CommVault and VMware – VSA Backup Filtering options


There’s always been a number of ways to apply filters to VM’s and disks. It could be done at the Backup-Set or Sub-client level.

This is a little bit clunky and can lead to unnecessary VM’s being backed up.  If you’re using a Capacity based licence, this is obviously not optimal. Space is a premium !

If filtered by a Folder, it can easily be moved unknowingly and then may miss a backup. Bad.


When Service Pack 8 for CommVault 11 was released, a long-awaited feature was introduced, allowing VM’s to be filtered using Tags at the vSphere inventory level.

There are some requirements;

  • vSphere 5.5 and above
  • Minimum PowerCLI version 6 Release 2 on the VSA Proxy.

Filtering by Tags can only be applied to the following Inventory items;

  • Cluster
  • Datacenter
  • Datastore
  • Datastore Cluster
  • Folder
  • Host
  • Resource Pool
  • vApp
  • Virtual Machine

In my opinion, at the VM is the most efficient setup.  Typically what I’ll do is include /everything/ (via DataCenter) in the VSA sub-client and then use simple tags on the VM’s to do the filtering.

To create a Tag from the Web client;  From the Home Screen, click on Tags


Firstly, create a Category for the Tag(s), I have created a Category called “CommVault Backups”


Click back to the Tags, and Create a Tag. I have created “No Backups” with the “CommVault Backups” Category.


To create the Category from PowerCLI;

To create a Tag from PowerCLI;

Apply the Tag to a VM called MYTESTVM

Add the Tag to all VM’s in the “TestVMs” Folder and any Sub-Folders;

Add the Tag to all VM’s with “test” in their name;

For auditing, list the VM’s with the “No Backups”  Tag applied;

Apply the tag to the CommVault VSA Client filters; This has to be done using the “Browse” option, not “Add”.

Done. It’s that easy !








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