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).

Five Must-Knows about Transformation and VMware


Research shows that backup is going to be an increasing part of business decisions and IT spend going forward. More than that, it shows that VMware and backup spend are highly linked.

So, as 22-some-thousand of you prepare to descend on the Moscone Center next week, ready to defy convention, take a few minutes to think about the link between backup transformation and VMware… how the decisions you make to take will affect your business over the long term.

Below are the five things your organization need to know:

1. Your journey depends on it. When your application owners and lines of business don’t trust that their data is protected, your business suffers. When VMware admins make smaller and fewer VMs, application owners scale back the size of databases and CIOs put off virtualization plans, which can affect other IT initiatives negatively. This constrains business growth—and that’s a losing proposition for you and your organization.

2. It’s all about delivering value. Lines of business can provision a new VM without calling IT—that is, until it comes time to protect it. For this, they have to call the backup team to install the backup client, set the backup groups and policies, configure the networks and assign capacity. Can you say time-consuming? The goal is to reduce the time it takes to do these tasks so IT teams can focus on what’s really important—delivering business value.

3. It’s necessary, but it shouldn’t be difficult. Traditional backup architectures don’t have the performance, flexibility and scale to support today’s data challenges—forget about tomorrow’s; a new approach is needed. However, implementing a new architecture shouldn’t be difficult or come at a high cost. It shouldn’t impose a one-size-fits-all lock on end-users or application owners, or require you to rip and replace anything.

4. It’s a cross-organizational effort.
Transformation is all about delivering what your organization needs when it needs it. To do this, visibility and control of the backup environment and process must be extended to hypervisor, application, storage, converged infrastructure and backup teams. Say good-bye to silos.

5. Choices do matter. Not all backup architectures are created equal; some are inherently smarter. Important considerations include the scale, efficiency and ease of use of the disk back-end, the richness of the backup software and VMware integration. Remember, the architecture you choose should provide lasting value. Be sure to compare.

Got questions? Drop me a note here or on Twitter (@biggarhb) or stop by booth #1207 at VMworld.

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.

EMC Backup and Archive Does VMworld Right

VMworld 2013 with EMC

You know it’s that time of year again. Summer is winding down, and here on the East Coast it is even starting to feel like Fall is in the air. Crisper air. Indian Summer. Labor Day rapidly approaching. And what’s better than ushering in Fall than a piping hot cup of EMC Backup and Archive with a splash of VM awesome sauce? Hashtag NerdJuice (#nerdjuice).

That’s right – you guessed it! It’s a perfect time for a trip to San Francisco! Get ready kids, this is the stuff virtual dreams are made of….

As we’re getting ready to make our annual pilgrimage to the VM mecca that is VMworld, we thought we’d open our kimono and give you a preview of what’s in store for you at the show.

And do we have some massively cool stuff in store for you this year. Much cooler than massively parallel computing. No lies.

EMC Backup and Archive Booth activity – EMC Booth #1207

  • First and foremost we’ll be standing by at the EMC Booth, starting on Sun, Aug 25th at 4 PDT during the Welcome Party, in the Solutions Exchange area to talk with you about  how EMC Backup and Archive forms the basis of a healthy data protection architecture for software-defined data centers, mission critical applications, virtual desktop infrastructure, trusted IT and VSPEX Proven Infrastructure.
  • Tyler Verri with Sub-Zero, an EMC Backup Recovery Systems customer, will be speaking in the EMC Theater starting at 3PM PDT on Mon, Aug 26th.
  • EMC vSpecialists and our own EMC Elect Alex Almeida, will be standing by at the EMC Meet the Expert Bar to answer any burning questions you may have on VMware backup and archive.
  • As a capstone to the week, Stephen Manley, the CTO of EMC Backup Recovery Systems Division, will be standing by in the EMC Meet the Expert Bar for a fireside chat on Wed at 1:55 PM PDT. He will discuss EMC Backup for VMware and also Protection Storage Architecture and why a sound strategy shouldn’t be accidental.

Sessions with EMC Backup and Archive Content

Cross-Booth Activity

  • If that’s not enough, you can hear Phil George speak at the Intel Booth #1029 on Wed, Aug 28th at 2:30PM PDT about superior VMware Backup and Recovery Performance – powered by Intel Xeon E5.
  • And, of course you can’t forget EMC Backup and Recovery for converged infrastructures, like the VCE Vblock SystemYours truly will also be giving two talks on Backup and Recovery Optimized for VCE Vblock Systems in the VCE Booth #1015 on Tue, Aug 27 at 4:45PM PDT and Wed, Aug 28th, at 3:15PM PDT.

