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Windows Server 2008 R2 Thread, Backup solution for Windows 2008 R2 on VMware ESXi in Technical; Working in a small school, I have three physical servers running VMware v5.0.0. Spread across those are 6 virtual 2008 ...
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    Flora's Avatar
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    Backup solution for Windows 2008 R2 on VMware ESXi

    Working in a small school, I have three physical servers running VMware v5.0.0. Spread across those are 6 virtual 2008 R2 servers (2 x DCs, 2 x File Servers (with MySQL server), and a SIMS server (MSSQL). We also have a very fancy QNAP NAS which currently I have mapped through iSCSI as a massive volume onto a backup server. An additional complication is that our servers are split across sites with a 10mb WAN link. This will make full backups painful, but incremental backups will be fine given relatively slow change to the data.

    What I need now is a relatively cost effective (given our scale) solution that backs up all the servers. The cost to upgrade to VI Foundation (if the correct level) is expensive, but may have to be born, on top of the licensing software.

    I've tried a few options, but haven't got very far - so advice would be greatly appreciated!

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    DPM is good but it wont backup the whole virtual server images just the data on them. DPM is also pretty cheap!

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    Flora (31st May 2012)

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    Veeam Backup and Replication: Veeam: #1 VMware Backup, Hyper-V Backup and Virtualization Management. We use it here and it is excellent. It will backup all your VMs at an image level, so you can restore the entire VM very quickly (it even has a mode where you can run the VM without actually restoring it, gets stuff back online in about 10 mins if you have fast storage!). The new version v6 will handle backing up across the WAN links, you can do a local backup at each site, stick it on a usb drive and transfer it to the backup repository and then re-target the jobs, and only the incremental data will be transferred.

    I highly recommend you get a trial version and test it out, its very easy to setup. One note, it requires a paid-for version of vSphere, your remark about VI Foundation makes me think you might be on the free version? If that is so, you can upgrade to vSphere Essentials, which includes the license for 3 hosts for about £500 (that's retail so might be cheaper for edu)
    Last edited by DavidYoung; 29th May 2012 at 11:51 AM. Reason: Amended price for vSphere

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    Flora (31st May 2012)

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    vmware has own data protection virtual appliance. It is based on snap shots but on each machine you can restore files from snapshots (but only on that snapshotted machine), works pretty well and it is free. You just add destination where to store backup (can be local drive or shared drive). Not so great for DCs but good for everything else.

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    Flora (31st May 2012)

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    +1 for Veeam. It's also very easy to then replicate data off site using it. Requires no agents either which is good.

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    Flora's Avatar
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    Thank you. I tried Veeam, and it looked fantastic but it refused to backup our servers as they are ESXi (free version of VM). Is there a way to get around this?

    In the interim I will research DPM!

    Many thanks for your help,
    John.

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