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I'm looking for a way to create Xen (HVM) backups, using LVM. I know xm save but that is a) inefficient space wise, b) the VM will shut down. I found rsnapshot which is able to create an LVM snapshot, but to restore this I will have to copy all files over to the machine (instead of just restoring the complete LVM, everything seems to be individual files).

Is there any backup software you recommend? I'm running CentOS on my Xen host. Some requirements:

  • It can be paid software but not too expensive (personal use)
  • It should have differential (like a full backup, then an incremental backup (to preserve space)).
  • Easy to restore the Xen VM (currently rsnapshot needs to copy all files over, instead of one .img file to restore or something similar).

Thanks in advance.

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What HVM machines are running there? Is NTFS involved? –  Nils Mar 7 '12 at 20:22
    
xm save will make a memory snapshot. So it is not what you are searching for. BTW - there is an option to let the DomU run. See xm help save. –  Nils Mar 7 '12 at 20:23
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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

If this is for personal use I would recommend to

  1. Snapshot the LV (an LV corresponds to a DomU-disk, I assume?)
  2. Make a full copy of that LV into a Backup-LV of the same size

If it is a Linux filesystem you can just use mkfs and then do an rsync from the RO-mounted source to the RW-mounted target.

If it is NTFS use the NTFS-tools described at CentOS.org.

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I'm thinking of using dd of a LVM snapshot, and gzipping it. I wont have incremental backups then, but since I use multiple operating systems I can not use your method. –  Devator Mar 7 '12 at 21:50
    
I tried dd with an XP LV but was not able to boot it afterwards. So try a restore to be sure that it will work. –  Nils Mar 8 '12 at 16:20
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