but it's not fully integrated into vmware or MS conversion tools
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raooolCommented:
I have not worked with the Virtual product hands-on yet (do like DriveBackUp and Paragon in general) but will know for sure within 30 - 45 days. In recent discussions/webinar they do claim to handle VMs/conversions (it worked in the demo! ;) and do support FTP (lack a file-incremental at the moment - 'coming soon').
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I'm glad you Boss doesn't want to use tapes any more.

Using Backup Exec to Backup Virtual Machines with an Agent can be slow. Why not use Backup Exec to currently Backup the physical machines to a disk based virtual tape library, and look at purchasing a Disk based Third Party Solution to Backup the Virtual Infrastructure.

and then use a Online Backup Solution, like Iron Mountain (http://www.ironmountain.co.uk/) or GigaDataSoftBackup http://www.gigasoftdatabackup.co.uk/.

If you have a licensed version of ESX/ESXi, (paid for license) you could purchase the following third party applications to perform backups. If you do not have a licensed version of ESX/ESXi, your options are limited, because a non-licensed (paid for) version does not give access to the licensed APIs for third party products to function. You will there for need at least a Standard license for ESX/ESXi for the following products listed 1-3.

1. Veeam Backup and Replication - very popular, won many awards at VMworld 2010

download trial here - http://www.veeam.com/vmware-esx-backup.html

2. Quest vizioncore Vranger Pro - the first VM backup product with a good pedigree.

download trial here - http://vizioncore.com/product/vRangerPro

3. PHD Virtual Backup - very fast backup technology, using virtual applicance.

Download trial here - http://www.phdvirtual.com/phd-vb-51-vmware-vsphere


4. VMware Data Recovery - supports dedupe, integrated with vCenter - maybe included with your current VMware License (available in vSphere Enterprise Plus, Advanced, and Essentials Plus Editions. VMware Data Recovery can also be purchased a la carte with vSphere Standard Edition.)

http://www.vmware.com/products/data-recovery/overview.html


Free (download) alternatives for backing up VMs

5. ghettoVCB

http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-8760 ((Will work on FREE ESXi, no licensed required.)

(can be performed whilst the virtual machine is live or powered on)

6. ghettoVCBg2  

http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-9843 (needs licensed version of ESX/ESXi)

(can be performed whilst the virtual machine is live or powered on)


7. Scripts and NFS backup

http://communities.vmware.com/message/1029047 (Will work on FREE ESXi, no licensed required.)
(can be performed whilst the virtual machine is live or powered on)

8. VMware Converter Standalone 4.3

http://downloads.vmware.com/d/info/datacenter_downloads/vmware_vcenter_converter_standalone/4_0

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.x Documentation

http://www.vmware.com/support/pubs/converter_pubs.html

VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 4.3 User Guide

http://www.vmware.com/pdf/convsa_43_guide.pdf

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.

9. Veeam FastSCP (http://www.veeam.com/vmware-esxi-fastscp.html)

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.

10. 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.

Restoring with options 9 and 10, above, you must add the Virtual Machine manually to the inventory, by selecting the vmx file in the datastore browser, right click on the *.vmx file, and select "Add to Inventory".
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
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silviotucciaroneAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the help guys i will post back if i need further help
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