Esxi 5 using ahci hard drive to Backup Virtual Machine


I would like to backup my esxi 5  box to removable hard drives.
I was hoping to use esata and be able to swap drives everyday to take off-site.
Is this possible.
Currently we have 3 vms 2 sql servers and 1 exchange 2010 server.

The only way I could think of is to make a network share and use the esata on an existing win 2008 box and then backup vms to this share.

Any best practices?

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It's not possible in the standard build.

USB or eSATA backup is not really a supported backup mechanism.

If you external hard drive supported NFS, you could backup over the network.

Check my Article on ESXi backups.

VMware ESX/ESXi Backup Guide

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I assume this is vSphere Hypervisor? (free ESXi) You didn't really specify. If you have a purchased licensed version, with vSphere APIs, you have a bit more options. Otherwise, you're really looking at a manual process. Tools to use would be Veeam FastSCP, WinSCP, the Datastore Browser window, and/or GhettoVCB (scripted alternative, but still may require a purchased edition to be used).

juniorsaAuthor Commented:
Actually I did mention it is esxi (5) free.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It says, ESXi 5.0, but does mention FREE Version!

Options are limited, check my Article for scripts and ideas.
juniorsaAuthor Commented:
my bad, I thought esxi was their free version.
Umm...ok @juniorsa, I still don't see where it says 'free' (must be blind), but that's ok. You mentioned it now :P ESXi in and of itself doesn't mean it's the free version, as in times past (3.x). The name given to the free version is "vSphere Hypervisor".

Pretty much the only way to do what you're wanting is to power down the VMs & copy/paste them to some location. The obvious issue with that is you have to power down the source VMs. You could use vCenter Converter Standalone to do a V2V, which you could at least do with the VMs on. The problem with any of the solutions is you would only have a point in time 'copy' of the VM, with data within the VM outdated.....unless of course you had a traditional OS-based backup solution like Veritas, Avamar, etc. to restore data.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
VMware vSphere Hyervisor (ESXi) - freebie.

It would be worth you spending the $500 which would unlock the APIs, so you could backup correctly with scripts.
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