Virtual Server Agent with VMware

The Virtual Server Agent (VSA) for VMware provides a unified protection and recovery vehicle for all virtual machine data in your vCenter. In addition to complete protection of entire virtual machines for disaster recovery, the Virtual Server Agent provides granular backup and recovery options.


The Virtual Server Agent may also be referred to as the Virtual Server iDataAgent.

The VSA for VMware enables you to perform backups and restores and manage virtual machine data in complex virtualized environments.

Key Features



Additional information

Agentless backups and restores

Install the Virtual Server Agent on a machine to act as a VSA proxy. A VSA proxy manages backup and restore operations for guest VMs in your environment, eliminating the need to install agents on guest VMs.

Deployment Planning

System Requirements

"Incremental forever" data protection

After an initial full backup, you can perform ongoing incremental backups to capture changes for the source VM.


Changed Block Tracking

Commvault uses Changed Block Tracking (CBT) to identify changes for each incremental backup.

Changed Block Tracking


You can restore full VMs, disk files, or guest files and folders, or attach a restored disk to an existing VM.


Full integration with VMware technologies

The Virtual Server Agent builds upon VMware technologies and adds value by providing automation.

VSA uses vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP) for data protection, with support for all guest operating systems supported by VADP.

System Requirements

vSAN Support with the Virtual Server Agent for VMware

VDDK Support for the Virtual Server Agent with VMware

vRealize Automation Support

Capabilities for on-premises and multi-cloud environments

A modern interface provides unified support for modern storage options such as VMware Virtual Volumes (VVols) and cloud technologies.

IntelliSnap Protection for VMs on VVol or VSAN Datastores

Support for VMware Cloud on AWS

Policy-driven data protection

Policies drive operations to meet service level agreements (SLAs), with support for VMware policies and virtual machine tags.

Schedule Policies

Storage Policies

Subclient Policies

Monitoring Policies

vSphere Tag Support

Disaster recovery

Replicate VMs to a warm recovery site to ensure that VMs are available in the event of a disaster or other outage. DR orchestration features include planned and unplanned failovers, failback, and test boots.

Disaster Recovery for VMware

Simplified operational interface

The web-based Command Center interface uses smart defaults to simplify configuration and support streamlined operations.

Command Center

Self service for end users

The Web Console provides self service options for end users and groups.

Web Console

VM provisioning

End users can use the Web Console to provision VMs based on pre-defined templates.

VM Lifecycle Management

Advanced administration

The CommCell Console provides advanced options for Commvault operations.

Using the CommCell Console, you can configure a virtualization client that serves as a single point of administration for a vCenter or ESX server. You can perform backups and restores from the virtualization client, and perform other administrative tasks such as creating schedules and generating reports.

Creating a Virtualization Client

Automatic protection for all virtual machines in a vCenter

By default, all virtual machines in the vCenter are automatically selected for backup, to ensure that all virtual machines are backed up.

Default Subclient Coverage

Application-aware backups

Perform application-consistent backups without manually installing application agents on virtual machines.

From the Command Center, you can use the Auto discover applications option to automatically find applications on servers and install the agents that can back up the applications. (For more information, see Automatic Discovery of Applications in the Command Center.)

Application-Aware Backups

Automatic discovery

To back up categories of virtual machines, you can create rules to automatically select virtual machines based on specific criteria. Automatic discovery is useful in environments where virtual machines are frequently added or removed.

Adding Subclient Content

Customized filters

To exclude virtual machines from the backup, create rules to filter virtual machines.

Defining Filters

Detailed status for each virtual machine backup

You can view detailed information about each backed up virtual machine, including information such as the name of the proxy that performed the backup of the virtual machine, the size of the backup data, and the type of backup.

Viewing Virtual Machine Backup Status

vCloud backup and restore

You can protect the vCloud-specific attributes of a virtual machine and restore a virtual machine back to a vCloud.

Configuring vCloud Backup

vCloud Director

VM conversion

When restoring a VM, you can choose to restore to a different hypervisor. This capability can be used to migrate VMs to a different virtualization platform.

Virtual Machine Conversion

Powerful snapshot management framework

The VSA snapshot management framework uses hardware orchestration to provide enhanced recovery point objectives (RPOs) and recovery time objectives (RTOs). IntelliSnap backups work in conjunction with hardware snapshot engines.

IntelliSnap backup enables you to create a point-in-time snapshot of a virtual machine by temporarily quiescing the data, taking a snapshot, and resuming live operations.

IntelliSnap for VMware

Commvault Platform Features

The following features are available throughout Commvault and are not limited to the Virtual Server Agent.



Additional information

Block-level deduplication

Block-level deduplication compares blocks of data during backups. If virtual machines contain identical blocks of data, block-level deduplication eliminates the storage of redundant data and reduces the size of data in storage.

Deduplication Overview

Built-in compression

Commvault storage policies automatically enable compression to reduce the quantity of data sent to storage.

Data Compression

Data Compression for VSA