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Solution Overview
This white paper describes the integration of EMC NetWorker with VMware
vCenter. It also includes details on the NetWorker architecture and benefits of using
NetWorker for data protection of VMware environments.
October 2015

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Part Number H11954.3

Table of Contents
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY .............................................................................. 1
INTRODUCTION AND AUDIENCE ............................................................... 1
THE SOLUTION OVERVIEW ....................................................................... 1
VBA OVERVIEW ........................................................................................ 3
General Architecture ................................................................................................... 3

Role Based Administration ........................................................................................... 4

SUMMARY ................................................................................................. 5

Executive Summary
More than 500,000 customers leverage VMware as their virtualization platform. Virtual machines are easy to create, are
portable, and can move from ESX host to ESX host automatically. Virtualization is enabling companies to deploy new applications
within hours versus days, while empowering IT to better service their customers through a service-provider approach to data
protection. This approach can accelerate both IT and business initiatives, while transforming ITs data protection approach and
technology. One aspect of the transformation includes virtualization teams using virtual machine-specific data protection tools
while the business maintains centralized visibility and control of the business policies and retention.
The move to virtualization is changing the way companies architect their data protection infrastructure. Traditional backup
solutions cause resource contention on the virtual infrastructure, such as network, memory, disk, etc. and do not scale. These
resource contentions lead to longer than acceptable backups and recoveries, the inability to meet business SLAs and disaster
recovery objectives, as well as placing a burden on the backup administrator who may be required to manage additional backup
client resources and schedules.
In order to address many of the issues found with traditional backup techniques being applied to virtualized infrastructures, VMware
released vSphere 5.1, which provided VMware administrators a rich feature set for backup and recovery through VADP.
EMC NetWorker has been taking steps to integrate with VMware management tools, particularly the VMware vSphere Web UI.
This integration makes the management of backup and recovery more effective and accessible to those that are responsible for
managing the virtualization infrastructure itself. NetWorker vCenter integration was introduced in NetWorker 8.1 with the
introduction of the NetWorker VMware Backup Appliance (VBA). The VBA enhances the feature set of the standard VMware VADP
offering and adds leading edge functionality for the data protection of VMware. By leveraging VADPs Changed Block Tracking for
example, NetWorker is able to reduce the size of the client backup and recovery before it is transferred over the network,
eliminating the infrastructure resource issues found with traditional backup solutions. NetWorker eliminates the performance
concerns typical with more traditional backup methods by offering 3x faster backup and 30x faster image-based recovery.
Starting with the NetWorker 8.2 release EMC extends NetWorkers VBA capability and flexibility for VM recoveries.
First, is the integration with EMC Data Domain systems to provide the flexibility of performing an Instant Access Recovery directly
from Data Domain. This enhancement provides for near-instantaneous recovery of a running VM for the most critical business
applications running on a VM infrastructure. Second, is the ability to select individual virtual disks from a protected VM to recover,
rather than having to recover the entire VM.
In the following sections we will go into greater detail on the NetWorker VBA and its robust capabilities.

Introduction and Audience

This paper provides a technical overview of what functionality is included with NetWorker data protection for VMware. Included is
an in-depth look at the NetWorker VMware Backup Appliance. The paper is intended for VMware and backup administrators who
are looking to better understand the architecture and functionality delivered by the NetWorker solution. Not included in this paper
are details surrounding NetWorkers Legacy VADP functionality.

The Solution Overview

NetWorker delivers industry-leading data protection for VMware environments through integration with VMware vCenter.
NetWorker integration occurs by deploying an OVA 1 within vCenter. The OVA contains the NetWorker VMware Backup Appliance
(VBA) software.

