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VMWare Crash and Restore testing

Posted on 2014-01-04
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
I have recently become a VMWare reseller and have setup a test server running 4 different sessions via vSphere.  they are different Microsoft Server versions.

I'd like to replicate a server crash and full restore.  IE, let's say one of the virtual sessions fails and can't be brought back up, I'd like to take some more of the disk space and memory on the ESXi server and create a new virtual session, then rebuild a snapshot, or backup of that server.  

I'm trying to learn how to sell the features of virtualization but want to experiment with crashes and recoveries first.

I have tried VEEAM and Backup Exec with not much luck.

VEEAM's free version doesn't seem to want to work properly and Backup Exec is just a bit tricky.

If anyone could point me in the right direction, I'd be appreciative!
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Question by:creativenetworks
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LVL 117
ID: 39756408
Disaster Recovery is quite simple with VMware vSphere.

If you have a copy of the VMDK (virtual machine disk) and even better the VMX file, you can do a complete restore from bare metal if the hosting server should fail.

The following articles, will show you how to backup and restore for FREE, or using a commercial product. Please note if you are using the FRE Registered version of ESXi, Veeam Free version will not work, see Backup guide for details.

VMware ESX/ESXi Backup Guide

see my EE Article, Step by Step Tutorial Instructions with Screenshots

Part 10: HOW TO: Backup (Export) and Restore (Import) virtual machines to VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 for FREE

You can also Backup with VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5


Any questions please ask. So take your pick which option you want to use.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:insidetech
ID: 39756581
You have two choices of recovery. One is on the VMware level and the other is with in the OS itself.  The VEEAM works fantastic, but it is bit pricey.
If you want to do it on the cheap... Look at using Microsoft Home Server to back up your OS.
Restoring the VM is as simple as creating new VM, booting up the client restore CD or image of and restoring the appropriate set.
I also recommend looking at the Accronis products.
Lastly VEEAM has a free product that you can use to back up the entire VM directory from the host and restore it as needed, but you will need to down your client VM.
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 39763754
To add onto what the other experts have said you can use vMotion tied in with HA / DRS to move VM to another host or in the event of a host failure... But being a reseller you already know this... ;-)

Also a customer SAN solution impacts D/R choices since some SAN support different level of replication..
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39771608
I'm still working on this and will test some of these theories this weekend.  It's not as simple as I had thought as I just thought you could take a snapshot and move it via say vSphere to a new Virtual machine and Boom, you're good to go.

Am I missing something?
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LVL 117
ID: 39771615
You can take a backup, e.g. copy of the vmdk, and move it.

A snapshot is not a backup. A snapshot is a a copy of the changes, made against the virtual machine disk, once the snapshot button is pressed.

the data in a snapshot will not allow you to restore the VM.
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39771626
I've tried but am having trouble.  My setup is as follows:

My vSphere is a Windows 7 machines local to the LAN.  I have 4 virtual machines running on it and they are all Windows Server versions (2003, 2008, et.).

I have Backup Exec installed on one of the VM's trying to backup another VM,  It's not completing properly.

Backup Exec can see the VM and the agents are all installed properly.  I've also tried VEEAM but I'm using a Free verson of VMWare (I'm a new reseller) and VEEAM won't work with that.

Open for suggestions.
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LVL 117
ID: 39771645
As per my EE Article above, very few (if any) Backup applications will work with the FREE version of the Hypervisor, because they need access to the Licensed Storage APIs, which the FREE version does not allow.

If you are using Backup Exec with an Agent in the VM, this is old fashioned, very slow and not efficient.

I would recommend the following for backup!

Part 10: HOW TO: Backup (Export) and Restore (Import) virtual machines to VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 for FREE

HOW TO: FAQ VMware P2V Troubleshooting

or purchase a VMware vSphere Essentials license for approx $500. You'll get 3 licenses for 2 CPU based hosts, and a License for vCenter Server, and then Veeam Backup Free Edition will work!
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39771652
My BE licenses are full versioned and not trial.  I'll research your suggestion further.

