New VMware vCenter 6.5 Appliance has a backup feature and you can backup your vCenter and restore whenever you required. First of all, I would like to remind you that I haven’t done this in a Production environment yet and I only tested this in my test environment. As I mentioned in my earlier posts there are lots of new feature with this 6.5 release and this is one of those.

 

Taking the Backup

To take the backup of your vCenter login to the Appliance Management interface using “https://<FQDN_OR_IP_ADDRESS_OF_THE_VCENTER>:5480” url
Once you login to the Management interface go to the summary tab which is the default on, select the “Backup” button on the right hand upper corner
You will be getting a “Backup Appliance” window and enter your remote server which is keeping these backup files. 
Note: You can use below protocols to take the backup of the vCenter 
  • FTP 
  • FTPS
  • HTTP
  • HTTPS
  • SCP
Here, I’m using my remote FTP server to take the backup of my vCenter server, you need to provide the protocol, remote server folder, username and password of the remote server. If you need to encrypt your backup files there is an option to encrypt the data. 
Server will validate the remote location details and will go to the next step of the backup process
At the next step it will provide you the backup file sizes after retrieving the data, You have the option to select the “common” files or the historical date and the statics of the vCenter separately. You can select one of these or the both to be backed up in the remote location.
Once you click the “Next” button there is a validation process again and will give you the summary of the backup, click “Finish” to complete the backup process
It will start the backup process and will complete in few minutes 

If you check the remote FTP location you can see the files as below 

Restore the vCenter server from a previous backup

This approach is much similar to the Appliance deployment process and there are few differences in the steps. Let’s see how it goes. 
First of all mount your VCSA 6.5 ISO to your management PC and run the installer which is in the /vcsa-ui-installer/win32″ folder 

Once you get the Installer window select the “Restore” option to start the restoration

 Stage – 1 – Restoration: Deploy Appliance

 Click “Next” in the Introduction window 

Accept the EULA and click “Next” to continue 
Provide the Protocol and the backup file location at the next step and click “Next” to the next step

Review the backup details and click “Next” to continue 
Provide the target to deploy the appliance that can be an ESXi host or a vCenter 
Accept the Certificate of the target host/vCenter, Click “Yes” to accept the Certificate
It will validate the connection 
Provide the appliance name and the root password, confirm the password again. Click “Next” to continue
You can change the target Appliance Deployment size at the next step, here I can’t see the “Tiny” option as my previous appliance was setup as a small deployment size. If you need you can increase the size but not able to decrease it. Fair enough! 
Click “Next” to continue 
Select the Destination Datastore and if you need you can enable the “Thin Disk Mode”, in my case I’m running this VCSA in a test environment so Thin Disk mode is enabled. Click “Next” to continue 
Select the Network Portgroup and the Network details, these details are self explanatory 
Review the details and click “Finish” to start the deployment and the restoration 
It will start the deployment and wait for the completion 

Check the Virtual Machine status in the host Virtual Machine should be there

 

Stage – 2 Backup Restoration

Click “Next” in the Introduction window

Review the details and the click “Finish” to start the restoration

Warning! Message will be displayed. Click “Ok” to accept it. Once you start the restoration process it is not possible to stop or pause the process

Restoration process will start after that

Process will complete the Restoration and your vCenter will be there with the configuration

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