some footprints in cyberspace

ESXi 5.1 and rsync

Having three ESXi in production with more than 500GB of vmdk disk images, I was looking for an alternative to ghettoVCB.sh (and MKSBackup scheduler)…

Rsync seemed a good solution but is not bundled with ESXi. You have to compile one ! Thanks to this and this blog posts, you can compile rsync under CentOS 3.9 (or download one allready compiled by those people).

Unfortunately, rsync < 3.1.0 has a bug with VMFS filesystems (see bug #8177), fixed in 3.1.0 revision from late september 2013. So that I compiled a new statically linked binary, using 3.1.0 source.

You can download the binary here: esxi-static-rsync-3-1-0.tar.gz.

If you want to use it to backup your VMs, you can use one of these scripts :

If necessary and if you use rsync in daemon mode, don’t forget to open ESXi firewall on dst port 873 UDP/TCP.

Add a /etc/vmware/firewall/rsync.xml file with following content:

Dont’t forget to reload the firewall with esxcli network firewall refresh and verify your newly added rule with esxcli network firewall ruleset list.

(2013-12-08: binary also works on ESXi 5.5.)