Backup/Replication Solution for VMWare

I am in a VMWare environment with the need to backup about 8 VM's on 2 hosts.  I want to do email level restores from Exchange 2010.  I am clustered and running files and data on shared drives.  Using Dell EQ for San storage with iSCSI

I am currently using i365 and EVault for local backups and replicate offsite to Salt Lake.

We now have an office in another city so what I would like to be able to do is do local backups to disk- replicate offsite to an environment where I can fire up my VM's at that location as my DR solution.

I have looked at Veeam but your data must all be inside the VM's with them.

I want to add snap shots to my current plan as well so I need an all encompassing solution.

Any and all input Welcome
funkyone60Asked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)Connect With a Mentor VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Checkout my article

VMware ESX/ESXi Backup Guide


But Veeam Backup and Replication v5/v6 shortly is the leader of the pack.
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funkyone60Author Commented:
Spent multiple days and muliple hours on the phone with Veeam- they absolutely do not support data that is not in the VM- which is crazy to me.  Why would you tie your hands like that?

But nevertheless- it will not work with shared drives outside a VM
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
So, your data is not contained with a VMDK?
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Danny McDanielClinical Systems AnalystCommented:
are you using the iSCSI client within Windows to get to the Exchange store or using a mapped network drive?

VM backup software is targeted to backup the VM's at the datastore level, so if you are accessing a shared drive through iSCSI or a network mapped drive within the guest OS then it is understandable that a VM backup software wouldn't be able to back up that data.
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funkyone60Author Commented:
I would have one vmdk that would be over 1 TB if my data was inside VM- why would I want to tie my hands that way- shared drives via iscsi and I backing up successfully now but the replication part is not supported out side one of i365 facilaties- I want to take that back.


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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
I think you will have to investigate Symantec products that cross over between the physical and virtual or SAN related options.
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Danny McDanielClinical Systems AnalystCommented:
what do you consider limited or "hands tied"?
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funkyone60Author Commented:
having data tied to one vm-

having large vmdk's

How do you cluster?

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funkyone60Author Commented:
my case management program/database and corresponding files alone would creat a 1.2 TB vmdk
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shahravishConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I would say you'd be better off virtualizing alll your disks? It doesnt tie you down. and with the current version 2TB - 512 is your limit. We have full virtualization deployed at client sites with data over 8TB for the file server. We have created multople disks with 2 TB limits and use Veeam to back them up!
If you are concerned about cluster/ HA, your HA configuration withim VMware provides you that. Additionally, if you need 100% uptime, you have the option to use FT ?
Since all your data resides on the SAN, you're basically creating 2tb volumes and presenting to the host. You would then have your vmdk's which are supported upto 2tb. Veeam can basically perform all tasks that VMware can. So if you are ucrrently using direct mapping on the Windows OS, you would evenlose your snapshot capability.
If you have the all data sitting in a vm, you can use Veeam to replicate your environment to a remote site. Makes your recovery process much easier.
I have worked with Symantec for the past 8 odd years, and have always had some trouble doing recovery. It works, but has its pain.
With Veeam, we have performed test and live restores for clients, and it actually works as it says. Recovery time for server's has been very minimal (with instant VM recovery, and the option of booting from backup when its down. Storage vmotion really helps when you need to migrate backup data to production without downtime.
But yes, you should really consider what is holding you back from putting your data into vmdk's.
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