The NetWorker solution for VMware empowers the VMware administrator to protect thousands of virtual machines through the
vSphere Web Client interface and adds value to data centers that are moving to a self-service model for data protection.
The solution provides the flexibility to define policies that match the business requirements. For example, many customers have
specific Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) for their business applications. The business may
dictate requirements for specific backup targets, retention policies and replication medium. NetWorker supports a wide variety of
disk and tape targets, including EMC Data Domain system for backup as well as replication.
Cloning to all supported backup targets, such as Data Domain systems, disk or tape is configurable using the NetWorker
Management Center (NMC) and is part of the policy that is automatically pushed out to vCenter. Clone Controlled Replication
(CCR), which is the replication of one Data Domain system to another, brings additional benefits by only replicating the
deduplicated data. The cloning process will begin automatically after a saveset backup has completed. This adds value by ensuring
the data availability is in adherence to the business policies for disaster recovery. It is transparent to the VMware administrator
that the data is being replicated. The VMware administrator is able to recover from the primary device as well as the device that
contains the replicated data.
Scalability is another advantage to the NetWorker solution. Load balancing occurs across universal proxy servers that are
automatically selected based on availability. For example, NetWorker will load balance jobs across virtual proxy servers to assure
that individual proxies are not overtaxed. Jobs can also be directed to available proxies to handle high-priority workloads. Enhanced
in NetWorker 9, integration with vSphere is leveraged to provide zero-touch VMDK snapshot management, including intelligent VM
snapshot creation and cleanup.
NetWorkers integration with vCenter provides many benefits:

Fast and efficient data protection for all of your virtual machines, even those powered off or migrated between ESX hosts

Significant reduction in disk space required for the backup data, using patented variable-length deduplication across all backups

Forever Full Incremental - Every VBA backup is a full backup. There is no need to restore from the last full and subsequent
incremental backups to reach the desired recovery point. After an initial full backup, only the incremental backups are sent to
the VBA. The VBA will keep track of all the incremental backups and sends the proper data back to the server during restore.
In essence, the process of restoring the incremental data becomes completely transparent and mimics the process of restoring
a full backup. This feature is further enhanced through NetWorkers use of Changed Block Tracking APIs offered by VADP.

Allows for easy backup and recovery without a need for third-party agents installed on each virtual machine.

Flexibility to perform single VMDK backup and restore for a VM when only needing to protect a single virtual disk.

Direct access to backup and recovery configurations from within the vSphere Web Client

Disaster Recovery Readiness, including replication

Instant Access Recovery Leveraging integration with Data Domain, the ability to run a virtual machine from a backup image
can be orchestrated from the vSphere Web UI.

Centralized Policy Management

File Level Recovery for Unix and Linux from the EMC Data Protection Restore Client

Image level backup and recovery from the vSphere Web Client

VBA Overview
The VBA is a software appliance providing scalability, enhanced administration, vCenter integration, and deduplication with EMC
Data Domain Boost. The primary backup target for the VBA is a Data Domain system.
NetWorker adds value to the business by providing role-based administration, thereby empowering the administrators of VMware,
applications, and NetWorker to take control of their environments while eliminating the need to learn new administrative interfaces.
This concept brings benefits to those customers that use traditional methods of managing data centers as well as those moving to
an IT service provider model.

General Architecture
The VBA is deployed into the existing VMware infrastructure and includes Data Domain Boost, a backup proxy, and a backup

Backup Engine

Data Domain Boost 2


Provides communication with the proxies, vCenter, and NetWorker. The backup engine is also responsible for Changed
Block Tracking.

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 backup up to 8 VMs concurrently,

To back up more than 8 VMs concurrently, you must deploy an external proxy VM that also encompasses 8 internal backup
processing threads. A maximum of 5 external proxies can be added.

A NetWorker Server can manage multiple VBAs in order to backup hundreds to thousands of VMs per backup window.

An available proxy with access to the data store of the VM being backed up will use hot add mode. The VMware hot add feature
allows for a disk to be added to a VM without a reboot of the VM. This brings value by ensuring that all proxies have adequate
resources at any given time to participate in the backup and restore operations.

Figure 1: NetWorker VBA Architecture

For more information on the VMware integration with NetWorker, reference the NetWorker 9 VMware Integration Guide

Role Based Administration

The NetWorker solution provides tools for each of the administrators responsible for the data protection of VMware servers and
applications. The administrative features are a means by which the backup, systems and VMware administrators can collaborate
yet function independently to achieve common data protection goals with no need to learn new tools or processes.

