How to backup vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 - logo

vCenter Server (be it the appliance or not) is the critical management component of every vSphere environment. Therefore it is critical to backup it at regular basis to have the possibility to restore configuration prior to failure. With the vSphere 6.5 release, vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) received the possibility to perform the backup of its configuration from appliance management interface (not only but I will describe this later on).

The vCenter Server Appliance backup and restore feature supports a number of communication protocols:

  • FTP
  • FTPS
  • SCP
  • HTTP
  • HTTPS

Today I am going to show you how to backup vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 using FTP/FTPS protocol and from the command line.

Backup vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 (vCSA) using FTP/FTPS

  1. Log in to vCenter Server Appliance IP/FQDN VAMI URL – https://IP_OR_FQDN:5480 and type username and password used during installation.
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  2. Once logged in go to Summary and click Backup.
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  3. Click Backup and provide FTP/FTPS server details.
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  4. On the next page choose if you wish to backup inventory and configuration or if you wish to include SEAT Database (Statistics, Events, and Tasks).
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  5. On the last screen, we see the summary of FTP/FTPS backup.
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  6. Backup process starts.
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  7. After few minutes vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) is successfully backed up.
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Automated backup of vCenter Server Appliance 6.5 (vCSA)

As you saw the manual process of vCSA 6.5 backup is easy. The only problem with it that there is no possibility to schedule it from the appliance management interface. I hope this feature will be incorporated in future releases.

Fortunately for us, VMware created a BASH script which can be executed from cron and automated.

On the VMware page, there is a small error which won’t allow you to run the script (I already informed internal resources to correct it).

Simply in line 31 remove space before EOF.

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As you see script executed successfully.

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Source of the script: http://pubs.vmware.com/vsphere-65/topic/com.vmware.vsphere.vcsapg-rest.doc/GUID-222400F3-678E-4028-874F-1F83036D2E85.html 

Schedule automated vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) backup using cron

I’ve created a shell script named vcsa_backup.sh which I will add to cron. In case you are new to cron I recommend this website http://crontab-generator.org/ to easily schedule backup.

From a vCSA shell type crontab -e  and we will enter edit mode where we simply specify when and what shall be executed.

In my case, I scheduled it for every day at 9 PM.

Other resources

There are as well different ways to backup vCenter Server Appliance 6.5. Please take a look at Brian Graf’s PowerCLI script which allows automating vCSA Backup.

Summary

I hope this post will help you to easily backup of vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) 6.5 and to protect your environment in case of a failure or issue.

How to backup vCenter Server Appliance 6.5
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Wojciech Marusiak
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Wojciech Marusiak

Senior Consultant at VMware Global, Inc.
I am innovative and experienced VMware and Windows Server Engineer with over 10 years in the IT industry specializing in VMware virtualization and Microsoft Server environment.

My experience and skills have been proven by leading vendor certifications like VMware Certified Implementation Expert 6 – Data Center Virtualization, VMware Certified Advanced Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization Design, VMware Certified Professional 6 - Data Center Virtualization, VMware Certified Professional 6 - Network Virtualization, AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate, ITIL V3, VMware vExpert 2014 - 2017 and VMware vExpert NSX 2017 Award.

My blog wojcieh.net - was voted #43 in Top vBlog 2017 contest!
Wojciech Marusiak
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