Back up everything to protect against accidental deletion, malicious interference, and ransomware attack.
One of the key services that you need to back up is your hypervisor. VMWare is a leading virtualization system and if this is your hypervisor of choice, you will benefit from specialized VMWare backup tools.
Some backup tools just make copies of your hypervisor settings. A full backup and restore service is better. In fact, those services can also run replication and distribution for you. Some of those backup services include cloud storage space and offer failover services as well.
Here is our list of the ten best VMWare backup tools:
- SolarWinds Backup EDITOR’S CHOICE This cloud-based backup system lets you choose to back up specific data stores and a list of applications, including VMWare. Each service can have different backup settings.
- Acronis Cyber Backup Choose to backup single instances or entire VMWare environments. Use the service to replicate or migrate as well as restore. This is a cloud-based service.
- Veeam Backup & Replication A backup and restore service for cloud, physical, and virtual resources that includes routines for backing up VMWare. It is available as a cloud service for on-premises installation on Windows Server.
- Altaro VM Backup A backup service specifically for virtual machines with a version for VMWare and another for Hyper-V implementations. It installs on top of VMWare virtualizations.
- Iperius Backup A backup and restore service that covers VMWare and Hyper-V virtualizations. It runs on Windows and Windows Server.
- Nakivo Backup and Replication A backup system with ransomware protection included that has capabilities for supporting many well-known applications, including VMWare virtualizations. It runs on Windows and Windows Server.
- Vembu BDR Suite Free A backup system for VMWare and also Hyper-V, Windows Server, workstations, AWS, and productivity suites. It is available for Windows, Windows, Server, and Ubuntu Linux.
- Storware A flexible backup system for virtualizations, operating systems, file servers, and applications. It runs on CentOS and RHEL Linux.
- Unitrends Backup Implemented on a hypervisor as a virtual appliance, this backup system is suitable for VMWare and Hyper-V systems and is available in free and paid versions.
- VSquare Backup Offers backup services for VMWare, Hyper-V, and entire PCs. It installs on Windows and Windows Server.
The best VMWare backup tools
Whether you are on a tight budget and want a VMWare backup system for free or if you only want the best and have the money to pay for it, we’ve tracked down the best VMWare backup systems for you. There are actually a lot of backup systems on the market at the moment and you can end up wasting a lot of time combing through the also-rans. Save yourself some time by reading through our backup service summaries.
1. SolarWinds Backup EDITOR’S CHOICE
SolarWinds Backup is a cloud-based service and it is provided by the MSP division of SolarWinds. This section offers system monitoring and management software to managed service providers. For this reason, the service is built as a multi-tenanted system. MSPs can use it directly to back up the systems of their customers or resell it, giving each customer direct access to their own sub-account to organize backups. The service can also be used by IT professionals that work in-house to support a business’s system.
Within the browser-based console, the user can select from a series of applications which to back up, and VMWare is included in that list. Each application can have different backup settings. The service will create a local copy of the virtualization and from that store, upload the copy to the SolarWinds cloud server. Both the transfer across the internet and the storage are protected by 256-bit AES encryption, which is considered uncrackable.
The advantage of the two storage locations is that restoring the system from the local copy is much faster. However, inevitably, the local copy shares vulnerabilities with the original, live system. Once you have a full copy in storage, the service will perform incremental updates, only copying over data that has changed. That copy in the cloud has other uses because there is nothing to stop you from using it to replicate a VMWare implementation in another location.
This is a well-planned, easy-to-user system that has strong security and can generate extra income for MSPs.
SolarWinds Backup is our number one pick for a VMWare backup service because it backs up all of the virtual infrastructures. The backup system is based in the cloud and it operates both on the local system, storing a copy on-site, and on the cloud with secure storage included with a subscription. This gives double value because the local copy provides a fast restore service and the cloud-stored copy provides protection against an onsite disaster.
Get a 30-day free trial: https://www.solarwindsmsp.com/products/backup/trial
Operating system: Cloud-based
2. Acronis Cyber Backup
Acronis Cyber Backup is a cloud service that is offered on a subscription. It is available to back up all systems, both on-premises and in the cloud, and it includes ransomware protection processes.
