How to Backup VMware ESXi Easily and Securely?

Businesses heavily rely on virtualization solutions like VMware ESXi to streamline operations, optimize resources, and boost efficiency. However, with such reliance comes the responsibility of safeguarding critical virtual machine (VM) data.

What Is VMware ESXi and Benefits of VMware Data Backup

VMware ESXi is a powerful hypervisor that enables organizations to create and manage multiple virtual machines on a single physical server. It offers numerous benefits, such as

  • Ensuring business continuity
  • Performing fast recovery
  • Saving cost
  • Improved System Performance

However, with data loss or corruption posing potential threats due to hardware failures, human errors, or cyber threats, the crucial need for VMware data backup cannot be ignored.

In this article, we will explore the importance of VMware ESXi backup and the reliable methods available to protect your virtual infrastructure effectively.

How Often Should You Back Up Your VMware ESXi

Determining the frequency of VMware ESXi backups is essential for meeting your organization’s recovery objectives. In most cases, a daily backup is recommended to ensure minimal data loss in case of a disaster. However, high-value VMs may require more frequent backups to reduce the RPO (recovery point objective) and RTO (recovery time objective).

Types of Backups for VMware ESXi

When it comes to types of backups for VMware ESXi, two primary options are commonly used:

Full Backups: This method involves creating a complete copy of all VM data. While it results in larger backup sizes, it allows for faster restores when needed.

Incremental Backups: In contrast, incremental backups only store changes made since the last backup. This reduces backup size but may increase the time required for restores, especially if multiple incremental backups need to be combined.

How to Choose VMware Backup Solution

VM snapshot and backup are different from each other, since snapshots are not independent, and will affect your VM performance in the long-term. For businesses or organizations that want long-term data protection, it is better to consider the following backup solutions:

  • Manually copy VM disk files: A VM is essentially a set of files. The virtual disk files can be direct open by the hypervisor.
  • Export VM to OVF/OVA: Open Virtualization Format (OVF) is a file format that supports exchange of virtual appliances across products and platforms. You can achieve faster downloads this way, but still need to export VM from ESXi one by one.
  • Agent-based VM backup: You can perform file-based backup by using Windows Server Backup or Backup and Restore that come with Windows guest operating systems. But it cannot backup the host and guest configurations, and perform file-based backup on multiple VMs one by one can be laborious.
  • Agentless free backup software: This is the most reliable way to backup VMs today. You can create independent and complete backups of multiple VMs with simple steps.

How to Backup VMware VMs Using AOMEI Cyber Backup

Using AOMEI Cyber Backup to safeguard your VMware VMs is a straightforward process. In addition to VMware ESXi backups, it also supports Hyper-V backups and SQL database backups.

Centralized Backup: create complete and independent backups from a central console.

Support Free ESXi: support both paid and free versions of VMware ESXi.

Automated Execution: schedules backup tasks to run automatically.

Role Assignment: allows one administrator to create sub-accounts with limited privileges.

Email Notification: send email notification when the task is completed or abnormal.

Perpetual Free: use AOMEI Cyber Backup Free Edition with no time limit.

Follow these steps to secure your virtual infrastructure:

Step 1: Install AOMEI Cyber Backup. Then connect to your VMware device and complete Authenticate Credentials.

Step 2: Navigate to Backup Task >> + Create New Task, and Choose VMware Backup to initiate the VMware backup process.

Step 3: Select VMware virtual machines from vCenter or a standalone ESXi host. Then schedule your desired backup methods such as full/incremental/differential backups, then specify the backup frequency such as daily/weekly/monthly.

Step 4: Choose a suitable location to store the backup files. Ensure that the selected destination has sufficient storage capacity to accommodate the backup data.

Step 5: Configure the retention policy to determine how long the backup data should be retained.

Step 6: Check all the configured settings and parameters to ensure they align with your backup requirements.


VMware ESXi backup is an indispensable practice for any organization utilizing virtualization technology. The advantages of data protection, disaster recovery, and business continuity cannot be overstated. Regular backups, combined with the right backup method, contribute to the seamless functioning of your virtual infrastructure.

The key to successful VMware ESXi backup lies in understanding your organization’s backup requirements and choosing a reliable and efficient backup solution like AOMEI Cyber Backup. Embrace a proactive approach to data protection and rest assured that your virtual environment remains resilient and secure against any unforeseen challenges. Safeguard your virtual infrastructure and pave the way for uninterrupted productivity and growth.

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