Backing up a VMware instance - SCO

This is a discussion on Backing up a VMware instance - SCO ; i saw bits and pieces about this in another thread, but I'm still confused. How do I back up a VMware instance? Is it as simple as taking a snapshot? Backing up the *.vm?? files? Both? Can it be done ...

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Thread: Backing up a VMware instance

  1. Backing up a VMware instance

    i saw bits and pieces about this in another thread, but I'm
    still confused. How do I back up a VMware instance? Is it
    as simple as taking a snapshot? Backing up the *.vm?? files?
    Both? Can it be done with the VM running?

    Thanks!

    --
    _________________________________________
    Nachman Yaakov Ziskind, FSPA, LLM awacs@ziskind.us
    Attorney and Counselor-at-Law http://ziskind.us
    Economic Group Pension Services http://egps.com
    Actuaries and Employee Benefit Consultants

  2. Re: Backing up a VMware instance

    N. Yaakov Ziskind wrote:
    > i saw bits and pieces about this in another thread, but I'm
    > still confused. How do I back up a VMware instance? Is it
    > as simple as taking a snapshot? Backing up the *.vm?? files?
    > Both? Can it be done with the VM running?


    There are many VMware products... Which one are you using that you want
    to backup?

  3. Re: Backing up a VMware instance

    Pepe wrote (on Wed, Jul 09, 2008 at 07:47:01PM +0200):
    > N. Yaakov Ziskind wrote:
    > >i saw bits and pieces about this in another thread, but I'm
    > >still confused. How do I back up a VMware instance? Is it
    > >as simple as taking a snapshot? Backing up the *.vm?? files?
    > >Both? Can it be done with the VM running?

    >
    > There are many VMware products... Which one are you using that you want
    > to backup?


    The instance was created on VMware w/s for Windows, but I'd like
    to move it to Server for Windows.

    --
    _________________________________________
    Nachman Yaakov Ziskind, FSPA, LLM awacs@ziskind.us
    Attorney and Counselor-at-Law http://ziskind.us
    Economic Group Pension Services http://egps.com
    Actuaries and Employee Benefit Consultants

  4. Re: Backing up a VMware instance

    N. Yaakov Ziskind wrote:
    > Pepe wrote (on Wed, Jul 09, 2008 at 07:47:01PM +0200):
    >
    >>N. Yaakov Ziskind wrote:
    >>
    >>>i saw bits and pieces about this in another thread, but I'm
    >>>still confused. How do I back up a VMware instance? Is it
    >>>as simple as taking a snapshot? Backing up the *.vm?? files?
    >>>Both? Can it be done with the VM running?

    >>
    >>There are many VMware products... Which one are you using that you want
    >>to backup?

    >
    >
    > The instance was created on VMware w/s for Windows, but I'd like
    > to move it to Server for Windows.


    These products (VMware Workstation and VMware Server) do not have a
    built-in VMware-provided backup facility like VMware ESX has.

    To backup the VMs on these products, the officially supported way is to
    shutdown the VMs and make a backup (just copy it away) of the VM
    directory where the virtual disks (*.vmdk) are located.

    I don't think it is supported by VMware to make a backup of the VMs
    while they are running in VMware Workstation and/or VMware Server.

    You can however do it, if you are running the *.vmdk virtual disk files
    on a host filesystem with snapshot capabilities - in that case, you can
    get a crash-consistent backup of your VMs. I know Windows Server 2003
    has snapshot capabilities with NTFS, but you should do such a
    snapshot-based backup of your VMs when there is very little or no disk
    activity in the guest VMs, or the filesystem snapshot done by the host
    system could fail (it needs something like 3 seconds of inactivity in
    the filesystem to be able to make the snapshot - that is tunable and you
    can also tweak the registry for the number of retries, etc. Check out
    "vssadmin /?" in WinServer2003.). I'm not sure but I bet Linux has
    snapshot-capable filesystems available too.

    Even if your host system has not a snapshot capable filesystem, you
    could force a VMware-based snapshot with the "vmware-cmd" command in the
    host system, and then backup the snapshotted *.vmdk files (but not the
    delta files which would be being used). That is probably easier but you
    have to be very selective with which files you can backup and which ones
    not after issuing the "vmware-cmd" command. If you try to backup the
    delta files while the VM is running, you could crash the backup program
    and/or the VM/VMware...

    A third method is using Double-Take, which exists for Windows and Linux,
    which you would run on the host system and it would replicate the
    live-VM while running to any location you want. But that is a (very)
    expensive solution, however I have tried it and really works very good,
    even with heavy disk activity on the VM.

    The last option you have, is to make the backup from inside the VM using
    whatever backup software/scripts/methodology you usually follow to
    backup the operating system and data inside the VM.

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