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Making an OVF of a Virtual vCenter server for the purposes of backing it up.

Posted on 2014-11-11
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Last Modified: 2014-12-01
Currently we have our vCenter server running on an ancient physical server, that does not have the capability of hardware RAID.  I was considering setup windows server software RAID, but there are waaaaay too many caveats with converting an existing production basic disk into dynamic disks which is a required step for software RAID as far as I can tell.

Basically what I am trying to get away from is the pageantry of re-installing and configuring the vCenter server in case the dinosaur server it resides on fails or one of the fossilized SCSI drives realizes it's fossilized and gets with the business of also failing.  Our setup does not have HA or DRS, just basic connection management of a bunch of separate non SAN backed hosts.  So no "inverse pyramid of doom". lol a regular pyramid of doom.

Anyway, second tranche questions is, if this is ptov'd, what do you think about my OVFing this instance once every 2 weeks or so, just so I have a fairly recent backup of all the settings and vcenter service configurations.  IE, do you see any problems with me in the worst case scenario, having to restore the Vcenter VM from its cold storage OVF, like a week and a half later since it was last backed up.  Will this cause some sort of problems with existing hosts if a Vcenter instance from 1.5 weeks ago is brought back to life.  

Or should I hope for a budget for a proper server to RAID this sucker onto in future?

thanks
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Question by:CnicNV
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 40435399
Why is your vCenter Server - physical ?

Even if you have RAID, you still need good backups!

P2V it, and convert it to virtual server!

As for rolling back, you will just lose performance summary data!

That's what some do for backups still today...

see my EE Article

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

Disadvantage, is you have to turn off the VM!

So why not use, the many different FREE Backup and Restore products that are availble Veeam, Trilead Explorer, Naviko

or use VMware Converter...

HOW TO:  P2V, V2V for FREE - VMware vCenter Converter Standalone 5.5.3 - Shellshock "BASH" Fix included in this version

HOW TO: FAQ VMware P2V Troubleshooting

which is also a valid backup tool!
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Author Closing Comment

by:CnicNV
ID: 40473937
Sorry for the delay.  This is perfect, here are your points, enjoy.
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