- Backing up in VMware – VMworld Update, Tuesday
Guest Post by Daniel Miller, Principal Product Manager, Avamar Virtualization
A lot of exciting things happening here at VMworld! This morning Steve Herrod presented VMware’s vision of the future of “end-user computing.” There was a lot of discussion around redefining the user experience. I think this ties in very well with a lot of things that we’ve been recently focusing at EMC. Virtualization has changed the data protection landscape and what we are seeing more and more is a change in the management model where vSphere administrators are taking on additional roles and responsibilities, including data protection. Yesterday VMware announced vSphere Data Protection (VDP)—built on Avamar technology but managed from a vSphere pane of glass. So from a backup software perspective, the “end user” has changed from what may have been in the past the storage or backup admin to the virtual admin. This was a major focus for us while developing the VDP product and I don’t think there is any other solution in the market that enables the vSphere administrator to have complete control of backup and recovery in a seamless manner. Furthermore, VDP also enables the actual consumers of the VMs to manager their recoveries without having to reach out to an administrator. By enabling and empowering the end-user, we are giving administrators more time to focus on business-critical issues.
I spent a lot of time speaking with customers at the EMC backup and recovery booth today. As VMware continues to promote the benefits of vCloud Director, many customers have been approaching us with their concerns around how to protect their cloud. I must admit, we still have a way to go in terms of full integration with vCloud Director, but I strongly believe that Avamar offers one of the more compelling solutions for protecting VCD environments. We’ve done a lot of work to simplify the management of VCD provisioned VMs within Avamar, so if this is an area you have yet to address, I suggest you take a closer look. Although we are managing backup and recovery at the vCenter layer, you can see how we can simply map VCD constructs into Avamar (see screenshot below). This gives us the ability to easily manage backups of VCD-provisioned VMs from a VCD pane of glass. In terms of recovery scenarios, you can recover individual files, individual virtual disks, or even entire VMs. The only caveat is that recovery of a full vApp requires a two-step recovery process—we are seeking to address this in the near future. But at the end of the day, Avamar fully supports backup and recovery of VCD provisioned virtual machines.
As much as I hate to draw attention to our competitors, did any of you happen to catch the Veeam session today? They announced integration with Exchange granular recovery; but it still doesn’t address the issue around providing an application consistent backup, including the necessary post-backup maintenance tasks. This is one of the major advantages of Avamar in virtual environments—while image backup is the recommended approach for backing up virtual environments, we still offer dedicated agents with deep integration with application APIs, all at no additional cost. Better yet, Avamar is able to scan your entire virtual environment and provide details on how your VMs are being backed up—via image, guest, both, or neither.
This is a very powerful feature that allows you to better manage backup of your virtualized applications. However, I think there is still a lot of potential for deeper integration of backup with virtualized applications such as SQL Server, Exchange, and SharePoint. This is definitely one of our top priorities so stay tuned…