Is it possible to periodically backup vSM 5.1/5.5 with snapshots? On one hand VMware recommends to use the vSM's internal data backup/restore mechanism. On the other hand VMware recommends to take a snapshot of the vSM as Upgrade Prerequsite: 'Take a snapshot of vShield Manager so that you can revert to it in case the upgrade fails.'
Does anybody know restrictions or disadvantages (besides higher disk space) for using vSM snapshots as periodic backup (together with other VMs)?
You can always take snapshot of the vShield Manager Appliance before performing upgrade so that if the upgrade failed you can revert back but for the periodic backup , it is always recommended to take the backup from VSM GUI like below . Steps are in Kb VMware KB: Backing up the VMware vShield database
Thanks for the quick answer, this is the official recommendation of VMware.
Our Problem is, in case of a restore, one has to install a new vSM and configure IP address and a few more parameters to be able to restore the data backup. Those Parameters must be stored externally to be available for the Operators at any time.
In our system we use a backup tool based on snapshots for backup of productive VMs, so a vSM backup would just be another VM, which could easily be restored without configuring anything in advance.
The tool takes a snapshot, stores it externally and removes the snapshot afterwards.
So my question is, why is it not recommended to use snapshots for periodical backups although technically possible?
Test it, validate it, use it if it works. Sometimes the documentation takes the quickest way through. I don't know why it wouldn't work. VMware may be operating on the premise that the appliance is easy enough to deploy that all you need is the configuration info grabbed by the native backup feature.
Snapshots are not backups they are a point in time picture of any given VM.
To do a restore of a VM you need all the files associated with a VM not just a snapshot.
Snapshots are meant to be used as a quick restore point when upgrading/changing apps ect...so can you revert to that if things go south. However if the VM itself goes belly up your snapshot goes with it.
In short do a real backup using VCB or Veeam or other apps designed to do a real backup of the VM.