Appreciate the direction!
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LVL 117
ID: 39771661
I appreciate your BE Licenses are full version, but Agent based backup is slow, and not an efficient way of backing up VMware vSphere virtual machines, they perform file and folder based backup, not block based disk backup.
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 39771839
How big our your VM's VMDK files?? You could possible copy them to an external HD and manually trannfers them to your other host or use scp to copy the VMDK file between host.
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39777772
Can you tell me how to check the VMDK files?  And what is scp?
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LVL 117
ID: 39777795
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39777855
I'm not sure I'm 100% clear.  ARe you suggesting that we create an ISO image based on the existing VM?  Then taking that and using it as the install disk for the replacement VM?

Remember I'm a novice at VM's.

Thx.
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LVL 117
ID: 39777953
The articles show, how to use MD5 checksum, which you can check to see if the VMDK is correct, after you have downloaded it!

Check the VMDK signature on the host, write down the checksum value.

Download to new system, check the checksum again, if they match - the vmdk matches!

These are the options mentioned above to Backup correctly.

If you are reselling, I would recommend the purchase of Essentials Edition at approx $500, and Veeam will then function  correctly.
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 39778002
It sounds to me that creativenetworks is confused on the options he has to transfer is VM's VMDK files from one host to another.

SCP - allow you to "Secure Copy" files from one host directly to another. Think of this like FTP.

WinSCP - Is a free ware Windows App that lets you run SCP copy jobs from one host to another. The difference between SCP and WInSCP is that winscp is usually slower since the jobs now group through your windows I.e: host A -> WinSCP Workstation -> Target host

Hancock - suggest is to take your source host and create ISO images to a the port them over to your other host.

This link may help you:
http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=900


All methods will do what you want though
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39778007
I'm really interesting is a step by step backup and restore using Backup Exec 2012.  I have it installed on a VM running Server 2008R2 and am trying to backup another VM running SBS2011, then want to restore that SBS Server to a different Virtual Machine on the same host.  I've looked and asked and just can't seem to find a document that explains it in laymens terms.
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LVL 117
ID: 39778022
@compdigit44 No it's not, it was an example of how to use MD5 to check checksums!

That's because what you are trying to do is not very efficient, and a troubelsome and old fashioned way of Virtual Machine Backup!

What you would need to do is, use the Backup and Restore System Recovery Options,  Bare Metal Restore OR, install a new SBS 2011 VM, once installed, install an Agent, and then Restore you Backup to this New VM!

It's painful, old, and there are much easier options, listed above which are much quicker, you are not taking advantage of a Virtual Environment to restore VMs quickly at block level.

Experiment, and use modern tools for Backup and Restore, and see the true benefits of virtualisation, and how easy it is to backup and restore VMs, at block level.

BUT, you cannot do it with the FREE version or the Hypervisor. If you want to use Backup Exec.

1. Install new SBS 2011 VM on new host.

2. Install Backup Exec Agent

3. Submit a Restore Job and Restore your Backup to this new VM.

4. Shutdown and Restart VM

5. Restore complete.

This is from memory, because we've not completed restores like this for 10 years!
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39778027
To be clear I "WANT" to take advantage of the easier options....hey...easy is good, right?

Truly appreciate your help but much of this is over my head (sadly).  

Is there a Dummys Guide to a VMBackup and restore?  I'm testing this at a server level now, and want to expand on it as time permits so we can BU and Rest PC's too.

Dummys Guide?
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LVL 117
ID: 39778035
It's in my first post, and I've included lots of Articles, with Step by Step Instructions, and Pictures.

I would recommend the Backup (Export and Import method) - have you tried it, and see how easy it is?

Checkout Part 10 Below, if it's the ONLY article you read.

 If you want to use Backup Exec.

1. Install new SBS 2011 VM on new host.

2. Install Backup Exec Agent

3. Submit a Restore Job and Restore your Backup to this new VM.

4. Shutdown and Restart VM

5. Restore complete.

This is from memory, because we've not completed restores like this for 10 years!

