Iperius Backup a Full review

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Iperius Backup a Full review

Iperius Backup is a Backup and Replication tool for VMware ESXi, vCenter, ESXi Free and Hyper-V. In this blog post, I will write an Iperius Backup a Full review about this product.

It can also back up physical servers and desktops (drive image backup, P2V, disk cloning).

Since Iperius Backup is an image-based backup solution,  It can perform hot backups of VMware ESXi and Hyper-V virtual machines. Supporting Changed Block Tracking (CBT) can provide Incremental and Differential Backups.

Main features.

  • Hot backup of ESXi, ESXi Free, vCenter
  • Hot backup of Hyper-V, also from a different machine
  • VM Replication from host to host and from datastore to datastore
  • Compatible with vSphere ESXi Cluster
  • Incremental and differential ESXi backup (CBT/VDDK)
  • Backup to disk, network, Cloud, NAS, and LTO Tape
  • Restore of ESXi and Hyper-V virtual machines also to different hosts
  • Restore of individual files
  • Totally agentless – Backup from the network
  • A single, perpetual license can back up unlimited Hosts and VMs (no Per-Socket/VM/Host limit)

Iperius also support full backups in the following products:

  • Databases: MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and SQL Server.
  • Email Servers: Microsoft Exchange 2010 (SP1), 2013, 2016
  • Email Online: Exchange Online (Office 365)

Iperius Backup is a full backup solution, and it is a medium-size product where you only need one single license for unlimited hosts and virtual machines (VMware and Hyper-v).

As VMware for vSphere and Microsoft for Hyper-V recommends, Iperius Backup is an agentless solution, so no impact or less performance on your VMs while performing backups.

Iperius Backup has several editions, from the small and with minimum features to the full version (for physical and virtual environments). My tests and review will focus on the Full Version and backup and restore tests on ESXi and Hyper-V only. I may write another article and do different tests (Databases, email servers, etc.) in another article.

You can compare different editions of Iperius Backup HERE.

Install Iperius Backup.

The install of the product is effortless and Straightforward.

Download the product from the Iperius page. Select the edition you want to download (free or advanced).

The actual version is Iperius Backup v6.3.4 from 05/12/2019, where was added VMware ESXi Backup support for vSphere 6.7 Update 3.

The GUI from this product is straightforward to use. After we understand how to create a job or adding ESXi/Hyper-V server to backup, it is not difficult to manage.

Next, active your license (if not using the free version).

If you will use the free version, no need to activate any license. If you plan to use the trial license, you need to activate the license in your Iperius Backup.

Option 1 – In this option is where you activate your trial version. Add an email account, and automatically a full trial version is activated for 30days.

Option 2 – In this option, if you already have an Activation code send by Iperius, you fully activated  (purchased) your Iperius Backup.

Note: After Iperius Backup is installed and before starting to create or run any Backup Jobs, I recommend to enable the run as service. With this option Jobs can run without any user intervention and also use local service to run the jobs. The performance will be better, and jobs can run using the schedule.

Advantages of installing Iperius as service:

  • Run scheduled backups even if no user is logged on.
  • Schedule multiple backups at the same time, therefore, to run parallel backup tasks.
  • Special permissions to write or read in protected folders.

How to enable the service.

In the main menu, click in General Settings icon   next, select the service tab.

1 – First, add a user account with permission to access the network for use in the backups jobs. Like accessing a shared folder on a NAS device.

2 – Second, add a user account to be used as a service.

Note: You should create a domain account only for service. Because of security in production, you should not use administrator accounts to be used in services (in the present case is a test environment, so no security problems).

After the accounts are created and added in the service installation, you can start the service with the local system account, or select another service account.

Note: You should create a domain account only for service. Because of security in production, you should not use administrator accounts to be used in services (in the present case is a test environment, so no security problems).

Service is now installed and will be used in schedule backups jobs and also to start the Iperius Backup service when rebooting the backup server.

Note: We can always uninstall the service, or just stopped.

Note: The installation as service is not available in the Iperius Backup free edition.

