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Virtual Machine Backup without Backup Software

Posted on 2014-04-24
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Last Modified: 2014-05-23
Browse DatastoreHi,

  I have a VMware box with several VMs and like to understand how to back those up "Manually" without a backup software such as Veeam or Nakivo .. etc.

 Please tell me if I am right.
 (1) Shutdown the VM.
 (2) Go to Datastore where VM resides, right click and browse.
 (3) In the Datastore Browser window, select the VM under Folders tab section.
 (4) Click the download icon and select the folder on the local hard drive and pick the folder where you want to  save the files from selected VM.

  I know I can't make this done automatically and it won't be incremental, but at least I like to know if this is one way to back up the VM w/o having to purchase the software.
  Is there any other method?
 
  I have followed the steps above to save VM files and was able restore the entire VM w/o a problem.
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Question by:sglee
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16 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40021786
I found my answers thru ID28418861.
Thank you for your help.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40021788
Please ignore my post (ID: 40021786) above. That was a mistake.
I am still interested in expert's opinion.
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LVL 124

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1320 total points
ID: 40021929
See here

Datastore Browser is on method of "backup" by copying off the VM using vSphere Client.

VMware ESX/ESXi Backup Guide

But there is a much easier way for FREE, Export and Import to OVF

and here's my EE Article step by step with screen shots

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

by:sglee
ID: 40022399
Thanks Andy. I will read those links this weekend and try them.
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LVL 124
ID: 40022521
no problems
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LVL 62

Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 40024172
You can back up virtual machines as if they were normal physical machines... Why would you want a "bare metal" backup?
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40044240
@gheist

 Can you rephrase your question in ID: 40024172 ?
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LVL 124
ID: 40044259
what I believe he is referring to, is you can use the same techniques as you would a physical computer, e.g. by using an agent in the VM, and backup of files and folders, and system state (registry).
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LVL 62

Expert Comment

by:gheist
ID: 40044264
Yes, you got the idea. Backup via veeam or ndmp etc would be equivalent of real-world bare metal backup. You can still back up the virtual system like it was a normal server with ntbackup or any networked backup product.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40044275
@gheist
I got you.
The reason that I posted this question was to explorer options to backup VMs without spending money to purchase Veeam or any commercial software.
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LVL 124

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1320 total points
ID: 40044292
If you select a commerical tools, it's easier and usually they have a scheduler.

But you can use Veeam FREE Backup does exactly the same job, but you will have to manually schedule it.

http://www.veeam.com/virtual-machine-backup-solution-free.html

Backup of the entire VMDK, is faster and more efficient.

Also Backup applications that you purchase are often Application Aware, e.g. they know how to backup Exchange, SQL and Active Directory correctly.

and you've also got more functions with Veeam, than just backup, Replication, Sure Backup, test backups without restore, run VMs from Backup, Create a Lab....
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40044315
OK. I will try "Veeam FREE Backup" to see how it is.

What do you mean by "but you will have to manually schedule it."?
Is this a matter of simply opening TaskSchd.msc, manually adding some type of pre-written script and pick the date/time for backup?
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LVL 124

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1320 total points
ID: 40044343
There is no schedule in the free version of Veeam! You cannot just add it to Task Scheduler, unless they've changed the free version!

You will have to manually run the job, each and every time!

If you wanted to, you could write a Macro Script using AutoIt!

http://www.autoitscript.com/site/autoit/
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40044358
got you.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40044365
As I understand it, when you back up VMs, when it comes to restore, you HAVE to restore entire VM? You can not just restore a file or folder like in Windows backup?
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LVL 124

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 1320 total points
ID: 40044375
It depends, what type of Restore you want to do.

If you want to restore files or folders, Restore software can just restore files and folders from the backup, or if you want to restore an entire VM, that function is offered to.

It depends if you backup for Disaster Recovery or are you offering a file and folder backup service for users.
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