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VMWare ESX Datastores

Posted on 2012-04-03
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Last Modified: 2012-04-13
So we need to set up some type of redundancy with VMWare ESXi 5 boxes.  We have two physical servers, R310s.  They each host two VMs, each one hosting various websites for a total of four VMs.  They are on ECESX1 and ECESX2.  Both hypervisors are set up with two datastores, DATASTORE1 and DATASTORE2.  The VMs are on DATASTORE2.

What I was thinking for fault tolerance is this...

Make a backup of the VMs  on ECESX1:DATASTORE1 at the end of the night and put them on ECESX1:DATASTORE2.  Then copy them over to ECESX2:DATASTORE2 once the backup is complete.  If ECESX1 goes down, simply take the backup that is now stored on ECESX2 and make it a live VM.  To copy the files from ECESX1 to ECESX2, I was going to create an NFS share that was located inside ECESX2:DATASTORE2 and mount the NFS share to ECESX1 and then use VMKFSTOOLS -I to copy the files.  I would basically repeat the same process to backup ECESX2 just in reverse.

My question is though, rather than backup ECESX1 to ECESX1:DATASTORE2 and then copy over the backups, can I mount ECESX2:DATASTORE2 directly to ECESX1 so that the backup can go directly to ECESX2:DATASTORE2 which would negate the need to copy anything, thereby improving performance on the hosts and reducing the time for my backups at night.

Everything is local storage, no SAN.  Running ESXi 5.0 free.  Was using ghettoVCB for the backups, which has been running great for us so far.
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Question by:sedberg1
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LVL 118
ID: 37799709
there is no functionaility in ESXi to be able to mount an ESXi datastore remotely.

If you were to purchase VMware vSphere Essentials for $500, you would get 3 ESXi host licenses (2 Processors), and VMware vCenter, and then you could use Veeam Backup and Replication v6 (also at $500 per processor), and this would replicate the VMs from one Server to another automatically, after configuration.
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Author Comment

by:sedberg1
ID: 37799716
What about this...

Since I was going to create an NFS share on ECESX2 and mount it to ECESX1, couldn't I make the NFS share on ECESX2 a third datastore on ECESX1?  And then the backup would go directly to that?
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Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 37799729
there is no NFS server in ESXi
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Author Comment

by:sedberg1
ID: 37799736
We have other NFS servers in house that we could use to store the backups.  That could be our backup datastore then. OK.
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LVL 118

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 37799756
Yes, other datastores would be fine.
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Author Comment

by:sedberg1
ID: 37799758
I was just trying to get everything to work off these two machines and not include anything else.  But that's what you get for free, you get what you pay for.
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Author Comment

by:sedberg1
ID: 37802317
Would I be able to backup the VM from ECESX1:DATASTORE1 to ECESX1:DATASTORE2 and then use SCP to copy the backup to ECESX2:DATASTORE2?  Since SCP is a part of SSH, any problem with that setup?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 37802342
Yes, you can SCP from one server to another, thats supported, although slow.
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