How to Restore vCenter Server Appliance from Backup

vCenter is your management central in terms of virtualization. In order not to take longer to reconfigure your vCenter, you need to make a backup. In vCenter 6.7 and 7.0, you can even schedule a vCenter backup, which makes things easier than before, as this allows you to restore vCenter from a backup quickly.


By Crystal / Updated on November 4, 2022

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VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) Restore

We have discussed the topic how to perform vCenter backup and how you can configure a scheduling to do it automatically before. Today, we are going to see how to restore vCenter from backup and a few different things you should be mindful of before doing so.

The process of restoring a VCSA happens in two stages:

  • The first stage deploys a new appliance.
  • The second one restores the backed up configuration to it.

restore vcenter

Considerations for vCenter Backup and Restore

When you restore a vCenter Server environment, take into account these considerations and changes.

  • Export your distributed switch configuration before restoring
  • Assess the changes made to the content library
  • Assess if you added hosts to vCenter, if you did, some virtual machines may failover
  • Assess the changes made to the Storage Policy Based Management
  • Assess the changes made to storage DRS

How to restore vCenter 7 from backup step by step

The restore procedure has two stages. The first stage deploys a new vCenter Server appliance. The second stage populates the newly deployed vCenter Server appliance with the data stored in the file-based backup.

Stage 1. Deploy a new appliance

1. Mount the ISO of the vCenter appliance and launch the ui installer. Click Restore.

2. Accept the User Agreement and click on Next.

3. Enter the location of your backup. For example, you could restore vCenter to SMB or FTP shared folder.

enter location

4. Review the information and then click on Next.

5. Enter in the username and password on where you want to install the appliance.

deployment target

6. Enter a root password for the target appliance VM.

7. Select deployment size for the vCenter Server.

specify vcenter size

8. Select a datastore for this appliance and click on Next.

select datastore for vcenter

9. Choose the same or change the IP address here and click on Next.

configure network

10. Review the settings and click Finish.

Then wait for the new vCenter Server appliance deployed. Once Stage 1 is completed, we will move to Stage 2 of restoring vCenter from backup.

Stage 2. Restore vCenter from backup

1. Open a browser and go to Http://FQDN:5480. Click Restore.

2. Login to the VCSA as root.

login to vcsa

3. Enter the path of backup file.

restore vcenter from backup

4. Review and click Finish >> OK.

Now, you have restored vCenter from backup. You can power on your vCenter and see all your settings restored.

However, this method does not protect the virtual machines when restoring your VMs in vCenter environment. If you want to achieve data security and fast recovery of your VMs, you need to perform a complete VM image backup and restore.

Further reading: How to restore vCenter VMs from backup

We have discussed vCenter backup before. As we know, vCenter can manage a large number of virtual machines, but to offer complete VM protection, many IT staff prefer specialized backup software such as AOMEI Cyber Backup, a VM backup software for VMware and Hyper-V virtual machine, which can restore the VMs to a usable state quickly without complicated configuration and re-installation.

It offers you the following benefits.

Restore Entire VM: Restore immediately available VMs from any selected restore points.
Centralized VM Backup: Independent image-level VM backups can be used to create new VMs.
 Batch VM Backup: batch backup large numbers of VMs managed by vCenter Server, or multiple VMs on a standalone ESXi host.
Automated Execution: Create backup schedules to automate virtual machine protection.
Easy-to-use: The whole backup and restore process could be completed from central console and only requires a few clicks.

AOMEI Cyber Backup

AOMEI Cyber Backup supports VMware ESXi 6.0 and later versions. Next, I will demonstrate how to backup and restore VMware ESXi VMs. You can click the following button to download the 30-day free trial.

Download Free TrialVMware ESXi & Hyper-V
Secure Download

✤ Create a VM backup task

1. Bind Devices: Access to AOMEI Cyber Backup web client, navigate to Source Device > VMware > + Add VMware Device to Add vCenter or Standalone ESXi host. And then click > Bind Device.

Bind device

2. Create Backup Task: Navigate to Backup Task > + Create New Task, and select VMware ESXi Backup as the Backup Type.

VMware ESXi backup

3. Set Task Name, Device, Target, Schedule, and Cleanup to create a complete automatic backup task.

▶ Device: navigate to the vCenter Server and select a datastorecenter, it will show all the VMs on the right pane. With one click, you can easily backup multiple virtual machines.

Select virtual machines vCenter

▶ Target: selecting to back up to a local path, or to a network path. Used paths will be saved in Favorite Storage for handy selection.

▶ Schedule (optional): performing full, differential or incremental backup, and automate execution daily, weekly or monthly according to the frequency you specified.

▶ Backup cleanup (optional): Configure a retention policy to auto delete old backup files and save storage space.

backup cleanup

▶ Start Backup: You can click Start Backup and select to Add the schedule and start backup now, or Add the schedule only.

Start Backup

The created backup tasks will be clearly listed with their status and target details, for further managing or restoring.

✤ 3 simple steps to restore VM from backup

1. On the Backup Task interface, click > Restore to start restoring VM from backup.

2. Select the restore content from your VM backups. Click OK. You are allowed to restore entire virtual machine from any selected backup version.

Restore virtual machine

3. Select Restore to original/new location saving the trouble of re-configuring the new VM.

▶ For example, you need to create a new VM on another datastore or host, you select Restore to new location which performs out-of-spacre recovery and restore VM to its available state quickly.

▶ In addition, you can also choose Restore to original location, which will create a new, identical VM directly from your backup to the same place.

restore VM


This article discusses the topic of how to restore vCenter from backup in detail. The whole recovery process includes 2 part, and you should note the considerations for vCenter Backup and Restore in order to rebuild the vCSA. However, it cannot protect virtual machines in vCenter, so it is recommended that you use a professional tool to create a complete enterprise data protection strategy.

Crystal · Editor
Crystal is an editor from AOMEI Technology. She mainly writes articles about virtual machine. She is a positive young lady likes to share articles with peolpe. Off work she loves travelling and cooking which is wonderful for life.