Free Backup Solutions for ESXi



  • So this is from another topic on another forum.

    What free solutions might work for ESXi VM's for "free" (obviously excluding time to implement ext as many people don't consider their time at work as an additional expense)

    I suggested Amanda as I know it's open source and can backup a wide range of operating systems, regardless of how they are deployed.

    What might you guys suggest, with the restriction that the backup 'tool' must be free because of budget restrictions.



  • Bacula, rsnapshot (if linux), backuppc, CrashPlan (to another system is free)

    I'm sure there are more



  • @johnhooks Any particular reason for those? Just trying to determine (other than free) as to which might be the better of the options.



  • @DustinB3403 said:

    @johnhooks Any particular reason for those? Just trying to determine (other than free) as to which might be the better of the options.

    Bacula is a popular enterprise backup system.

    I've used rsnapshot and it's nice because it does all of the rsync work for you. You just tell it what folder you want and it does all exclusion magic in the background. Everything that isn't changed is stored as a hardlink so it doesn't take up any extra space.

    CrashPlan is just easy to configure and has a nice interface.



  • There is Bareos also, which is a fork of Bacula.



  • What about the free version of Unitrends? Assuming the free version can backup baremetal, then the same agent could be used inside a VM and back that up as well.



  • Free Veeam would work as well, if it's Windows.

    They are supposed to come out with a Linux version sometime here. I'm on the list to be emailed about it.



  • @Dashrender Unitrends might, but are there any restrictions or features missing from the free version?



  • @DustinB3403 said:

    @Dashrender Unitrends might, but are there any restrictions or features missing from the free version?

    One of them (I want to say it is Unitrends) limits the free backup to 1TB of backup data.



  • I've seen enough of Veeam with their Enpoint Recovery for Windows, I'd love to be able to put that into production here (as well as at home).



  • @dafyre said:

    I've seen enough of Veeam with their Enpoint Recovery for Windows, I'd love to be able to put that into production here (as well as at home).

    OF Course - the free endpoint recovery - that would work for sure.



  • Just to update this if anyone is following the OP that spurred this topic, the OP is using the Free edition of ESXi so there is nothing that would work at the Hypervisor level for him.

    Which means he has to look at options that work as guest on his VM's or completely outside of the environment entirely.



  • Ya all of the ones I listed are "agent" based.

    I like rsnapshot a lot because of the hard links. You could lose all of the incrementals except the most recent and you would still be able to fully restore (but only with the most recent data).



  • @johnhooks said:

    Ya all of the ones I listed are "agent" based.

    I like rsnapshot a lot because of the hard links. You could lose all of the incrementals except the most recent and you would still be able to fully restore (but only with the most recent data).

    Same with Unitrends and Veeam Endpoint.



  • @Dashrender said:

    @johnhooks said:

    Ya all of the ones I listed are "agent" based.

    I like rsnapshot a lot because of the hard links. You could lose all of the incrementals except the most recent and you would still be able to fully restore (but only with the most recent data).

    Same with Unitrends and Veeam Endpoint.

    Don't you need the original full backup for the incremental to restore to?



  • @johnhooks said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @johnhooks said:

    Ya all of the ones I listed are "agent" based.

    I like rsnapshot a lot because of the hard links. You could lose all of the incrementals except the most recent and you would still be able to fully restore (but only with the most recent data).

    Same with Unitrends and Veeam Endpoint.

    Don't you need the original full backup for the incremental to restore to?

    I guess I quoted to much of your statement. The part I was applying to was

    @johnhooks said:

    Ya all of the ones I listed are "agent" based.

    That said - does Veeam Endpoint do incrementals?



  • @Dashrender said:

    @johnhooks said:

    @Dashrender said:

    @johnhooks said:

    Ya all of the ones I listed are "agent" based.

    I like rsnapshot a lot because of the hard links. You could lose all of the incrementals except the most recent and you would still be able to fully restore (but only with the most recent data).

    Same with Unitrends and Veeam Endpoint.

    Don't you need the original full backup for the incremental to restore to?

    I guess I quoted to much of your statement. The part I was applying to was

    @johnhooks said:

    Ya all of the ones I listed are "agent" based.

    That said - does Veeam Endpoint do incrementals?

    Yes it does.



  • @johnhooks said:

    Ya all of the ones I listed are "agent" based.

    I like rsnapshot a lot because of the hard links. You could lose all of the incrementals except the most recent and you would still be able to fully restore (but only with the most recent data).

    hard links? how does that bring data forward from an old incremental into the most recent one?



  • @Dashrender said:

    @johnhooks said:

    Ya all of the ones I listed are "agent" based.

    I like rsnapshot a lot because of the hard links. You could lose all of the incrementals except the most recent and you would still be able to fully restore (but only with the most recent data).

    hard links? how does that bring data forward from an old incremental into the most recent one?

    With a hard link, it's basically just a pointer to where the data lives on the disk. The data isn't actually really and truly deleted until ALL of the pointers are deleted.



  • @Dashrender said:

    @johnhooks said:

    Ya all of the ones I listed are "agent" based.

    I like rsnapshot a lot because of the hard links. You could lose all of the incrementals except the most recent and you would still be able to fully restore (but only with the most recent data).

    hard links? how does that bring data forward from an old incremental into the most recent one?

    What @dafyre said. You could delete the original plus all but one copy and the inode still exists so the data is still there.



  • Interesting - by that same token, good backup software should not allow you to delete and previous portions of a backup as long as any other backup references files contained in said backup.

    i.e. FB - i1 - i2 - i3 - i4

    A good backup package won't let you just delete FB and allow you to keep i4 because i4 would be worthless.



  • @Dashrender said:

    Interesting - by that same token, good backup software should not allow you to delete and previous portions of a backup as long as any other backup references files contained in said backup.

    i.e. FB - i1 - i2 - i3 - i4

    A good backup package won't let you just delete FB and allow you to keep i4 because i4 would be worthless.

    But in this case i4 isn't worthless. You could completely restore from it. Just not have the old data from FB. So for DR is really nice.