vCenter Server supports a file-based backup and restore mechanism that helps you to recover your environment after failures.

You can use the vCenter Server Interface to create a file-based backup of the vCenter Server. After you create the backup, you can restore it by using the GUI installer of the appliance.

You use the vCenter Server Interface to perform a file-based backup of the vCenter Server core configuration, inventory, and historical data of your choice. The backed-up data is streamed over FTP, FTPS, HTTP, HTTPS, SFTP, NFS, or SMB to a remote system. The backup is not stored on the vCenter Server.

You can perform a file-based restore only for a vCenter Server that you have previously backed up by using the vCenter Server Interface. You can perform such restore operation by using the GUI installer of the vCenter Server appliance. The process consists of deploying a new vCenter Server appliance and copying the data from the file-based backup to the new appliance.

You can also perform a restore operation by deploying a new vCenter Server appliance and using the vCenter Server Interface to copy the data from the file-based backup to the new appliance.

Important: If you back up a vCenter Server High Availability cluster, the backup operation only backs up the primary vCenter Server instance. Before restoring a vCenter Server High Availability cluster, you must power off the active, passive, and witness nodes. The restore operation restores the vCenter Server in non- vCenter Server High Availability mode. You must reconstruct the cluster after the restore operation completes successfully.