Hello VMware people!
I’m an IT guy with nearly 20 years of experience (started getting paid for IT as a student employee in college, and that was almost 2 decades ago). I spent several years at an MSP, and then about 13 years in an enterprise… but somehow managed to not do a lot of VMware work at that enterprise (the place was MS-centric so our virtualization started out with HyperV, and then later moved to Nutanix). I’ve had a couple one-off ESXi boxes over the years running vendor appliances that they wouldn’t support in other hypervisors, so I’m at least familiar with some basics of operation / etc. But I’ve never had a vSphere Server, and I’ve never had to deal with backups.
I’m in a situation now where I get to plan and implement a greenfield IT deployment (it will be the “back of house” systems at an ISP – think DNS/RADIUS/LDAP, customer billing system, and a bunch of monitoring stuff like LibreNMS/Zabbix/Grafana/etc).
One of the options I’m considering (due to cost pressure from my boss) is a shared-nothing VMware cluster using 2-4 standalone boxes, running on used/refurbished hardware [yes, ick, I know]. The company is a nonprofit, so I can get VMware licensing pretty cheap through Techsoup.
But if I’m running used gear, I sure as hell want some sort of backup in place. I know I should be able to migrate/copy VMs between the two hosts if they’re clustered… is there anything else I can do cheaply/free, without involving some piece of backup software? I.e. if I drop in a NAS and share it to both boxes, can I schedule regular copies of a VM over to the NAS? Or does anything other than a vMotion require some sort of backup software?
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