Regular backups of the management VMs are important 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.

You can backup 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.

For a file-based backup of SDDC Manager VM, the state of the VM is exported to a file that is stored in a domain different than the one where the product is running. You can configure a backup schedule for the SDDC Manager VM and enable task-based (state-change driven) backups. When task-based backups are enabled, a backup is triggered after each SDDC Manager task (such as workload domain and host operations or password rotation).

You can also define a backup retention policy to comply with your company's retention policy. For more information, see the VMware Cloud Foundation API Reference Guide.

By default, NSX Manager file-based backups are taken on the SFTP server that is built into SDDC Manager. It is recommended that you configure an external SFTP server as a backup location for the following reasons:

  • An external SFTP server is a prerequisite for restoring SDDC Manager file-based backups.
  • Using an external SFTP server provides better protection against failures because it decouples NSX backups from SDDC Manager backups.

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 information on backing up and restoring a full-stack SDDC, see VMware Validated Design Backup and Restore.