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esxi backup host

Posted on 2014-01-24
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Last Modified: 2014-03-24
I currently have a cluster with two hosts in it.  I was curious if it is worth it to backup the configuration of the host.  I have esxi install on local disks on the host, also i have a backup appliance installed there but no production servers.

My question is, should i backup the host configuration?  Is it worth it, or am i better off just reinstalling esxi if i need to?

all of my guest servers are running on shared storage.
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Question by:IKtech
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LVL 22

Expert Comment

by:Nick Rhode
ID: 39807274
You can use this guide by Andrew Hancock.  Andrew is the VMware Juggernaut here and if you view his profile he has many many articles on how to use VMware to get the most out of it.  From beginner to advanced.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/VMWare/A_5409-How-to-Backup-an-ESXi-installation-on-an-USB-Flash-Drive-or-SD-card-for-security-or-redundancy.html

Backing up the host configuration for me mainly depends on how much configuration on that host was done.  I back them up anyways just in case one does fail it will reduce the downtime to get it back up and going.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 500 total points
ID: 39807351
Hello Iktech

What we do, is run daily scripts to backup the ESXi Host Configuration, just in case any changes are made by accident, we can easily role them back!

This command is available from the vSphere Command-Line Interface which you can download and install on a Windows OS.

for this we use the following commands:-

Backup host configuration to C:\backup.txt:

 vicfg-cfgbackup <conn_options> -s C:\backup.txt


Restore host configuration file

vicfg-cfgbackup <conn_options> -l C:\backup.txt

We script the avoce changes from a Windows Server in the Scheduler

My article above or below:-

How to Backup an ESXi installation on an USB Flash Drive or SD card, for security or redundancy.

which was the 2nd article I wrote for EE, concentrates on the actual backup of the USB/SD card media, to use as a backup (we stick them to the inner case of the server), just in case USB flash drive or SD card media fails, we have never had to use it, and we've been installing ESXi to USB/SD cards since 2004.

Since my article was written, ESXi has changed, and Winimage no longer works, and you will need to use USB Image tool here -  http://www.alexpage.de/usb-image-tool/

Also if you have installed to local disk, article does not apply.

So I would regularly backup the config, see above, which you can apply to a default installation easily.

@Nick Thanks for my mention!!!
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:IKtech
ID: 39807369
thanks i will start some attempts at getting a backup of a dev box and then move to the production boxes.  With as often as I make changes to the hosts i think maybe a weekly or a monthly would work for us.  I am the only one that makes changes anyway.  

I'll report back and give points soon.  Thanks again.
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LVL 120
ID: 39807376
It's a good idea, to get backups of configs, just in case.

unless you have very good, change management, and documentation skills to record what changes were completed.
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