What is VMware Consolidated Backup and How it is used ?

What is VMware Consolidated Backup?

VMware Consolidate Backup is a Backup framework developed by VMware company. It is installed on Windows Server box as a proxy. Using the third party backup tools like Veritas Netbackup, Veeam Backup software's we can take backup’s of the virtual machines hosted on the ESX hosts. In detail VMware Consolidate Backup is used as mediator between the backup software and Virtual machines / ESX hosts.

It enables the backup operators to take the backup  at file level from the .vmdk files, and also enables to take snapshots. And one more important future is, its a LAN free backup solution, as the Backup Proxy server is directly connected to SAN environment (which is used by those esx hosts and virtual machines).

How it is Used?

1. As you see in the image, the backup proxy (Windows server with VM Consolidated Backup & Backup Agent) server is directly connected to the SAN.

2. The Backup agent (for ex: Veritas Netbackup / Veeam Backup) initiates the backup request through VMware Consolidated Backup, it immediately takes a snapshot of the VM  from the SAN storage and mounts the .vmdk file on the proxy server and takes the backup of the files inside the .vmdk

3. Those files are stored on to a tape drive / backup disk.

4. The main advantage of this framework is, no backup agent needs to be installed on the VM’s or ESX servers. And as it is a LAN free backup, there is no need of bringing down any of these.


Basically, here is how VCB works:

  • If you are doing a file level backup, VCB does a snapshot of the VM, mounts the snapshot, and allows you to backup that mounted "drive" through VCB to your 3rd party backup software
  • If you are doing an image level backup of the VM, VCB does a snapshot of the VM, copies the snapshot to the VCB server, unsnaps the VM, and allows you to backup the copied snapshot image with your 3rd party backup software.

YouTube videos about this concept : Video 1Video 2, Video 3, Video 4

I hope this is informative for you, thanks for your support.

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