VMware Backup Options

Good morning,

We have about 8 remote site locations that have 1-2 ESX hosts at each site. These hosts are using the free edition of ESXi 5.1. Originally, I was using Veeam on two sites I had additional Veeam and VMware licensing for. However we don't really want to license the additional hosts if we don't have to.

Since Veeam requires Storage API to be available on each host, we would have to purchase the essentials plus licensing to backup these locations.

Is anyone aware of any software that can actually backup the environment (complete VM back, increments, single file restore) without the need of purchasing a VMware license?

I am open for any suggestions.

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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
There are only two solutions, if you are using ESXi FREE!

VM Explorer

and the other is detailed in my EE Article

VMware ESX/ESXi Backup Guide

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Brad GrouxSenior Manager (Wintel Engineering)Commented:
You could store the VHDs on a DFS file share and have them replicate from site to site, or to a centralized site. Obviously this isn't an option if you're using local storage. Otherwise, tools as listed above are your best bet.
Best bet is to just bite the bullet and get a backup solution.  If you upgrade your vm licensing you can then take advantage of HA and put them in clusters....also get vmware's backup VDP and replication as a part of them as well.  That's the way i'd go if you want to stay all vmware.
victory2201Author Commented:
Thank you all for your comments.

Andrew, the links you provided me were great. It definitely helped in making our decision.

We decided just to eat the cost and go ahead and purchase the necessary licensing.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
No problems, glad to help.
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