Next, let us create some backup jobs for VMware (ESXi) and Hyper-V.

Creating Backup Jobs. 

When creating a backup job, you also add your source, destination, and credentials that you will use for that particular backup.

To create a Backup(ESXi or Hyper-V) in the home board, click the icon “Create new Backup Job), or since this is the first backup job in the Iperius Backup, click in the middle icon.

How to back up VMware Virtual Machines.

After starting to create a new Backup Job, select the system that we will backup, in this case, is for VMware (ESXi), so click in the ESXi icon.

Next, add your ESXi server or a vCenter (IP or FQDN) and connect.

To connect to your ESXi/vCenter, you need to create a connection using the user/password.

Add the name of this account/connection, add your ESXi/vCenter IP or FQDN and user/password, and click Test Connection.

If you get a connection, then save it and continue to configured the ESXi/vCenter connection.

Connect to ESXi/vCenter.

Next, click Connect to connect the ESXi/vCenter and continue to the next step.

After the connection, Iperius Backup lists all VMs that are connected to the ESXi/vCenter by Datastore / VMs. The VM list is listed with VMs per Datastore.

Select the VMs you want to Backup and click Next.

In the next step, we select the Backup Mode.

There are three Backup Modes for ESXi.

  • Standard Mode.

This option is a regular backup where all individual Virtual Machines will be copied.

  • CBT / VDDK Mode.

This option is where Backup uses CBT or VDDK to full backup a Virtual Machine using full backups or incremental/differential.

Where we select Full backup, One Full Backup plus Incremental backups or One Full Backup plus Differential Backups.

Note: These Backup Mode always use CBT(Changed Block Tracking) and VDDK(Virtual Disk Development Kit) to track changes in the VM to implement in the incremental and differentials backups.

  • Replication Mode.

As the name states, this option is for Replications. You can replicate to a Datastore or a Host.

This option creates a copy of all VMs and their individual files in the target Datastore.

For this particular case, we will use the CBT / VDDK Mode using the option “One Full Backup plus Incremental backups”.

Select the 1 – Backup Mode, 2 – Backup Type, 3 – Click Next.

Next, you need to add the destination to your backups.

The option to add a user to have network access, for example, to access a shared NAS (option not mandatory).

In the next image is listed the VMs that will be back up in this job.

Here you can set additional settings for each virtual machines: if stop and restart a VM before and after a backup, and if use Quiescing and pre-freeze and post-thaw scripts.

Quiescing is recommended to be always sure having an “application consistent” backup.

For Linux machines, it is required to specify the guest OS credentials, so Iperius can automatically create and run pre-freeze and post-thaw scripts during the snapshot process.

After the last step, the Backup Job is created. Next, click on the job and select the option to run the Backup Job.

Run ESXi Backup Job.

When running the job that we just created, more advanced options are displayed to configure the job. Only after this, the Backup Job is finished.

As we can see in the next image is now display our Backup Job that was created earlier. In this section, we see all Backups Jobs listed (Hyper-V or ESXi).

Note: These settings that we will configure are the same that we can change if we edit our Backup Job afterward.

Click Next to continue to advanced settings and finish Backup Job and start the same job.

In this section, we can set the destination for our Backup. Since we already set this before, in this case, we don’t need to change anything.

Also, here we can set an additional destination (like tapes, an FTP server or a Cloud Destination).

In this section, we enable our Backup Job to run automatically using schedule.

1 – Here, you configure weekly (daily backup).

2 – Here, you configure Monthly (you can set a full backup every month selecting a day at the beginning of the month).

3 – Here, we can set time windows when the Backup can run (example only after hours and stop in the office hours).

In this section, we find some of the advanced options that we can enable in our Backup Job. Option like:

    • Detail logs
    • Include hidden/system files
    • Power off after backup
    • Compression

This section we can enable email notification for this Backup Job (job warnings, failures, success, etc.).

In this section, we can enable run scripts before or after the Backup Job. Or run another backup job.

The Backup Job configurations are finished, and you can set the name for the job or use the default and click OK to finish and save Backup Job.

