Creating backup policies for VMs and datastores

You must create backup policies before you use SnapCenter Plug-in for VMware vSphere to back up VMs and datastores.

Before you begin

About this task

Most of the fields on these wizard pages are self-explanatory. The following information describes some of the fields for which you might require guidance.


  1. In the left Navigator pane of the VMware vSphere web client, click Policies.
  2. In the Policies page, click New Policy in the toolbar.
  3. In the New Backup Policy page, enter the policy name and a description.
    • Supported characters

      Do not use the following special characters in VM, datastore, policy, backup, or resource group names: % & * $ # @ ! \ / : * ? " < > - | ; ' , .

      An underscore character (_) is allowed.

    • Server address

      The wizard automatically enters the vCenter Server address.

  4. Specify the retention settings.
    Important: You should set the retention count to 2 or higher if you plan to enable SnapVault replication. If you set the replication count to 1, the retention operation can fail. This is because the first Snapshot copy is the reference Snapshot copy for the SnapVault relationship until the newer Snapshot copy is replicated to the target.
    Note: The maximum retention value is 1018 for resources on ONTAP 9.4 or later, and 254 for resources on ONTAP 9.3 or earlier. Backups will fail if retention is set to a value higher than what the underlying ONTAP version supports. This is also true for spanning datastores. If they include resouces on both ONTAP 9.3 and earlier and on ONTAP 9.4 and later, make sure you set the retention value below 254.
  5. Specify the frequency settings.
    The policy specifies the backup frequency only. The specific protection schedule for backing up is defined in the resource group. Therefore, two or more resource groups can share the same policy and backup frequency but have different backup schedules.
  6. In the Replication fields, specify replication to secondary storage:
    For this field… Do this…
    Update SnapMirror after backup Select this option to create mirror copies of backup sets on another volume that has a SnapMirror relationship to the primary backup volume.

    If a volume is configured with a mirror-vault relationship, you must select only the Update SnapVault after backup option if you want backups copied to the mirror-vault destinations.

    Update SnapVault after backup Select this option to perform disk-to-disk backup replication on another volume that has a SnapVault relationship to the primary backup volume.

    If a volume is configured with a mirror-vault relationship, you must select only this option if you want backups copied to the mirror-vault destinations.

    Note: A maximum of 31 characters is allowed for SnapVault labels.
    Snapshot label Enter an optional, custom label to be added to SnapVault Snapshot copies created with this policy.

    The Snapshot label helps to distinguish Snapshots created with this policy from other Snapshots on the secondary storage system.

    Note: Custom Snapshot copy labels are supported only for SnapVault labels; not for SnapMirror or backup copies. Maximum characters is 100.
  7. Optional: In the Advanced fields, select the fields that are needed.
    For this field… Do this…
    VM consistency Check this box to quiesce the VMs and create a VMware snapshot each time the backup job runs.
    Attention: You must have VMware Tools running on the VM to perform VM consistent backups. If VMware Tools is not running, a crash consistent backup is performed instead.
    Note: When you check the VM consistency box, backup operations might take longer and require more storage space. In this scenario, the VMs are first quiesced, then VMware performs a VM consistent snapshot, then SnapCenter performs its backup operation, and then VM operations are resumed.
    Include datastores with independent disks Check this box to include in the backup any datastores with independent disks that contain temporary data.
    Scripts Enter the fully qualified path of the prescript or postscript that you want the Plug-in for VMware vSphere to run before or after backup operations. For example, you can run a script to update SNMP traps, automate alerts, and send logs.
    Note: Prescripts and postscripts must be located on the SnapCenter Server. Therefore, the path you specify must reflect that location.

    To enter multiple scripts, press Enter after each script path to list each script on a separate line. The character ";" is not allowed.

    Note: The script path is validated at the time the script is executed.
  8. Click Finish.
    You can verify that the policy is created and review the policy configuration by selecting the policy in the Policies page.