The Acronis backup system servers many different applications and VMWare virtualization is on that list. It also has the capability to back up Hyper-V, Citrix Xen, RedHat, KVM, and Oracle VM implementations. The virtualization backup system is charged per server with no limit to the number of VMs included in the service. The backup system covers other applications and has a different pricing structure for each.
Aptly, the Acronis system is implemented through a proprietary hypervisor. The system copies to local storage and then copies from there to the Acronis cloud server. There is an allocation of 250 GB of cloud storage space included with the subscription price.
After an initial full backup, the system can switch over to incremental backups to lighten processing and save time. However, it is always possible to generate a full backup again. The local copy provides a fast restore and the cloud copy is there to ensure against disaster. The system allows the virtualization structure to be copied to new locations, creating a replication system.
The ransomware protection in Acronis Cyber Backup uses AI-based detection methods to identify threats. More security measures are included along with the backup system in a higher plan, which is called Acronis Cyber Protection.
Acronis Cyber Backup is charged for on an annual subscription rate and it is possible to save money by accumulating backup services for many different applications on one account. Acronis Cyber Backup is available for a 30-day free trial.
3. Veeam Backup & Replication
Veeam Backup & Replication is one service that is built into a stack of cloud services. Although it is part of a larger platform, it is possible to take on this system as a standalone utility. The Veeam backup system is a cloud-based service.
The user can choose which services and data should be included in the backup plan. It is able to cover operating systems, data stores, services, and applications. Among the applications covered by Veeam Backup & Replication is VMWare. The system can also manage backups for Hyper-V.
Veeam prides itself on its proprietary Instant VM Recovery system, which uses multi-threading and parallel connections to restore multiple VMs simultaneously. The service can also be used for migrations and replication.
As this is an online service, you don’t have to worry about maintaining the software – all updates to the system occur behind the scenes on the Veeam server. This is a quick and efficient backup and replication service that is easy to use and cost-effective. The tool will backup VMWare vSphere 5.5, vSphere 6.x, and vSphere 7.0. There is also an on-premises version, which installs on Windows Server, for those who prefer to manage the software themselves. You can get a 30-day free trial of Veeam Backup & Replication.
4. Altaro VM Backup
Altaro VM Backup is an on-premises package that has different versions for VMWare and Hyper-V. The Hyper-V version installs on Windows Server, by the VMWare version runs on top of the hypervisor, so it is flexible as far as the underlying operating system is concerned.
The Altaro system operates an incremental update system after an initial full backup. A full backup can also be performed on-demand at any time. This service can also be used to migrate, distribute, or replicate VMWare implementations.
This service can backup VMWare instances on many sites, so it is a great option for businesses that have centralized their IT services. The backup system is lightweight and operates continuously in the background without the risk of freezing the hypervisor being backed up.
This service doesn’t include storage space. However, the Altaro system includes integrations for the major cloud storage providers, so backups can be forwarded seamlessly over the internet as well as being stored locally. It is also possible to designate business-owned storage on other sites as a target for backups.
Altaro VM Backup is available for a 30-day free trial.
5. Iperius Backup
Iperius Backup offers an interface for the Changed Block Tracking (CBT) feature of VMware ESXi Free. It also has a replication service for that system. This Iperius tool is also able to back up standard ESXi and vCenter implementations. This system is also available to back up Hyper-V implementations.
By offering incremental backups, Iperius is able to work within the native services of VMWare systems and minimize disruption to the hypervisor’s availability. The Iperius Backup service ensures continuity of service through its rapid restore system. On-demand full backups are also available.
There are four editions of Iperius Backup. The two lower versions, Desktop and Essential, don’t include options for backing up VMWare virtualizations. The third edition, called Advanced is tailored to specific applications and there is an Advanced VM plan, which covers VMWare systems. The top edition, called Full, also caters to VMWare. You can experience the Advanced edition on a 21-day free trial. The software installs on Windows Server.
