Discussions specific to the VMware vSphere hypervisor
dwhittaker
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Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works...

Post by dwhittaker » Feb 22, 2012 7:40 am

No, this is not the usual "Can I run free ESXi with Veeam?" question. This is a statement, and I'm wondering if anyone else has come across this.

I discovered yesterday, during a quick investigation for a colleague regarding a backup error for a particular VM on the host in question, that Veeam was managing to back up the VM (we only have one currently in the backup job) 100% completely on an ESXi host that, unbeknownst to us working with the Veeam install, was licensed with only the vSphere 5 Hypervisor license. The backup error we were looking into ended up being resolved by a specific Windows maintenance (it was an RPC error).

We are now extremely confused, as I know in v5 that this didn't work due to the lack of write access the free version has to the vStorage APIs, and yet here in v6 on this particular host in our particular environment (which is a different environment to what I had experience with v5) I am looking at a host with a free license installed and backups of a VM ON THAT HOST are completing successfully, triggered by our offsite Veeam Backup Manager installation. Veeam's support stance still states it's unsupported, but supporting it and it working are very different things.

Gostev, or anyone else who may have come across this, any ideas what the heck is going on? The only thing I can offer as a possible explanation is that the backup job was created whilst the host was in evaluation mode, then due to the amount of time it took to get the right license file the guys who were onlining that host put a free ESXi license on it temporarily (and then possibly forgot about it) which leads us to the situation I have here. I have requested if those with the rights to do so attempt a restoration of the VM to ensure the whole process worked as expected and we're not just getting false completion notifications.

Thoughts?

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by dwhittaker » Feb 22, 2012 7:42 am

Oops, didn't create this in the specific vSphere sub-forum. Please move it if necessary. Thanks!

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by Vitaliy S. » Feb 22, 2012 4:15 pm

Hi Daniel, I will ask our QC team to confirm this behavior and will update this topic once I have more details.

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by dwhittaker » Mar 02, 2012 4:46 am

More pertinent info:

The license that was installed (vSphere 5 Hypervisor) was already implemented from the installation image used, which was procured from HP (it's the normal HP modified ESXi 5 image available readily on their website that includes the updated CIM MIBs etc). It seems this image includes the free license and automatically selects it instead of the eval mode when the hypervisor is installed to a host. I've not seen that before (OEM bundling the free license with the image), and I know it wasn't the case with previous version bundles from HP as I used them extensively for 4.0 and 4.1 implementations on HP gear.

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by Regnor » Mar 02, 2012 6:59 am

That's an interessting topic.
I'm planing a backup solutions for a customer who uses the Hypervisor and it would be great if I didn't have to license the host just for the backup.

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by Cokovic » Mar 02, 2012 9:16 am

It would be great if you didn't have to license the host "just" for the backup?

C'mon really. Dont you think it's worth spending some money in a working and valuable backup solution?

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by Regnor » Mar 02, 2012 10:55 am

Cokovic wrote:It would be great if you didn't have to license the host "just" for the backup?

C'mon really. Dont you think it's worth spending some money in a working and valuable backup solution?
I'm speaking about the licensing the VMware Hypervisor; why should one license a single free Hypervisor with vSphere Standard or Essentials just to be able to backup the running machines?
In bigger environements its obvious not to use the free Hypervisor, but what is with small companies with just one host and 3-4 VMs?

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by Cokovic » Mar 02, 2012 1:09 pm

I know that you were talking about licensing of VMWare Hypervisor. But if you want to use a solution like Veeam the vStorage API is necessary so it will require a Hypervisor license.

Maybe you want to take a look at this blog entry from Veeam. It's from 2009 but still valid i guess:

http://www.veeam.com/blog/veeam-and-free-esxi.html

As an alternative you could still perform a backup within your VMs. But not so comfortable as with Veeam ;)

And i dont think that this is a question of company size to purchase licenses or not. It's more a question of how business critical your VMs are and how fast your customer need the environment to be recovered in case of a desaster recovery. But thats just my opinion....

