It is critically important that you back up the management VMs regularly to avoid downtime and data loss in case of a system failure. If a VM does fail, you can restore it to the last backup.

This section of the documentation provides instructions on backing up and restoring SDDC Manager, and on configuring the built-in automation of NSX backups. For general procedures on backing up and restoring a full-stack SDDC, please see VMware Validated Design Backup and Restore, version 5.1, available from the VMware Validated Design Documentation page.

Note: This section does not include procedures for updating SDDC Manager state after restoring other Cloud Foundation products. Please contact VMware Support if you need to restore such a product.
Follow the best practices below:
  • Schedule backups when no other workflows are running.
  • Take periodic backups on a daily to weekly frequency.
  • If a workflow does not complete successfully and the environment is in this state when the scheduled backup is taken, resolve the failure as soon possible and take an unscheduled backup. Restoring your environment from a backup that includes unresolved failures is more difficult than restoring from a clean backup.

    A workflow is resolved when the environment is not in an intermediate state. Some workflows can only be resolved by fixing the failure conditions and retrying the operation. Other workflows can also be resolved by invoking the corresponding delete operation. For example, if adding a host to a workload domain fails, either fix the condition that caused the workflow to fail, or run the workflow that removes the host from the cluster. Contact VMware Support if you are unable to resolve a workflow.

You can back up and restore SDDC Manager with an image-based or a file-based solution. File-based backup is recommended for customers who are comfortable with configuring backups using APIs, and are not using composable servers or stretched clusters.

By default, NSX Manager file-based backups are taken on the SFTP server that is built into SDDC Manager.

You should register an external SFTP server with SDDC Manager after you deploy VMware Cloud Foundation for the following reasons:

  • An external SFTP server is a prerequisite for using SDDC Manager file-based backups, and you can’t enable them until you register a SFTP server.
  • By default, NSX Manager file-based backups are taken on the SFTP server that is built into SDDC Manager. Using an external SFTP server provides better protection against failures because it decouples the NSX backups from the SDDC Manager backups. The built-in SFTP server provides temporary protection against failures and should be used while you are setting up an external SFTP server