Wikibon Cube

  • Join us on Mon, Aug 26th, from 3-4:20PM PST in the Wikibon Cube, where analyst Dave Vellante (@dvellante) will place the Backup Spotlight on Stephen Manley and Deepak Mohan, with CIO Ed Ricks from Beaufort Memorial Hospital, an EMC Backup Recovery Systems customer. The Cube interviews will be broadcast live via the SiliconAngle channel on YouTube if you can’t be there in person!


  • We also have some great VMware Hands on Labs (HOLs) in Booth #235, brewed fresh by master EMC Backup and Archive virtuoso barista Alex Almeida and team. Highlights include vCenter UI integration in both Avamar and NetWorker and VM Instant Access with Avamar. The labs are titled: Lab #5 – Lightning Fast VM Recovery with EMC Avamar Featuring VM Instant Access and Lab #12 – Lightning Fast VM Recovery with EMC Avamar Featuring VM Instant Access.
  • And be sure to take the EMC Hands of Lab, HOL-PRT-1303 EMC Infrastructure with the vCloud Suite, for additional Avamar feature exploration.

Get your vParty on!

And of course we’ll be at a number of other networking events including the Welcome Reception, #v0dgeball, the Hall Crawl and the #vRockstar Party featuring Train and Imagine Dragons.

We’ll be covering all of these events on social media so follow us on Twitter @EMCBackup for all the latest updates and news, and tweet to us and let us know how we’re doing! Also, we’re running some fun “Where in the VMworld” polls on the EMC Backup and Recovery Facebook page – how well do you know famous San Francisco locations (like this one)?

And stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter for how you can help us vote on what EMC Backup and Archive drink to offer at our Customer Appreciation Event Tuesday night.

We can’t wait to see you there – it’s going to be a great show.


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).

Will Your Decisions Stand the Test of Time?


Being crammed into a metal tube more than 30,000 feet in the air seems to release the mind to wander aimlessly through the archives of fragmented memories, half facts and interesting tidbits you’ve picked up along your journey.

Perhaps it’s a sleep deprivation thing. Perhaps it’s the first sign of madness. Whatever the cause, I’ve come to understand that these thoughts are subconscious beacons, rather like an inner voice laying breadcrumbs to an “aha” moment.

My latest pondering has been centered on the fragility of time: How many of the things we witness or decisions we make have life well beyond the window in time in which they occur. A comet, the twinkle of a fading star, a serendipitous encounter, the “luck” in being in the right place at the time.

Even our careers are seldom planned; we think hard, work hard and aim well, but how much of our journey has really been about the action of “carpe diem”? At a specific historical moment, we remember making a decision and living with the consequences. For me, things like signing up to move to the U.S., making a bet on Mr. Manley as a classy CTO and less successful decisions like that black run I decided to attempt on my ATV, come to mind.

So, where do these breadcrumbs lead?

To the question of how to recognize the difference between fad and trend. Fads tempt your impulse gene but likely have no sustain. A trend may feel the same, but the journey takes a very different path and has very different consequences.

A decision in “data protection” should never be taken lightly; whatever we sign up to has ramifications far beyond our sphere of accountability or involvement. I’m guessing for backup architecture, decisions come around maybe once every 5-10 years.

Careers and life are more transient than we’d like to admit. Likely speaking, in a couple years’ time you’ll have moved onto some new project and so, too, will the sales teams that assisted you in the decision-making process; the only constant will be the solution you invested in for your company.

So, what do you want your legacy to be? How do you mitigate risk and yet deliver results that will be celebrated as your legacy?

Choose wisely, correlate the facts, seek sage advise and, importantly, bet on technologies you’re confident will stand the test of time. And, above all, make sure you surround yourself with vendors that do the same. Fads won’t be there with you at the finish line!

May the force be with you!

Guy Churchward

Guy Churchward

President, Data Protection and Availability Division
I'm an enterprise infrastructure hack. Really, if you think of my career as a building, I’ve spent it underneath in the sewer lines and the electric plumbing, making sure things work. Invariably, my businesses end up being called boring. But that’s okay. It means they’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to do, which means their customers can do what they need to do. I come to EMC by way of BEA Systems, NetApp and most recently LogLogic, and my mission is to lead EMC Data Protection and Availability Division's efforts to deliver a protection storage architecture that leaves us all in better shape for the next guy, or gig, that comes along. Oh, and make no mistake about it, I want everyone to know who’s number one in backup, and why.