in the test: Trilead VM Explorer 4.0

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Trilead VM Explorer 4 has been released and I have been asked to do a product review. Since the new version 4.0 the product has Hyper-V support.

Top Features

  • Easy to install and use
  • Simple pricing
  • Multi hypervisor support
  • Job Scheduler
  • Full and Incremental Backups
  • Replication

Trilead VM Explorer comes in one file (size 14Mb). My installation took only a few seconds (the setup requires .NET 4.0 and was already installed in my case).  The default screen provides you with option where you can install the product license, or start with Free version. See the differences between the Free and Pro edition on this page.

I have requested a trial license. This trial expires after 10 days.image

The application starts and we are ready to go. I started adding a new server:image

When you add one server and test the connection you probably get the following message:image

I enabled SSH on my ESX5i host simply in the ESX5i Configuration / Security Profile – enable SSH on the host (start the service) and opened the firewall port 22.

Once you added the server, you can edit the server settings to use VMX Agent, and use CBT (Change Block Tracking) which will make your backups much faster! For VD Service to work you need to download the VMware Virtual Disk Development Kit and enable and initialize VD Service.

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Perform your first Full Backup

Trilead create many video’s to demonstrate the use of TriLead Explorer
check them out here! http://www.trilead.com/VideoTutorials/

Once your ESX or vCenter server is added to the dashboard, it’s possible to create a first backup
Right click the VM you want to backup and choose the Backup option. image It’s possible to create backups on your local disks (or mounted network share) or attached storage. I have my QNAP NAS device configured as a NFS data store. I used this one to place my backups.

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I have enabled the option to compress the data during the transfer of the files.

When the backup starts it creates two snapshots, one memory snapshot and one backup snapshot.SNAGHTML52312e

The backup finished in 13:17 and created the following files:image

Schedule Daily Backups

After the first successful backup I tested the Scheduler. The options to schedule are like any other backup software. You can run it every hour, day, week, month or just once.  Choose the backup schedule you need, most of the time one daily backup on working days will usually fits your needs.image

To test the incremental option, you need to have a local disk to place backups. let’s test this.
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Thin Provisioning support is only supported on Full Backups (not incremental)
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I really like the option to Convert as thin disk after backup. Its saves a lot of data.

After you finish configuring the backups, you need to enable the scheduler:
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Restore VM

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I scheduled a restore of the Full backup and run the schedule backup at the same time.
The backup speed was good, because of my NAS device has only 4 disks the speeds are not lightning off course.
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Wrap up

The product is very simple to install, setup and use. The configuration, the look and feel gives great users experience with minimum hassle when setting up.

The simple licensing of the product is per installation and not per physical CPU socket (or even per VM pack). This makes this product very suitable for SMB market. Trilead Explorer does cost less than the competition.

The product can’t compete with products providing more features, like AD, SQL or Exchange Server Individual items restore. But not every environment needs that capabilities. There is definitely place for tools like VM Explorer 4.0, which can cover environments where the individual item restore might be handled by other product or by the application itself.

Trilead grew up with this release bringing support for Hyper-V.

About Marco Broeken

Marco Broeken is Author of this blog and owner of vSpecialist Consulting and co-owner of XtraDesktop where he currently works as a Senior Virtualization Consultant. Marco has over 15 years experience in IT.

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