Configuring Backups for VMware VMs

You can configure backups for VMware virtual machines. The configuration wizard guides you through the configuration process, which includes creating any new entities that are needed, such as a plan, a hypervisor, and a VM group.

Start the Configuration Wizard

  1. From the Command Center navigation pane, go to Protect > Virtualization.

    The Virtual machines page appears.

  2. In the upper-right area of the page, click Add hypervisor.

    The Configure Hypervisor page appears.

  3. Click VMware vCenter.

  4. Click Next.

    The Add Hypervisor page of the configuration wizard appears.

Add Hypervisor

  1. In vCenter server name, enter a fully qualified hostname or IP address for the vCenter server or the standalone ESXi host that you want to add as a hypervisor.

    To use a port number that is not default, append the port number to the host name. For example, if the host name is, and you want to use port number 1500, enter

  2. In Hypervisor display name, enter a descriptive name for the hypervisor.

  3. For Credentials, select existing credentials or create new credentials.

    Steps to create credentials
    1. Click the add button add/plus button - gray - no border.

      The Add credential dialog box appears.

    2. For Credential Vault, select the credential vault to save the credentials in.

    3. In Credential name, enter a descriptive name for the credentials.

    4. In User account, enter the name of the user account that has permissions to do the following:

      • Access the vCenter, ESX servers, datastores, and virtual machines—as well as the volumes, files, and folders within virtual machines

      • Obtain the account credentials or get access to saved credentials

      • Perform discovery, backup, and restore operations

      For more information, see Configuration of vSphere User Accounts.

    5. In Password, enter the password for the user account.

      Verify that the vSphere password for the hypervisor does not contain any of the following special characters or any non-ASCII characters: ampersand (&), semicolon (;), double quotation mark ("), single quotation mark ('), caret (^), backslash (\), percentage sign (%), left angle bracket (<), right angle bracket (>).

      For more information, see the VMware KB article vSphere 5.5 Single Sign-On Issues due to Special Characters in administrator@vsphere.local password (2060637).

    6. In Description, enter a description of the credentials.

    7. Click Save.


    Commvault uses simple authentication method to establish connection with the vCenter server. The user account name and password that you specify are passed directly to the vCenter server for validation.

  4. From the Access node list, select the access node to use.

  5. Click Next.

    The Add VM Group page of the configuration wizard appears.

Add VM Group

A VM group is a set of VMs that you want to back up with the same settings. By default, the VM group includes all unprotected instances. You can modify the VM group content by using rules that auto-discover content and by selecting VMs, hosts, clusters, and datacenters.

  1. In Name, enter a descriptive name for the VM group.

  2. To create rules that auto-discover and select VMs to back up, do the following:

    1. Click Add, and then select Rules.

      The Add rule dialog box appears.

    2. From the list, select the type of rule to create, and then specify the rule:

      • Browse: Select specific VMs. (Selecting this option changes the Add rule dialog box to the Add content dialog box.)

      • Custom attribute: Select VMs based on custom attributes in vCenter annotations for the VM summary. For example, to select VMs that have a custom attribute that equals "128", enter Custom attribute | Equals | 128.

      • Datastore: Select VMs based on the name of the datastore that contains them.

      • Folder: Select VMs based on the folder that contains them.

      • Guest DNS hostname: Select VMs based on a hostname or a domain. For example, to select hosts on the "" domain, enter Guest DNS hostname | Ends with |

      • Guest OS: Select VMs based on operating system. For example, to select VMs that are not Windows, enter Guest OS | Does not contain | Windows.

      • Host: Select VMs based on hostname. For example, to select VMs that are on hosts that include "acme" in their names, enter Host | Contains | acme.

      • Notes: Select VMs based on notes contained in annotations for the VM summary. For example, to select VMs that have notes that begin with "Test", enter Notes | Starts with | Test.

      • Power state: Select VMs based on a power status of On, Off, or Other. (Other includes statuses such as Suspended).

      • Tag: Select VMs based on tags that the VMs are marked with.

      • Tag category: Select VMs based on tag categories that the VMs are marked with.

      • Template: Specify whether to select virtual machine templates. For example, to select templates, enter Template | Equals | True.

      • Virtual machine name or pattern: Select VMs based on their names. For example, to select VMs that have a name that includes "east", enter Virtual machine name or pattern | Contains | east.

    3. Click Save.

  3. To select VMs in other ways, do the following:

    1. Click Add, and then select Content.

      The Add content dialog box appears.

    2. From the Browse and select VMs list, select one of the following:

      • Datastores and datastore clusters: Sort VMs by the datastores or datastore clusters where they reside.

      • Hosts and clusters: Sort VMs by the hosts or clusters where they reside.

      • Tags and categories: Sort VMs by custom tags and categories applied to the VMs.

      • VMs and templates: Sort VMs by name or template name.

    3. Select the VMs to add to the VM group.

    4. Click Save.

  4. To see a list of the VMs that are selected for backup based on your current selections or to run a backup test to verify that your backup configuration is successful, click Preview.

    The Preview page appears.

    1. In the Actions column for the VM, click the action_button icon, and then click Test backup.

      The Test VM backup page appears.

    2. Configure the following:

      • Transport mode: Select the transport mode for the backup job: Auto, HotAdd, NBD, NBD SSL, NAS, or SAN.

        By default, Auto is selected. This option uses the best transport mode for the environment.

      • Access node: Select the access node to use for the backup.

        If you do not select an access node, the Commvault software picks the first access node that is specified on the Configurations page for the hypervisor that the VM group resides in.

    3. Click Test backup.

      The Commvault backup utility runs the backup test, and then displays the results.

  5. Click OK.

  6. For Plan, select an existing plan or create a new plan.

    Steps to create a plan
    1. Click the add button add/plus button - gray - no border.

      The Add plan dialog box appears.

    2. In the Plan name box, enter a descriptive name for the plan.

    3. For Storage, select the storage pool where you want to store backups.

    4. For the plan settings, select pre-defined settings or create custom settings:

      • To select pre-defined settings, under Retention rules, select one of the following:

        • Select Standard retention to retain the incremental backups for 1 month.

        • Select Extended retention for optimized storage where the incremental backups of primary and secondary copies are retained for 1 month, and extended retention for monthly and yearly full backups.


          The Extended retention option is available only when the secondary copy backup is selected.

      • To create custom settings, select Custom plan, and then specify the following:

        • For Retention, specify the amount of time to retain the backups.

        • For Backups run every, specify how often to run backups.

    5. Click Done.

  7. Click Next.

    The Summary page of the configuration wizard appears.


  1. Review the summary.

  2. Click Finish.