VMware Solutions Discussions

How to automate guest shutdown, snapshot, start up and copy snapshot


We have vSphere 5.1 running with ONTAP 7.3.6 on a FAS2020. We will be using our VM infrastructure more in the future. SQL Server with SMSQL and SnapDrive and Exchange 2010 are both coming soon. However, currently we are running smaller VMs that use SQL Server Express 2005 or 2008 for their internal databases. I don't need a daily backup of these machines, but one a week would be great.

Our VMs are in NFS data stores and have VSC plugged in to our vCenter environment.

I would like to automate a procedure (or find something that already does this) that does the following:

1) Shutdowns the guest at say 3 AM

2) Waits for the shutdown to complete, initiates a Snapshot

3) Boots the VM after the Snapshot completes

4) Copies all the files from the Snapshot for this particular VM to a secured CIFS share

We are using Symantec BackupExec 2010 which currently doesn't support vSphere 5.1.

I will then backup these VMs to tape or elsewhere.

This must be a commonly needed script. I just discovered the presence of SnapCreator Framework, also, though I don't know if it is overkill for my environment.

Thanks for any input.

- Elan



Hi BehHelpDesk...

I am part of the Backup Exec product mgmt team.  There is a new beta that is about to start for BE.  It includes support for 5.1 on BE 2010 & 2012.  You can sign up here:  http://bit.ly/X7jhP8

Let me know if I can help

Matt Stephenson




I am aware of this. I am signed up also, however I don't want to use beta software in a production environment.


We are licenses for vSphere Essentials if that makes a difference.


You say you have VSC.  Do you have the SMVI license?  Also, much of what you are looking to do is built into ONTAP (snapshot, mirror to tape or mirror to mirror to tape).



I think we have an SMVI license. There is no code when I look for it, but it was part of the Application Pack we purchased. I assumed if we have VSC we have SMVI, but I don't see a separate download for it.

Is SMVI the direction I should go in? Does it automate guest shutdowns and copying of NFS folder contents?

- Elan


SMVI is not a separate download, it is built into VSC.  A license is required to use it however.  You very likely have one if you purchased a software package, but I can't tell you for sure.  In any case, the backup and recovery part of VSC (formerly SMVI) does not require that you shut down VMs to take backups.  It does an online backup of entire Datastores, sets of VMs, or individual VMs and can do so on a schedule.  It can also leverage VMware snapshots to ensure file system consistency as part of the backup, but with today's journaled file systems, that is not always necessary.


Yes I understand all that. On VM is running XP and the other is W2003 and both use SQL Server Express. I don't think it is sufficient to do an online backup of these systems, the database is not backed up cleanly. Hence the desire to shutdown and snapshot and restart.

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