Having a couple of ESXi and a vCenter 6.5. I'd like to backup some of the production VMs i.e. have a "photo" of a known working state with all programs installed and configured for the purpose of restore operations (not data, of course) in case the VM gets corrupted or stops working for some reasons. I was thinking about:

  • Clone the Virtual Machine. VM will be powered of for a consistent clone
  • I'd clone it on a separate datastore sitting on a different virtual disk
  • Remove the clone from the Inventory (because it's not supposed to be powered on / managed)
  • In case the original VM gets corrupted, browser the datastore to the cloned vmx and then Register VM, to restore the VM to the known state

Of course I'm not referring to data backup, which will be treated separately. Is this solution ok or am I missing something?

And by the way, what's the difference between cloning, and simply copying the entire VM folder from one datastore to another?

  • Hi, The concept you stated is almost what vReplicator do. Never think to use it ? as it's free if you got a vCenter licence. You just need another host, but it can be a older server or a low performance server with big storage.
    – yagmoth555
    Commented Nov 26, 2020 at 20:30
  • Why don't you just backup the virtual machines like everyone else does? Don't make things needlessly complicated. Use a backup product that can restore the entire virtual machine and files within the virtual machine, like Veeam, Nakivo, and about 80 million other virtualization backup products.
    – joeqwerty
    Commented Nov 27, 2020 at 1:24
  • @yagmoth555 is it free if having vCenter? Couldn't find a source for that.
    – kuma
    Commented Nov 27, 2020 at 23:59
  • @joeqwerty I agree. Needless to say. But sometimes you know, you just have to make do with what you have.
    – kuma
    Commented Nov 28, 2020 at 0:02


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .