Requirements for Backing up VMware Servers


Verify that your environment meets the requirements.

Administrative Service Account on the vCenter

If you do not already have an administrative service account on the vCenter, you must create one. For information, see Create a Custom vCenter Server Role Using PowerCLI in the VMware documentation.

Backup Gateway for On-Premises Data

To back up on-premises data, a backup gateway is required. You can install:

VMware vCenter Server

The following versions are supported for vCenter Server and vCenter Server Appliance. vCenter Server support includes support for vSphere, Virtual Disk Development Kit (VDDK), ESX or ESXi, and file system versions as provided by the vCenter version. For more information, see Correlating build numbers and versions of VMware products (1014508).

Generally, each version of the VDDK supports vCenter Server for the two previous major versions and for the next minor version. For example, VDDK 6.0.0 can be used with vCenter Server 5.5, 5.1, or 6.0 Update 1.

When VMware issues new versions or updates, Metallic tests against the current service pack before announcing support. For new VMware versions or updates that are released between Metallic service packs, and for earlier supported versions or service packs, Metallic provides continuing support, including Hot Fixes as needed to address VMware changes to functions that affect backup and recovery.

Note: If VMs are part of ESX 4.1, then streaming and IntelliSnap backups are supported only through the vCenter. You cannot use a standalone ESX 4.1 server.

vCenter Server Versions

  • 8.0 (all minor updates)

  • 7.0 Update 3 (all minor updates)

  • 7.0 Update 2 (all minor updates)

  • 7.0 Update 1 (all minor updates)

  • 7.0 (all minor updates)

  • 6.7 Update 3 (all minor updates)

  • 6.7 Update 2 (all minor updates)

  • 6.7 Update 1 (all minor updates)

  • 6.7 (all minor updates)

  • 6.5 Update 3 (all minor updates)

  • 6.5 Update 2 (all minor updates)

  • 6.5 Update 1 (all minor updates)

  • 6.5 GA (all minor updates)

  • 6.0 Update 3 (all minor updates)

  • 6.0 Update 2 (all minor updates)

  • 6.0 Update 1 (all minor updates)

  • 6.0 GA (all minor updates)

  • 5.5 Update 3 (all minor updates)

  • 5.5 Update 2 (all minor updates)

  • 5.5 Update 1 (all minor updates)

  • 5.5 GA (all minor updates)

  • 5.1 (all updates)

  • 5.0 (all updates)

  • 4.1 (all updates)

ESX Host Support

Before configuring backups for ESXi servers, verify that you are using Essentials licensing level or higher. The vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP) are not provided with the free version of ESXi.


Metallic includes the most recent supported VDDK. Multiple versions of the VDDK are included, and the appropriate VDDK for the vSphere version is loaded automatically when required.

vCenter Server Versions Required for Specific Features

Some features are supported only for more recent versions of vCenter Server. The following table shows the required versions for features that are dependent on the version of vCenter Server and associated software. Support includes all updates for each major version unless an update is specifically excluded.


Required Version of vCenterServer

Agentless file restores

5.1, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 6.7, 7.0, 8.0

File Recovery Enabler for Linux

4.1, 5.1, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5, 6.7, 7.0, 8.0

Virtual Machine Hardware

Version 4.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0, 10.0, 11.0, 13.0, 14.0, 15.0, 17.0, 18.0, 19.0, 20.0

Virtual Machine Operating Systems

All Guest Operating Systems supported by VADP.


  • Network File System (NFS)

  • Virtual Machine File System (VMFS)

  • Virtual storage area network (vSAN)

  • VMware Virtual Volume (VVol)

VMware Tools on Virtual Machines

Install the most recent version of VMware Tools supported by the host on each virtual machine. At a minimum, the version of VMware tools on virtual machines must be supported on the host and unsupported versions must be upgraded. For more information about VMware Tools support for Windows and Linux guest VMs, see the VMware Compatibility Guide.


For UNIX guest VMs that run the following operating system releases, open-vm-tools can be used:

  • Fedora 19 and more recent versions

  • Debian 7.x and more recent versions

  • openSUSE 11.x and more recent versions

  • Recent Ubuntu (12.04 LTS, 13.10 and more recent versions)

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 and more recent versions

  • CentOS 7.0 and more recent versions

  • Oracle Linux 7.0 and more recent versions

  • SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 and more recent versions

For more information, see VMware support for open-vm-tools (2073803).


In an environment that includes firewalls, the vCenter, ESX servers, and Virtual Server Agent must be able to communicate with each other. To ensure that all components can communicate through the firewall, verify that the ports for web services (default: 443) and TCP/IP (default: 902) are open for bidirectional communication on each of these machines.


Port for web service (default: 443) must be open. If vCenter is configured to use non-default ports, the non-default ports must also be opened.

ESX Server

Ports for web service (default: 443) and TCP/IP (default: 902) must be open for the vStorage APIs for Data Protection.

Allocation Unit Size of NTFS Volumes

The cluster size or the allocation unit size of an NTFS volume in a virtual machine must be multiple of 1024 bytes per cluster. You can set the cluster size before formatting a volume. The default cluster size is 4096 bytes per cluster.


Certain third-party software and service releases (together, "Releases") may not be supported by Commvault. You are solely responsible for ensuring Commvault’s products and services are compatible with any such Releases.