Use vSphere Data Protection to Back Up a vCenter Server Environment
To perform an image-based backup of a virtual machine that contains vCenter Server, a vCenter Server Appliance, or a Platform Services Controller, you must first deploy and configure vSphere Data Protection and complete basic backup tasks.
The topology of your vCenter Server environment may vary and consist of many vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller instances. You must always perform the backup of all vCenter Server and Platform Services Controller instances simultaneously.
You can back up and restore only virtual machines that contain vCenter Server, vCenter Server Appliance, and Platform Services Controller. You cannot back up and restore physical machines that are running vCenter Server by using vSphere Data Protection.