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by Regnor » Mar 03, 2012 9:45 am

Well you're right and agree with your opinion on that topic, but it's hard to convince customers to license their hypervisors, which they've used for years without paying anything.
Instead of seeing the benifits and advantages they only see the costs; and Essentials for about 600$ is really a good offer from VMware...
Perhaps we should do the same and stop supporting customers who use the free hypervisors :)

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by Cokovic » Mar 05, 2012 3:27 pm

Oooooh i know these kind of customers well ;)

A german saying that applies would be something like "If you don't want to listen, find out the hard way" ;)

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by dwhittaker » Mar 07, 2012 5:07 am

Except in the real world that saying doesn't work because of another saying "the customer is always right". Misguided, blind, ignorant or arrogant... but never wrong.

Anyway, has anyone else tried this or experienced it? In the absence of response from Veeam QC thus far (I realise it takes time) has the community run into this phenomenon with vSphere 5 and Veeam B&R 6? I have not had the resource to test this elsewhere at this time.

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by Gostev » Mar 08, 2012 8:34 pm

Sorry for the delayed response, this was caused by the fact that I also had to communicate with my VMware contacts on this matter.

We have reproduced and confirmed this behavior. Apparently, some API restrictions were removed in free ESXi 5.0 (aka vSphere Hypervisor), making the backup of VMs running on such hosts possible. Specifically, in previous VMware versions, creating VM snapshot via vSphere API would fail on free ESXi hosts with the “restricted version” error, but this seems to be no longer the case with free ESXi 5.0. And as soon as you have the snapshot, you can back it up through vStorage API normally of course.

So I have contacted VMware with these findings, and this appears to be a unintentional change that will be fixed in the future ESXi updates. Thus, I do not recommend that your customers build their long term hypervisor strategy around exploiting this.

Thanks!

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by dwhittaker » Mar 22, 2012 11:33 pm

Thanks Gostev. Well looks like I've just gone and ruined a lot of people's fun :)

I guess we'll all know when VMWare fixes this oversight as a barrage of forum posts and support calls will come in when some newer Veeam B&R clients have their jobs begin failing after a VMWare patch where they previously worked beforehand. You may want to provide an alert via email/blog/website that this may occur when the time comes.

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SureBackup to free ESXi

Post by phlight » Apr 18, 2012 12:17 pm

[merged]

My assumption is that this can't be done but figured it couldn't hurt to ask.

Thanks!

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Veeam Replication to ESXi Free hosts ?

Post by tfloor » Apr 26, 2012 7:39 am

[merged]

Hello,

We want to setup a DR setup.
A second building with 5 esxi hosts and 1 san.
and 1 backup server to setup veeam replication on each site.

Can we replicate from ESXi licensed to ESXi Free on the DR site?
Or do i need to buy expensive licensed for esxi to get replication working?

Regards,

Tristan.

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by tfloor » Apr 26, 2012 10:54 am

It's merged, but still see no answer.

Previous answers are for backup, but i'm talking about replication to esxi free hosts.

So
Main site: 5x ESxi Licensed
Target Site: 5x ESXi free

Possible, or do i need to license the vsphere on the target site?

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by Vitaliy S. » Apr 26, 2012 12:39 pm

Hi Tristan,

Since replicated VMs are using snapshots and you would probably need to perform partial failover (non-hardware disaster usually requires failover only specific affected VMs) or failback operations, then of course you would have to buy VMware licenses for both of your sites. However I suppose you could setup your DR site with the same licenses as you are using for your production site, assuming you will only use DR site to run VMs when your production site is actually down, but this should be double-checked with a VMware rep.

Thanks!

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by tfloor » Apr 26, 2012 12:47 pm

Vitaliy S. wrote:Hi Tristan,

Since replicated VMs are using snapshots and you would probably need to perform partial failover (non-hardware disaster usually requires failover only specific affected VMs) or failback operations, then of course you would have to buy VMware licenses for both of your sites. However I suppose you could setup your DR site with the same licenses as you are using for your production site, assuming you will only use DR site to run VMs when your production site is actually down, but this should be double-checked with a VMware rep.

Thanks!
Thanks but need a little bit more explains...

So for getting the VM's replicated to the other site, i don't need esxi licenses on the destination site?
Only when fully failover to the DR site, and need to backup that site.

Can you confirm that or refer to documentation that explains.

