Skip to main content

VMware backup for ESXi free

I've been doing some digging for a client. I've got him started on the ESXi free path for his small VoIP company, and he loves it. I had always figured that for backup we would just set him up with VCB (even though I've had awful past experience with it, it's a free option), or more to the point, GhettoVCB.

I checked out the FAQs for GhettoVCB more closely today, and it seems you must have the licensed version in order to access the APIs that VCB uses. Fair enough, an Essentials pack is cheap enough, and he and I have discussed it in the past. He is amenable to buying the base pack - he would never need more than two host machines anyways.

Another issue crops up: VCB is EOL as of 4.1. Going forward, it is all vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP). This is a nicer solution than VCB, but it seems that right now the only options in the VADP area are 3rd party paid software. For someone who wants to do everything cheap and open-source, this will not be a good option.

Looking into what other options we have, I think it's down to something like this:

Option 1
  • Have a really good backup system inside the guest OSes.
  • Have a really good host rollout solution (unfortunately BSD does not have a kickstart solution)
This means that if a guest VM goes down (irrecoverable), your data is backed up, and it's easy to roll out a replacement.

Pros: No software costs at all.

Cons: Built-in resiliency is a must. This means all critical systems must have a primary and secondary. Any VM that crashes must be rebuilt by hand from backup data.

Option 2

  • GhettoVCB
GhettoVCB configured to suit environment.

Pros: Pre-configured backup solution that is widely used by the VMware community. Allows VM backup/restore, so if a VM crashes, you do not have to rebuild by hand.

Cons: In order for VCB to function, the Essentials pack must be purchased to unlock the VCB APIs.

Option 3
  • VADP 3rd party
Solution provided by 3rd party.

Pros: Ease of use, reliable, supported by large companies.

Cons: High cost. Requires Essentials pack, plus 3rd party software (unknown cost).

I think we'll have to re-visit things. If he's not ready to purchase Essentials yet, then we will have to make do with system backups.


Popular posts from this blog

DFSR - eventid 4312 - replication just won't work

This warning isn't documented that well on the googles, so here's some google fodder:

You are trying to set up replication for a DFS folder (no existing replication)Source server is 2008R2, 'branch office' server is 2012R2 (I'm moving all our infra to 2012R2)You have no issues getting replication configuredYou see the DFSR folders get created on the other end, but nothing stagesFinally you get EventID 4312:
The DFS Replication service failed to get folder information when walking the file system on a journal wrap or loss recovery due to repeated sharing violations encountered on a folder. The service cannot replicate the folder and files in that folder until the sharing violation is resolved.  Additional Information:  Folder: F:\Users$\\Desktop\Random Folder Name\  Replicated Folder Root: F:\Users$  File ID: {00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000}-v0  Replicated Folder Name: Users  Replicated Folder ID: 33F0449D-5E67-4DA1-99AC-681B5BACC7E5  Replication Group…

Fixing duplicate SPNs (service principal name)

This is a pretty handy thing to know:

SPNs are used when a specific service/daemon uses Kerberos to authenticate against AD. They map a specific service, port, and object together with this convention: class/host:port/name

If you use a computer object to auth (such as local service):

If you use a user object to auth (such as a service account, or admin account):

Why do we care about duplicate SPNs? If you have two entries trying to auth using the same Kerberos ticket (I think that's right...), they will conflict, and cause errors and service failures.

To check for duplicate SPNs:
The command "setspn.exe -X

C:\Windows\system32>setspn -X
Processing entry 7
MSSQLSvc/ is registered on these accounts:
CN=SQL Admin,OU=service accounts,OU=resources,DC=company,DC=local

found 1 groups of duplicate SPNs. (truncated/sanitized)

Note that y…

Logstash to Nagios - alerting based on Windows Event ID

This took way longer than it should have to get here's a config and brain dump...

You want to have a central place to analyze Windows Event/IIS/local application logs, alert off specific events, alert off specific situations.  You don't have the budget for a boxed solution.  You want pretty graphs.  You don't particularly care about individual server states.  (see rationale below - although you certainly have all the tools here to care, I haven't provided that configuration)

ELK stack, OMD, NXlog agent, and Rsyslog.  The premise here is as follows:

Event generated on server into EventLogNXlog ships to Logstash inputLogstash filter adds fields and tags to specified eventsLogstash output sends to a passive Nagios service via the Nagios NSCA outputThe passive service on Nagios (Check_MK c/o OMD) does its thing w. alerting
Open Monitoring Distribution, but the real point here is Check_MK (IIRC Icinga uses this...).  It makes Nagios easy to use and main…