You can perform backups automatically based on the configuration for a hypervisor or VM group, or manually for a VM group or a specific VM.
The first backup of a VM is always a full backup. By default, all subsequent backups are incremental, capturing any changes to VM data since the last backup.
You can recover virtual machine data, even when the most recent backup was incremental.
Backups run based on the following options:
Initial full backup: When you use Guided setup to set up the Virtualization solution, use the Back up now option to perform a backup for the default VM group.
Scheduled incremental backups: The server backup plan that is assigned to a VM group includes a schedule for ongoing incremental backups. Those backups are performed automatically based on the schedule, without requiring any user action.
Manual backups: You can perform on-demand backups for a VM group or for a specific VM.
If backups cannot start immediately, the backup jobs are queued.
Data You Can Back Up
Virtual machines (Windows and Linux, powered on or powered off)
VM templates (using HotAdd, NAS, NBD, or NBDSSL transport modes)
GPT or dynamic disk volumes
vSphere tags on virtual machines
VM custom attributes
VM vApp options
Settings for Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS)
Fault-tolerant virtual machines that meet the following requirements:
Configured as fault tolerant in the vSphere Web client
Hosted on ESX 6.x or a more recent version
VM hardware version 11 or a more recent version
Data You Cannot Back Up
Virtual machines that contain SCSI adapters that are configured for bus sharing (physical or virtual)
Virtual machines that are configured with fault tolerance (before ESX 6.x or hardware version 11)
Virtual machines that do not have a disk attached
Virtual machines replicated by VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM)
VM templates (using SAN transport mode)
VM Settings for High Availability (HA)
Disks using the multi-writer option (install an in-guest agent on the VM to protect data on multi-writer disks)
Page and swap files (VMware Tools must be installed on guest VMs)
Backups You Can Perform
Synthetic full backups
When You Can Perform Backups
On a schedule: The server plan that you assign manages scheduled backups
On demand: You can perform on-demand backups at any time