My Guide is here.....(written by Me, Author of the Year here at EE, 2012, 2013), for VMware Newbies!

Easy Guides....to follow, if you have issues, let me know, I wrote them, they are not links on other websites, cut and paste here, my own work!


see my EE Article, Step by Step Tutorial Instructions with Screenshots


Part 1: HOW TO: Install and Configure VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

Part 2: HOW TO: Connect to the VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client

Part 3: HOW TO: Create an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image (*.iso), and MD5 checksum signature, for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

Part 4: HOW TO: Upload an ISO CD-ROM/DVD-ROM image to a VMware datastore for use with VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) using the vSphere Client, and checking its MD5 checksum signature is correct.

Part 5: HOW TO: Enable SSH Remote Access on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1)

Part 6: HOW TO: Create your first Linux Virtual Machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) Host Server

Part 7: HOW TO: Create your first Windows Virtual Machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) Host Server

Part 8: HOW TO: Install VMware Tools for Windows on a VMware Windows virtual machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) Host Server

Part 9: HOW TO: Install VMware Tools for Linux on a VMware Linux virtual machine on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) Host Server

Part 10: HOW TO: Backup (Export) and Restore (Import) virtual machines to VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 for FREE

Part 11: HOW TO: Suppress Configuration Issues System logs on host are stored on non-persistent storage

Part 12: HOW TO: Configure and Replace the SSL Certificate on a VMware vSphere Hypervisor 5.1 (ESXi 5.1) Host Server
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 39778041
Have you already view the following Symantec video on restoring a Vmware using Backup Exec

http://www.symantec.com/connect/videos/backup-exec-2010-vmware-restore
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39778133
Great info guys.  Appreciate it so much.  I'm going to test them both and report my findings back with the hope it will help someone else like me.

REgards,
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39782725
I ran the Import/Export last night and it worked like a charm!  I had some issues with the available hard drive space and thick versus thin, but I chose thin for the test on the restore and Boom, new clean OS.

My next step is to get Backup Exec to do the same thing.

Very fun stuff!
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LVL 117
ID: 39782794
Glad it's working for you, that is the simplest method of backup.

BE is not as easy, using an Agent in the VM. But method is above.
0
 

Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39782802
OK but the thing I like about BE is we can autoschedule it to run AND I believe I can do brick level restores too, right?
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LVL 117
ID: 39782829
Yes, and you can do the same with third party software for VMware vSphere, you are not comparing "like with like"

You are comparing a purchased product with a free product (Export/Import).

Backup Exec is not free?

I would compare the time it takes to Restore between:-

1. Veeam Backup and Replication

2. Backup Exec
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39783055
Understand.  The BE I have is fully registered and this will be the next test I run.  

VEEAM is free version and I've read about the issues with its limited ability.  

I want to be able to schedule backups and do brick level restores.
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LVL 117
ID: 39783231
I would recommend, investigating backup software designed for VMware vSphere, which can backup at block level.

Vembu Backup Software for VMWare
http://www.vembu.com/

AppAssure
http://www.appassure.com/ - Number 1 Backup and VMs and Cloud

Unitrends
http://www.unitrends.com/ - a good vRecovery Backup Appliance.

Symantec Backup Exec V-Ray Edition
http://www.symantec.com/backup-exec-vray-edition - Unmatched backup and recovery designed for virtual and physical environments

VM Explorer
http://www.trilead.com/ - Simply, cost effective and it works.

Acronis Backup & Recovery® 11 Virtual Edition
http://www.acronis.com/virtualization/ - simple but effective

StorageCraft ShadowProtect Server
http://www.storagecraft.com/  - amazing but can be expensive

NAKIVO Backup & Replication for VMware
http://www.nakivo.com/ - current testing proves very postiive

vBackup - in Beta
http://www.thinware.net/Products/vBackup/tabid/202/Default.aspx

You will need a Registered and PAID for version of VMware vSphere to use the above, also see my article for other vendors.

