Announcing Data Protection Capabilities for vCloud Director

vCloud Director Data Protection icon

As customers continue to fuel a massive expansion in cloud workloads, we face a growing need to offer proven, cloud-ready data protection and recovery. VMware is announcing the new Data Protection for vCloud Director at VMworld 2018 U.S., which delivers a key integration into vCloud Director. The new offering is provided by Dell EMC to address the specific need for data protection and workload continuity. This release complements the new vCloud Availability Cloud-to-Cloud Disaster Recovery 1.5 protection for vCloud Director.

New Data Protection for vCloud Director

Data Protection is a core requirement for workloads in cloud, and previously there has been no native solution for vCloud Director clouds, however now Cloud Providers can deliver full self-service backups and restores directly to the vCloud Director interface for their tenants.

vCloud Director HTML5 UI

The Dell EMC Data Protection for vCloud Director plugin extends the vCloud Director HTML 5 UI and REST API providing tenants a single management end-point for their virtual datacenters. Tenants can manage crash consistent image level backups of VMs and vApps, restore to a new VM or in-place, by policy or adhoc, even file level restore. Application consistent backups are also possible with client-side agent for transaction logs etc and these can be downloaded and assigned.

Cloud Providers offering managed services will be pleased to see that Backup and Recovery is the highest in demand managed service (Source: IDC’s Cloud and AI Adoption Survey, January 2018). Combining this solution with the vCloud Availability Cloud-to-Cloud DR, providers now have the tools to address the two most requested managed services—and those tools can all be delivered directly from a unified solution in vCloud Director.

IDC's Cloud and AI Adoption Survey

Benefits of the Dell EMC Data Protection

Cloud Providers will benefit from low TCO driven by the inherent benefits of the Dell EMC Data Protection solution and Data Domain’s industry-leading de-duplication, which minimizes operating costs for Cloud Providers. The solutions can lower backup storage by up to 30x, reduce network traffic by up to 99%, and reduce backup times by up to 50%.

TCO is also minimised with policy controls available for the Cloud Provider to apply against schedule, frequency of backups, quota on ad hoc backups, retention periods and vDC-level per-policy quotas on protected capacity etc which can all be enforced for a tenant.

No cloud solution would be complete without performance and scale. The Data Protection for vCloud Director is no exception, with a scale-out architecture supporting 100’s of repositories per instance of vCloud Director, there are not really any hard limits. Each repository can scale to 5,000 VMs per Avamar Virtual Edition (AVE)* and 96TB per Data Domain Virtual Engine (DDVE).

Performance is critical, and customers have seen benchmarks along the lines of ~92%** job completion under 1 hr, ~99%** backup job success rates and ~99%** data reduction from ~70:1** de-duplication of data and client-side processing, saving considerable storage capital expenditure for provider and operational time and cost.

The service is configured by Cloud Providers for their tenants in the Dell EMC vCloud Director Data Protection interface where providers can register a tenant organisation to the service, associate the organisation with a backup appliance and then assign backup and replication policies to it.  Backup appliances allow a Cloud Provider to associate the vCenter(s) managed by vCloud Director to the Data Protection solution, multiple can be associated to a single vCenter and used simultaneously to extend backup capacity. Cloud Providers can also layer in controls in the form of policies that allow a Cloud Provider to control backup schedules and retention periods for an organisation, allowing providers to tier their backup services for their tenants.

Tenants have ultimate flexibility to backup and restore files, VM’s and vApps or individual VMs within a vApp. They can choose to restore over an existing VM (in-place) or to a new VM and optionally modify or disable the networking to avoid conflicts on the network, restore the vApp leases and select a different start order for VMs within a vApp or keep the default – all within the workflow wizard. The only functionality that is not in the vCloud Director plugin today is the file based restore, for which tenants will need to run the Dell EMC Cloud Data Protection restore client web UI, this will be built into the vCloud Director plugin in the future.

In terms of monitoring usage, tenants can view their policies and quotas and monitor their jobs from within the Data Protection for vCloud Director plugin, where they can see the historical status of jobs as well.

vCloud Director Monitoring Plugin

Next Steps to Data Protection for vCloud Director

Altogether this is a very complete solution which will enable Cloud Provider who are using vCloud Director 9.1 or higher to expand their portfolio of services to cover a data protection tiered service offering to their tenants.

Visit and follow the Dell EMC Data Protection for vCloud Director Solution Brief for more information.

* Initial GA limited to 1000 VM per AVE

Author – Guy Bartram