Backing Up VCSA in vSphere 7

I need to say first that in vSphere 7 you cannot do image backups of the VCSA.  This means tools like Veeam or Commvault cannot be used.  I suspect if you try to restore it will not work! But this is not so bad as the built-in backup tool for the VCSA has been improved again.

Update: the release notes were updated to say it is depreciated in vSphere 7 but the backup tools still work. Thanks to Dean for letting me know.

Lets make it work!

You need to log into the Appliance Mode – so that means https://FQDN_VCSA:5480. Then you need to change to the Backup tab.

On the Backup tab you will see an Edit button. Below is what mine looks like.

Note my backup location is SMB and the line starts with SMB?  There is a lot of choices like FTP and NFS so you can do what is best for you. If your time is in UTC that means switch to the Time tab and choose your timezone.

If you disable, the disable for DB health check, it will add additional time to your back but that may not be an issue.

Once you have your screen filled out, hit the Save button. Now we are going to do a test.

Hit the Backup Now button.

Use the checkbox at the top left.  We want to test our config so don’t fill in any fields.  The backup will take a little while – if it works and then you will see something like below.

So we know our config is good.  We should wait to the next morning now and check again.

So now we see both a manual and scheduled backup so we are happy that our backups are working.  If you are curious what the backup destination looks like you can see it below.

Each backup will get a folder at this level. Inside the folder is below.

So we have our vCSA backup scheduled now, and we have tested both the manual and the schedule and they work.

What about restore? There are two main use cases: 1) where you make a mistake or delete something you can restore and fix it or 2) you can install a new vCSA and not configure it, and then restore to it and you will be good.

Important to note that the backup must be restored to the same version that it came from.


  • 10/30/20 – I was not able to make this work recently, and DNS, NTP, everything was OK.  I restarted vCenter and then the backups worked.


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6 thoughts on “Backing Up VCSA in vSphere 7

  1. I had absolutely NO IDEA that you were still doing a “Notes” blog! I encountered a link in the Plain Virtualization blog citing a “Michael White”, and … lo & behold!!!! Very impressed that you’ve kept this up for so long Michael, and hope that all’s well.

    1. Hi Vern,

      I hope all is good for you and family – staying safe I hope. Things good here. Very good to hear from you. LEt me know if you ever make it back to Calgary.


  2. Backup is very easy so everyone can tell how to do it, because it is graphical, but what about the restore? it is very painfull. if you are good please write about “restore to a new vcsa” in your next blog.

  3. I don’t think most organizations want snowflake backups for vCenter server. Backing up vCenter server should be a function of central backup tools and not left to the discretion of the vSphere admin, who might have very little involvement in the organizational backup and recovery plan. Removing future support for image backups using 3rd party tools is very regressive.

    1. I agree. I believe all backups should be in the same place, and be retrievable the same way. It is too bad that things have to change with vSphere, but I suspect they have a good reason.


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