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I have run out of options finding a good utlity that can backup ESXi free version. I understand that Vmware has reached out to all vmware backup solution providers to stop supporting ESXi free version. I also understand that the GhettoVCB script exists. I am looking for some other kind of friendly solution.

Thanks in advance!

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I found the same thing, and some vendors that had software for the free versions promptly stopped its availability. I find this sort of attitude from VMWare quite dissapointing. –  Mark Henderson Mar 16 '11 at 20:40
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This is why a non-opensource software can never be free. Even if you get some basic features for free, any enterprisey feature is blocked, because otherwise the customers just won't pay –  dyasny Mar 16 '11 at 21:36
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Your free option is to just backup at the guest level instead of from within the ESXi host. –  Zoredache Mar 16 '11 at 21:39
    
Or shutdown/suspend, then scp the files off. Depending on your environment, that may or may not be a decent option. –  EEAA Mar 16 '11 at 22:07

3 Answers 3

Trilead Free works well for us. We have Veeam for our main ESX hosts and we use CAArc D2D for Exchange / SQL (from within the hosts), but we also have 7 ESXi boxes that run various utilities, testing servers, etc that would be a pain to recreate. We use Trilead for these ESXi hosts. 3 problems:

  • Free only allows 5 hosts so you have to remove the 5th to add the 6th (for example)
  • It won't do deltas for ESXi (meaning that it'll only backup the whole machine, not just what has changed.
  • No scheduling of backups.

So, as you see from these 3 limitations, it's not a primary backup solution (at least for us) but it works to get a backup a week manually for our more important servers running on our free hosts. I'd probably buy the software to simplify the scheduling, it is only ~~$750 for as many hosts as you want, but w/o delta backups for ESXi boxes it is kinda crippled IMO.

Also, restoring from teh free version is a bit of a pain. If I were you, I'd install the free version and NOT get your pro trial key. Wait till you need to do a restore to get the trial :)

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Trilead VM Explorer claims to have a free version where they say the Incremental/Delta Backup is not available for ESXi free edition. (implies full backup is)

It may be worth a look.

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Where are your datastores? Any chance they're running on something that can run samba? My first thought is to serve up your vmdks via samba and use something from the Windows side to back them up (plenty of free utils). Not sure how you'd handle the automatic suspend of the VM before backing up though.

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