Simplify Now with VCE, EMC, and VMware

VCE BoothVMworld 2013 is in full swing. This year the VCE team is showing off multiple VCE Vblock™ Systems with experts on hand to engage and discuss how VCE is delivering simplicity in the data center with technology from VCE investors VMware, Cisco, and EMC.

Clearly, the virtualized world that VMware makes possible is why VMworld is so exciting as VMware Partners and VMware customers come together and share their stories. These stories are inspiring because many go back almost 10 years (sometimes more!) and are a testament to how instrumental VMware has become in the life cycle of today’s modern datacenter.

Of particular note is the number of occurrences of the word “replication” and “protection” and “backup” and “recovery” and “DR” and “RTO” and “RPO” if you look through the amazing agenda for VMworld 2013. Regardless of the size of a vSphere environment, attendees have sessions, panels, and peers providing deep insights into what works, what could work better, and the current state of the art in true application mobility and data protection — and where it will be in the future.

VCE Booth - VblockJust a few months ago VCE detailed updates and enhancements to Vblock Systems, VCE Vision™ Intelligent Operations software, including how VCE is enabling workload mobility and data projection using the latest generation of EMC Backup Recovery Systems enhancements for EMC Avamar and EMC Data Domain. EMC’s backup and archive software are pre-tested, pre-integrated, and pre-configured on the Vblock System, which provides customers with a very speedy deployment and implementation. The integrated solution provides direct connectivity, high performance, and a single line of support for the product.

In addition to VCE experts in the VCE booth, the EMC team will be dropping by to detail the combined efforts between VCE, VMware, EMC, and Cisco to enable EMC Backup and Recovery for VCE Vblock Systems. Yesterday, Chandra Jacobs discussed Backup and Recovery Optimized for VCE Vblock Systems. She highlighted key facts about EMC’s backup and recovery – including Avamar’s Changed Block Tracking backup and restore, which only sends unique “changed” blocks across the network, allowing customers to recover 30x faster than traditional VMDK restore. Chandra will be speaking again today at 3:15 pm PDT, be sure to visit the booth to catch her presentation!

If you can’t make it to the booth, this YouTube video will give you a quick overview of how you can bring simplicity to your workloads and the protection of those workloads. In the video, Chandra explains the benefits of EMC Avamar and EMC Data Domain solutions on a Vblock System, including the elimination of setting up a dedicated backup network and the reduction of network configuration.

Please come see VCE at Booth 1015 at VMworld and speak to one of our VCE team members about how VCE is working with the EMC backup and recovery team and VMware to deliver simplicity!

Jay Cuthrell
Jay Cuthrell is a thought leader within the Office of the CTO at VCE (A company formed by Cisco and EMC with investments from VMware, and Intel) working with service providers, systems integrators, ISVs, and media & entertainment companies to deliver converged infrastructure. He is a frequent industry speaker currently based on the West Coast of the United States. Previously, as a strategic technology consultant with he worked with service providers, startup companies, and investment groups in addition to writing for ReadWrite and Telecompetitor. He has held CTO, VP, and GM roles at Digitel and NeoNova (an Azure Capital and Bridgescale Partners portfolio company) and infrastructure consulting roles working domestically and internationally for Fortune 500 clients. He also served at Scient (formerly iXL now Publicis), Nortel, Analysts International, IBM, and NCSU College of Engineering. He holds a BS in Materials Science and Engineering from North Carolina State University and grew up in Beaufort, NC. His blog can be found at

Five Reasons to Choose EMC Backup for VMware

future and pastAs much as VMware has been instrumental in the course of data protection over the past few years, all signs indicate we haven’t seen anything yet.

While backup and recovery performance will continue to be important, integration, application support, management and architectural flexibility will become the new measuring sticks for data protection in the software-defined data center and cloud.

So, it’s important to ask vendors about these metrics now. Get them to share  specific proof points of how their solutions are translating into IT and business benefits, and then compare.

To help you get started, below are five reasons to choose EMC Backup for VMware. (Oh, and if you’re a visual person, check out this infographic; the data points paint a compelling story.)

