I have a single server running VMware esxi 6.5, that I want to update to 7.0 and later 8.0. Before I do this I want to backup my VMs. Downloading from the datastore browser just results in a < 1kb file indicating that I'm only getting the descriptor file and not the disk, which I want so I potentially can restore it. Exporting from the navigation panel always fails after downloading 7-25gb.
I've tried backing up in PowerCLI but since I'm running a free license it seems I only have read access.
What options do I have? Is there any good 3rd party software, or other options I can try?
I have tried downloading by using scp in terminal, which allows me to download all the files to a particular VM, however I'm not sure how I can use this to restore it. Does anyone have experience with this?