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vm backup ESXi

  • 1.  vm backup ESXi

    Posted Dec 14, 2010 11:14 AM


    We have VMware vSphere Essentials licence. No central storage! 1x HP server for production server and 1x backup server (big local storage).

    I am looking how to implement backup solution with vmware esxi command line tools to up (~1hour) vms when there are some problems with production server. My idea is to make backup with ssh connections and linux scripts.

    1) Idea is to put scripts in backup server esxi crontab.

    2) These scripts connect to production server esxi environment (by ssh),

    3) it shutdowns vms with vmware-cmd (maybe in this phase its posible to make snapshot with vmware-cmd to dont power off vms?)

    4) copy vmdk files to backup server esxi vmfs

    5) when my production server crash, I can manually start vms on backup server..

    This is schema how it looks:

    Maybe someone implemented similar backup solution? have scripts? or maybe its not good idea on my vmware licence? What shoud you offer?

    Thank you for your aswers.

  • 2.  RE: vm backup ESXi

    Posted Dec 14, 2010 12:30 PM

    check out ghettovcb

    it might be able to achieve what you wanted to by making the destination as the VMFS of the standby host.

  • 3.  RE: vm backup ESXi

    Posted Dec 14, 2010 12:50 PM

    in configuration manual it lets setup only:

    Defining the datastore in which the backups are stored:

    NFS server ?

    Defining the name of folder that will contain backups (if folder does not exist, it will automatically be created):

    it is a local storage on the esxi server?

    I cant find how to setup another esxi server vmfs.

  • 4.  RE: vm backup ESXi

    Posted Dec 14, 2010 12:56 PM

    have a look at this and read the rsync option.

  • 5.  RE: vm backup ESXi

    Posted Dec 14, 2010 01:14 PM


    We have 2 hosts on our DMZ, and before we purchased the Veeam Backup what we did was as follows....

    1. Used ghettoVCB to backup VM's locally on the host...

    2. Then setup scp in order to do a passwordless transfer of those backups to the other box.

    On the other box we built VM's that were exactly the same config as the production box, and just simply attached the disks to the point in time that we wanted to go back to (the files that were copied).

    This worked like a charm for us...but ended up lisencing these hosts and utilizing Veeam in the longrun...

    I still have all my old scripts if you want them...

  • 6.  RE: vm backup ESXi

    Posted Dec 14, 2010 07:38 PM

    Hi MW Preston -

    We are the opposite, we have licensed and installed Veeam 5.0 and due to great difficulty getting it operational are considering ghettoVCB (or perhaps Symantic.

    If you don't mind can you post or send me a PM with observations about benefits of Veeam over ghetto VCB as that would be helpful in our decisions on which direction to turn.



  • 7.  RE: vm backup ESXi

    Posted Dec 14, 2010 07:58 PM

    Please post a new discussion topic. Explain your issue with as much detail as possible.

  • 8.  RE: vm backup ESXi

    Posted Dec 14, 2010 08:11 PM


    We seen a definite improvement after switching to Veeam.

    The amount of storage that it took up on our destination stores was the main factor. We only needed to save incremental changes with Veeam, and with ghettoVCB we were constantly replicating complete vmdk's.

    Also the ability to utilize VSS, change block tracking, and just the ease of use to failover to a replica, as well as fail back to the original VM I found required a lot less manual intervention.

    We have tested the failovers multiple times, as these boxes on our dmz are only lisenced with VMware essentials and we can't utilize vmotion when doing hardware maintenance.

    As for backing up the data, Veeam seems to be a lot faster than what we got with the ghetto scripts, as well, provides deduplication and indexing.

    Then, Veeam V5 came around that added a slew of new features which are great...I'm sure you know about them all if you are lisenced...

    Is there anything particular that you can't get working with Veeam? I found it fairly easy and straight forward when setting it up...

    Price wise however, ghettovcb certainly has an advantage :smileyhappy:

  • 9.  RE: vm backup ESXi

    Posted Dec 15, 2010 09:05 PM

    Didn't want to hijack the OP with my Veeam issues - just interested in the ghettoVCB insight.

    We have 5 open production issues with Veeam 5.0.1 on VMware ESXi 4.1.


  • 10.  RE: vm backup ESXi

    Posted Dec 17, 2010 10:04 AM

    so I have only one choice, create vm with large space and NFS service on second (backup server), and copy clone vms to this NFS share. Then my first server crash I will use  second backup server. It looks strange, here is schema how it looks, if I am correct?

  • 11.  RE: vm backup ESXi

    Posted Dec 14, 2010 08:28 PM

    ghettoVCB requires storage that is visible from the ESXi host you wish to backup. You can use a standard linux distribution or one of the free or next to free webgui Storage servers FreeNAS, Openfiler, Open-e to create a Virtual Machine on the second ESXi server and give it all the disk space as an NFS share. Add that share as a datastore to both ESXi hosts. You will then be able to use ghettoVCB to clone the VMs from the first ESXi host to the second. In the event of a failure of the first host simply browse the datastore from the second ESXi host for the VM folders and Add to inventory. Start the VMs and away you go.

  • 12.  RE: vm backup ESXi

    Posted Dec 15, 2010 04:39 PM

    but if is it good idea have mounted NFS share on second esxi server and run virtual machines  (while first server is down) from NFS share ?

    It looks that I have virtual machine on second esxi host which working like NFS share and other backuped machines use this share on the same esxi host.

    Better would be have that backuped vm's use esxi local storage not NFS share from virtual machine (on the same esxi host).