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by Vitaliy S. » Apr 26, 2012 12:53 pm

As per our release notes ESXi free is not supported (neither as source nor as destination host).

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by tfloor » Apr 26, 2012 1:10 pm

Does that mean , when i want to use veeam replication i need also buy expensive vmware licences on the target?
I think i can't add an esxi free server to veeam. So can't assign it as target for replication. correct?

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by tfloor » Apr 26, 2012 1:23 pm

tfloor wrote:Does that mean , when i want to use veeam replication i need also buy expensive vmware licences on the target?
I think i can't add an esxi free server to veeam. So can't assign it as target for replication. correct?
What about license only 1 host at the DR site.
I don't want to spend much money on a DR site that i only use for testing my backups.

On the other side, i can choose to not do replication, but don't know how to put my veeam backups on the datastore of the DR san, and boot it up with esxi 5 free.

Before we used symantec backup exec, and then you could restore backups to datastore, and boot it up with esxi 5 free

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by Vitaliy S. » Apr 26, 2012 1:43 pm

tfloor wrote:Does that mean , when i want to use veeam replication i need also buy expensive vmware licences on the target?
I think i can't add an esxi free server to veeam. So can't assign it as target for replication. correct?
If VMware does not allow using the production license in the DR site, then you may want to purchase VMware Essentials, as far as I know it is the cheapest way to buy the required license.
tfloor wrote:What about license only 1 host at the DR site.
I don't want to spend much money on a DR site that i only use for testing my backups.
Yes, that would also work.
tfloor wrote: On the other side, i can choose to not do replication, but don't know how to put my veeam backups on the datastore of the DR san, and boot it up with esxi 5 free.

Before we used symantec backup exec, and then you could restore backups to datastore, and boot it up with esxi 5 free
You can create a Windows/Linux repository on the DR host, this will allow you to store your backup files on the DR SAN.

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by tfloor » Apr 26, 2012 2:36 pm

Thanks for the answers, my questions are answered completely!
I will take a look for the best practice for us!

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by lux209 » May 08, 2012 9:45 am

Hi all,

I'm personaly using Veeam to backup a free ESXi host and it works like a charm. I'm also using veeam to replicate my prod site (with VMware standard license) to my DR site with 1 ESXi free and it also works.

But if I understand well, it will no longer works if VMware decide to patch ESX 5 ? What if I decide to not apply the patch ? Is it legal ?

Thanks for your help !

Lucas

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by Gostev » May 08, 2012 10:49 am

I am not sure if you want to run some old unpatched version of ESXi for extended period of time in the first place... just think how many potential issues this brings.

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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by dellock6 » May 08, 2012 11:07 am

Especially now that some code leakage has happened and even if the lost code by VMware is about 5 years old technology, is another good reason for keeping every ESXi server fully patched.
Luca Dell'Oca
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Re: Veeam with vSphere 5 Hypervisor (e.g. free ESXi) works..

Post by jj05 » Jun 17, 2012 3:38 pm

Gostev wrote:So I have contacted VMware with these findings, and this appears to be a unintentional change that will be fixed in the future ESXi updates. Thus, I do not recommend that your customers build their long term hypervisor strategy around exploiting this.
Did anyone test this on ESXi 5.0 U1?

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Failed jobs

Post by zak2011 » Jul 06, 2012 7:01 am

[merged]

Hi,
I got the following error message when i tried to backup some VMs on an ESXi host.
Error: Your Veeam Backup license does not allow processing of free ESXi.

Currently i am running the trial of VBR6.1. Is this a limitation since i am using a free version of ESXi or any other reason.
Will i be able to backup these VMs running on ESXi free version once i get VBR6.1 licensed?

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Re: Failed jobs

Post by zak2011 » Jul 06, 2012 7:11 am

I think i got the answer from the FAQs
Q: Is free ESXi (also known as vSphere Hypervisor) supported?
A: Free ESXi is not supported, because it has vStorage API for Data Protection and other management APIs locked down specifically to prevent ISVs from being able to backup/manage such hosts.

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backup esxi free edition

Post by beefree » Aug 29, 2012 3:13 pm

[merged]

Hello,

Is it possible to backup and replicate esxi free edition with veeam?

Thanks for your help.

Michael

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