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Modernizing VMware Data Protection with Veritas NetBackup

By Christophe Bertrand, Senior Analyst;
Monya Keane, Senior Research Analyst

APRIL 2021


VMware hypervisor environments are pervasive. They run business-critical workloads and associated data in varying IT topologies, often hybrid. Protecting these environments requires a comprehensive solution that can handle scale, deliver performance, and support workload and deployment diversity through deep integration with VMware. Veritas NetBackup is it.

Market Landscape

Today, 41% of production applications and workloads run in virtual environments.1 Those virtual platforms are a key environment to protect when organizations are trying to achieve ever-more stringent SLAs for data protection in regard to both RPOs and RTOs.2

Not surprisingly, organizations report that they would face serious consequences if their critical infrastructures were not available: negative employee impacts, negative economic and efficiency consequences, and bigger legal exposures, to name just a few.3 Both virtualization and backup/recovery technologies are constantly evolving to better support their workloads in cloud and hybrid environments.

Over half (60%) of the organizations surveyed by ESG expect that their IT spending will increase in 2021, and 37% report that improving backup is one of the areas of data center modernization in which they expect to make the most significant investments in 2021. Additionally, 17% of survey respondents view using the public cloud for both applications and infrastructure as the IT initiative that will be most important for their organization in 2021.4

These trends have combined to make the protection of virtual environments (for which VMware is recognized as the leading platform) a central component of any data protection strategy.

Still, businesses face challenges when it comes to VMware data protection. A new approach would alleviate many backup burdens, allowing enterprises to get the most from their data and meet their demanding service-level agreements. They need a solution with better ease of use and more functionality for VMware-specific workloads, and they need more breadth and scale to manage those workloads in the context of their larger, enterprise-wide data management strategy.

Topology Considerations

VMware is deployable everywhere, and this vendor has been focusing on its multi-cloud capabilities in recent years. The company actually encourages organizations to run VMware at the edge because it is easy to spin VMs up and down as necessary. An admin based at a core data center managing a very large, spread-out environment with VMware is a common and popular approach.

That kind of topology is multifaceted and typically hybrid in nature, adhering to some variant of an edge, core, cloud, multicloud model. The data, hypervisors, and applications are working across the board but under different use cases.

Specifically, what end-users do with the data at the edge shares little in common with the requirements of core data center deployments from both a VM and data protection standpoint. There are also variations in how data is leveraged in hyper-scaler contexts. This is where Veritas NetBackup5 comes in.

How NetBackup Was Designed

From a technology standpoint, Veritas NetBackup (see Figure 1) has, for example, always been capable of protecting a media server close to the action at an edge location. The metadata sent to the master server is lightweight, giving NetBackup a built-in advantage as the world continues its shift toward more disparate IT architectures.

Figure 1. NetBackup Architecture

Veritas is now capitalizing on the fact that it has always offered the kind of simple, straightforward architecture that allows remote servers to be part of a larger protection environment with relatively little effort—thanks to the light footprint of the metadata being sent to the master server.

Veritas, like VMware, is software-defined. Appliance form factors are available, but they are not required. This is another reason why Veritas is a great accompaniment for VMware in edge and hybrid/multicloud environments.

Scale, Performance, Simplicity, Cost, and Ease of Use All Matter

Enterprise requirements are complex and require software and hardware solutions that can adjust to the edge, the core, and the cloud. With Veritas, it’s a lot easier to create a scaled-out environment—not by adding more nodes to one system, but rather a whole, spread-out environment. A combination of edge, core, cloud, and multicloud is now the norm not just for enterprises, but for smaller businesses, too—especially now that so many people work from home. For at least some businesses, the protection of every server and laptop matters. IT organizations managing that type of remote-heavy environment need to design a protection architecture with that fact consistently remaining front of mind.

NetBackup’s performance comes via capabilities and features such as NetBackup Accelerator; NetBackup Intelligent Load Balancing; instant access to VMware; and rapid, automated recovery. There are too many appealing features of NetBackup to mention, but among the most notable additional bells and whistles are its automatic discovery and protection, automated and orchestrated disaster recovery, and agentless protection.

Complexity can creep into larger environments when hundreds or thousands of VMs need protection. Protecting a few dozen VMs is relatively easy to do, but being able to scale their performance up and out is another question. This is where Veritas NetBackup has seen significant success in enterprises.

Cost is also a concern. Other vendors may offer a very costly scale-out model that is unfortunately necessary to live with in order to take advantage of advanced features. With NetBackup, all those aforementioned bells and whistles are included whether IT chooses NetBackup’s new scale-out offering or not. That’s a big differentiator.

NetBackup is pretty easy to use as well, as most backup admins already know. The web-based interface with its intuitive, interaction-friendly management console provides all functionality necessary to manage the environment.

