Backup phisical machine to vmware virtual machine

Hello guys!

I would need to find a simple, as cheap as possible (free?), and possibly automated way to backup computers to wmware virtual machine.

Before, it was possible to use Acronis 9 and 9.5, and than VMWare converter to convert to virtual machine. Now the proces takes.

1. TIB
2. TIB -> VHD conversion
3. VM creation
4. VM conversion
  - this takes staggering amount of disk space, so I am seeking for a better solution


Vmware converter is fine, but is it possible to automate it?

Now, I know that Windows 7 and new Servers have automatic disk image creation, but I can't count on that on old 2003 installations.

Any better ideas?
mrmutAsked:
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
VMware Converter cannot be automated, it's not designed for "Automated Backup" from physical to virtual, it's designed to convert a Physical to Virtual machine. VMware's goal to get you on a virtual platform.

Cheap as possible and free, I'm afraid does not exist.

1. Acronis products with universal restore. (not automatic - manual)

2. Symantec System Recovery. (not automatic - manual)

3. Shadowcraft Products. (automatic)

4. Double Take HA Move (very good!). (automatic)
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Uni KittyCommented:
I totally agree with Andrew here, Converter was not designed for the solution you are trying to use it for, but I'll give you props for the interesting use case.

There are products and solutions to back up VMs (opposite of what you are doing).
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mrmutAuthor Commented:
Thanks both - I suppose you got it what I aim at.

One option that I have just found is a handy utility Disk2VHD that seems to support command line. It should be easy to mar that with a simple script, a scheduler and an external backup app, giving out a disk mirror.

I haven't heard about the point 3. and 4. products, will have to dig in to learn what they are about.

Acronis and Vmware kind of get on my nerves - automatic VM creation was brilliant.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
again VMware want to get you to a virtual machine, they have no presence in the physical world!

I'm not really see-ing any benefit or automatic process in Disk2VHD!

"VMware Converter" with Sync is better!!!!

It's at least Automatic!

see my EE Article, Tutorial witrh Screenshots....

HOW TO:  Synchronize changes when completing a P2V or V2V with VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.1

We have clients that use the above process, Poor Man's DR Backup, and drive the Update/Sync Job Daily using AutoIt.

https://www.autoitscript.com/site/autoit/

That's a far better process, quicker and easier, no scripts, just a Macro to capture, and less data to capture at each Sync Run, because it's just the delta you are capturing daily/weekly, and it's a process you already know.

I think after you've tried it once, you'll be sold....on the idea, HOW GOOD it is for FREE!!!!

Considering Double Take HA Move, will charge you $239 per server!
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mrmutAuthor Commented:
Thanks.

I am familiar with autoit, but does the process you suggest work on logged of servers?

General idea is to have completely automatic process.
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
It works within the constraints of AutoIt.

AutoIt is an interactive process, so needs to have a desktop GUI.

BUT, this is a free solution, if you want something Unattended, and Automatic, I've suggested products that we use, in my opening post.
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mrmutAuthor Commented:
As an update, I liked Shadowcraft product the most.

I trust more in Shadowcraft, as it is newer.

Pick your poison.

Edited by

Andrew Hancock
VMware Topic Advisor
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mrmutAuthor Commented:
So you gave yourself right to change my post without my permission?
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