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jlillard

Block Level Backup for VMware

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My virtual machines are stored on a SAN running linux.  I already have the Retrospect Client installed to backup some basic VMware files (not the disks though).  Would the block-level backup make it possible to essentially grab snapshots of these virtual machines?

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I think in theory it should but my experience has been that I have not seen any indication of block level backup is working.

 

I was very excited to update to version 9 of Retrospect single windows server because many users have large PST files and a few virtual xp disks. I was thinking the block level backup would make the backup of these files a lot faster/more efficient.

 

I have not witnessed block level backup do anything yet. I have only been on v9 for 5 days though. For that matter I rarely see the instant backup kick in though.

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@J.R. Lillard Block level incremental backup works well with the VMware VMDK files for a VM, because they don't change significantly day-to-day. However, taking a snapshot through VMware generates new files that will need to be backed up.

 

@aesmith We've verified that block level incremental backup works very well on PST files. We do have the feature off by default though. After you enable the option for the script you're using, the log will show that block level incremental backup is enabled and how many files are affected by it. For per-file logging of block level incremental backup's progress, you can turn the log level to 5 for "Engine" (see instructions) and look at the Operations Log.

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@J.R. Lillard Block level incremental backup works well with the VMware VMDK files for a VM, because they don't change significantly day-to-day. However, taking a snapshot through VMware generates new files that will need to be backed up.

 

What I meant was that the block level backup would give me a way to make point-in-time backups of my virtual machines.  We are using the free ESXi 4.1 server without vCenter.  So VCB and the integration 8.5 provided were not available to me.  Instead I install the client in my virtual machines and back them up at that level instead.  With 7.7 I should be able to backup the vmdk (but I haven't tried).  With 9.0 not only can I get a backup of the vmdk over the weekend but then I can get incremental backups of the vmdk every night.  So at the end of the week I should be able to restore that vmdk from any day of the week.  Right?  I'm not wanting to use the VMware snapshot feature for this.

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Gee thought I looked through all the options and did not see that it had to be turned on, thanks I will give it a try.

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