Dell EMC vRealize Automation Data Protection Extension: This much I know

The Dell EMC vRealize Data Protection Extension  provides out of the box Backup as a Service functionality for vRA Tenant virtual machines.

This post is more about what I have learned recently about the functionality available with this vRA extension, than it is about advertising everything that this extension is capable of. In my current role we have many internal and external folks come to us asking for details on various products and integrations specific to the customer requirements. So hopefully this post will be a useful go-to for those interested.

This vRA DPE is also referred to as the McQueen plugin (internal project name). Please note that this is not the same as EHC BaaS,which is no longer available.

Q. What does the Dell EMC vRealize Data Protection Extension provide?

Leveraging the extensibility of vRA XaaS, the vRA DPE provides out of the box role-based self-service data protection backup and restore services in the form of vRA Service Blueprints and Virtual Machine level actions.

Q. What are these data protection services and who are they aimed at?

There are 2 primary consumers of these services:

  • vRA Data Protection Admins
  • vRA Virtual Machine Users

vRA DP Admins would use the vRA Catalog items (as displayed below) to manage the addition/removal of data protection systems such as Avamar or Networker, to restore previously deleted virtual machines, or to create new property groups to be added to virtual machine blueprints

vRA Virtual Machine Users, based on their entitlements, have the ability to provide data protection services with their virtual machines at deployment time, as well as day-2 operations. They may have the option of selecting from a range of available Backup Policies, or they may have a single Backup SLA assigned/locked for their virtual machine.

Day-2 operations for protected virtual machines include:

  • Run Data Protection (Perform VM Backup)
  • Perform Restore (to existing VM)
  • Perform Restore to a new VM
  • Perform File Level Restore
  • Advanced Restore to New
  • View Protection Status
  • Remove Data Protection

And for currently unprotected virtual machines:

  • Add Data Protection

A comprehensive library of vRO workflows is installed to support these data protection services.

Of course other users of this data protection functionality would be those responsible for creating and designing the virtual machine blueprints. Those with the Application/Infrastructure Architect roles will be the ones determining whether or not VM blueprints will offer data protection services or not.

Q. What data protection systems are supported?

Avamar (including Avamar Virtual Edition) and Networker

Q. What level of backups are available?

  • Image-level backups (Avamar and Networker)
  • File level restore are available (Avamar and Networker)
  • Application consistent protection (Avamar only)

Q. Can the Data Protection Services be used by multiple vRA Tenants?

Yes. Multiple vRA Tenants can use these services. A single Avamar system can be used for multiple vRA Tenants, while a separate Networker system is required per vRA tenant.

Q. Can multiple vCenter Servers be configured?

Yes, multiple vCenter Servers can be configured and shared on a single data protection system.

Q. Does this provide multi-site support? DR, Multi-AZ, etc?

No. Currently this functionality is for single site implementations only

Q. Can this extension also protect the vRealize Cloud Management Platform?

The same Avamar or Networker data protection system can be used natively to protect the VMs in the CMP, but this vRA Data Protection extension is for vRA tenant workloads only. 

Q. Does this need to be on a specific CI or HCI platform?

The only product requirements are vRA/vRO, vCenter, Avamar or Networker. This can be used with VxRail, VxRack, VxBlock, Dell Ready Nodes, or BYO

Q. Who should be interested in this?

Any vRA customers who require out of the box data protection backup and restore services for their tenant workloads. This is a perfect fit for any customers implementing a VVD or VCF solution (for example VVD on VxRail)

Q. Where can I find out more?

Go to the VMware Solution Exchange for download information, supported versions, and official documentation.

This post is the first in a short series of related posts concentrated on this vRA extension.

Also see:Installing the vRealize Data Protection Extension from DellEMC

2 thoughts on “Dell EMC vRealize Automation Data Protection Extension: This much I know

  1. Pingback: On-Demand Backup options for vRA Virtual Machines | Scamallach

  2. Pingback: Adding VVD vCenter Clients to Avamar | Scamallach

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