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Backup VMware vCenter server using SMB protocol

While working on my previous tasks Patching update VMware vCenter Server Appliance from a zipped update bundle Web server, there was a constant need to always take backup of vCenter server appliance before doing any update/upgrade or maintenance activity (This is also a good practice to always take backup of your systems). This way one can ensure incase of any non fixable critical issues one can recover/rebuild vCenter server easily. Before taking a backup, a backup server must be set up and configured such that the vCenter server has access to it. The protocols supported for backup are FTPS, HTTPS, SFTP, FTP, NFS, SMB and HTTP. Here I will setup one SMB file share on Microsoft windows as it is very easy to setup and configure.

Before starting configuration I have created an user object (service account) on active directory domain controller, Open dsa.dsc on AD, go to the Orgnizational Unit where you want to create user, right click on the empty area. From the context menu click New >> User. Provide First name, Full name, User logon name as vc_backup. on the next page provide password and select Password never expires. Click Next, in the last page verify the settings, and click Finish.

Microsoft Active Directory dsa.msc new object user creation group user logon name principal domain name controller the password neter expires vmware vsphere vcenter backup.png

On the File server Create a new folder, I will name it vc_backups, right click on it and go to Properties.

create SMB file share vmware vcenter server backup vcsa vsphere esxi microsoft windows file share backup vc_backup vmware vcsa vcenter server appliance new folder directory creation.png

In the directory properties go to Sharing tab, click Advanced Sharing button, then go to Permissions. Click Add button.

vmware vsphere vcenter server appliance vcsa new folder directory microsoft windows file share properties advanced sharing share this folder share permissions caching everyone groups full control change read add.png

Enter the object names to select and click Check Names. Next in the Share Permissions, select Full Control allow check box click OK twice. Verify the new share path is working.

microsoft windows server file and folder share smb sharing v1 select users computers service accounts or groups vcenter server backups everyone share permissions.png

Next in the Security tab proceed with the same steps to provide full control permissions to user service account.

Microsoft windows server smb file sharing securing permissions groups and user objects full control modify read & execute modify write vmware vsphere vcenter backup vami portal.png

Microsoft Windows SMB file and folders sharing is configured. Open VMware vCenter Server Management Vami portal with 5480 port and Login.

vmware vcenter server management vcsa backup appliance vsphere vami 5480 portal login backup windows server smb protovoal 445 file share

On the VAMI portal go to Backup. Click CONFIGURE link to configure Backup Schedule.

Vmware vsphere vami portal 5480 ui backup ftps https sftp ftp nfs smb http backup schedule configure not configured activity syslog microsoft windows server smb file share vcsa backup.png

In the Backup location provide url as Protocol://FileShareServer/SharedBackupFolder. In the Backup server credentials User name provide it using username@yourdomain.com format. All other options Schedule, Encrypt Backup (optional), DB health check, Data options are self explonatory, I will keep all them default. Only the option I will change is Number of backups to retain, I will keep retain last 15 backups. Before clicking Create, Check the size and make sure you have enough space on the SMB file share server. (You have option to select backup frequency to daily, weekly and monthly)

Vmware vsphere vcenter server vcsa smb backup create backup schedule backup location server credentials encrypt db health check number of backups to retain stats events tasks inventory configuration windows SMB file share.png

The Backup Schedule is created, It will automatically start backup at its schedule day and time, (Note you can only create one backup schedule) If it is require you can Disable it as well for some maintenance. To demostrate I will start ad-hoc backup with BACKUP NOW link.

vcenter server management vmware vsphere esxi backup schedule vami vcsa 5480 backup location data stats events smb, file share microsoft windows backup retain activity.png

In the Backup Now wizard I will use backup location and user name from backup schedule created earlier. Provide it a optional description and click Start.

VMware vSPhere vcenter server vcsa backup now location schedule server credentials encrypt backup password db health check data description stats events smb file share.png

In the Activity you can monitor the progress status of backup.

microsoft windows server smb file share vmware vsphere vcenter sftp ftps backup location vami vcsa 5480 backup automated schedule vcenter appliance management.png

It takes time depending on the backup size to complete.

vmware vsphere vcenter backup completed manual smb https sftp ssh scp backup microsoft windows server smb backup file sharing .png

Once backup is completed this is how the backed up data looks like on the shared folder, In case of any critical non recoverable issues I can use it to restore reinstall vCenter server easily from VCSA ISO. 

Microsoft windows server file share smb vc backup vpxd vum stats data vmware vsphere vsphere vcenter server vcsa management vami portaql tar.gz backup.tar.gz 5480.png

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