I have a VM with CentOS Server installed, which is for Email and Web Services, on a free esxi. The entire esxi has 2 TB usable and the CentOS server has 1.5 TB provisioned. Another CentOS VM that runs a CRM program is using the majority of the left over space.

The software that I am using does backups currently that are rsync'd to another CentOS physical server that is only to store the account backups in case of emergency.While this is sufficient to be able to get a new VM up and running if bad things happen, it would take me a full day or more to create the VM environment, install CentOS, install all the software again, tweak all the settings (which is alot), restore the account backups, and setup the spam filter (completely untrained), all while email and web services are down and have people nagging me the entire time.

One huge downside to this also is the completely untrained spam filter, which I have put in alot of time training and tweaking to get people to stop nagging me.

I have another server, currently with Windows install (this can be changed, I'm not set on it being Windows). This server has a bit over 1.5 TB usable. I want this one to store a complete backup of the entire VM. I have tried using Veeam and Thinware vBackup without success.

The issue with Veeam is it no longer supports free esxi because they decided to focus on the api, instead of ssh, which is blocked by the free esxi.

Thinware vBackup has vSphere create a snapshot first and then transfers the snapshot to the backup location. This issue with this is vSphere trys to create a 1.5 TB snapshot on the esxi host when there is not enough space there for it (completely shut off the both VMs until I deleted the snapshot).

I want to be able to have something I can restore in a minimal amount of time, that will be pretty much a complete restore including VM hardware including MAC addresses and device ids (if possible), OS (if possible), software, settings, etc. Even software and settings alone would be great, the only issue I see with just dumping everything via rsync and then copying the entire file structure over after creating the VM and installing CentOS, is the hardware, users, and permission issues that would probably come up from doing this.

All the CentOS servers are version 6.

  • Potential answerers will likely be put off by your wall of text. Try reformatting a bit into proper paragraphs. – Ryan Bolger Apr 8 '16 at 5:55

You can copy vm with all settings exporting it as ovf file and then when needed restore it via vSphere or ovftool.

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  • I actually found some instructions on using a usb drive as a datastore which I did get work. Going to try to force snapshots to that and use Thinware vBackup to grab the snapshot at a remote location. This way the snapshot won't try to use the full datastore so it won't take down the server, I'll have a local snapshot, and a remote snapshot in case something crazy happened like a fire in the server room. – Shane Becker Apr 8 '16 at 14:03

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