Rsync and Virtual Machine Backup

Hi all,

A common question about VM backup is: can I get my VMs automatically offsite for DR purposes? For example, if an I.T. service provider (or VAR) Rsyncs a client’s VMs offsite to their (the VAR’s premises), and the client’s server blows up (and it turns out that the local backups were destroyed), can the VAR simply take the offsite backup copy of the VMs, drive to the client’s site and get them up and running again?

Well, we’re going to embark on a series of lab tests to benchmark the effectiveness of Rsync for automatically “offsiting” VMs that may be 20 to 50 GB in size.

But it looks like someone else beat us to it! Have a look at this blog post: Multiple full VM backups using VCB, rsync, OpenSSH and VSS

The idea of using VSS at the other end (at the data host end) to track changes and provide version history is really very good.

We’ll probably get around to running our own tests in February, and will post our results then. In the meantime, if anyone else has interesting insights to share, please leave a message!



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2 Responses to “Rsync and Virtual Machine Backup”

  1. David says:

    Hi Linus,

    I’m very interested in this topic and wanted to ask you, if you have allready the results?
    I’ve tried this a few times, but has never worked properly with Hyper-V machines.


  2. Stuart says:

    Hi David,

    It’s Stuart here, I work for BackupAssist.

    We found that using Rsync to take VM’s offsite is not efficient and it’s referenced under the section ‘Rsync Backup Considerations’ on

    BackupAssist Technical Support

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