By Alison / Last Updated April 24, 2022

Can I create a VMware ESXi backup schedule?

If you need to back up frequently, you will surely think of backup schedule. A regular automatic backup schedule can ensure timely preservation of the latest data, and reduces the hassle of frequent manual operations. But when it comes to VMware ESXi VM backup, things may be different.

As you probably already know, currently there is no official standard way to back up VMware VMs, as well as backup schedules.

Since vSphere Data Protection is announced the End of Availability (EOA) after VMware vSphere 6.5, we only got ESXi Scheduled Tasks and File-based Backup schedule feature on vSphere 6.7 and later versions.

If you want to create a regular backup schedule to automate your backup tasks, maybe a dedicated backup tool can better help you.

In this article, I will introduce you how to create a VMware backup schedule in these 3 ways.

VMware ESXi logo

How to create a VMware scheduled task in vSphere Web Client

Although snapshots and clones cannot replace backups, they are still convenient and effective features for protecting VM data. VMware Scheduled Tasks feature allows you to setup recurring snapshots or clone scheduled tasks. But one task can only correspond to one object. You need to create separate tasks for each VM.

✦ Before you begin, please note that it is not recommended by VMware to schedule multiple tasks simultaneously on the same object.

1. Access VMware vSphere Web Client, navigate to the virtual machine you want to back up in the inventory.

2. Click Monitor > Tasks & Events, and select Scheduled Tasks on the left.

3. Click Schedule a New Task on the right side of the page to open a dropping menu, select the tasks you want to create. Here I select Take Snapshot as an example.

Create new scheduled task

4. In the pop-up Take a VM Snapshot wizard (scheduled), Edit Settings page, provide a name and description for the snapshots.

Edit settings

5. Turn to Scheduling options page, provide a name and description for this task.

6. Click Change next to Configured Scheduler to set a frequency. You can choose to Run this action now, after setup, later, setup a recurring schedule for this action as hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly.

Configure scheduler

7. You can also choose to send email to a specified address when the task is complete.

8. Click OK to save the setup.

Scheduling options

9. Back to Scheduled Tasks page, you can find the created tasks in Task list. Select the task and click the Run button (green triangle) to execute the scheduled task.

10. As you can see, you can also choose to Edit or Remove the tasks later.

Run the scheduled task

How to schedule file-based backup using vCenter Server Appliance

For most times, image-based backups are more recommended than file-based backups, because they back up the entire VM which is helpful for disaster recovery. However, if you only want to back up part of the data, file-based backup can provide you with a more granular operation.

Fortunately, if you are using vSphere 6.7 or later version, there is a built-in file-based backup feature vCenter Server Appliance you can choose from. The protocols supported for backups are FTPS, HTTPS, SCP, FTP, and HTTP.

Here are the specific steps:

1. Access vCenter Server Management Interface by browsing out to https://appliance-IP-address-or-FQDN:5480, and login as root.

2. Click Backup on the left menu. In this page, you can also perform single backup by clicking Backup Now.

This time we click Configure button on the right corner in Backup Schedule section to create a VMware backup schedule.

Configure backup schedule

3. In the pop-up page, set up the following configurations:

  • Backup location: Backup server name and path
  • Backup server credentials: Username and Password of the credentials to authenticate.
  • Schedule: How often to perform the backup. You can choose Daily, Weekly, or Custom the specific days in one week as you like.
  • Encrypt backup (optional): You can also encrypt the backup if needed.
  • Number of backups to retain: You can choose to retain all backups, or specify how many latest backups will be stored. The older backups will be automatically deleted.
  • Data: Which data you want to back up.

4. Click Create to save the setup.

Create backup schedule

5. Now you can click Status to check the backup schedule. You can also Edit, Disable, or Delete the schedule later by clicking the buttons on the right upper corner.

Check status

Schedule auto VMware VM backup with AOMEI Cyber Backup

Since VMware Scheduled Tasks can only snapshots or clone tasks and vCSA can only create file-based backup schedule, if you want to created image-based VM backup schedule, the left option is dedicated backup tools. Here I recommend you AOMEI Cyber Backup for the following reasons.

Image-based VM Backup: backing up all VM data in agentless way that can be restored to a complete runnable VM, supporting backup types of full, differential, and incremental.

Automatic Backup Schedule: creating automatic backup schedule to run daily, weekly, or monthly and specify start date and time accordingly. Cleaning old backups that exceed the specified retention period.

Multiple VMs Backup: you can even create a backup task that covers all VMs on your host.

Offsite Restore: capable of restoring backups to new VMs on original or another datastore, host.

Supported Versions: VMware ESXi 6.0 and all later versions, Windows Server 2012 and all later versions.

AOMEI Cyber Backup simplifies VM backup into 4 steps, allowing you to quickly backup multiple VMs, no matter they are running or not. Here I will demonstrate how to create a VMware backup schedule with it.

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How to create automatic VMware backup schedule

1. Bind Devices: Access AOMEI Cyber Backup web client, navigate to Source Device > VMware ESXi > + Add VMware ESXi to add your host, and then click > Bind Device.

Add VMware ESXi host

2. Create Backup Tasks: Navigate to Backup Task and click + Create New Task to open the wizard. Specify Task Name, Backup Type, Device and Target on the pop-up tab.

vmware esxi backup

3. Set Backup Schedule: you can choose to perform Full, Incremental or Differential backup every Day, Week, or Month.

backup schedule

  • By selecting Every Day, you can specify start time, end time and intervals.
  • By selecting Every Week, you can specify weekdays and start time to perform full backups and differential or incremental backups respectively.
  • By selecting Every Month (By week), based on an intuitive list of weeks, you can specify multiple different weekdays start time to perform different types of backups.
  • By selecting Every Month (By Date), you can specify random dates and start time to perform different types of backups.
  • If you only want to perform the backup once, you can turn off the Enable Schedule button.

4. Set Backup Cleanup: For saving disk space, you can set the retention period of full, incremental, and differential backup respectively, and select to always retain the first full backup of every week, month, season, or year, according to your needs.

backup cleanup

If you want to keep all backups, you can turn off the Backup Cleanup button, and then click Start Backup.

5. By enabling backup schedule, you can Add the schedule and start backup now, or Add the schedule only.

start backup

With AOMEI Cyber Backup you can quickly complete automatic backup schedule of multiple VMs. In addition, you can create sub-accounts with limited privileges, to further protect your VMs from accidental mis-operations.

Summary

Currently there is no official standard way to create a VMware backup schedule. What you can do is to create schedule in vSphere Web Client to automate regular snapshot taken, and how to create file-based VMware backup schedule using vCenter Server Appliance.

If you want to create image-based VM backup schedule, I recommend you AOMEI Cyber Backup. It allows you to automate backup tasks with 4 simple steps, which can greatly promote efficiency.