  1. Accelerated backup and recovery: EMC doesn’t just promise faster backup and recovery, we deliver it. Our software Data Protection Suite and Purpose-Built Backup Appliances (PBBAs) are proven to reduce VMware backup by 90%, speed recoveries by 30x, as well as provide VM Instant Access. Also, because our solutions identify unique changed blocks, we move less data, which reduces resource contention and network traffic. DR is faster and more efficient.
  2. Accelerated savings: We understand the importance of integrating with VMware, and we do it better than anyone else. Not only do we integrate with VMware vCenter and VMware vStorage API for Data Protection, but we’re also the only vendor to support VMware Changed Block Tracking for both backup and restore. Plus, because we integrate with  vSphere Web Client, we’re able to give VMware admins better visibility and control for deduplicated backup and recovery. You can expect to reduce storage requirements by 10-30x and administration time by 80%, netting a 7-month average return on investment. That’s savings your business will love.
  3. Accelerated transformation: No vendor can help your organization accelerate IT transformation faster than we can. Our Protection Storage Architecture provides a flexible foundation for years to come. Our PBBAs provide cost-optimized, consolidated storage for backup and archive data; our Data Protection Suite simplifies management and provides a clear, easy pathway for delivering data protection services; and integration with VMware and leading business-critical applications from Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and IBM. Plus, we can help you optimize your converged infrastructure—whether it’s VCE Vblock or EMC VSPEX—so you’ll see more benefits sooner.
  4. Market leadership: We are the largest backup company in the world, #1 in backup and storage for VMware and leaders in IT transformation. This gives us a distinct advantage in the market in terms of solution development and solution delivery. In fact, VMware’s vSphere Data Protection (VDP) is powered by EMC Avamar.
  5. Proven services: With hundreds of backup and recovery specialists and thousands of VMware-trained engineers across the globe and an extensive partner network, we have the expertise to optimize your environment. We’ll guide you every step of the way.

For more information about VMware backup, transformation and EMC backup and archive solutions, go to

Heidi Biggar

Heidi Biggar

Marketing and IT Consultant, Data Protection and Availability Division at EMC Corporation
I’m often asked how a political science major at Tufts wound up in the IT world, covering backup, storage, virtualization and cloud of all things. Truth is, it’s really a love for learning, a need to understand the “bigger picture” and a desire to share that view with others that’s steered my path over the past 20 years, from campaign manager to editor, analyst and marketer. After hours, you’ll find me hanging with family, running 10ks through Peachtree City’s 90 miles of cart paths, watching football or reading. I’m a New England transplant enjoying life in the South. In my previous life, I also blogged for ComputerWorld, Enterprise Strategy Group and Hitachi Data Systems, but The Backup Window is my baby. It's been great watching it evolve.

Day 1 at VMworld, and More!

Chandra Jacobs
I love creative and challenging projects in the emerging technology product space. I have a background in tech, innovation, and product development, especially as applied to web and mobile apps in the entrepreneurship arena, but have recently moved into marketing. In my role as a product marketer, I have gravitated toward digital marketing as well as analytics/data mining. It fits well with my techie geek bent as well as my cloud angle on The Backup Window. (Be sure to catch my posts on Innovation Station too!) Outside of work at EMC, I enjoy exploring Boston’s culinary and jazz scene (often in combination), and travel as much as I can (35 countries and counting).

VMware Data Protection – EMC NetWorker Integration with vCenter

It’s no secret that the technology behind the VMware VDP offering is EMC Avamar – providing image-level backup and changed block tracking for backup and restores.  The out-of-the-box VMware VDP solution is targeted for environments that have no more than 2 TB or 100 VMs. While VMware offers upgrade possibilities, there are advantages to leveraging EMC for data protection of your VMware environments.


EMC recently announced a new data protection solution for VMware.  This solution is available with EMC NetWorker 8.1 and is also based on EMC Avamar.  The solution adds many bells and whistles in NetWorker that will help companies scale their VMware protection and provide administrative advantages, as well as policy management.

