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Inexpensive ESXi Backup Solution?

Posted on 2011-10-04
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
We have a Dell PowerEdge T310 running ESXi 4.1 with 2 Virtual Server 2008 R2 hosts.  It currently has no backup.

We are looking for an inexpensive backup solution (hardware & software), that can do image and file-level based backups for disaster recovery.

Should we upgrade to ESXi 5 first?

What do you recommend for software & hardware solutions?
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Question by:CTS-Tech
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15 Comments
 
LVL 125
ID: 36911324
Checkout My article

VMware ESX/ESXi Backup Guide

It depends on really whether you have Licensed or FREE ESXi.

Unless you have a requirement to use new features for ESXi 5.0, I would personally hold off.

Veeam Backup and Replication is the ALL TIME Best Product!
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Author Comment

by:CTS-Tech
ID: 36911663
I believe it is the free version...
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LVL 125
ID: 36911690
Okay, well you are very limited with that you can do with the Free version of ESXi 4.1 or 5.0, because Backup products cannot access the Licensed APIs.

To unlock those, you must have a licensed version, the entry level cost is $500 USD for Essentials, which gives you licenses for 3 hosts, and vCenter. Then you can use the Free Scripts arround like GhettoVCB to backup. Or $500 a processor for a Veeam Backup and Replication License.

If you want to backup machines, at the image block level whilst the VMs are powered-on.
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Author Comment

by:CTS-Tech
ID: 36911719
What about Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 2011?
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:Paul Solovyovsky
ID: 36911735
BESR will work well since it allows for P2V, V2V, and V2P.
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LVL 125
ID: 36911747
Symantec Backup Exec System Recovery 2011 it's okay, but not the best of the bunch!
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LVL 125

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 36911757
Checkout the following whitepaper!

The Right Tool for the Job:
Veeam vs. Symantec and Other Legacy Methods
http://go.veeam.com/wp-performance-analysis-vmware-vsphere-environment-continuity-fegreus.html?ad=vmware-esx-backup
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LVL 125
ID: 36911775
Cheapest Inexpensive solution is here

ghettoVCB

http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-8760
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Author Comment

by:CTS-Tech
ID: 36920392
So about $1000 for Software - VSphere Essentials and Veeam.

Going the other route:  Will the BESR work for backing up the VMs via image, even though it will be ran on Virtual Machines?  Or will I need to run BESR from a different box?
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LVL 125
ID: 36920418
You can run BESR on a virtual machine, but I believe it cannot backup itself, you would need to check this, it keeps changing based on service pack.

Yes, 500 usd for Essentials, and Veeam is 500 per processor.
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LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:Paul Solovyovsky
ID: 36920592
BESR will need to be backed up to a different machine, most likely physical in case your vmware environment goes down.  Can be regular file share
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Author Comment

by:CTS-Tech
ID: 36925570
Can BESR and/or Veeam be run from a 3rd Virtual Machine on the same Server, that only backs up the other 2 to an external drive?
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LVL 125
ID: 36925619
Yes.
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Author Comment

by:CTS-Tech
ID: 36932417
Looks like SSR Server 2011 is around $500 per Server, and the Virtual edition (which covers all VMs) is around $1700.

So for 2+ VMs on an ESXi Server - it would make more sense to upgrade ESXi to Essentials and get Veeam.
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LVL 125
ID: 36932453
That's correct, and Veeam is a far better product.
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