Veritas NetBackup: Simplicity Combined with Comprehensive VMware Integrations

IT professionals who already know about some of Veritas’s capabilities should be very interested to learn of the new features that Veritas is offering with NetBackup V9. This is a competitive product that is excellent as part of an overall enterprise solution.

Perhaps the major hallmark of NetBackup is its operational simplicity. This is a single software-defined platform that is cost effective and suited to all workloads. IT organizations can leverage the user interface of their choice, either NetBackup or VMware vCenter and vRealize.

Another compelling feature is its enterprise scale and breadth—it works on-prem, in the cloud, or in a hybrid architecture. According to Veritas, NetBackup is the only solution on the market with built-in DR and migration capabilities. Recovery of VMs can be performed in minutes (or possibly seconds) to any location at scale. In fact, this single, unified platform provides secure, resilient data protection at any scale—up to hundreds of thousands of VMs—ensuring streamlined protection and recovery from ransomware and other data-loss events.

Here’s a recap of what Veritas NetBackup now does to support the protection of VMware environments. It provides:

• Instant access to critical applications— Users can quickly access a VMware VM with NetBackup Instant Access without waiting for a backup admin.

• Up to 100x faster backup and recovery— IT can eliminate time-consuming full VM backups with NetBackup Accelerator for faster backup and recovery.

• Less management overhead with agentless backup and recovery— Organizations get agentless backup at the VM hypervisor level and can eliminate maintenance of in-guest clients.

• A simple, secure, intuitive web-based UI— Organizations get NetBackup’s self-service capability, plus role-based access controls to perform VMware backups and recoveries in a few clicks.

• Intelligent load balancing— Organizations can create fast, efficient VM backups with automated load balancing.

• Set-and-forget VM discovery and intelligent backup— IT can automate VM discovery and protection with NetBackup Intelligent Policies.

• Rapid recovery, predictable outcomes— Organizations get automated and orchestrated recovery for VMs off-premises and to the cloud.

• Cloud-ready data protection in a single click— IT can leverage a certified VMware Cloud solution and more than 40 cloud connectors.

• IT budget/cost-control support— IT can scale and protect petabytes of data with built-in deduplication to save money.

• All-in-one simplicity, manageability, and performance— Organizations can build an infrastructure from remote offices to the cloud with Virtual Appliances.

Table 1 presents a high-level summary of the many integrations and components supporting VMware environments.
Table 1. Veritas NetBackup and VMware—a Summary of Integrations and Support
Key Requirement Description
Programs and certifications VMware-ready program, VMware Cloud Validated, vSAN, vRealize, and vCloud Director certified, NFS, VAIO, Certified VMware Cloud for AWS.
Cloud support (VM Cloud Foundation) VMware Cloud on AWS, Google Cloud VMware engine, IBM Cloud for VMware solutions, Microsoft Azure VMware solution, Oracle Cloud VMware solution, and Dell EMC VxRail Cloud VMware solution.
Flexible administrative options VMware vRO, VrA, and vCenter plugins with automated workflows.
Optimized recovery Agentless, instant access, self-service, and granular data recovery.
Scalability Scalable from tens to hundreds of thousands of VMs.
Additional APIs RESTful APIs that integrate with ServiceNow, Remedy, and Ansible to automate operations.
Source: Enterprise Strategy Group

The Bigger Truth

Veritas NetBackup has a lot to offer for VMware protection today, and it has an aggressive roadmap moving forward. As vendors, both Veritas and VMware are aligned in their focus on innovating together. By partnering, VMware and Veritas have already succeeded in delivering a new level of VM workload protection, offering jointly engineered products that make it easier for organizations to maximize and protect their IT investments.

Veritas is an innovation leader, strategically aligned to VMware and at the forefront of emerging technology, with proven and modern data protection solutions for the edge, core, and cloud—a single protection platform for all workloads. As data, applications, and the need for more agility all continue to grow, using a proven protection platform will be vital.

At the end of the day, it’s about which architecture is best for an organization—it should be one that offers flexibility and fluidity in matching the pace of change in IT, specifically keeping pace with VMware in this case. VMware delivers value in part by covering a variety of multifaceted IT environments. That’s where you can expect Veritas to be also, protecting virtualized workloads at scale.

Unified protection from edge to core to cloud.

This ESG Showcase was commissioned by Veritas and is distributed under license from ESG.

Source: ESG Master Survey Results, Data Protection Considerations for Containers, Dec 2020.
Source: ESG Master Survey Results, Real-world SLAs and Availability Requirements, Aug 2020.
Source: ESG Master Survey Results, 2021 IT Spending Intentions, Jan 2021.
NetBackup is part of the VMware Ready certified program, which includes 195 virtualization patents and currently protects more than 128 million VMs worldwide. For more information about Veritas NetBackup and a 50% bonus for virtualized workloads, please visit Veritas | VM Workload Offer.

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