Backup and restore of VM's
I know that to a lot of people this is going to seem like a simple question, but for the life of me with this new interface I am on the verge of insanity!!
Instructions have been very difficult to come accross for this product - Each time I search I get directed to best practices, and as this is the first time I have used Backup Exec in about 10 years knowing where things are is difficult.
My Environment which is standalone and has no interfaces to other networks or the internet. The reasoning behind this is that we have some legacy NT databases and apps written in VB that refuse to work in newer versions of windows, so our thought would be to isolate it and let it run its course until the book of business expires!
The configuration is as follows:
HP ML350 configured as an ESX server containing LTO4 tape drive hosting 4 virtual machines:
Windows 2003 Domain Controller
Windows NT4 Member Server hosting a SQL7 database
Windows 2008 R2 Server hosting Backup Exec 2012 (The above mentioned backup device is mapped to this)
Windows XP workstation (This is the sysprep'd clone that we build the physical workstations from)
As well as the Virtual infrastructure there are several Physical XP workstations, One of which we have created a shared area on to allow a backup to disk
What I would like to know is 'What would the best method of backing up the Virtual Machines?' We have purchased the VMware agent and have managed to perform single backups.
I would guess that Incremental and differential backups would be no good to me as backups of VM's are basically flat files, so all files would be changed every time a backup was taken. So I guess Full Backup is my only option. I have looked at the different backup strategies and concluded that the 'Grandfather' strategy would suit best Monday - Friday with a retained backup every 4th Saturday. This would give me all backups from the last 4 weeks and the option of historic backup of VM's from the retained tapes.
It is highly unlikely that we would ever need to perform a GRT restore, basically all we would need is to recover a complete Virtual Machine as the data on these machines is mainly static - the DC for instance will have no AD updates, no patches will be installed on any machines as they are isolated!
My questions therefore are?
Do I need to backup to the Shared Network drive (which is the Windows share on the workstation) and then commit to tape, or can I backup direct to tape?
If I do backup to the network share first, does Backup Exec overwrite the previous days backup or do I need to create a command to do this first?
Is my best option to just do a recurring daily full backup job Mon-Fri to tape with an expiration time of 4 weeks? Additionally a recurring job set to every 4th saturday?
Finally does anybody have instructions on how I would restore a VM?
All Help appreciated