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I've created VM with 30GB but my actual usage is just 8GB, i need to backup only 8GB out of whole 30GB of .vmdk. how can i do that?

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You've not given us any information at all - what hypervisor are you using? what backup mechanism? we need MUCH more information if you want us to help. – Chopper3 Jul 21 '10 at 16:08
well, he said it is a .vmdk file which implies VMWare as the hypervisor.. I suspect the poster would be open to any backup method that would allow him to only back up only the specific section of the disk – Rex Jul 21 '10 at 18:04
VMWare is the name of a company that produces several types of hypervisors (Workstation, ESX, ESXi, etc.), not a hypervisor in itself. Chopper3's question is still a valid one as each hypervisor will have different options available. – ktower Jul 21 '10 at 21:19

If you compress the image using gzip or bzip2 (or 7zip if you are on windows), what size it ends? I ask that because in some image files compressing can get rid of the large empty spaces.

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You could stick a backup agent on the guest and back it up like a non-virtual box..

Yes, it defeats a lot of the DR/Backup advantages of using VMWare (assuming it is VMWare), but it is an option.

You could also look at if your backup software ties into the vSphere Backup API's and if it allows you to only backup a subset of the info on the guest.. a lot of backup software that is VMWare aware/supported will support file level backups of the guest

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You can do a Physical to Virtual or in your case a Virtual to Virtual conversion using VMware's Converter. This will allow you to resize the partition to whatever you need it to be. Then use that as your server or a clone or linked clone, etc.

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He's asking about backing up what data he has written (8GB) no resizing the 30GB partition. – Zypher Jul 21 '10 at 17:24
Yeah but he didn't just say I need to back up 8gb of data. He specifically said "VM" and "VMDK" which to me means he built a VM and wants to just backup the VM. So, so do the P2V and you'll have a much smaller and usable VM that is size appropriate. – RaginBajin Jul 21 '10 at 17:27

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