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vSphere backup recommendations

We have an old SBS2003 and Win2003 running Terminal Services and they are being retired.  There will be 15 users and I need some recommendations of hardware spec for a hosted environment. This is what we are looking at based purely on internet research

1 X HP DL380e G8 with additional processor
4 X 450GB 15K  SAS LFF drive (RAID 5 with spare total 900GB usable space)
VMware vSphere Essentials
1 X WinServer Std 2012 R2 VM for DC
1 X WinServer Std 2012 R2 VM for Remote Desktop server.  
Email will be externally hosted mailboxes.

I need to add a backup solution.  Internet connectivity to the site is not great so online backup may not be feasible.  Some people have suggested LTO tape drives with associated software like veeam or Symantec backup exec.

My questions are;
1. Is the tape drive physically connected to the Host server and passed through to the guest OS or do you connect it to a 'management pc'
2. Do these backup solutions actually backup the hypervisor configurations or is this something that has to be done separately
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tech53
Asked:
tech53
2 Solutions
 
pgm554Commented:
Veeam doesn't support  physical server backup,so you would need another backup solution.
It is VM's only.

I would look at Storagecraft ,Paragon or Acronis.

To be truthful with you ,server 2012r2 is a decent hyper v product and should be considered in your upgrade strategy.(it's free with server 2012)
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Veeam Backup and Replication is the Best Software by far at present for Virtual Machine Backup, and it now has Tape Support included.

1. Is the tape drive physically connected to the Host server and passed through to the guest OS or do you connect it to a 'management pc'

You do do either with Veeam Backup and Replication.

2. Do these backup solutions actually backup the hypervisor configurations or is this something that has to be done separately

There is little requirement to Backup the ESXi OS.

You can install on USB flash drive, or SD card, and if you want to backup the configuration only, you can, and then apply to a default configuration, if the OS should fail.
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pgm554Commented:
To expound on why you should consider r2 vm's over Vmware.

Cheaper out of the box,you get two vm's free with r2 standard.

I would buy more memory with the money you save.


As for Veeam(and Nutanix),they were not invited to the Vmware partner exchange this year.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/02/06/vmware_pex_partners/

Going there next week and going to find out the dirt.

Looks like EMC is trying to nudge out these vendors and bundle in it's own product.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It's obvious why there were not invited!

Back to question, 18 of our Clients, which compared Microsoft Windows 2012 R2 Hyper-V versus VMware, which were originally planned to complete projects with Microsoft Windows 2012 R2 Hyper-V have now decided to change to VMware.

Because we could not deliver a stable platform, even after Microsoft were involved!

Clustering HA, Replica, Live Migration was a disaster, SCVMM 2012 R2 did not work correctly.

Microsoft Failover Clustering which underpins HA failed to work correctly, and kept breaking,
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pgm554Commented:
Hmmm..Nice to know ,I have a project to consolidate 5 servers and was going to use r2.

Funny,but  all of that was supposed to be fixed 12r2 from 08r2.

I was never a big M$ cluster fan to begin with,I set up a couple of big Netware cluster sites and that was my measuring stick.

M$ was always kind of an also ran when it came to clustering.
But you got to give the customer what they want,even if it's not the best solution.
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compdigit44Commented:
Two side items points I have are you may want to upgrade your hard drives if you have the extra $$$. 15K drive will give you so/so IOPS performance and if your VM are going to generate a lot of I/O your VM's are going to preform badly which will make you upgrade look like a failure. I would suggest using SSD.

Also for backups we are using vRanger which does a decided job of use. We are also looking in to Commvault for the furture as well
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tech53Author Commented:
I'm still reviewing these suggestions and will post back when I have decided what to do.
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