Chuck's Cool Reviews and Info

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I've been using Synology Network Attached storage devices for years as my iSCSi and NFS storage location for VMware ESXi hosts on my home lab. (The Synology is also my shared media storage location as well.)

I choose to use 7 of the 8 bays in my Synology device as a RAID 5 volume for media and file sharing storage and the 8th drive bay houses an SSD drive that I use for my iSCSi based ESXi VM datastore storage shared between my ESXi hosts.

The problem I have always had is how do I efficiently backup my VMs in the event that the datastore SSD drive that they are on dies? I have tried scripts, Veeam One year free trials, etc, but nothing was simple and set it and forget it.

Then my buddy turned me on to to the existing and free application that is on the Synology Package Center just waiting to be discovered.

The app is called Active Backup for Business. enter image description here

Once installed, you can schedule backups and do restores of Workstations, Servers, Virtual Machines, etc all from the Active Backup for Business interface.

The best thing about it is that it can work similarly to Veeam, such that doing a restore can be instant if you select that option during the restore process. It mounts your VM .vmdk that was backed up and attaches an NFS datastore to your ESXi host and boots the VM up instantly. This is really sweet and gets you back to basic functionality quickly.

This scenario happened to me over the weekend: My single drive SSD housing the VMs datastore died and my Synology started beeping at me to tell me there was a failure. I used Active Backup for Business to restore my VMs and had them back up and running (on the NFS datastore it placed on my existing media share to be used temporarilly.) in a few minutes. Once they were running, I went ahead and addressed the failed SSD by pulling it out and popping in a replacement drive I had on hand. After creating a new iSCSi datastore on the new drive, I did a storage vMotion from the NFS restore location to the SSD datastore to get my normal VM drive performance back and was all set from there.

Active Backup for Business is an effective, limited down time, no cost and very effective backup and restore solution, especially for VMs.

Additionally, I use vCenter for my home lab. I got a legit license for it quite cheap on Ebay. I suggest you look there if you need a license for your homelab products.