How to restore a VM with IBM TSM directly to a standalone ESXi Host

Do you know how you can restore a virtual machine (eg. your vCenter server or vCenter DB Server) with TSM directly to an ESXi host when your vCenter Server is offline?

Here is a short how-to:

  • start the IBM Tivoli Storage Manager
  • open “Edit” – “Client Preferences”
  • change to the tab “VM Backup”

There you will find the configuration for “VMware Virtual Center or ESX Server”:

  • overwrite the field “Host” with the IP address of the standalone host
  • provide the username for the host (eg. root)
  • provide the password for the user
  • press “Apply”
  • re-open the Tivoli Storage Manager to become these changes effective

TSM restore esxi

  • open “Actions” – “Restore VM”
  • select the VM you want to restore
  • click “Restore”

A wizzard will open – choose “Restore to Following location”:

Fill in the following fields:

  • Name: display name of the VM you want to restore
  • Datacenter: ha-datacenter
  • Host: FQDN of the ESXi host you want to restore
  • Datastore: exact name of the datastore

TSM restore esxi2

Important: to restore a VM directly to an ESXi host you have to fill in “ha-datacenter” in the Datacenter-field!!!

Else you will get an error “ANS14166E Creating a Virtual Machine, but the datacenter was not found”


To start the restore process press “Restore”



  1. Gabriel

    Never thought about that in my disaster recovery plans – thank you very much!

  2. Mita

    Well, this is not actually restore to “standalone” ESXi server, but rather to ESXi server that is a part of a vSphere infrastructure, but vCenter (or a database) is currently unavailable.
    Do you know how to do restore to really standalone ESXi host, that has never been participated in an Datacenter?

  3. Andreas

    @Mita: you can use this procedure for a new installed host that has never been part of a vSphere infrastructure, too. All you need is a ESXi Host (licensed) that is available on the network and has datastores to restore the VMs.

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