We currently run two ESX 3.5 Hosts with approx 14 VM's. We use commvault to run file level backups of the VM's which works perfectly, we also run a backup of the actual VM files through one of the ESX servers to allow restoration of a complete VM if needed.
I was just wondering if anybody bothers to backup the actual ESX install itself? Given we have two ESX servers running DRS and HA we don't have any issues with one host going down, and the ESX server itself is quite easy to reinstall.
I know this is an old question, but it's an interesting one.
Where I work, we don't back up each individual ESX host. We have four ESX hosts in our server cluster. If one fails, we'll simply replace it, install ESX, apply a host profile and add it back to the cluster. I guess it's almost like the host itself is an interchangable cog. We do back up the data inside each VM, of course, but the host itself chugs along and we use the cluster as our availability mechanism. Of course, we do back up the vCenter database as well, but that is the extent of our "ESX backup".
Yeah... I forgot that host profiles were an Enterprise Plus feature. I don't understand why VMware made the decision to include host profiles only in Enterprise Plus (personally, I think the whole creation of the Enterprise Plus edition was nothing more than a way to gain revenue from clients "upgrading" from older editions that were on S&S, but that's another story :-))
The backup process wouldn't be TOO different without host profiles... backup vCenter. If an ESX host fails, add a new one, but rather than using host profiles, do a manual config, add it to the cluster and move on. If you have a pretty standard ESX config, you should be ok.
Which edition do you run? We do run Enterprise Plus at Westminster.
I have not yet tested 2.0..... I was in charge of our moodle implementation since the beginning (2005) but now there are other people here who are working on that..
Ours is 1.9 with a few tweaks, we are running a local CVS and merge with the current release, and other programming stuffs. For example, we are syncing with 2 Windows AD, for that we fork the main LDAP addon.