Best VMware Backup solution? Can it retain snapshots as well?

I have an VMware Essentials environment with 3 ESXi 5 hosts.  I need a backup solution that will preferably retain snapshots as well.  My developers insist on maintaining active snapshots and if I need to recover a lost/bad VM, they want the snapshots restored as well.

Is there a product that will perform live VM backups and retain the snapshot rollback functionality after a restore?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
There is NO Backup solution that will retain the Snapshots.

Snapshots ARE NOT Backups. VMs running on a snapshot cause increase disk space, and poor performance, if the datastore runs out of disk space, ALL the VMs on the datastore will fail. (and possibly causing corruption).

If you want to maintain the snapshots, you will need to "copy" the VM as is which cause cause issues moving/copying VMs with snapshots.

Veeam Backup and Replication is one of the best backup products for VMware vSphere, here are some others we also use

I would ask you to show your Developers the following article

HOW TO: VMware Snapshots :- Be Patient

if they do not know what a snapshot is....

I would recommend, that your Developers get into the habit, of "Backing up the VM" before changes are made, and reduce snapshot use completely. This can be done with Veeam.

other Backup Products to consider also

AppAssure
http://www.appassure.com/ - Number 1 Backup and VMs and Cloud

Unitrends
http://www.unitrends.com/ - a good vRecovery Backup Appliance.

Symantec Backup Exec V-Ray Edition
http://www.symantec.com/backup-exec-vray-edition - Unmatched backup and recovery designed for virtual and physical environments

VM Explorer
http://www.trilead.com/ - Simply, cost effective and it works.

Acronis Backup & Recovery® 11 Virtual Edition
http://www.acronis.com/virtualization/ - simple but effective

StorageCraft ShadowProtect Server
http://www.storagecraft.com/  - amazing but can be expensive


NAKIVO Backup & Replication for VMware
http://www.nakivo.com/ - current testing proves very postiive

vBackup
http://www.thinware.net/Products/vBackup/tabid/202/Default.aspx
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Neil RussellTechnical Development LeadCommented:
Just echoing what Andrew has said basically. Educate your dev team. Snapshots are NOT backups and are to be used sparingly when absolutely needed, not as a general day to day or hour to hour thing.

you can very quickly get to the stage with snapshots that you have no disk space left to consolidate them and then you have more issues.

Veam is good and does what it says on the tin.  The others I have no personal experience of as we use Commvault but I suspect that that is a little overkill for you size of environment. I'm unsure of how well the price scales down. Can highly recommend it as an enterprise level backup solution.   http://www.commvault.com/simpana-software
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zen shawCommented:
Hi,
Are we saying above that we need to take full VM backup instead of incremental VM backups what ever the frequency of backup is (hourly / daily etc)?

Secondly, if a machine is running SQL Server with daily VM backup ... when I restore I'll get the last full backup data ... Assuming a days restore is OK, do I need to do Database level backups to be safe?

Any Backup Strategy Plan / Documents please?

Thanks
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
@zen....

Please post a new question.
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zen shawCommented:
sure ... i'll do that
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