ESXi and backups

I have my home computer lab setup to run ESXi with several VMs and I have been slowly upgrading it, with the occasional bit of spare cash. I am by no means a virtualization expert, I am just dabbling into the world of virtualization and I am loving it. I've been using ESXi for over a year, in my old employment and at my home computer lab. I have used pretty much every free backup program there is. Backing up ESXi is a pain, due to VMware being a bit of an arse and restricting the APIs.

The first backup solution I used was Unitrends backup (when they gave out the free version). The first warning sign is the fact the interface is web-based and based on Flash. Hmm. (this information may be out of date as I last used it over a year ago, and attempted to install it recently with a metric shed tonne of errors, so I abandoned ship). So in my last employment, where I first setup an ESXi server and a couple of VMs, I tried Unitrends backup. It would work for a couple of days, then the entire VM would become corrupted and usable. I’m not sure if it was the old server that the company was using, or whether it was my inexperience. About 2-3 days ago, I tried it again on my whitebox server and it complained about disk being corrupted, which I know it isn’t. So, that was my experience with Unitrends. Never again.

Next I went to use Veeam, but sadly it doesn’t support ESXi, so I have no input on that. I didn’t try the paid version as I really don’t want to pay for a backup solution that I’ll hardly need.

What I am currently running is Trilead which does work with ESXi, so great start. Set a schedule for 2 VMs to backup at 3:00AM. Sadly, the next morning I woke up expecting to have 2 backups lovely and secure on my external HDD. I was very disappointed. I should have done some more research and realised that the free version doesn’t do scheduled backup and I’m not really ready to pay £520 for my own experimental computer lab. Other than that, manually clicking backups isn’t too much of a pain in the arse. Luckily nothing really changes on my servers, other than the constant changing of code which is on my local computer, my development VM and in a GIT repository somewhere in the void (aka cloud). I have also looked at GhettoVCB, but I really didn’t have the patience at the time. So anyway, I’m currently running backups manually every couple of days now. Check out Trilead.

Anyone know of any better suggestions or just feel like yelling at me for having no patience? Comment below!

Edit: Tags disappeared for some reason or another.