Backing up VMWARE Virtual Machines on a physical HDD

Hi experts,

I have a IBM Bladecenter S with two 6-disk modules, the first has 6 HDDs that contains the datastore for the virtual machines. The second has a 1Tb hot swap hard disk I installed today. I was planning to use it to another thing but I believe that I should use it as the backup of the virtual machines (as I don't really have a backup of them).

The vm system is VMWare Vsphere 4.1 Basic, I don't have a backup solution from VMWare (I can't find one that came with my license). But I can copy the vm files to the hard disk. I don't want to touch the disk or format it until I know how to do it right. Can you please help me preparing the disk?

If I can't back up the ESX o.s. that's ok, I just want to back up at least 2 critical virtual servers.
AxlTrautsAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Checkout my EE Article

VMware ESX/ESXi Backup Guide

VMware Converter, GhettoVCB, Veeam FastSCP will give you backups.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
When you insert this 1Tb hot swap disk, can you, add it as storage?
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AxlTrautsAuthor Commented:
hanccocka, do you mean as a datastore? I'm still learning how to do that, I just inserted the disk and that's it :)
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, it must be formatted as a VMFS datastore, to be used.

Using the vSphere Client, click the Host Server, Select Configuration Tab, Click Storage, Add Storage, and see if it appears, so you can use it.

Also to let you know, ESX is not really designed to use hot swap storage!
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Maen Abu-TabanjehNetwork Administrator, Network ConsultantCommented:
use winscp to connect directly to datastore and select what you want to backup directly , later you can use this tools to restore the machines to the datastore and add them to inventory .. just simply ..btw ,the speed of this tool about 4mb/s of upload and dowload ..
here is it :

http://winscp.net/eng/download.php
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AxlTrautsAuthor Commented:
I turned off the VMs and I couldn't recognize the disk, It turned off everything and the Bladecenter S power. I still can't see the Disk/LUN while trying to add as storage...
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Its possible the storage controller is not supported.

Does the storage controller is attached to appear in the host server, check storage adapters?

is this disk SATA?
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AxlTrautsAuthor Commented:
It is an IBM 1Tb 7.2K 6Gbps NL SAS HDD
http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?infotype=AN&subtype=CA&htmlfid=897/ENUS110-052&appname=USN
It is connected on a second 6-Disk Module, the first one is full with 6 HDD of 300Gb, HOT-SWAP SAS.

http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/xbc/cog/bc_s_8886/bc_s_8886hdd.html
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
the first six disks are configured in a RAID set?

and this storage controller is visible in ESX?

this array is presented as a logical disk, and is seen in the ESX server.

is this disk visible to the ESX server?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Have you presented the disk or array to the blade, using bladecenter management.
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AxlTrautsAuthor Commented:
I think I cannot find it, it put fdisk -l | grep Disk and I found three disks, one that seems to be the array (1.4 Tb), the second that has around 71 Gb (the disk on the blade where ESXI is) and the third that is smaller, like a partition of that disk.

So...
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Its been a while since Ive configured the Bladecenter S, but I believe you would present the array to the blade, and it could be zoned. So have you checked the disk is currently presented to this blade.
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AxlTrautsAuthor Commented:
I never accessed IBM Director... I don't even know the default IP or whatever IP it has! oh I must ask for it...
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AxlTrautsAuthor Commented:
Ok... seems it is an issue that IBM support has to check. Somehow I can't access the module. IBM support is checking it.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
ok, well as soon as the disk is added, zoned to that blade, it should recognise it, and you can then create a datastore on it. and backup to.
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Maen Abu-TabanjehNetwork Administrator, Network ConsultantCommented:
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AxlTrautsAuthor Commented:
Hi, sorry for the delay but I got a new job and had to leave this for a long time unnatended. So, I'm calling IBM and we'll all be fine. Thanks!
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