Adding Data Protection to vRA VM Blueprints

This post covers how to enable automated data protection services for Virtual Machines in VMware vRealize Automation, using the Data Protection extension from Dell EMC

Following on from my previous post about Installing the vRealize Data Protection Extension from Dell EMC this post covers how to add the data protection functionality to the Virtual Machine Blueprints in vRA.

Within vRA, logged in with a role entitled to the Backup as a Service options (e.g. a Data Protection admin), select the Setup a data protection property group catalog item, which brings you to the new request to configure the required Property Group in vRA, as shown below:

In the Property Group tab, enter a suitable Name for this protection group, for example ‘DataProtection’ as well as the UniqueID (required) and Description.

Click Next to bring you to the Data Protection tab, where we have two fields to configure, as shown below:

The first item Allow user to select data protection policy when blueprint is run determines whether or not this vRA property group will lock the data protection policy to a single policy, or will allow the user to select from multiple polices.

In our example we, answered Yes, thereby allowing subsequent users a choice of Data Protection Policies at VM deployment time, as selected in the next step where we chose the 3 available Avamar Policies.

These Avamar Policies are not configurable from the vRA portal, therefore these must first be fully configured from the Avamar UI > Policy > Backup Policy, including related schedule and retention periods.

The names or titles of the Avamar Policies can be aligned with the relevant Data Protection SLAs for the business, for example Gold, Silver, Bronze, etc. Our example is simply using one naming convention of Daily/Weekly/Monthly for demo purposes.

Backup is at the Image Level. Change Block Tracking (CBT) is enabled by default with the VMware Image Dataset, which includes Windows and Linux virtual disks. Data in-flight Encryption is enabled by default.

The new Data Protection Property Group, created via the catalog, is reflected by new entries under vRA > Administration > Property Dictionary where a entry can be found under Property Groups

as well as the corresponding entry under Property Definitions, as shown below:

In order to add the new Data Protection functionality to a standard VM blueprint in vRA, log into vRA with a role capable of creating/editing VM blueprints (e.g. Infrastructure Architect), navigate to vRA > Design > Blueprints to select/edit the desired VM blueprint to which the Data Protection is to be added.

Go to the Properties tab, and click the green + icon under Property Groups. The Add Property Groups dialog box should present the option of selecting the Property Group that was created (e.g. Data Protection).

Select checkbox for the Property Group and click OK. So you should then have a VM Blueprint displaying something similar to the following in the Properties tab:

Click Save, and at the next VM deployment, the user will now see the option for adding Data Protection to their VM, as shown below

The user can here select their preferred data protection policy, with the first backup occurring as defined by the policy itself.

Once the VM is deployed, the VM owner also has the ability to perform on-demand data protection services, using the VM Actions, as defined by their Entitlements.

The example above displays just some of the 8 VM actions available to users, which are as follows:

  • 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
  • Add Data Protection

I will cover how to configure these Entitlements and what each VM Action does in a separate post.

Hope that helps!

One thought on “Adding Data Protection to vRA VM Blueprints

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

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