Virtualization Technology News and Information
Soaring in the vClouds: vCloud Director Integration for Data Management: Part 1 of 3

A Contributed Article by Robbie Wright, Senior Manager of Product Marketing, focused on Server Virtualization and Cloud solutions at CommVault

VMware still dominates in market share - there are only a handful of IT organizations that don't use VMware to some degree. However, "simple" virtualization is table stakes now, and IT organizations that aren't at least thinking about how they can make their environment more cloud-like, by deploying more scalable shared services infrastructure will soon be left in the dust. To help with this, VMware introduced vCloud Director quite a while back. For those who don't know, vCloud Director is meant to be the central management tool for VMware-based private clouds that automates and orchestrates the provisioning, maintenance, chargeback, etc. of virtualized resources in the data center.

I'll come right out and say it: vCloud Director (vCD) is an under-used tool in today's VMware environments. Yes, there are plenty of alternatives, and those alternatives might well be the tool of the future. However, if we're looking at what we have today, there is a growing ecosystem of integration with vCD, and companies like CommVault are leading the way to help you achieve a better return on your IT investment. In CommVault Simpana 10, we've introduced some significant new data protection and recovery capabilities for vCD.

With this in mind, CommVault has an extensive set of capabilities for protecting, managing and accessing data in vCD deployments - a lot more than I can cover in a single blog.  So, I'll break it up into a three-blog series focused on a few core concepts:

  1. Advanced auto-discovery, VM filtering options
  2. Single-step recoveries direct to vCloud
  3. Best practices for protecting and managing data in a secure multi-tenant environment (a.k.a.: vCloud)

I am very excited about these new capabilities because they promise to address some critical issues facing many of our customers today.

So, without further ado, let's jump into our first topic in our three-blog series:

Auto-Discovery and VM Filtering

The auto-discovery feature introduced back in CommVault Simpana 9 was quite powerful and users loved it.  It gave them the ability to discover VMs on the fly as they are created and to automatically protect them based on rules set within the CommCell Console.  So, you have peace of mind that no VM will go undiscovered or unprotected.

With auto-discovery, you can customize discovery for VMs and templates, hosts and clusters, and datastores and datastore clusters. This takes the heavy lifting out of assigning a VM to a data protection policy each time it's created. For example, you can create tiered storage policies based on SLAs. Then, when you provision a VM with sufficient information, Simpana will automatically discover it and apply the appropriate storage policy. Just to make sure everything is covered, there is a ‘catch-all' storage policy for VMs with insufficient information to apply one of the prescribed storage policies.

New in Simpana 10, we're providing you with more granular VM discovery options. For example, you can now choose VMs based on multiple criteria in the same subclient or use different discovery criteria for subclients in the same backup set. We've also added a preview option that helps you ensure that the discovery criteria you set actually selects the intended VMs. Here's a quick look at the discovery options in Simpana 10 (shown here in the "Silver" subclient):



Simpana 10 also adds all-new VM filtering technology that allows you to exclude specific VMDKs or datastores as needed.



For example, you could use VM filtering if you have specific VMs created for a test/dev environment for which you don’t want to waste precious storage with a backup. VM filtering makes this process painless by removing the manual component. As depicted below, you can also do the same with specific disks or datastores, giving you granular but scalable control over data management policies in your virtual infrastructure.


Combining the discovery and filtering rules gives you the ability to customize your protection even more, allowing you to automate the application of more complex logic. In the end, this gives you more time to spend on the projects that really add new value to your organization, and reduces the opportunity for inconsistency and error in applying your data management policies.

Stay tuned for my next post on vCloud Director integration in Simpana 10 software when we'll talk about single step recoveries to vCloud.


About the Author

Robbie Wright is Senior Manager of Product Marketing, focused on Server Virtualization and Cloud solutions at CommVault.  Engage or follow Robbie on Twitter - @Robbie_J_Wright
Published Thursday, April 25, 2013 6:51 AM by David Marshall
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