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I got a dead ESXi host...any way to retrieve the data?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
This isn't my setup...I do run ESXi but I run a regular file back up and save them bare metal so if I lost my ESXi host I don't lose my data.

However, a co-worker set one up too, but they didn't move their backup off the host. Now they had a hardware failure and this is older hardware that I doubt they will be able to find again...plus they have other hardware on hand they can use. However, it is common knowledge that ESXi will require you to format the drives to use them. Is there any way out of this situation for them? I am asking in several places on the net so I apologize if you see them somewhere else.

Think it will work to plug the drives into a Linus environment and SSH into a new ESXi host and put the files there? I've never done such.

This is why backups are important...though it really sucks for this guy because technically the data is still there, but there isn't going to be an easy way to access it...and if it can't be accessed by a Windows system it will be useless to him.
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post #2 of 4
What kind of hardware failure? Drive? Motherboard? RAID card? Need some more detail here.


Also, I've not run ESXi in some time - how are the drives formatted? Pop it into a Linux machine and run fdisk -l on the drive to see the partition layout.
    
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post #3 of 4
There some opensource vmfs drivers for linux, however they only support vmfs-3, so if the drives were formatted as vmfs-5 you are out of luck there.
Alternatively you could put the disks in your esxi box, it should discover them as foreign disks but should be mountable. This would allow you to access the vmdk's and get them off.
Or he could just build/find a new esxi machine, put the disk in that. Mount the disk and create new Virtual Machines using the vmdk's as the disks and run them, should work fine.
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Felix
(11 items)
 
ESXi 1
(9 items)
 
Dexter
(12 items)
 
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Intel Core i7 3770S 3.1 GHz Socket 1155 Box  Intel DQ77KB Intel HD4000 integrated gpu STRONTIUM 8GB Sodimm Single DDR3 1600Mhz 
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Intel 520 Series SATA3 25nm 120G 2.5' Scythe Kozuti CPU low profile heatsink fan Microsoft Windows 8 Pro w/ Media Centre Corsair Vengeance K90. Performance, MMO, Mechan... 
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Intel Core i7 3770 3.40 GHz 8M LGA1155 Processor Intel DQ77MK Intel HD4000 integrated gpu STRONTIUM 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 Dimm Single Module P... 
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SanDisk Blade 4GB Scythe Big Shuriken Rev. 2 ESXi vSphere 5.1 Coolermaster Elite 343 MATX Mini Tower Case Bla... 
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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mitchtaydev View Post

There some opensource vmfs drivers for linux, however they only support vmfs-3, so if the drives were formatted as vmfs-5 you are out of luck there.
Alternatively you could put the disks in your esxi box, it should discover them as foreign disks but should be mountable. This would allow you to access the vmdk's and get them off.
Or he could just build/find a new esxi machine, put the disk in that. Mount the disk and create new Virtual Machines using the vmdk's as the disks and run them, should work fine.

I managed to hook up the drives to my FreeNAS without formatting them...which took me learning some new tricks...and I was able to then hook them up to my host as NFS and then we got the data. Talk about a pain though...

People, back up your data...or at least the important stuff. You should have two copies of everything and each copy on different hardware. This guy is more of sales man than anything else and didn't realize by backing his data up to a data store on his host he would loose it if he lost the host.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboTurtle View Post

What kind of hardware failure? Drive? Motherboard? RAID card? Need some more detail here.


Also, I've not run ESXi in some time - how are the drives formatted? Pop it into a Linux machine and run fdisk -l on the drive to see the partition layout.

He lost it due to a motherboard failure, ESXi uses a vmfs file format...it isn't to compatible with other linux distros. You need some tools to access them and even then it is hard to pull out any really good data. Though I don't have a lot of experience with that...in my practice if I have a VM failure I load a snapshot or other type of backup and reproduce the VM again. In this instance he had a home server running with one host. You can't simply plug the drives into a another host to get the data. It will want to format the drives before it can use them. To move to different hardware you need to use something like V motion to move the VMs and data stores.
Edited by Vagrant Storm - 5/12/13 at 8:58pm
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My System
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