VMware Administrator:
The VMware administrator will use the EMC Backup and Recovery plug-in within the vSphere Web Client to protect the VMware
environment. The plug-in is made visible after the installation and registration of the VBA is completed.
The integration allows the VMware administrator to initiate backups and restores (including instant access restores) directly through
the vSphere Web Client using the same interface they know and use for all other administrative tasks. The policies selected by
the VMware administrator are those defined in the NMC; however, it is transparent to the VMware administrator that NetWorker is
managing the policies. This ensures that the backups are in adherence to the business policies. The policies that the VMware
administrator assigns via vSphere are dynamic, allowing for any VM assigned to a folder to be automatically protected by the folder
level policy. This ensures that all new VMs added within that folder are automatically discovered and protected without user
The vSphere Web Client also enables the VMware administrator to perform self-service image level recoveries, without relying on
the Backup Administrator or knowledge of the NetWorker software. This includes the ability to perform single vmdk level restores
for further flexibility in the VM Admins backup management capabilities.

NetWorker Administrator:
The NMC is the interface for the NetWorker Administrator. NMC is used to manage and monitor all NetWorker servers, VBAs, backup
targets, policies and clients.
All VBAs registered with vCenter will automatically be displayed in the NMC Administration window. A default VMware protection
policy is created and the policy is automatically assigned to the VBA. It is recommended that upon configuration of the VBA the
backup administrator create a customized default backup policy and designate that all new VMs created are automatically joined
to this policy.
When leveraging a user created default backup policy, the NetWorker Administrator does not need to create a client resource for
each of the VMs. This reduces the burden on the NetWorker administrator over time and ensures that all VMs are protected
immediately upon deployment. Plus, the NetWorker Administrator does not need to have any in-depth knowledge of the VMware
Changes that are made within the NMC and are relevant to the VBA are pushed to vCenter and made available, transparently, to
the VMware administrator through the EMC Backup and Recovery interface.

Figure 2: NMC VMware environment mapping view

Introduced in NetWorker version 8.2, NMC now provides for a VMware Environment Mapping view that allows the NetWorker
administrator to easily visualize and perform the following tasks directly from within NMC:
Discovery And Visualization From NetWorker Management Console
Displays Container Hierarchy And Properties
View/Edit Associations Between Objects And Policies
Shows Protected/Unprotected/Over-Protected VMs
Offering this clean visual representation of the entire vCenter environment allows the NetWorker administrator to more easily
perform day-to-day management tasks and diagnose and troubleshoot potential issues.

System Administrator/End User:

Systems administrators and end users are able to recover Windows and Linux files via the EMC Data Protection Restore Client
Interface, which is an HTML 5 based user interface. This enables self-service restores bringing additional value to the backup and
VMware administrators who no longer need to be burdened with file level restore requests.

The EMC Data Protection Restore Client allows for folders and/or files to be restored to the original virtual machine, as well as to a
different virtual machine. This support includes file level recovery of Windows and Linux. To access the client, the end user simply
enters the URL that points to the VBA and then selects a file-level restore. The end user will only be able to access those
files/folders with adequate permissions.

EMC NetWorker delivers enhanced backup and recovery capabilities for VMware environments, including integration with vCenter.
The VMware and backup administrators are able to easily manage their respective applications and do not need to learn new tools.
NetWorker brings additional value and reduces the total cost of ownership by automatically load balancing the backup and restore
jobs jobs are directed to available proxies based on availability, as well as providing integrated client side deduplication.

The NetWorker VMware Backup Appliance is a software appliance that brings benefits to VMware customers.

3x faster backup and 30x faster image-based recovery

Changed Block Tracking for both backup and restore

Utilizes existing LAN/WAN IP bandwidth and virtual infrastructure

Centralized Policy Management

Integrated Deduplication

Leverage Existing Management Interfaces

Integration with vCenter

Centralized Monitoring and Reporting

Instant Access Capabilities via EMC Data Domain integration

Single Virtual Disk Granularity for Backup and Recovery

Flexible Image-level and End User Self-Service File Recovery

Forever Incremental Backup

Disaster Recovery and Replication

Common Management Interfaces