<update 13 november 2014>
VMware does not support backing up the individual components and restoring them to a newly deployed appliance. Use of image-based backup and restore is the only solution supported for performing a full, secondary appliance restore (KB2034505).
Thank you, Feidhlim O’Leary (VMware), for pointing this out in the comments.
</update 13 november 2014>
Last week I was upgrading an old ESX 4.1 environment to ESXi 5.5 and the vCenter server needed to be replaced by the vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA). The new limitations on the 5.5 release should suffice for a lot of environments, the only downsides being no Heartbeat, Linked Mode, VUM and IPv6.
After deploying and configuring the appliance, I soon realized there wasn’t a single article that listed all the necessary post-installation backup tasks. Someone not as smart as you will eventually break your appliance, so make sure to perform all following tasks.
1. Back up vPostgres database
- Connect to the vCenter Server Appliance via SSH
- Stop the vCenter Server service
service vmware-vpxd stop
- Navigate to the vPostgres utility directory
- Display the vPostgres database configuration file
- For the following command, replace EMD_DB_INSTANCE and EMB_DB_USER with the values listed in step 4
./pg_dump EMB_DB_INSTANCE -U EMB_DB_USER -Fp -c > /tmp/VCDBackUp
When promted, enter the EMB_DB_PASSWORD , listed in step 4
- Connect to the vCenter Server Appliance via WinSCP and download /tmp/VCDBackUp
2. Back up SSO configuration
3. Back up Inventory Service database
- Stop the vCenter Inventory Service
service vmware-inventoryservice stop
- Back up the vCenter Inventory Service database
./backup.sh -file /tmp/InventoryServiceDB.DB
- Using WinSCP copy /tmp/InventoryServiceDB.DB
- Start the vCenter Inventory Service
service vmware-inventoryservice start
N.B. You can recreate the Inventory Service database as described in KB2037952, however you will lose all your Web Client tags! Also don’t use this option if you are using vCloud Director and Storage Profiles, for the Managed Object IDs are stored in this database.
4. Back up SSL certificates
- Using WinSCP back up the contents of /etc/vmwarevpx/ssl