VMware ESXi backup solution


I have two servers with several VM on them. I want a solid backup software. I'm looking at Veeam Backup and replication and Acronis vmProtect6.

I would like to have pro and cons on those software.

I want to backup vm on NAS. I want to be able to restore the entire VM or a simple file. I only want to use one software and to manage the backup from only one computer. No installation on server.

This is it !

Who is Participating?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Checkout my Article here

Veeam Backup and Replication IS the WORLD Leader in Backup for VMware, it has many features, SureBackup, the ability to Start Machines from the Backup without restoration, Replication.

VMware ESX/ESXi Backup Guide

Acronis VMProtect is only playing catchup witrh Veeam.
tblincAuthor Commented:
Of course but it's also two time the price. Acronis usually make some good software. Acronis also claim that they have about the same feature than Veeam .. so this is why I ask that.

Thanks for the link though. I will certainly look at those other options.

You can take a look at this link. I just want to check if the product is about the same.... I can't see any major difference.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We've tested Acronis products and would not use them to Backup a virtual environment. The appliance they use is old and slow, and does not support the faster VMXNET3 NIC.

I'm "afraid what you pay is what you get", Veeam Backup and Replication is the World Leader, many VMware sites use it.

Acronis is a new product.
Symantec Backup Exec 2010 works fine with Esxi 4.0 and 4.1 as long the Host systems are part of a vCenter Environemt

Symantec Backup Exec 2010 R3 works fully with all versions and 5.0.

Restoring is simple too and it also allows you to redirect where you would like to restore you VM to either a different vCenter Server or Host.
tblincAuthor Commented:

First, thanks again..

I will follow your recommendation on the backup software. Since you seems to be the best VMware EE expert I will permit myself to ask you one more question..

I don't know if I should open another topic but I want to know if I can use veeam to backup my VMs on a NAS, copy those backup by night on a remote site and if the main office burns down (or a major disaster like this) I'll be able to recover the backup on a different server at the branch office ?

Will I face some hardware issue if the servers aren't the same model that the original ?
HP vs Dell     OR
Dell R410 vs Dell R510

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
it will work exactly as you have describe.

Backup to NAS is supported by Veeam Backup and Replication. We use Iron Mountain and Gigasoft DataBackup to Backup to the Cloud.

Virtual Machines are HOST HARDWARE independant. That's why DR is so easy with VMware, because the virtual hardware is the same!
tblincAuthor Commented:
has anyone tried the latest VMprotect 7 yet?  I'm evaluating the trail seems pretty nice and from CDW $430/per socket.

any thoughts?
I would NOT recommend vmProtect!  We have it and I regret this decision.  Should of saved up more money for veeam.  

Numerous FAILED backups. A support case open for a month now on trying to get the system to remove the snapshots it creates after backup.

That's right, it creates snapshots on your machines and attaches those disks to itself.  Really intrusive.  Then if the backup fails for whatever reason the snapshots are not cleaned up!  It's a manual process.  In fact before we knew it was even happening, we had one server up to 55 snapshots!  Over 1TB of space wasted on the san!  VMWare only supports 32 snapshots!  It took a 3 day holiday weekend to run a vmware converter and do a V2V on the machine to get it back to normal!

This will cause data loss and headaches if left unmonitored.  I STRONGLY advise AGAINST vmProtect7.  Who knows, maybe when 8 comes out these issues will be fixed, but don't get version 7!
OKay thanks for that review!

what do you use now?  ...or are you still trying to use vmprotect since you bought it?  I just wish Veeam wasnt so damn expensive.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Purchase Veeam now because price increase from 1 July 2012!
We are still trying to work with vmprotect since we paid for it.  However I want to get a quote on veeam and see if it passes next years budget.  We are on a calendar year budget so we could get Veeam as early as December with NET30 terms for payment in January - IF it is approved.

Our budget is already finalized this year so we have to try to work with what we have.  vmProtect is a constant battle of cleaning up after itself and guessing if a backup will work or not.

Summary of backup jobs in the last 24 hours:
Failed : 13
Cancelled: 2  (not by us, by the software)
Succeeded: 4
Warning: 1

I have 2 machines now running on snapshot files (-000001.vmdk) but yet these machines do not report having any snapshots.  Yes I tried VMWare's KB for creating snapshots and then removing all snapshots via the command line and they still do not get rid of the 000001.vmdk file and deltas.  I have a ticket open with VMWare now on that issue.

Also sometimes you will be left with orphan snapshot files.  How this happens is beyond me.  I usually end up moving them to a /temp folder for a few days and then when I'm 100% certain I don't need them, I blow them away.  For example say you are up to snapshot 3 on a vm.  It may cleanup snapshot disks 3 and 1, but you are left with snapshot disks and deltas for #2.  When you do some investigation you see these snapshots are not attached in any disk chain or reference anywhere.  So I end up moving them and the machine doesn't skip a beat, further proving that these are orphan files.

I am on VMWare ESX 4.1 Update 2 on 3 physical hosts and vmProtect 7 is a horrible program.  Bottom line as it applies to this thread.... I don't recommend Acronis vmProtect7.
We have VMprotedct 7, I think it is potentially a great all in one product, as we have the online backup add on. However as mentioned above, it has caused me lots of headaches, and there are still tickets with their support I am trying to mediate between VMware support and VMprotect.

We suffered from locked Delta disks as the jobs failed and often have, it creates snapshots not recognised by the snapshot manager, then keeps them locked so they can’t be consolidated. All of the suggestions they gave me haven’t worked and 3 weeks I still have one of the most important servers not being backed up by VMprotect. It has not damaged the VM so other backup product also fail trying to create a backup so hasn’t left us in a great position.

The first time this happened I wasn’t looking for the issues and it created over 100 snapshots as I was doing a large move of data, this resulted in filling the SAN and then VMware suspending the VMs on the same volume as it has run out of space.

I am also sticking with it as we have bought it and I have been told it can all be fixed, given the last 6 months of problems, given the opportunity again i would look to another product.

BTW, one fix was to migrate all of the VM from the host, and restart it, that released some of the affected VMs.
Hello, we have had issues with acronis and its replication from host to host on local storage.  i don't believe there is the option for veeam to install as a an appliance, but my question is, is veeam better if i were to install the software on a physical machine and manage the two hosts backups to NAS and replicate between hosts over lan?
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
@CHI-LTD. Please post a new question.
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