How to back up Hyper-V Virtual Machines.

To create a Hyper-V Backup Job is similar to ESXi Backup Job, we will go through quickly to the steps.

Click the icon for Hyper-V and start the process.

Like we saw previous, create a connection to the Hyper-V Server.

Note: In this case, since I have 3 Hyper-V Server, I created a connection for the 3 servers and Backup Job will backup VMs from the three Hyper-V server.

Select the VMs and click next.

In option 3, Backup will copy all the original Hyper-V VM files (like .vhdx, .vmcx,  and .VMRS files).

In option 4, Backup will Backup the Virtual Machine as a backup using the Iperius default backup process and we can select a different location.

After all Hyper-V servers are added, you can click next (advance options in the tabs are the same we saw in the ESXi Backup Job).

Next, click Run and start the Backup Job.

While running ESXi or Hyper-V backups jobs, the Iperius Backup Server resources utilization was very low. CPU reached peaks of 40/50% utilization (but for breve moments), and memory never went more than 3Gb. As we can see in the next images.

How to Restore a Virtual Machine.

There are two types of restores (for Hyper-V and ESXi).

  1. Restore Hyper-V VM files (configuration files, or virtual disks vhd/vhdx files).
  2. Restore ESXi VM files (configuration files vmx, or virtual disks vmdk files).
  3. Restore full Hyper-V VM.
  4. Restore full ESXi VM.

For our example, we will restore a full ESXi VM.

Connect to your ESXi/vCenter (that you configured previously for Backups).

Select the Virtual Machine folder in the backup repository.

After Iperius recognized the backup and imported, you will see the restore points list(in this case, there is only one). Select the restore point and click Next.

Next, select the Datastore in your ESXi/vCenter that you want to restore the VM.  Also, use the default name, or changed for a new VM name.

Check all the details and then click Run Restore and accept to start the confirmation to start the VM restore.

Depending on the size of the VM and your environment(network bandwidth, etc.), the restore is quick.

For this particular case, since the VM was only around 750Mb, it took less than 2m to finish.

As we can see, the VM is restored in the vCenter.

Note: Even the Iperius Backup tool provides a straightforward and quick process to restore a VM, it should have more options. Like selecting the ESXi host, we want to restore the VM and also the folder. These are two options that everyone uses it, and it should not be complicated to provide in the restore option.

And when the restore process we finish this Iperius Backup full review.

Final Thoughts:

With a single license for a full product and not per-socket, where you can backup all your infrastructure without any VM license restrictions.

Iperius Backup is a good choice and has advantages for companies that are looking for a low budget product that works. It is an excellent alternative. And it works.

It still needs some improvements and a better GUI. A more straightforward GUI with more options to administrators backup and restore their infrastructure without the need to do many clicks.

Changing or selecting some options, change job settings, or even add new credentials should be more simplified. Something that Iperius should work on it because these are changes in the product that should take too much effort to change and simplifies the user experience.

The company also has other products:

Iperius Remote: a remote desktop software that can be a good alternative to Teamviewer (www.iperiusremote.com)

Iperius Console: an IT console to  manage backups and endpoints in a centralized way (www.iperiusconsole.com)

Iperius Storage: a professional cloud storage service (www.iperiusstorage.com)

©2019 ProVirtualzone. All Rights Reserved
Note: This post was sponsored by Iperius
By | 2019-12-20T02:15:40+01:00 December 20th, 2019|Backups, Hyper-V, Partners, VMware|0 Comments

About the Author:

I am over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry. Working with Virtualization for more than 10 years (mainly VMware). I am an MCP, VCP6.5-DCV, VMware vSAN Specialist, Veeam Vanguard 2018/2019, vExpert vSAN 2018/2019 and vExpert for the last 4 years. Specialties are Virtualization, Storage, and Virtual Backups. I am working for Elits a Swedish consulting company and allocated to a Swedish multinational networking and telecommunications company as a Teach Lead and acting as a Senior ICT Infrastructure Engineer. I am a blogger and owner of the blog ProVirtualzone.com

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