Can I backup a running VM?
Yes, VM Explorer will create a snapshot of your running virtual machine and backup the snapshot. The VM will continue to run during the entire backup process.
For Hyper-V VM, it depends on the version. Pre-Hyper-V 2016 is depends on the guest OS which may be put into saved state during the snapshot process. With Hyper-V 2016 and beyond the VM will continue to run during the entire backup process.
Which TCP ports are required?
For ESXi Servers:
For ESXi editions only TCP Port 443 (HTTPS) is required
If the option 'Use VMX Agent on ESXi' is enabled, Ports 22(SSH), 443 (HTTPS), 62000-65000 are required.
To use VDDK port 902 is required.
For ESX Servers:
For ESX servers 22 (SSH), 443 (HTTPS) and TCP Ports 2500-3000 are required.
To use VDDK port 902 is required.
To verify the ESX firewall you can run the following command:
To modify manually your firewall please run the following command:
esxcfg-firewall -o 2500:3000,tcp,in,VMX-Explorer
esxcfg-firewall -o 2500:3000,tcp,out,VMX-Explorer
If you are copying from/to ESXi (using the agent)/Linux/FreeBSD, you have also to open the following ports on your ESX server:
esxcfg-firewall -o 62000:65000,tcp,in,VMX-Explorer
esxcfg-firewall -o 62000:65000,tcp,out,VMX-Explorer
For vCenter the port 443 (HTTPS) is required.
For Hyper-V Servers:
For Hyper-V servers 9000, 9001, 62000-65000 are required.
For Linux and FreeBSD servers:
For Linux and FreeBSD servers the port 22 (SSH), 62000-65000 are required.
For PC running VM Explorer
The port 111 (VM Explorer NFS service) is required in order to use automated backup functionality.
Can I get faster backup performance on ESXi?
Yes, but Version 1.6 or higher is required: Verify your ESXi Server Settings in VM Explorer. Switch to 'Expert Settings' tab and enable the 'Use SSH' option and the 'Use the VMX Agent on ESXi' option. This will make the backup job faster.
Can VM Explorer backup VMs using thin provisioning?
Yes, VM Explorer can backup these VMs.
Thin disk on ESXi is based on file system, therefore, under certain circumstances, when a backup is performed full disk is backed up.
It is possible to convert disk as thin after backup/restore process. When you configure a backup in backup setup dialogue switch to "Files & Disks" tab and enable "After backup convert disk as thin".
if target server is set to "same host as VM" thin disks are transferred directly as thin disk
if target server is an ESXi host thin disks are converted to thin after backup/restore process
if target server is not ESXi thin disks are backed up as full.
Incremental backup for licensed ESXi host (not the free edition), with at least "Essential" license, transfers and backups only used space and not full disk space. On the other hand incremental backup for ESXi free edition backups full disk space.
the disk must be located on a VMFS volume (backing does not matter).
the virtual machine must have had no (zero) snapshots when changed block tracking was enabled
Incremental backups using VD Service (CBT) from ESXi 6.0.X servers may be corrupted.
This is a VMware ESXi issue in CBT logic that affects ESXi 6.0.X servers prior to patch ESXi.6.0.3247720
As described in the following VMware KB (http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2136854
), the issue occurs when you run virtual machine backups which utilize Changed Block Tracking (CBT) in ESXi 6.0; the CBT API call QueryDiskChangedAreas() might return incorrect changed sectors that results in inconsistent incremental backups.
All incremental backups done from ESXi 6.0.X server prior to patch ESXi.6.0.3247720 should be considered as corrupted.
Update all ESXi 6.0 servers to the latest available patch and replace all incremental backups previously made.
Force an initial new full backup by resetting Changed Block Tracking (CBT) of all the VMs to backup, as described in the following VMware KB: http://kb.vmware.com/kb/2139574
How does licencing exactly work?
VM Explorer is licensed by physical CPU sockets within hypervisor hosts that contain VMs to be backed-up. Each instance must be licensed with a Starter Pack, and additional CPU sockets can be purchased to meet your environment.
VM Explorer Professional Edition Starter Pack includes the license to use (LTU) for 4 (four) CPU sockets.
VM Explorer Enterprise Edition Starter Pack includes the license to use (LTU) for 6 (six) CPU sockets.
Either VM Explorer Professional Edition Starter Pack or VM Explorer Enterprise Edition Starter Pack is obligatory. Individual CPU Socket additions are applied on top of Starter Packs.