Running out of evaluation time - before I switch to "free"...
Posted on 2012-04-11
A little over a month ago I installed VMware ESXi 5.0 evaluation version to set up a single machine home lab for 7-8 VM's. I can't afford to pay for a full license and with only one host and local SATA disk I can't use many of the features anyway.
As a rookie of ESXi, I'm not sure what I will lose - other than vCenter - that's valuable in my situation and what I need to make sure I do before the evaluation license expires to get the most out of it and to make sure I don't lose all the hard work I've put in so far.
A few things I do hope (and would like confirmation) I don't lose is the ability to create/modify VM's, take snapshots, do PCI passthrough, and reserve memory, which I've found is needed for PCI passthrough of some devices.
Also, before doing this - as well as on a regular basis - I want to make sure I've backed everything up. I've found tools to do guest machine backups but how - or what files on disk - do I backup to save my ESXi config files in case I need to go back? I boot off USB thumb drive and will certainly back that up, but what other related files on my storage array need to be backed up - and can I just copy them back if I want to revert to a previous install/config? Or, better yet, is there a free or cheap tool to that for me?