VMware Backup Requirements

Supported operating systems

VMware backup and recovery is available on Windows devices. Here is the list of supported Windows versions:

Supported ESXi versions

The following ESXi versions are officially supported:

  • 6.0
  • 6.5 (requires Backup Manager 17.4 or later)
    • In the Recovery Console, this target is available only to those backup devices that are running Backup Manager 17.3 or later
  • 7.0
  • 8.0

When a version of a third-party product reaches End of Life, we will endeavor to provide best effort support. However, if versions which are no longer supported by their company begin to fail, the assistance our Support Teams can provide is limited.

Access to most backup and recovery options requires a paid version of ESXi. There is an alternative solution for free ESXi users, but it takes some extra steps.

For restore purposes, you must ensure the version of VMWare ESXi on the restore device is the same or higher as is on the backup device.

Recommended pre-backup settings

Before you start backups, it can be a good idea to enable Changed Block Tracking (CBT) on your virtual machines. It is a highly effective feature that reduces the duration of subsequent backups.

For requirements and instructions, please refer to article 1020128 from the VMware Knowledge Base (Changed Block Tracking (CBT) on virtual machines).

Note that the CBT feature does not influence statistics in the Size of processed files and Transferred size columns in backup reports.

The CBT feature is not available when creating a new role in vCenter 7.

Configure VMDK Connection Transport Method

It is possible to configure a transport method for VMDK Connections in the Backup Manager configuration file (config.ini):

  1. Stop the Backup Service Controller. See Restarting the internal backup processes and service for details
  2. Open a text editor as an Administrator
  3. Open the Backup Manager configuration file config.ini. See Updating configuration file for where to find the file
  4. If it does not already exist, add a new section containing the following information:

    Where value is replaced with one of the applicable Transport Mode Values.

  5. Save and close the config.ini file
  6. Start the Backup Service Controller

Transport Mode Values

The choice of which transport mode is selected is made by the Virtual Disk Development Kit (VDDK).

The options of values that can be used for the VDDKTransportMode are:

auto (Default)

You can find more information on Virtual Disk Transport Methods on the VMware documentation.


We cannot support backup for:

  • Templates
  • vApps


Instructions on restoring data from this data source can be found on Recovering data in Backup Manager.