You can perform backups automatically based on the configuration for a hypervisor or VM group, or manually for a VM group or a specific VM.
The first backup of a VM is always a full backup. By default, all subsequent backups are incremental, capturing any changes to VM data since the last backup.
You can recover virtual machine data, even when the most recent backup was incremental.
Backups run based on the following options:
Initial full backup: When you use Guided setup to set up the Virtualization solution, use the Back up now option to perform a backup for the default VM group.
Scheduled incremental backups: The server backup plan that is assigned to a VM group includes a schedule for ongoing incremental backups. Those backups are performed automatically based on the schedule, without requiring any user action.
Manual backups: You can perform on-demand backups for a VM group or for a specific VM.
If backups cannot start immediately, the backup jobs are queued.
You can configure a VMware hypervisor to perform IntelliSnap backups. From the snap copy, you can restore full VMs, restore a disk and attach it to an existing VM, and restore guest files and folders.
What Gets Backed Up
The following entities are backed up:
Virtual machines (Windows and Linux, powered on or powered off)
VM templates (using HotAdd, NAS, NBD or NBDSSL transport modes)
GPT or dynamic disk volumes
vSphere tags on virtual machines (only with streaming backups)
Fault tolerant virtual machines that meet the following requirements:
Configured as fault tolerant in the vSphere Web client
Hosted on ESX 6.x or later
VM hardware version 11 or later
What Does Not Get Backed Up
The following entities are not backed up:
Virtual machines containing SCSI adapters that are configured for bus sharing (physical or virtual)
Virtual machines configured with fault tolerance (prior to ESX 6.x or hardware version 11)
Virtual machines with no disks attached
Virtual machines replicated by VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM)
VM templates (using SAN transport mode)
Disks using the multi-writer option (install an in-guest agent on the VM to protect data on multi-writer disks)
Page and swap files (VMware Tools must be installed on guest VMs)