Selecting a schedule for backing up virtual machines

Select a schedule from the Schedule field to specify how often and when to automatically back up virtual machines in a vSphere inventory object.

About this task

When you select a schedule, the Schedule category and tag are assigned to a container object such as a host or cluster. The value of the tag (the schedule name) must match the name of the IBM Spectrum Protect™ schedule to be used. All VMs in that container or in child container objects will be backed up by this schedule. If you do not want to back up certain VMs, you can set the Excluded tag on those VMs or on a higher-level container object such as a VM folder.

Schedules are defined by the IBM Spectrum Protect server administrator or VMware administrator. For ease of use, administrators can use IBM Spectrum Protect Operations Center Version 8.1 to create schedules that are compatible with tagging.

The schedules contain the following key attributes:
  • The scheduled start time
  • The frequency that the schedule is run
  • The identification of at least one data mover to use for backing up VMs
  • Specification of the -domain.vmfull=Schedule-Tag option (and no other domain-level options)

However, the VMs to be protected are not part of the schedule definition. Instead, you define the set of VMs by assigning a schedule to an vSphere object, such as a host cluster or folder in the IBM Spectrum Protect extension.

Schedules can be inherited from a parent inventory object. The Schedule field shows the schedule that is used for the inventory object and all child objects. If no schedule is inherited or assigned to the inventory object, a warning message is displayed in the field, and the VMs are not included in any scheduled backups. If you selected multiple inventory objects, a schedule name is not shown in the field. You must select an available schedule.

You can override a parent schedule by selecting an available schedule in the Schedule field.

Tip: You cannot change the schedule at the VM level. Instead, select a parent object, such as a folder, and assign the schedule to that parent. If the parent object contains more child objects or child virtual machines than what you intend to protect, click Yes in the Exclude from backup field on those objects or virtual machines. The excluded objects or virtual machines are not backed up when the schedule runs.


  1. Select an inventory object in the vSphere Web Client and complete one of the following actions. You can select a datacenter, folder (Host and Cluster folders and VM and Template folders), host, host cluster, or resource pool.
    • Click Actions > IBM Spectrum Protect > Manage Data Protection.
    • VMware vSphere 6.0 or earlier: Click Manage > IBM Spectrum Protect > Edit.
    • VMware vSphere 6.5 or later: Click Configure > IBM Spectrum Protect > Edit.
  2. Select a schedule from the Schedule field.

    Only schedules that are compatible with the Schedule (IBM Spectrum Protect) category and tag are available for selection. For a definition of compatible schedules, see the information about the Schedule category and tag in Supported data protection tags.

  3. Click OK.

    For more information about the OK and Clear Local Settings buttons, see Configuring backup policies.


All the VMs in the inventory object and any child objects are protected by the selected schedule, except for any objects that are excluded from scheduled backups.

You can also view the list of IBM Spectrum Protect schedules that are created for the vCenter. For more information, see Managing backup schedules in the vCenter.