Add ESXi Host and VCenter Server and perform backup

Information Covered


Backup your virtual machines (VMs) running on VMware ESXi host and v-Center server to the IDrive BMR server. To begin, add the ESXi host and vCenter server to the BMR server and schedule the backup.


Backing up your VMware virtual machines through IDrive BMR is easy, fast, and safe. It is one of the most reliable solutions to backup VMware virtual machines of any operating system platform and disk configurations running on ESXi and vCenter server, without any software installation. BMR enables you to perform full, incremental, and manual backup including backup of the entire virtual machine via ESXi host and v-Center server.

IDrive BMR performs VMware backup of the VMs at the Hypervisor level and as such does not depend on the type of the Operating System running on the VM. So, all OS platforms supported by VMware hypervisor will be supported for VMware backup in IDrive BMR.

You can perform VMware backup of hard disks that are up to 2TB in size. You are recommended to install the backup agent inside the VM for devices more than 2TB in size (only for Windows OS). The backups will be displayed under the 'Physical Machines' tab.

To backup your virtual machines you need to add the VMware ESXi host and vCenter server to the BMR server. When you add the ESXi host or vCenter server to your BMR server, you will have the option to schedule the backup of the VMs. Alternatively, you may disable scheduled backup and choose to rely on manual backup to secure your Vmware machine data.

Add an ESXi host to the BMR server

To add an ESXi host,

  1. Sign in to the IDrive BMR server web interface.
  2. Go to the 'VMware' tab and click 'Add ESXi Host'.

  3. Enter the ESXi name, IP address, username, and password and click ‘Next’.

  4. Select the required virtual machines and click 'Next'.

  5. Configure the backup schedule in the ‘Schedule’ tab and click 'Next'. You may select 'Disable Schedule' if you want to backup the virtual machines manually.

  6. The ‘Confirm’ tab provides a summary of the backup operation and click ‘Confirm’. Once the ESXi host is added to the BMR server, backups will occur for the running VMs as per the schedule.

Note: If you have a vCenter server managing other ESXi hosts in your infrastructure then you don't have to add every single ESXi host to initiate backup of your VMs. You can simply add the relevant Vcenter server and all the ESXi hosts associated with it will be automatically added for backup.

Add a v-Center server to the BMR server

To add a vCenter server.

  1. Sign in to the IDrive BMR server web interface.
  2.  Go to the 'VMware' tab and click 'vCenter'.

  3. Click 'Add vCenter Server'.
  4. Enter the vCenter name, IP address, username, and password and click 'Next'.

  5.  Select the virtual machines to be added and click 'Next'.
  6. Set backup schedule parameters and click 'Next'.
  7. Read the summary of the backup operation and click ‘Confirm’. 

Perform an immediate backup of the VMware virtual machines

Post VMware server addition, you can perform manual backup of the added VMs running on these servers. 

To perform an immediate backup,

  1. Sign in to the IDrive BMR server web interface.
  2. Go to 'VMware' > 'ESXi'/'vCenter'.
  3. Click the 'Backup Now' button on the respective ESXi / vCenter tab to perform an immediate backup.

Track VMware backup activities

Click on the bottom-right corner to expand the ‘Activities’ tab. Track the progress of VMware backups in the ‘VMware Activities’ tab.

The information displayed under this section lists the following parameters for every VM in that server:

Server - The server on which the target virtual machine is running.

Virtual Machine - The assigned computer name of the virtual machine.

Action - The type of the ongoing backup activity, full or incremental.

Disk Name - The assigned name of the virtual disk drive that is being backed up.

Progress - The current status of the ongoing backup operation.

ETA - The estimated time by which the backup will be complete.

Speed - The rate at which the backup is being performed by the BMR server.

Use the ‘Stop’ button to prevent BMR from backing up your VMware machines running on ESXi and vCenter server at any point of time during the backup operation.

Manage the added ESXi hosts/VCenter servers

Manage the VMs, backup schedule, and update the password of the added ESXi hosts and vCenter servers in the ‘VMware’ tab of the ‘Dashboard’ page.

Navigate the required ESXi/vCenter server block and edit the configurations using the following icons: 

- To add new virtual machines.

- To view and modify the backup schedule.

- To update the new password. (If your ESXi or vCenter password gets changed due to some reason, the backup will fail. In such a case, you may need to update the password.)

Click ‘Backup Now’ to perform a manual backup.

Remove an ESXi host/vCenter server from the server

To remove an ESXi host or vCenter server from the BMR server, navigate to 'VMware' > 'ESXi'/'vCenter' and click on the required ESXi/vCenter. Click 'Yes' in the confirmation window.

The list of deleted ESXi hosts and vCenter servers will be displayed at the bottom half of the page and will be removed from the server during cleanup. You can click 'Do not remove' to retain the required ESXi host and vCenter server.

Note: Delete operation will delete all the backups for the particular ESXi host/vCenter server that you have added. Hence, perform the delete operation only if you do not need the data present on the BMR server any longer.