This topic describes how to back up VMware virtual machines (VMs) by using Hybrid Backup Recovery (HBR). After you create a backup plan, you can run backup jobs immediately or on schedule. To improve data security, HBR also supports incremental backup for scheduled backup plans.

Prerequisites

The preparations for data backup are completed. For more information, see Before you begin (on-premises VMware).

Step 1: Add a vCenter Server

Before you back up VMware VMs, you must add a vCenter Server in the HBR console.

  1. Log on to the HBR console.
  2. In the left-side navigation pane, choose Backup > VMware Backup & Disaster Recovery.
  3. In the top navigation bar, select a region.
  4. On the VMware Backup & Disaster Recovery page, click the Managed vCenter Servers tab. Then, click Add vCenter Server in the upper-right corner.
  5. In the Add vCenter Server panel, configure the parameters and click Create. The following table describes the parameters.
    Parameter Description
    Server IP The IP address of the vCenter Server.

    If you back up VMs in Alibaba Cloud VMware Service (ACVS), you must obtain the IP address of the vCenter Server from the ACVS console.

    Username The username of the vCenter Server.

    If you back up VMs in ACVS, you must obtain the username of the vCenter Server from the ACVS console.

    Example: cloudadmin@acvs.aliyuncs.com.
    Password The password that corresponds to the username of the vCenter Server.
    Note

    A vCenter Server may fail to be added if the password contains the following special characters:

    ` ^ ~ = ; ! / ( [ ] { } @ $ \ & # % +

    Description The description of the vCenter Server.

Step 2: Create a backup plan

To create a backup plan, perform the following steps:

  1. On the Managed vCenter Servers tab, find the added vCenter Server and click Create Backup Plan in the Actions column.
  2. In the Create Backup Plan panel, set the parameters in the Configure Plan step and click Next. The following table describes the parameters.
    Parameter Description
    Plan Name The name of the backup plan. If you do not configure this parameter, a random name is specified for the backup plan.
    Retention Period The retention period of the backup data. Unit: days, weeks, months, or years.
    Force Quiesced Snapshot Specifies whether to forcibly use quiesced snapshots.
    • If you select this check box, HBR uses quiesced snapshots to back up data. If quiesced snapshots are unavailable, the backup fails.
    • If you clear this check box, HBR attempts to use quiesced snapshots to back up data. If quiesced snapshots are unavailable, HBR uses common snapshots to back up data. By default, this check box is cleared.
    Use LAN-free Backup Specifies whether to perform a LAN-free backup. If you select this check box, the disk that you want to back up is mounted on the HBR gateway, and data is transferred over a storage area network (SAN) instead of a local area network (LAN). If the mount fails, data is transferred over a LAN.
    Backup Policy The policy that is used to back up data. Valid values: Right Now and On Schedule.

    If you select On Schedule, you must specify the Start Time, Backup Interval, and Enable Incremental Backup parameters for the scheduled backup plan.

    If you enable incremental backup, you must specify the Start Time and Backup Interval parameters for incremental backup.
    Notice
    • If the Changed Block Tracking (CBT) feature is disabled for a VM, a full backup is performed instead of an incremental backup. For more information about CBT, see VMware documentation.
    • Incremental backup includes only the data that is generated or modified after the most recent full or incremental backup job is completed.
    • We recommend that you perform a full backup at least 1 hour after the previous incremental backup is completed.
    Start Time This parameter is required only if the Backup Policy parameter is set to On Schedule. This parameter specifies the time at which the backup starts. You can set this parameter based on your backup plan. The default value is the time when the backup plan is created.
    Backup Interval This parameter is required only if the Backup Policy parameter is set to On Schedule. Select the interval at which backups are performed. Default value: 1 day. Unit: hours, days, or weeks.
    Enable Incremental Backup This parameter is required only if the Backup Policy parameter is set to On Schedule. This parameter specifies whether to enable incremental backup. Valid values:
    • No (default value): disables incremental backup.
    • Yes: enables incremental backup.
  3. In the Select VMs step, select the source VM and click Next.
  4. In the Confirm & Execute step, check whether the backup plan is configured based on your business requirements. The configurations include the backup plan name, retention period, backup policy, and VMs. Then, click Create.
    After the backup plan is created, HBR runs backup jobs based on the backup plan. On the Backup Plans tab, you can perform the following operations:
    • To start a backup job, find the backup plan and click Run Now in the Actions column.
    • To suspend a running backup job, find the backup plan and choose More > Suspend Plan in the Actions column. To resume a suspended backup job, find the backup plan and choose More > Resume Plan in the Actions column.
    • To delete a backup plan, find the backup plan and choose More > Delete Plan in the Actions column. After you delete the backup plan, HBR no longer runs backup jobs for the backup plan but the backup data is retained.

(Optional) Specify a gateway to run backup jobs

After a backup plan is created, backup jobs are dispatched to gateways based on the status of each gateway. The status includes the number of jobs that are running on each gateway, whether LAN-free backup is enabled for each gateway, and the performance of the ESXi host of each VM.

If you need to back up a large number of VMs, you can install multiple gateways to increase backup efficiency. The procedure to install multiple gateways is similar to the procedure to install a single gateway. For more information, see Before you begin (on-premises VMware).

After multiple gateways are installed, HBR dispatches backup jobs based on the gateway status, including the load of each gateway. You can also specify the gateway on which you want to run a backup plan.

  1. Log on to the HBR console.
  2. In the top navigation bar, select a region.
  3. In the left-side navigation pane, choose Backup > VMware Backup & Disaster Recovery.
  4. Click the Backup Plans tab. On this tab, find the backup plan for which you want to specify a gateway, and choose More > Specify Gateway in the Actions column.
  5. In the Specify Gateway panel, select a gateway to run backup jobs.
  6. Click Create.
    On the Backups tab, you can view the gateway on which the backup job for each VM is run.

References

What to do next

Restore a VMware VM