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PitRejection2359
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Can i run the community edition and all my VMs from the same single ESXi host & hardware?

Post by PitRejection2359 »

Hi,

I am a homelab user with ESXi running a couple of VMs for my home network NAS and a few VMs for playing with. I've got access to upgrade my ESXi with a vcentre licence, so it will work with Veeam B&R community edition, but I want to make sure I can actually do what I want before using the licence!

I would like to use B&R to backup some of my VM's drives all on the same physical hardware in a single instance of ESXi. I will use different physical drives, and may also use a USB external drive that I can then take off-site if I need to in the future. None of the data is "business critical" (just personal) - the most important data is duplicated within the existing server, and also saved in the cloud, but I'd like the piece of mind of additional backup using B&R.

So, is it possible to install B&R in a VM on my single system and use it to back up VMs to a different drive all within the same single hardware?

Many thanks!

veremin
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Re: Can i run the community edition and all my VMs from the same single ESXi host & hardware?

Post by veremin »

Are you planning to use the drives connected to ESXi server as backup target? If so, I would advice against such deployment as it rather complicates restore process.

Do you have some old or decommissioned physical server? If so, just staff it with the said drives and use it a backup repository.

Thanks!

PitRejection2359
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Re: Can i run the community edition and all my VMs from the same single ESXi host & hardware?

Post by PitRejection2359 »

Hi @veremin - yeah, that was the plan as I don't really have another system i can use to be honest. I'm reading through the thread you linked to and think I understand the limitations of the set up I'm planning to create.

2 quick questions:

1. Am i right in thinking the 2TB VMDK limit is no longer in place with newer versions of ESXi?
2. Is there any way to pass through a native drive (formatted in NTFS) to the B&R VM that will allow backup onto it, rather than go through the VMDK in ESXi?

Thank you.

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Re: Can i run the community edition and all my VMs from the same single ESXi host & hardware?

Post by Gostev »

1. Correct.

2. You should use Windows iSCSI Initiator on your backups server to mount LUN from NAS iSCSI target (assuming your NAS supports iSCSI) as a local drive. This way, in case of disaster you can simply mount the same LUN with backups to any other server, or even to your laptop, and restore from backups stored there easily.

ESXi also supports pass-through for external USB drives connected to the host, so potentially you can present one to your backup server VM... but from what I heard, the performance is terrible.

PitRejection2359
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Re: Can i run the community edition and all my VMs from the same single ESXi host & hardware?

Post by PitRejection2359 »

Hi @gostev,

Thanks for the info. I don't actually have dedicated backup server, this is where I was hoping B&R will be able to fill the gap! I am currently using WHS 2011 as my NAS server, which I think I can set up iSCSI from... however I plan to switch to using W10 as my NAS, which I'm not sure allows me to set up an iSCSI initiator... I may be wrong though! This is all new for me, so I'm learning as I go along. Thanks for the help so far! 👍

PitRejection2359
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Re: Can i run the community edition and all my VMs from the same single ESXi host & hardware?

Post by PitRejection2359 »

Looks like it is possible to set up an initiator from Windows 10. So I could pass through a disk to W10, share it using iSCSI to B&R as an NFTS disk to save the VMs on - is that what you are saying?

Gostev
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Re: Can i run the community edition and all my VMs from the same single ESXi host & hardware?

Post by Gostev » 1 person likes this post

Yep, exactly.

PitRejection2359
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Re: Can i run the community edition and all my VMs from the same single ESXi host & hardware?

Post by PitRejection2359 »

Thank you @Gostev - I'll see if I can get that to work then! :)

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Re: Can i run the community edition and all my VMs from the same single ESXi host & hardware?

Post by lucius_the »

PitRejection2359 wrote: Apr 16, 2020 4:09 pm I am currently using WHS 2011 as my NAS server, which I think I can set up iSCSI from... however I plan to switch to using W10 as my NAS, which I'm not sure allows me to set up an iSCSI initiator... I may be wrong though!
I case I understood your setup correctly:
If you have another machine (your NAS) where you can install Windows 10, then you could use it as a backup repository, using native Veeam components. Just add this machine as a windows server in your B&R console, create a backup repository on it, and skip iSCSI altogether. Simpler, more reliable, less network traffic, you even get to offload some operations to the target (like health checks and backup chain transform operations).

PitRejection2359
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Re: Can i run the community edition and all my VMs from the same single ESXi host & hardware?

Post by PitRejection2359 »

Hi @lucious_the,

No, the W10 "NAS" is a VM inside the single ESXi box (which would replace the WHS2011 VM), so I'd pass through a disk to that directly to then set up iSCSI from that to share the drive to the B&R VM on the same ESXi server.
I haven't tried it yet, as I'm sorting out the ESXi licence, but will get onto it soon!

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Re: Can i run the community edition and all my VMs from the same single ESXi host & hardware?

Post by lucius_the »

Oh, sorry I didn't catch that. When you said "NAS" I figured it was another physical machine. Yeah, I was wandering a bit why Gostev didn't suggest it :)

I understand your setup now, yeah, seems like a good way to do it in.
Some notes though: you need iSCSI target (not initiator) on the Windows VM if you wish to provide storage the the B&R server via iSCSI. Not sure if Windows 10 has iSCSI target functionality (it does have initiator, but I'm unsure about target).
Another option, still, is to add that Windows VM as a windows server in your B&R and use Veeam components for transfer. Your backup files will then end on the VM-local NTFS volume, skipping the iSCSI layer. As you are going to pass the disk to the VM directy (using ESXi passthrough I presume, if your controller and drivers support it) then if you later connect that drive to another machine (recovery situation) you should be able to simply mount the NTFS volume and get the data.

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Re: Can i run the community edition and all my VMs from the same single ESXi host & hardware?

Post by Zweistein » 1 person likes this post

Hello PitRejection2359 dont vorget to exclude your W10 VM from the ESXi Backup-Job.

PitRejection2359
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Re: Can i run the community edition and all my VMs from the same single ESXi host & hardware?

Post by PitRejection2359 »

Hi @zweistein - thanks, yeah, will do!

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