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Thin Client and Virtual Machines Thread, Backing Up Virtual Machines in Technical; Hi Is there any software or an component for Symantec Backup Exec that will allow me to backup live virtual ...
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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Backing Up Virtual Machines

    Hi

    Is there any software or an component for Symantec Backup Exec that will allow me to backup live virtual machines on a host server?

    Standard backup software will not allow me to do this, am i correct?

    Thanks

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    meastaugh1's Avatar
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    Is this for VMWare? ESX? ESXi?

    I'm currently looking for a solution for ESXi as I plan to deploy it this year.

    I've seen Esxpress mentioned a couple of times as a free backup solution, but currently only supports ESX and not ESXi.

    This PDF is probably worth glancing at. I have seen mention of a VI agent for Backup Exec. However, as I understand it you should be able to use standard BE remote windows agents, but I guess this could prove costly dependent upon the number of virtual machines you intend to provision.

    I think my current options are to use standard windows remote agents, or to use something like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FN-GM View Post
    Is there any software or an component for Symantec Backup Exec that will allow me to backup live virtual machines on a host server?
    Where's the data store for the virtual machines - in a "disk" file of some kind, or can you assign a partition to a VM? If you can do the latter, could you simply create [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_Disk_Manager"]dynamic disk partitions[/ame] with Windows Logical Volume Management and snapshot those when you want a backup?

    --
    David Hicks

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    Heres my script. Its a work in progress but it does work and has been in use for a few months now but ymmv.

    It uses the VIX API so you will be able to use it with every current version of vmware apart from ESXi.

    API Compatibility list



    3 componants;

    Run.bat - Runs the main script, taking the answers from the ini file defined in the first line

    Backup.bat - the main script. No need to change anything here

    www.ini - the answer file. Just change the values to suit your needs.

    So to use;

    You will need to install VMware VIX API on the computer you wish to run the script from (this does not have to be the vm host, it can be any windows machine, your backup server for example. The script, api, 7zip and robocopy must all be on the same PC, be it the vmhost or a backup server).
    You will need the CLI version of 7zip
    You will also need Robocopy.exe

    Change the .ini file to suit your needs, defining where everything is, robocopy, 7zip, VIX, the datastore path, password, temp working dir etc
    Change Run.bat's first line to reflect the name of your .ini file.

    Create all of the folders (logs, zip archive, temp, etc) prior to running the script. There is no mechanism to create missing folders in this script.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by j17sparky; 12th January 2009 at 10:48 AM.

  5. Thanks to j17sparky from:

    FN-GM (12th January 2009)

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Thanks for the script.

    Sorry i should have said i am running VMware Server 2 on Windows Server 2003 x64. All my Virtual Disks are on one HDD.

    Thanks

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    Hi

    just wondering if anyone has anymore input please?

    Thanks

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    Your choices pretty much come down to;

    pay for a software package
    Use the VIX API
    Use the VI/VI perl Toolkit
    Use VSS if using windows as the host. Use LVM for linux

    There really isnt much more to say as you need a way to shutdown/suspend/snapshot your guests before backup and the only ways to do that are listed on that chart i provided. Then you copy / snapshot the files. (rsync, mounted NFS or SMB / filesystem snapshot - LVM, VSS)


    Im going to have a gander at VSS, just out of interest really, but ill get back to you when ive made my judgement. TBH though im happy with the script i made as the server doesnt need to be live 24/7, nor does it have to have loads of instantly restorable backups.
    Last edited by j17sparky; 16th January 2009 at 01:55 PM.

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    Slightly tangentially...

    Would Sun's xVM server (the GPL'd version is meant to go live in the first quarter of 2009) fit the bill? From what I've read it uses a cut down version of OpenSolaris as the host, which means that it has ZFS - which means you can take snapshots of live virtual machines (I think).

    It was something I was starting to think about, so apologies if I've gotten the wrong end of the stick about it's capabilities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by meastaugh1 View Post
    I've seen Esxpress mentioned a couple of times as a free backup solution, but currently only supports ESX and not ESXi.
    According to my sources ESXi support is slated for version 4 of esXpress.

    ESX 4 (announced today) still has a service console though so you could get round your issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandman View Post
    According to my sources ESXi support is slated for version 4 of esXpress.

    ESX 4 (announced today) still has a service console though so you could get round your issues.
    There's also no longer a free edition, right?

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    The current version is only available for 1 month on the trial.

    After which it requires a license.



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