Veeam – How to backup/restore the VMware vCenter Server Appliance

To backup/restore the VMware vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) with an embedded database using Veeam follow the below instructions


To backup the VCSA with Veeam, it’s important to understand that Veeam does not directly support Postgres SQL (VMware’s embedded DB). Instead, it’s optimal to perform backup in 2 parts:

  • Part 1: Image Level Backup with Veeam
  • Part 2:Database backup via VMware Best Practice

Part 2 is not required, however, but beware that restoring the image-level backup ensures the same state the Database was in at the point in time of the backup.

VMware Best Practice shows to backup the database as regular maintenance. Then you would be able to restore the server from step 1, then restore the database to whichever point in time with the backup from step 2.

Part 1: Backup the VCSA with Veeam

  • Create a typical backup job
  • Enable VMware Tools Quiescence: To create transactionally consistent backups and replicas for VMs that do not support Microsoft VSS (for example, Linux VMs), you must enable VMware Tools quiescence for the job. In this case, Veeam Backup & Replication will use the VMware Tools to freeze the file system and application data on the VM before backup or replication.VMware Tools quiescence is enabled at the job level for all VMs added to the job. By default, this option is disabled.
  • Ensure Application-Aware Image Processing (AAIP) is either disabled or excluded for the VCSA VM.
  • Customize other settings to desired configuration

Part 2: Backup the VCSA Database


When restoring the VCSA, there are some Considerations and Limitations from VMware. Once you understand the considerations and limitations, it’s important to understand how to restore your VMware vCenter Server Appliance when there is no VMware vCenter Server Appliance in which to point Veeam. Then you are ready to perform a Full VM Restore or Instant VM Restore.
Once the VCSA is fully restored, if database backups were created, you are now ready to restore the Embedded Database to the desired point in time using the steps mentioned in VMware KB 2091961


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