If so, how is this done?
what do you wan to do? You want to copy the database an use it on another installation?
grep is your friend.
There are two main aspects to a Vanilla installation:
The DB is vital, as it contains all user details, discussions, comments, messages etc.
You can fairly quickly rebuild a Vanilla forum from scratch if you have the DB backed up, but without it, you have lost all your posts, user details etc.
The best answer to your question depends on where the other instance of Vanilla is.
If it is on the same host/server, you could make a copy of your current DB, and then point your new Vanilla installation to that by editing the conf/config.php file.
If it is on a different host/server, you would need to export your current MySQL DB and then upload it to your new host/server.
This assumes that your other instance of Vanilla is already installed with a (mostly empty) DB.
In either case, when you change the config.php file to point to a new DB, you will need to delete the .ini files from the cache folder.
If you also wanted the user avatars from the old install, you would need to copy over the contents of the uploads folder.
Thank you, this was a great answer. The instance is on a different server, so I will need to ask my developer to export the MySQL database.