SolarWinds Backup Help

VMware backup requirements

Supported operating systems

VMware backup and recovery is available on Windows devices. Here is the list of supported Windows versions:

Supported ESXi versions

The following ESXi versions are supported:

  • 5.1
  • 5.5
  • 6.0
  • 6.5 (requires Backup Manager 17.4 or later). In the Recovery Console, this target is available only to those backup devices that are running Backup Manager 17.3 or later.

Access to most backup and recovery options requires a paid version of ESXi. There is an alternative solution for free ESXi users, but it takes some extra steps.

Free ESXi backupClosed
  1. Install Backup Manager on each of your VMware virtual machines (a separate device for each VM).
  2. Back up the virtual machine. Here is the minimum requirement:
    • The system state of your VM (the System State data source).
    • The whole system disk – C:\ or another disk that has your operating system and that the operating system boots from (the Files and Folders data source).
  3. Perform recovery in either of these ways:
    • Create a new virtual machine with required characteristics and perform bare metal recovery there (recommended as a faster option).
    • Perform virtual disaster recovery to a VMDK file. Use VMware vCenter Converter to convert the local VMDK file from the workstation format to the appropriate format and to attach it to the ESXi server.

Recommended pre-backup settings

Before you start backups, it can be a good idea to enable Changed Block Tracking (CBT) on your virtual machines. It is a highly effective feature that reduces the duration of subsequent backups.

For requirements and instructions, please refer to article 1020128 from the VMware Knowledge Base (Changed Block Tracking (CBT) on virtual machines).

Note that the CBT feature does not influence statistics in the Size of processed files and Transferred size columns in backup reports.