Which is the best way to create a VMWARE virtual machine backup?

Hello,

Which is the best way to create a virtual machine backup in VMWare vsphere besides snapshots?

For instance, how about if I want to perform a backup of all the vm files on a separate datastore that is already attached to the host.
can I just copy the vm files into the datastore?

Any help will be appreciated!
LuiLui77Asked:
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helpfinderIT ConsultantCommented:
I would say good solution (also free with not sao many features as paid version) is Veeam.
also with free version you can backup entire VMs, to some network drive or USB device attached to host. There is a working script you can automate the backup process, so you just create scheduled job and backups are made (with defined parametres like compresion, encryption, email notification etc.)
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
Firstly, VMware Snapshots are not backups.

You may want to read my EE Article about Snapshots

HOW TO: VMware Snapshots :- Be Patient

I've written some EE Articles, which explain backups. This was my first backup article approx 5 years ago.

VMware ESX/ESXi Backup Guide

I've recently updated it here

12 commercial software backup products for VMware vSphere Hypervisor (ESXi) you should be evaluating today

This article explains the differences between if you are using Free or Licenses ESXi server.
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LuiLui77Author Commented:
Thank you Andrew! your answer was everything I needed.

Thank you helpfinder for your post as well.
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