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Save Archive of VMWare Virtual Machine

Posted on 2016-08-22
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Last Modified: 2016-08-22
In VMWare ESXI 6x, I want a way to save a SAFE copy og the my virtual servers. In a previous life I was a CITRIX (XenServer) administrator and we could just take a SNAPSHOT of the working server so we could recover it in case of some bug-a-boo took it out. I am now a VMware administrator and I understand that a VMware snapshot in view Administartor is not the same thing as a snapshot in XenServer. In fact VMware states that you should NOT keep a snapshot on a Production server due to its difference disk and it size growing and IO performance issues, etc.  So my question is this. What is the recommended way to save a SAFE copy of a operating Production Server WITHOUT using Special 3rd party backup software so I could restore it if the Production got damaged somehow?
 Keep a safe copy aside just in case.
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Question by:David King
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6 Comments
 
LVL 124
ID: 41765680
You are correct about VMware Snapshots.

A couple of methods....

Export and Import to an OVA (for free within VMware vSphere)

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

This will archive them OFF the datastore.

or, you could copy and paste

HOW TO: Clone or Copy a virtual machine in VMware vSphere Hypervisor ESX/ESXi 4.x or ESXi 5.0

if you have vCenter Server, it's easier because you can just right click and select CLONE.

Do you really need to archive or backup ?

e.g. do you need to use the VM, or just "park it to one side and not in use or turned on?"
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Author Comment

by:David King
ID: 41765694
I don't need to use the ARCHJIVED VM. It is just for Emergency use in case a Virus or something buggers the production version of the running one. So the CLONE VM is probably the best and fastest way to save a copy of the working VM then?
I do have vCenter Server. 6.x

*Dave
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LVL 124
ID: 41765709
Correct CLONE works well, I assume you need to use the Production VM, and not Archive It, so it's NOT in use or available, so technically, you want Production VM and a Backup VM (Archive)
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Free Backup Tool for VMware and Hyper-V

Restore full virtual machine or individual guest files from 19 common file systems directly from the backup file. Schedule VM backups with PowerShell scripts. Set desired time, lean back and let the script to notify you via email upon completion.  

 

Author Comment

by:David King
ID: 41765733
Yes that is correct, the CLONE will just be PARKED (down state) in case I need it to restore the production VM for some reason.
 I guess a RESTORE isn't really the correct TERM since it is actually a copy of the original machine. I would have to REBUILD it in reality. AKA: Destroy the original production server and rename the Clone VM to the production machine name to replace it. RIght?
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LVL 124

Accepted Solution

by:
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 2000 total points
ID: 41765750
a CLONE is as it states identical to the original.

Names in the Inventory do not affect the running OS, and are for your help.

Okay, I wondered if you actually wanted to ARCHIVE, e.g. move from datastore, inventory and power off, and remove from Inventory.

CLONE will do what you want.
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Author Closing Comment

by:David King
ID: 41765795
I will CLONE all of my Critical Productions in VSPhere Server and leave them down for safe keeping then.

Thanks,
*Dave
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