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Backing up a vmware workstation

Posted on 2016-10-21
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Last Modified: 2016-11-16
I use a virtual machine for PLC programming.  I want to keep a full image backup of this machine in case something happens.  Currently I backup the VMDK files using automated backup software and it takes forever due to the size.  

What could I do to keep a fairly up to date backup without coping over 90gb of vmdk files 4gb in size that each seem to change so the backup software recopies them.  If I did smaller VMDK files would some of them not change every day?  What other options are there?
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Question by:Tom_Hickerson
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LVL 32

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by:Scott C
Scott C earned 1000 total points
ID: 41854518
I'd take a snapshot of the VM you are making a backup of.

Here is a VMware KB on best practices in taking snapshots in Workstation.

https://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=2006202

Here's a quick understanding of Snapshots.

https://www.vmware.com/support/ws55/doc/ws_preserve_sshot_understanding.html
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LVL 123
ID: 41854536
SNAPSHOTS ARE NOT BACKUPS

There is ONLY one true backup product that I'm aware of which supports VMware Workstation, which is a developers, Desktop software, called Backup Chain.

http://backupchain.com/en/vmware-backup/

Other options are to evaluate and see if Backup Chain works for you, and then consider using VMware vSphere (ESXI) which will allow you to use Change Block Tracking, which is Backup ONLY the blocks which have changed, but this is going to require some budget!
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Kylo Ren earned 1000 total points
ID: 41855438
listen to me instead :)

buy either storagecraft or symantec system recovery and install it on the vm

you can then restore it to any system you want (physical or virtual)

first backup will take a little while and then the rest will complete in about 5 minutes everytime

best solution by far!!!!
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