A central backup server is definitely a very nice thing and Bacula is a very good central backup server - but unfortunately very tricky to install and configure. Very. I never got this project beyond the 'hello world' stage, but i didn’t have this tutorial available at the time. If your are inn for a Bacula full scale backup scenario, then have a look at this webmodelling tutorial. The chances are still slim, but you have a chance :) For some one familiar with IBM Tivoli (and especially if you do not use the GUI), then Bacula setup is not extremely strange.
For people how don’t know Bacula and the concept behind it: 1) You need to get backups away for the computers and 2) you need some kind for audit of your backups schedules. You need to know what is happening. Bacula can do both and do it very well.
Bacula can unfortunately not be installed directly on a ESX/ESXI host. You need to install the client on each client. That is a great minus if you are running a virtual environment. The client is available for Windows 2003/2008 and of course a great variety of LINUX.
But you will need to install the server part on something available. It is not a great drag on the box. Preferable install the server on a instance for this setup alone. The webmoddeling tutorial is using a Ubuntu server v10 and that is properly a very good choice. A test setup is very much recommended - too get the hang of things. Have a look-see and please tell the webmodelling guys what a great job they are doing.
Bacula website: http://www.bacula.org/ where you also find some pretty good documentation.