Don’t Delete the VM: Archive it!

How many times have you needed to clean up your virtual environment? If you are like me – plenty.

The hard part is what needs to stay and what needs to go. I came to the realization that we should really prioritize what needs to go. But we have to keep a copy of it in case we change our mind.

I’ve found myself leaving a number of powered off VMs around “just in case” – well – I should really take a different approach, and now I have. I’ve found that if I archive them via a backup  I can keep my VMware or Hyper-V environment clean by not littering a bunch of powered off VMs around.

The best part is, you can do this with Veeam Backup Free Edition – which will allow you to do ad-hoc backups for free.

Here’s a practical use case. One of my datastores is low on space. I have a few powered off  VMs on it. I don’t want to delete them right away, so the right thing to do is back them up to a different storage resource and then delete the VM. With Veeam, that’s easy.

If you are using the free edition of Veeam, simply right-click on the VM and select “VeeamZIP”. I’m using the non-free edition, and I’m selecting two VMs in the figure below:
image

I did a bit of screen shot magic, but the takeaway is that you go into “Virtual Machines” view, and select the VMs you want then right-click and select “VeeamZIP”.

The free edition of Veeam allows you do to only one at a time, I’ve got a license, so I can do more than one.

Then you’re good. And just so you know, the free edition of Veeam uses the same processing engine to perform the backups as the paid editions – so don’t think you’re getting a half-baked backup.

Once that is done, I can then delete those two VMs and save my datastore space. It’s that easy!

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