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What I'd like to achieve is a state where I can reinstall VMWare in the event of a total hardware failure and be able to get back to a working state with XSIbackup Pro backups.
So I guess the question is would the backed up ESXi configuration restore the VM configurations once it's restored, so I just then need to restore each VM without any further configuration changes needed on the host.
Hope that makes sense!!
Well, you need to comprehend what's into play to in turn know what you can achieve with it.
When you backup the ESXi configuration you are really backing up the contents of the /etc directory, which contains all configuration details and inventory database. So, to minimize the possibilities of ending up with a corrupt system, you should reinstall the same version and build that you backed up. You can restore the ESXi configuration by using the built in command or manually:
a/ Restore by using the vicfg-cfgbackup -l command.
b/ By using a different command line option
vim-cmd hostsvc/maintenance_mode_enter vim-cmd hostsvc/firmware/restore_config /tmp/configBundle.tgz
c/ Restore manually by uncompressing the host configuration backup and overwritting the /etc folder. This is a more flexible approach, as it will allow you to restore your configuration without limitations. You must assume all risks derived from restoring to a different version or build.
Copy and uncompress the hostname-a.b.c.d-config.tgz file to /tmp tar -xvzf /etc/hostname-a.b.c.d-config.tgz cd /tmp tar -xvzf /tmp/state.tgz cd / cp /tmp/local.tgz . tar -xzvf local.tgz Reboot the ESXi Host
When you do so, you restore an inventory of VM's in their original paths, so you should make sure that you restore each VM to the same path where it was before. If you can't reproduce your exact same setup, you will end up with orphan VM definitions pointing to wrong paths, in that case, it may be better to just reinstall ESXi, restore your VM's individually and add them to the new host's inventory again.
Sorry for the late reply (Christmas got in the way)
I think the version / build of VMWare that gets reinstalled will be out of my control so I think a manual backup / restore of the configuration / VMs will be my best option.
Thanks for your detailed response