The Virtualization Room

Sep 29 2008   10:44AM GMT

EsXpress: A good idea come ’round again

Joseph Foran Profile: Joe Foran

I had the opportunity to spend a little time at the esXPress booth at VMworld 2008 this year, and I could kick myself. Hard.

To go to the start of why … a long time ago, back when my office primarily used VMware GSX3 for virtulization at the server level, I had a real need to do backups of the virtual machine disk files (VMDK). My GSX hosts were Linux servers and I used a simple cron job to launch scripts on a schedule, which triggered a suspension, tarring of the VMs and scp-ing of the tarballs to a network-attached storage (NAS) box before re-starting the guests. It let me avoid buying backup licenses for my guests (which were mostly pre-production units, image builds, etc.) and gave me a complete point-in-time recovery solution better than anything I could buy off the shelf (at the time). It ws so efficient that when my company joined the Core Customer Program, I was asked to give a webinar on the topic. Sadly, that webinar is now so out-of-date that it’s been pulled from VMware’s site and I can’t find it on archive.org.

Now why would I kick myself? Because that simple idea is at the root of esXpress. It does it a lot better than I did and focuses on ESX rather than GSX/Server, but at the core it’s very similar. It gets around the need for downtime and uses gzip under the hood rather than tar, but it has a Linux OS guest that essentially copies, compresses and offloads other guests. I was pretty impressed by how simply and efficiently the product works, though I must admit to being bit jealous — if only I had realized there was a <i>product</i> there in that idea.

So kudos to esXpress for taking a good idea and making a good product out of it!

3  Comments on this Post

 
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  • Joe Foran
    I can say from years of experience with esXpress that not only is it a very good product but the company is well run and great to work with both on the sales side and the technical side. When you make a phone call or send an email you get a timely and pertinent response. Glad to see they got Gold at VMWorld2008 since they deserve it.
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  • Joe Foran
    We tried it out a while back and had a few problems installing it. We have since implemented a product call iBac VIP from Idealstor which is sort of a newcomer to this market. Here is a link to the product if interested http://www.idealstor.com/VIP.html
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  • DChow
    Hello Joseph I am currently an employee at PHD Virtual the mothership for Esxpress, below is the link detailing how Esxpress became a product, it's a nice read: http://communities.vmware.com/blogs/ronzo/2007/11/27/prehistory-of-esxpress-rons-point-of-view
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