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A-Z Guide to Restoring Your ESXi Host Configuration

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In the following article, we will try to understand the features of backing up and recovering the ESXi configuration. First of all, it is crucial to keep in mind that you make backup copies of the environment of ESXi servers when updating the hypervisor version, as well as after making significant changes to the configuration (which, frankly, after the initial configuration of the server are performed quite rarely).

Thus, the most convenient and easy way to backup ESXi host settings is to use the Host Profiles functionality. Still, this infrastructure is only available for Enterprise Plus and, for this reason, won’t be discussed in detail. Instead, let’s focus on managing ESXi host backups using CLI commands.

Backup and Restoration of ESXi Host with PowerCLI

According to the opinion of the majority of IT experts, the simplest way to create a backup of the VMware ESXi host system and restore data from it is to use the special PowerCLI cmdlets:

  • Get-VMHostFirmware – allows you to create a backup of the ESXi configuration.
  • Set-VMHostFirmware – allows you to restore the hypervisor config from a backup.

Naturally, Powershell and the vSphere PowerCLI extension must be installed on the administrator’s machine. Thus, the procedure of reserve copying and recovery of ESXi host through PowerCLI consists of the next steps:

  1. Open the PowerCLI console, or run it from PowerShell by running the command “Add-PSSnapin VMware.VimAutomation.Core.” 
  2. Connect to the selected ESXi server (or vCenter). If the user who launched the PowerCLI console has the right to access the abovementioned server, then transparent authorization will occur. Otherwise, the system will require them to enter their username and password.
  3. It is possible to make a reserve copy of the ESXi host server configuration with the command “Get-VMHostFirmware-BackupConfiguration-DestinationPath “C:\BackupESXi.”
  4. Keep in mind that the catalog C:\BackupESXi should be created in advance. Upon executing the order in the directory “C:\BackupESXi,” a file with a reserve copy of the ESXi host configuration will appear.
  5. The direct recovery of the ESXi settings is performed using the program order “Set-VMHostFirmware-Restore-DestinationPath “C:\BackupESXi.”

Do not forget that retrieving the ESXi environment from a backup must be carried out on the same version of ESXi, or else the desired outcome is not guaranteed.

Restoration of ESXi Host with vSphere Configuration Backup

On the Internet, it is possible to find an excellent reserve-copying utility called “vSphere Configuration Backup,” which, in addition to ESXi backup VM, may also create a reserve copy of VMware vCenter databases. Below, we will take a look at the vSphere Configuration Backup tool in more detail.

vSphere Configuration Backup Features

The discussed solution for backing up and retrieving data from the ESXi environment shows off the following benefits:

  • Automatic backup of various ESXi server configurations.
  • Reserve copying of any local database and its settings.
  • Management of restore points and removal of outdated ESXi backups.
  • Only one file is created for the entire backup of VMware ESXi environments.
  • The name of the reserve-copy archive contains the VMware ESXi build number.
  • Compressing ESXi config backups to save disk space.
  • Does not require installation.
  • Encrypts the passwords.
  • It can be adjusted via configuration Manager.exe.

The backing up of ESXi configuration is performed by adhering to the short instruction given below:

  1. Download the vSphere Configuration Backup solution from the Internet. Open the archive and find the Manager.exe config file. All adjustments will be carried out through it.
  2. Then you need to add an ESXi node or vCenter. Enter the login and password for access and click the “Save” button. When the credentials are correct, you will see that it has successfully connected to the node.
  3. Upon that, a text file with the script will open.
  4. On the “SQL Database” tab, select which database you want to copy, and you can immediately check its correctness by hitting the “Test Backup” icon.
  5. The “Settings” section lets the user choose the location of the reserve copy.
  6. Launch the vSphere Configuration Backup.exe file. This way, you will initiate the connection to the desired ESXi node. 

Resort to the “readme” file, which contains commands on how to recover a backup of the ESXi host environment later. 

Now that you have learned two methods of backing up and restoring the ESXi host config, it is time to perform reserve copying of your virtual computers. A top-notch backup solution from NAKIVO Inc. will help you back up your VMs, along with physical servers equipped with any chosen operating system

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