People often ask me how they should backup their VMs from an standalone free ESXi server before maintenance of hardware or when they want to upgrade their ESXi to a newer version.
Well, for this I will list here some possibilities to backup your VM once or scheduled and for free:
Export to OVA: The easiest way is to use the vSphere Client and export the VM to OVA. The exported VM can then be saved on your client workstation where the vSphere Client is running. In the vSphere documentation you can read how to do it:
Veeam Backup free Edition: Veeam Backup free Edition is probably the most powerful solution to backup your VMs for free. In adtition of backing up VMs, you can also migrate the VMs between multiple ESXi server, work with tapes and other nice features. Please visit the Veeam site to get more information:
Trilead VM Explorer: from the Internet i’ve found this tool that some people can recommend. I have never installed neither tried it. Have a try and give me some feedback. I would appreciate it.
ghettoVCB: ghettoVCB is a shell script which uses the API from VMWare to backup the VMs. It is not that easy to configure but when you have it configured once, it’s cool to work with it. The BIG advantage on this tool is, that you can schedule the script with an cronjob. So you have periodically backups of your system without having to interact. You will find more information on the VMWare community site:
I will update this post when I’ve found more tools to backup VMs for free…