Monday, September 10, 2012

MicroServer ESXi WhiteBox Part 2 - VM Backups easily with ghettoVCB

Hello world.  Part two of my MicroServer ESXi WhiteBox series will be discussing how to back up those precious virtual machines made with our free ESXi server.  Fortunately for us, the community has provided a very powerful ghettoVCB script to do just that.

You can find the documentation here.  


First, make sure you can SSH to the ESXi box.  Enable remote console via the vSphere client.

You can download the tar.gz here.  Extract the ghettoVCB folder to a datastore using the vSphere client's datastore Browser inside a scripts folder.

SSH to your ESXi box.  Make sure the script itself is executable (, then edit the configuration file (ghettoVCB.conf).  Finally, you will need to create a list of virtual machines.  I keep this part simple (for more options, like targeting specific disks, see the docs).  I create a file called vms_to_backup and per line, include the names of the virtual machines I intend to backup and maintain two copies.

# cd /vmfs/volumes/2TB_Spindle/scripts/ghettoVCB
# chmod 755
# vi ghettoVCB.conf

# vi vms_to_backup

Good enough for my backup sanity.  Lets give the script a dryrun to see if we have any problems.

#  ./ -f vms_to_backup -g ./ghettoVCB.conf -d dryrun

2012-09-09 17:54:15 -- info: ###### Final status: OK, only a dryrun. ######

If all looks good, lets give it a whirl.

./ -f vms_to_backup -g ./ghettoVCB.conf

2012-09-09 21:22:55 -- info: Successfully completed backup for vCenter!

2012-09-09 21:22:56 -- info: ###### Final status: All VMs backed up OK! ######

2012-09-09 21:22:56 -- info:  ghettoVCB LOG END 

The next step is to add a crontab entry and run it at a specific interval of your choosing.  Since the conf file says VM_BACKUP_ROTATION_COUNT=2, it will keep two run results of the backup script.

Good luck.

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