6. Nakivo Backup and Replication
Nakivo Backup & Replication offers system protection services for vCenter-managed and standalone ESXi workloads. This system has a fast recovery service and can also be used for replication and migration. Other functions in the Backup & Recovery stable from Nakivo offer protection for Hyper-V and Nutanix and also the AWS EC2 and Azure platforms.
As well as protecting virtualizations, Nakivo can back up operating systems, including Windows editions and Linux distros. It is also suitable for backing up Active Directory, SQL Server, Exchange Server, and Microsoft Office 365.
Storage isn’t included in the Nakivo package. However, the software can easily connect to a range of storage media, including cloud services. It operates incremental backups and also makes on-demand full backup services available.
The Nakivo software is available for Windows, Windows Server, and Ubuntu, RHEL, SLES, and CentOS Linux. You can get it on a 15-day free trial.
7. Vembu BDR Suite Free
If you want a free backup service for your VMWare implementations then Vembu BDR Suite Free is worthy of your attention. BDR stands for Backup and Disaster Recovery. This is a great free tool for backing up VMWare, Hyper-V, Windows Server, entire workstations with Windows or macOS operating systems, Office 365, G Suite, and AWS EC2 instances.
This all sounds so fantastic that you probably wonder what the catch is. As with any free version, there are limits on the capabilities of this free service. The system will back up 10 VMs with a useful service and then allow extra VMs to be backed up with service limitations.
As well as the Free edition, there are four paid versions: Standard Essentials, Standard, Enterprise Essentials, and Enterprise. You can get the Standard edition on a 30-day free trial. If you decide not to buy at the end of the trial, the software switches over to the Free edition. This is on-premises software with versions available for Windows, Windows Server, and Ubuntu Linux.
8. Storware Vprotect
Storware Vprotect is a backup and snapshot system for virtualizations and containers. This backup system can also serve and any application that can be automated through scripts. Its virtual environment support extends to cloud environments as well as on-premises hypervisors. As well as VMWare, this system can protect Hyper-V, Citrix Xen Server, Red Hat Virtualization, Nutanix, Oracle VM Server, XCP-ng, oVirt, Peomox, and KVM. It also supports the OpenStack, Red Hat OpenShift and AWS EC2 cloud platforms, and Kubernetes containers.
While backing up hypervisors, this system can also extend its protection to file servers, operating systems, databases, productivity suites, and mail servers. So, Storware pretty much has your whole site covered.
This backup system is available in free and paid versions. The Free edition is limited to backing up 10 VMs. The paid version is called Commercial and it has a tailored pricing system. You can choose a charge rate per host, per VM, or by data throughput volume. This is on-premises software that installs on RHEL or CentOS Linux. You can experience it on a 60-day free trial.
9. Unitrends Backup
Unitrends Backup is an on-premises system that is delivered as a virtual or a physical appliance. There are five editions of this system and all of them include coverage for VMWare and Hyper-V implementations. The Free edition is very suitable for any size of business. It is remarkable because it doesn’t impose a limit on the number of VMs that it will backup. However, there is a limit on data throughput of 1TB per year.
The paid plans of Unitrends backup include services to back up other systems, not just hypervisors. However, if you are only looking for a way to back up VMWare, the Free edition should be good enough.
Unitrends is a property of Kaseya, a producer of system monitoring and management tools and it has a high standard in its GUI interface. The system is reliable and easy to use. You can get an unrestricted 30-day free trial of the paid backup system.
10. VSquare Backup
VSquare Backup offers monthly subscription plans to back up PCs and virtualizations. It is able to protect VMWare and Hyper-V implementations. This system provides full backup and restore services for VMware ESX and VMware ESXi, including VMware ESXi Free.
The Free edition of VSquare Backup is limited to backing up only three VMs. That isn’t going to be of any use for many businesses, so you will probably need to look at the paid plans. These are Professional, Enterprise, and Corporate. These plans all include incremental backup strategies, which are easier to manage in terms of processor load than periodic full backups. You can choose where to store backup files, whether on-site, in a remote location, or on the cloud – storage space isn’t included with a subscription.
The software for VSquare Backup installs on Windows 10 or Windows Server. You get your first month free with any of the paid plans.