vCenter Backup VM | Answer the Question and Alternatives

vCenter Server is a robust centralized management utility used to manage virtual machines, ESXi hosts, and all dependent components. Have you ever wondered is it possible for vCenter backup VM? This article will answer you the question and show you the ways.


By Crystal / Updated on March 8, 2023

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vCenter backup VM: is it possible?

VMware ESXi and VMware vCenter Server are the 2 core components of vSphere virtualization suite. vCenter Server is a centralized management utility used to manage virtual machines, multiple ESXi hosts, and all dependent components from a single centralized location.

So, you may be wondering, is there any built-in feature for vCenter backup VMs? Can VMware vCenter backup virtual machines?

In fact, the answer is NO. Ever since the VMware Data Protection (VDP) was deprecated, using third-party software become the most common and reliable way to backup virtual machines. And the vCenter backup best practices refer to performing vCenter configuration backup. This article will show you how to properly backup virtual machines and backup vCenter configuration respectively.

vCenter Server Appliance

How to properly backup virtual machines

vCenter Server is a very convenient official platform for centrally managing multiple ESXi virtual machines, patches, and automate ESXi host configuration, etc. However, it does not provide the feature of virtual machine backup. Therefore, you cannot try VMware vCenter backup virtual machine. And that makes backup software the commonly accepted choice to protect VM data, and by far the most convenient.

Here I introduce you to a VMware backup software AOMEI Cyber Backup, it enables you to backup multiple VMs in 3 simple steps. And it offers you the following benefits

Agentless Backup: create complete and independent image-level backup for VMware ESXi and Hyper-V VMs.
Flexible vSphere Backup: batch backup large numbers of VMs managed by vCenter Server, or multiple VMs on a standalone ESXi host.
Multiple Storage Destinations: backup to local drive, or network destinations like Windows share or NAS.
Automated Execution: schedule to automate backups daily, weekly, or monthly with email notifications.
Role Assignment: allows one administrator to create sub-accounts with limited privileges.

AOMEI Cyber Backup

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

Download Free TrialVMware ESXi & Hyper-V
Secure Download

*You can choose to install this VM backup software on either Windows or Linux system.

4 easy steps vCenter backup VM via AOMEI Cyber Backup

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.

Add VMware ESXi host

2. Create Backup Task: Navigate to Backup Task > + Create New Task, and then set Task Name, Backup Type, Device, Target, Schedule, and Cleanup.

  • Device: batch select large numbers of VMs managed by vCenter Server for centralized backup.

Select virtual machines vCenter

  • Target: select to back up to a local path, or to a network path.
  • Schedule (optional): perform full, differential, or incremental backup, and automate execution according to the frequency you specified.

Backup schedule type

  • Cleanup (optional): automatically delete the old backup copies that exceed the retention period you specified.

backup cleanup

3. Run Backup: Click Start Backup and select Add the schedule and start backup now, or Add the schedule only.

Start Backup

Created backup tasks will be listed and monitored separately, for restoring, progress checking and schedule changing.

When restoring, you can also restore to new location to create a new VM in the same or another datastore/host directly from the backup, saving the trouble of re-configuring the new VM.

Restore to new location

How to perform vCenter configuration backup

If you are using vSphere 6.7 or later version, VMware provide a built-in file-based backup feature for vCenter configuration backup. vCenter Server File-Based Backup is exclusive to the vCenter Server Appliance. This feature supports the scheduling and retention of backups for both embedded and external deployments of the vCenter Server Appliance and Platform Services Controller.

The following protocols are supported as backup destinations HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, FTPS, SCP.

Here are the detailed steps:

1. Using root credentials to log into the VMware Appliance Management Interface of the vCenter Server Appliance or the Platform Services Controller that needs to be backed up.

VMware Appliance Management

2. Navigate to Backup tab from the left inventory, and click Configure to start the Backup Schedule wizard.

Note: There is also a Backup Now option to manually backup.

Backup tab

3. Provide the following backup schedule information required.

  • Backup location: using one of the supported backup protocols (HTTPS, HTTP, SCP, FTPS, FTP). The backup location uses the following format: Protocol://Server Address/Backup Folder/Subfolder followed by the backup destination credentials.
  • Note: The backup folder does not have to be created prior to running the Backup Schedule wizard.
  • Schedule: provide the backup frequency, you can select daily, weekly, or, custom. And enter the time for the scheduled back.
  • Encrypt backup (Optional): encrypt backup using AES 256, and provide the backup password required during the restore workflow. The backup password is not stored and therefore the backup cannot be restored without the password.
  • Number of backups to retain: Either selecting to keep all backups or specifying the number of backups to retain.
  • Data: select the components to backup. The vCenter Server Appliance inventory and configuration is backed up by default. There is a backup Historical data (Stats, Events, Alarms, and Tasks). Each component will show the space required.

Click on Create to start.

Create backup schedule

4. The backup schedule status can be viewed from the Backup tab. Expand the Status to view its configuration. In the right-hand corner, there are options to Edit, Disable, and Delete the backup schedule.

Backup status

5. The Activity pane displayed the backup status and retains a log for each backup taken.



VMware vCenter Server is basically the brain of VMware vSphere. You need to perform vCenter configuration backup regularly, however, it is impossible for VMware vCenter backup virtual machines. This article introduced the proper way to backup ESXi virtual machines and vCenter configuration respectively.

Since vCenter Server does not provide the feature to backup VMware ESXi VMs, you may need a backup software to keep your data safe. You can try AOMEI Cyber Backup which is capable of attaching vCenter Server.

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.