If you want to sell virtualisation, and see the benefits of virtualisation, I would evaluate the above.

BE restore is the same for a virtual machine as is a physical machine, see the steps above.
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39786997
I gotta say, I'm really having fun with this.  The vSperhe export/import worked perfectly, and at a cost of 'free', you can't really beat it.

I've started looking at Backup Exec, but, at first glance, it appears that it is kind of slow and bulky?  But offers scheduling and Brick Level.  I haven't heard of VRay technology, as they are touting it and am having trouble even getting a backup to work correctly.  But I've been using BE for years and it has worked well.

Next step is Vray.
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LVL 117
ID: 39787026
Your BE product is designed for physical servers. It was used at first when there were no other backup products around for virtual servers, when we had nothing better.

But virtualisation has changed in the last 16 years,

As I mentioned it's not an efficient way of backup for virtual machines, it's also slow, because it just does folder and file backup. Can be used for virtual machines, but out of date.

BUT without a Licensed version of vSphere Essentials for approx $600, you will not be able to experience the real benefits of backup, e.g. backup whilst the VM is ON, and faster restores.
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39787044
So NFR's don't work on Virtual machines?  I have virtual agents that are installed and can see the virtual machines and back them up, just not 100%.

If you've tested these or can provide me with some more detailed direction, I'd appreciate it.

What I'm looking for is a Free version that allows for scheduling and Brick Level restore, or an NFR we can use to accomplish the same.

Appreciate the feedback!
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LVL 117
ID: 39787075
Correct ALL Third Party Backup software which needs to commuinicate with the ESXi Server or vCenter Server, is via Licensed VMware APIs, these are not available in the FREE version of ESXi. Third Party products comminicate with the Host to Backup the Virtual Machines, tey do not comminicate with the Virtual Machines.

So you will not be able to use them!

BE talks to an agent in a computer (physical or virtual), it does NOT USE the vSphere API, for faster backup!

Hence why it's slow and poor, and out of date!

What I'm looking for is a Free version that allows for scheduling and Brick Level restore, or an NFR we can use to accomplish the same.

It does not exist, and if it did, you would still need to purchase a License from VMware to get it to function.

So it's like this:-

1. Licensed version of VMware vSphere (approx $600)
2. Licensed version of Third Party Backup Software (most inexpensive is VMExplorer).

or, use Backup and Restore via Export/Import for FREE, or carry on using your outdated and old BE.
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39788924
Should I just forget about Backup Exec?
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LVL 117
ID: 39788931
Personally, I would, it does not "sell visualization very well", because you are using a physical server product to backup virtual machines, there are better alternatives, developed today!
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39788946
What's your recommendation for a brick level, that offers scheduling?
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 39789094
Have you ever looked into vRanger. We use it in at where I work for our VM backups.
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LVL 117

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE) earned 500 total points
ID: 39789179
That would be based on your budget, remembering you will have to License VMware vSphere for Approx $600

In order of preference

1. Veeam Backup and Replication
http://www.veeam.com/vmware-esx-backup.html

2. NAKIVO Backup & Replication for VMware
http://www.nakivo.com/

3. AppAssure
http://www.appassure.com/

Unitrends
4. http://www.unitrends.com/

5. Dell vRanger
http://www.quest.com/vranger/

6. phD Virtual Backup
http://www.phdvirtual.com/

What do you mean by Brick Level? File and Folder restore? Exchange Mailbox restore?
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39789190
Brick Level, yes all the way to one email within exchange.  BE does it, cool stuff.

I have a licensed vSphere (I think).
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LVL 117
ID: 39789521
If you have a Licensed VMware vSphere, Veeam FREE Edition a should have worked.

You will know if you have a Licensed VMware vSphere edition, because you would have paid money to VMware (or VMware Reseller!).

You will want to evaluate if you require "brick level"

1. Veeam Backup and Replication
http://www.veeam.com/vmware-esx-backup.html
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39789744
I am a VMWare reseller.
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LVL 117
ID: 39789775
So you may or may not have valid licenses.

