<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