ESXi backup

I inherited a couple of VMware hosts running ESXi 5.0 and I'm looking for a free/cheap way to back them up at least weekly. I tried Veeam and Altaro but basically ran into the same issue: "ESXi version prohibits execution". Is there a way to backup the free version of ESXi? I'm pretty new working with VMware so maybe I don't really understand how it works. Could I just at least copy the vmdk files from the datastore without shutting down the servers so I can have a copy? The tech before me was just backing up at  file level but I would like to backup the VM entirely too if possible.
Alan DalaITAsked:
Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

x
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
. Is there a way to backup the free version of ESXi? I'm pretty new working with VMware so maybe I don't really understand how it works. Could I just at least copy the vmdk files from the datastore without shutting down the servers so I can have a copy?

I'm afraid not. Because the files are locked, by the process which is running the VMs. It is best to backup at the datastore block level.

FREE ESXi does not have access to the licensed APIs.


Please read my EE Article, which lists applications, and how to backup.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/18442/12-commercial-software-backup-products-for-VMware-vSphere-Hypervisor-ESXi-you-should-be-evaluating-today.html

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Alan DalaITAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your response!

So, if I understand this correctly, I don't really have an option to backup free ESXi...
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Yes, did you read my EE Article, which lists products which can do it?
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
VMware

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.