Here’s the fresh Veeam white paper that explains how to correctly backup and restore VCSA and PSC in various deployment scenarios – both simple and complex. This is a very welcome white paper because Veeam found that the information on the Internet is quite spotty and often simply poor – so thanks to Michael White for putting this one together (Backup and Recovery of vSphere VCSA and Platform Services Controllers).
By the way, one of many reasons to backup vCenter that you don’t necessarily realize is its log files. Many of them keep data for a short amount of time only due to being circular, however, this data can be essential for troubleshooting. Here’s a good example directly from VMware support. There was a data loss related support case with VMware, where storage array vendor said vSphere deleted the data, while VMware engineers where convinced it was storage array deleting the data. After finding out that customer had Veeam, VMware support engineer directed them to do a file-level restore to find the required circular log file state – and bingo, it had the array message saying about the data being deleted captured.
VMware vSphere is the most popular virtualization environment in the enterprise and is composed of hosts called ESXi that can run virtual workloads and vCenter Server which provides the control and management. vCenter Server can take the form of an appliance or windows based. This paper is primarily concerned with the VCSA, which is VMware’s stated direction of vCenter Server. When vCenter Server needs to scale, such as to handle distance/latency, or it needs High Availability, there are additional designs possible. Generally, what happens is the introduction of additional components called PSC.
In this paper, you can learn how to back up and successfully restore the VCSA and PSC and you have learned some things to make it a little easier: Backup and Recovery of vSphere VCSA and Platform Services Controllers (By Michael White).
Basically, you can learn how to protect the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA) and the Platform Services Controllers (PSC). When you have the VCSA — which is both vCenter Server and the PSC in one VM — it is easy to back up and restore but it is becoming more common for customers to have more than one PSC and then you need a process to recover them successfully. This paper will provide all the necessary information to backup and restore in both simple and complex environments. Once you have a backup, there are many ways to restore it as a VM, file, object and much more. In fact, Veeam has 57 ways to restore, but with the VCSA and PSC, it is important to only ever restore the whole VM.
For VMware users, here’s a nice article that explains and shows the difference between various VMware disk types using a simple yet genius test.
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