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There's an outside consulting company claiming that they are taking a snapshot of our local servers which reside on a VMWare Esxi, 4 times a daily while our servers are running. This snapshot is then copied to their servers in another city.

Is this possible? Does it require another Esxi to receive the changes? Because it sounds to me as though a companies entire infrastructure could be copied to another location without them even being aware of it.

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"it sounds to me as though a companies entire infrastructure could be copied to another location without them even being aware of it" - Only if they're unaware of who has access to their environment, how they have access, when they have access and why they have access. –  joeqwerty May 21 '13 at 21:08

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It's possible... but probably not the type of thing that would go undetected. Most whole-VM backup solutions leverage temporary snapshots. This is the type of thing that will show up in the virtual machine's Tasks & Events log.

It sounds as though you're skeptical about what your outside consultant is actually doing. I'm not sure if there's a technical answer to this one...

Ask the consulting company directly about what method/technology/solution they're using to backup/replicate your virtual machines. Make them prove it. Also ask them to explain their intended recovery procedure...

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I'm not skeptical, just curious about how it's done. Initially they told me they were using some sort of backup software, and since I was using an old File-based data system I knew that copying the files for backups of an old file-based database does not work. However...quiescing an entire file system from the VM-level containing the file-based database might work. –  leeand00 May 21 '13 at 20:43
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Veeam have a pretty neat product that does this; as do many other backup providers. We use veeam to ship quiesced snapshots off site. We can even boot them without modifying anything (which is kind of the point in this regards). But every snapshot is logged by VMware vSphere so we know that it happened. –  Mark Henderson May 21 '13 at 20:58
    
Yup Veemam, that's what it was. Thanks! –  leeand00 May 23 '13 at 12:06

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