I'm thinking about using BESR and VMware for disaster recovery at a warm spare site, to minimize the amount of servers I have to have just sitting around.
I know that BESR 7.0 has the option to create VM images directly bootable from VMware - I also know that VMware has a converter program that can take the sv2i image file and create a VM image file from it.
The one real issue that I have is that BESR wants to create a VMware image the same size as the production drive it backed up. As I have a great deal of unused space on this drive, this produces some rather large images I have to manipulate....and as I'm intending for this to be a short-term emergency recovery process, I won't need the large quantity of free space.
Is there any option to have BESR create a VM image with reduced free space?
If not, I have a few options:
1) Repartition the production drives with less free space. Easy to do, but will require attention over time for disc utilization.
2) See if the VMware tool Vmconverter will offer this as an option. I've never used it before, and it currently does not work with BESR 7.0 image files....so I can't test this yet.
I do have one possible idea for you, but I'm not sure if it's feasible for your implementation.
When restoring a recovery point using the Backup Exec System Recovery (BESR) 7.0 recovery disk, you are given the option to resize the volume being restored to a custom size. For example, if the original volume from which the recovery point was taken was 100GB in size, but only contained 10GB of data, you could restore the recovery point to a smaller drive (or section of free space) and tell the restore process to resize the volume smaller to fit. As long as the target space can hold the data, you can resize the volume smaller.
So, if you knew before hand how much data was contained in the recovery points you'd like to convert to a virtual environment, you could create a "place holder" hard drive in the VM of the desired size. Then, instead of converting the recovery point to VMDK format, simply boot the VM with the recovery disk and restore the recovery point within the VM environment to the place holder hard drive, and tell the recovery process to resize it appropriately.
On a side note, you would probably need to select the "restore anyware" option if you decide to test this. That way we will plug in the right mass storage drivers (virtual drivers in this case) and other components for the recovery point to boot in the virtual system.