Now, let’s focus on the new VMware data protection available with NetWorker 8.1.

You will hear the solution called NetWorker VMware Protection, or possibly VMware Backup Appliance (VBA) – they are essentially one and the same.  High level, the solution offers integration with vCenter through the vSphere Web Client.  NetWorker VMware Protection delivers the following advantages through an OVA deployment and is installed into vCenter as the NetWorker VMware Backup Appliance:

  • 3x faster backup and 30x faster image-based recovery than the competition
  • Changed Block Tracking for both backup and restore
  • Utilizes existing LAN/WAN IP bandwidth and virtual infrastructure
  • Centralized policy management
  • Integrated deduplication via Data Domain Boost
  • Leverages existing management interfaces
  • Integration with VMware vCenter
  • Centralized monitoring and reporting
  • Self-service file recovery
  • Forever incremental backup
  • Disaster recovery and replication

In case it’s a little confusing, I will cover “what exactly is the VBA”.

VMware Backup Appliance

The VBA is deployed into the existing VMware infrastructure and includes Data Domain Boost, a backup proxy, and a backup engine. Each VBA will support up to 800 VMs, and each NetWorker server supports up to 20 VBAs.

  • Backup Engine
    • Provides communication with the proxies, vCenter, and NetWorker.  The backup engine is also responsible for Changed Block Tracking.
  • Data Domain Boost
    • A Data Domain system is the primary backup target for the VBA.  Client side deduplication is automatic for all backups through integration with Data Domain Boost.
  • Backup Proxy
    • Deployment of multiple proxies, which are internal to the VBA, provides scalability and performance.
      • The NetWorker solution is configured with 8 internal proxies with the ability to back up as many as 8 VMs concurrently.
      • To back up more than 8 VMs concurrently, you must deploy an external proxy VM that also encompasses 8 internal proxies. A maximum of 3 external proxies can be added.
      • A NetWorker Server can manage multiple VBAs in order to back up hundreds to thousands of VMs per backup window.

Why should you consider NetWorker as the backup solution of choice? NetWorker is a proven solution with over 25,000 customers – and includes support for physical as well as virtual servers, plus robust tape management, reporting, disaster recovery readiness, and more.  A high level overview of EMC’s offering for VMware data protection can be found by viewing the Master of your Destiny blog, as well as a short demo – or you can find a more in-depth overview in the VMware Protection with EMC NetWorker 8.1 whitepaper

Deanna Hoover
I spent most of my career (25+ years) as a systems administrator with responsibilities for storage architecture. But after many years of supporting production environments and becoming burned out by the 7x24 on-call schedule, I made the move into presales and then technical marketing. Life is good. I am able to leverage my customer and sales experience, by helping my team understand the customer’s perspective and challenges. If you have questions, ask them here on or on EMC NetWorker Online Commnity. I'd love to chat! My life away from work consists of playing in the great outdoors - I am an adrenaline junky, triathlete, mountaineer and techno-girl.

VMworld Goers: The Revolution Isn’t Going to Wait for You


Sometimes, a technology revolution is so powerful that its disruption cascades through multiple markets. VMware’s server virtualization has triggered that “once in a generation” upheaval. What began as a response to processors shifting from faster cores to more cores has changed how we design storage, networks and… now data protection.

From Backup to Data Protection

Relentless data growth has driven traditional backups to the edge. Each day, full backups and restores have become less practical. The rapid deployment of VMware brought the crisis to a head. In addressing challenges with backup and recovery, VMware has shifted the market from legacy server-centric backup to infrastructure-centric data protection services:

  • Scaling Backup: To lessen the strain its consolidation put on the traditional backup infrastructure, VMware added Changed Block Tracking. This has become the catalyst for the new wave of versioned replication solutions (a.k.a. “CDP for the masses,” “snap & replicate without the vendor lock-in”, or “full backups in fewer than 5 minutes”).
  • Scaling Recovery: When consolidation pushed full recovery windows to the brink of viability, VMware helped transform the approach to large recoveries. First, with Changed Block Recovery, customers can run a near-instant rollback of any corrupted VM. Second, with the encapsulation of the VM, customers can also gain “instant access” to any protected VM. Unlike the horrific Bare Metal Restore experiences, trying to bring up new hardware, customers simply boot a VM from their protection storage and storage vMotion it at their convenience. No more sweating through downtime during full restores.

