How to Perform vCenter Backup and Restore (Step by Step)

vCenter Server is the centralized management utility for VMware, and is used to manage virtual machines, multiple ESXi hosts, and all dependent components from a single centralized location. The fastest way to restore vCenter is to make a good backup.


By Crystal / Updated on February 2, 2023

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What is VMware vCenter

VMware vCenter Server is advanced server management software that provides a centralized platform for controlling your VMware vSphere environments, which allows you to automate and deliver a virtual infrastructure across the hybrid cloud.

It basically contains your core configuration, inventory, and historical data such as statistics, events, and tasks. For large-scale virtual environment of enterprise, it even requires multiple vCenter Servers to work simultaneously.

vcenter backup

vCenter is a necessary tool for VMware administrators. If you want to save the configured vCenter, you could find a way to backup VMware vCenter.

How to backup vCenter 7.0

vCenter backup includes the vCenter Server core configuration, inventory, and historical data such as statistics, events, and tasks. Next, this part will cover the detailed steps to backup vCenter 7.0.

1. Open your browser and log in to the vCenter Server Management Interface as root.

2. In vCenter Server Management Interface, click Backup.

create vcenter backup

The Backup Appliance wizard opens.

3. Enter the backup location details (including the protocol, port, server address and the backup folder. Use protocol among FTP, FTPS, HTTP, HTTPS, SFTP, NFS and SMB. The path is related to the main directory) and Backup server credentials (include user name and password).

For example, you can easily backup vCenter to NFS.

schedule vcenter backup

4. (Optional) If you want to encrypt your backup file, you could enter an Encryption Password and confirm it.

5. (Optional) Select Stats, Events, and Tasks to back up additional historical data from the database.

6. (Optional) In the Description text box, enter a description of the backup.

7. Click Start to begin the backup process.

vcenter 7 backup

However, the different environments would have different needs. Some IT administrators think it is unnecessary because in a small environment there is nothing important about vCenter. If you only want to protect your virtual machines, you can use a VM backup tool to safeguard the data.

How to restore vCenter from backup

To restore vCenter from your backup, you need to download ISO file for the VCSA setup. Click on the mounted media and navigate to the vcsa-ui-installer directory to launch it.

1. Select Restore. Then accept the user license agreement.

restore vcenter

2. Enter the location of the backup destination using the following format: Server Address/Path/Backup Folder/subfolder followed by the backup destination credentials.

enter location

3. Provide the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the vSphere ESXi host or management vCenter Server.

specify appliance deployment target settings

4. Select the folder to deploy the vCenter Server Appliance to and click Next. Then select the compute resource.

5. Enter a new VM name and a password.

6. Select the Appliance Size and Storage Size.

select deployment size

7. Select a datastore from the list provided. Then provide the necessary network configuration settings.

8. Review the vCenter Server Appliance settings and click Finish.

9. Then it’s going to deploy the vCenter Server Appliance to the specified deployment target. Next, click Continue to Restore vCenter from backup.

restore vcenter from backup

How to easily backup multiple virtual machines under vCenter

vCenter can manage a large number of virtual machines, but to offer complete VM protection, many IT staff prefer a specialized backup software such as AOMEI Cyber Backup, a VMware backup software, which is professional and reliable for VMware and Hyper-V virtual machine backup.

With AOMEI Cyber Backup, you can automate the backup process of multiple VMs managed by vCenter Server, and choose to send email notifications if there's an error.

Image-level VM Backup: independent image-level VM backups can be used to create new VMs.
 Batch vSphere 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.
Restore Entire VM: restore immediately available VMs from any selected restore points.

AOMEI Cyber Backup

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

Download Free TrialVMware ESXi & Hyper-V
Secure Download

4 simple steps to backup multiple vCenter VMs

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 as needed.

▶ 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.

select backup target

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

schedule VM backup

▶ 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

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

4. Restore: Click Restore to recover a virtual machine from backup, saving the trouble of re-configuring the new VM.

Once the backup task is created, it will be executed automatically according to your schedule. If you want to restore a virtual machine, you can click Restore and choose to restore entire VM to an available state from any historical restore point.

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

restore VM


vCenter Server provides a centralized and extensible platform for managing virtual infrastructure. It’s necessary to backup vCenter if you want to quickly restore vCenter. This article introduces a complete VMware vCenter backup solution that covers better data protection for virtual machines.

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.