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How to use the convert to VM feature of BE2012 to create a vmdk file?

Created: 27 Jan 2013 • Updated: 08 Feb 2014 | 5 comments
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I am trying to create a VMware image that I could use with a remote ESXi server which I would like to bring online in the event of a hardware failure or if someone steals the primary server, there is a fire, flood, etc. Because this ESXi server is in a remote location and the only WAN connection I can establish with it would be too slow to do regular backups I want to create a physical VMDK file that I can throw on an external drive, take to the secondary location, and import it on the ESXi serveron a weekly basis. I am using backup exec 2012 with SBS 2011.

I've been searching and redirecting the VM convert option to a file seems to be an option from what everyone is posting but I can't find any instructions for how to do this. When I go to convert an existing backup job to a virtual machine the only option I have is to specify the IP address of the ESXi server. Can someone point me to the right setting to allow me to do what I am trying to do? If I am mistaken and this is not possible I would appreciate that information as well.

My main goal is to have a VM copy of my physcial SBS2011 server that can be brought back online within a matter of hours if something were to happen and this appears to be the best option I came up with without having to invest a huge chunk of money. Any feedback on this would be appreciated as well.

Thank you.

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pkh's picture

You need to have an ESX server with a paid (not free) ESX licence before you can do any B2V or P2V conversion.  Do you have such an ESX server?

If you do not have an ESX server, take a look at SDR which has an entire chapter in the Admin Guide.  SDR will help you to recover your server quickly and you can do the recovery on dissimiliar hardware.

Pawelk's picture

Thanks, I will look at the admin guide to learn more about SDR as well as test it to see how quickly it can be restore in the event of an emergency. 

The ESX server I have is free and I was not aware I needed the paid license, thank you for that information. I can look into getting a paid version. If I do is there anyway to get backup exec to create the VM image to a file as opposed to having it create the VM directly on the ESX server? If so will that file mount directly to ESX server?

My apologies if these are dumb questions, I am still new to ESX as well as virtual enviroments in general.

pkh's picture

When you do a B2V or P2V, BE will create the necessary VMDK's to bring up the VM.  You can then transport these VMDK's to another host.

pkh's picture

You got to make sure that the media server can communicate with the VM host through the various networks and then use the host's IP address when prompted for the target host.  This is not a BE problem, It is a network problem.

Make sure that you have sufficient bandwidth between the various networks to enable the restore to succeed.  I would suggest that you try out the conversion on the same network before attempting conversion over different networks.  This is so that you know what problems is caused by the fact that the host is on a different network.