In doing so, VMware has become the catalyst for shifting the conversation from backup to data protection: versioned replication converges backup (multi-version retention with granular recovery) and disaster recovery (replication with near-instant bulk recovery).

From “My Way” to Protection Services

VMware has been at the forefront of the transformation of the backup team into protection service providers. When the backup teams could not provide sufficient protection services to the VM team, the server virtualization team went rogue. They deployed their own versioned replication protection solutions. They found that, not only did they like the performance, but they also liked the visibility and control of protecting and recovering VMs.

The backup team can no longer offer traditional “backup as a black box.” The VM and application administrators will not blindly trust the backup team. Too often, they have discovered batches of unprotected VMs or out-of-date backup copies. Even when things work, they’re frustrated by the overhead of interacting with the backup team to set up, modify or recover a VM backup.

Therefore, the protection team has to connect to their services to the VM customers via their preferred interfaces. As a result:

  • vSphere integration: Whether it is native backup building into vSphere (vSphere Data Protection) or a management interface that integrates with the central backup application, VM admins expect visibility into protection via their interface.
  • Automated, Policy-Based Protection: To improve the “time to” for bringing up VMs, teams expect the protection team to, by policy, automatically begin protecting new VMs.

VMware (and application) administrators drove the backup teams to open up their interfaces and to directly connect to their customers via their preferred interfaces – like any successful service provider must.

From Data Recovery to Environment Recovery

VMware has been helping disaster recovery become more automated. As discussed, instant access to the VM backup enables the team to boot a VM immediately after a disaster; this is much faster than provisioning a new server and restoring all the data. As any customer will tell you, however, most interesting applications comprise multiple VMs and the glue that ties them together. Furthermore, the application itself lives within a broader environment – network, security services, etc. They need environment recovery, not just VM recovery.

With the vision of “The Software-Defined Data Center” and the delivery of vCloud Director, VMware is making strides to encapsulate entire customer environments, to enable protection teams to up-level their services:

  • vApps: Traditionally both the application and protection teams could not track the relationships between different data sets in the environment. With vApps, however, the protection team can manage both the protection of the VMs and the dependencies among them. This will become a baseline feature for all protection.
  • Multi-Tenancy: Multi-tenancy demands that customer services be segmented, forcing more encapsulation of the environment. With vCloud Director, the protection team will need to evolve to support scale-out expansion on-demand, with API-driven (versus UI-driven) management.
  • Hybrid Cloud: As VMware blurs the lines between on/off-premise environments, protection teams will need to understand those distinctions (to ensure you have your data and metadata in the appropriate places).

In other words, as disruptive as VMware protection has been over the past few years – the new work with vCloud Director and vCloud Hybrid Services will raise the level of services (and expectations) yet again. This will challenge protection teams and vendors to keep up, but it will also present opportunities to solve problems that have eluded us for decades. How can we shift from simply backing up data to protecting entire application environments? It began with the shift to data protection, continued with the evolution to becoming a service provider and is now leaping into true cloud services. Now is the time to start planning for your future… the revolution isn’t going to wait for you.

Got questions? Ask me at our Meetup, Wednesday, 1:55PM, Booth #1207.

Stephen Manley

Stephen Manley

CTO, Data Protection and Availability Division
Over the past 15 years at both EMC and NetApp, I have traveled the world, helping solve backup and recovery challenges - one customer at a time (clearly, I need to optimize my travel arrangements!). My professional mission is to transform data protection so that it accelerates customers’ businesses. I have a passion for helping engineers pursue technical career path(without becoming managers), telling stories about life on the road and NDMP (yes, that’s NDMP).