Contact Veeam and become a Veeam Reseller in the mean time test out Veeam 60 day evaluation
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LVL 117
ID: 39789781
And you will access to VMware's backup product VMware data Protector
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39789804
What is Data Protector?
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LVL 117
ID: 39789826
VMware's backup product included with VMware vSphere. If you have licenses it.
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39790162
If you have licenses it?
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LVL 117
ID: 39790426
Yes, it depends on the version of VMware vSphere you have, if you are entitled to use VMware Data Protector.

you can compare vSphere Editions here

http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/compare.html
0
 

Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39804549
Update.  We are VEEAM Resellers BUT in order to obtain NFR keys, they 'force' you to upgrade to Silver, which requires quite a bit of ground work, a small buy in fee ($250.00) plus you must have a certified V7 technician on staff.

Always bothers me when mfg's make you give them money to sell their products.  Behind VEEAM and Backup Exec, which software would you next recommend?  Again, we are looking for scheduleability and brick level restore features.
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LVL 117
ID: 39804637
Update.  We are VEEAM Resellers BUT in order to obtain NFR keys, they 'force' you to upgrade to Silver, which requires quite a bit of ground work, a small buy in fee ($250.00) plus you must have a certified V7 technician on staff.

It's the same with VMware, Microsoft, Citrix and you will find as a software house grows, they will apply the same procedures, it cuts down the "people selling software from the bedrooms, and using it for free".

Always bothers me when mfg's make you give them money to sell their products.  Behind VEEAM and Backup Exec, which software would you next recommend?  Again, we are looking for scheduleability and brick level restore features.

You can still try Veeam as it has a trial, no need for keys. (remember NFR keys are not supposed to be used for in house Production Systems!)

Veeam is the best, but catching up is

Nakivo
http://www.nakivo.com/
0
 

Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39804673
LOL, understand but we aren't selling from our bedrooms (but that does sound stressfree....lol) or using it in production, but we DO want to use it for our monthly technology seminars AND to have it for our techs to test on a regular basis.

They are making it tough in that respect.  I'll take a look at nakivo next.

Best,
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LVL 117
ID: 39804710
I think Nakivo will sign you up, I think they are pushing to "crush" Veeam!
0
 

Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39804718
Working on it now.  With VEEAM, their trials didn't work with all their features.  Do you know if Naviko does?
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LVL 117
ID: 39805823
The Veeam product in trial mode, should work with all the features. What feature did not work?

Never had an issues here.

If you do not have the correct licensing for VMware vSphere, you'll have issues. (with all backup software).

Never had any issues with Naviko either.
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39807016
I read/heard that (oh maybe it was VMWare) if the product was NFR, you couldn't back it up using VEEAM.

I just ran my first Nakivo backup last night and after about 2hrs of failures, I temporarily turned off Kaspersky and received success on the first run.
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LVL 117
ID: 39807029
NFR keys are the same as Production Keys - no different!
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Author Comment

by:creativenetworks
ID: 39887493
OK wow what a great ride.  And I'm STILL not through.  Through all of this I've become a HUGE Nakivo fan.  They are anxious to help and have a VERY SIMPLE product that works very well.  You have to learn their 'lingo' ie transporters, etc. but even Tech Supp. is on the mark.

My only knock is that they don't do Physical to Virtual, matter of fact they don't do ANY Physical backups.

My lab testing for Lan to Lan is complete and I'm very satisfied.  I'm now doing/trying WAN Based backups to my LAN storage NAS.  Once complete, I'll update this thread, award points (although the points have already been earned) and close this out.

Thanks for all the help!
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LVL 117
ID: 39887588
Physical to Virtual Conversions can be achieved for FREE with VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5

It's difficult to find a good specialist backup company which offers both physical and virtual backup software.

Glad you like Nakivo, one to watch for the future, when they topple Veeam, and eat into their market share!
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