Modern Data Protection for VMware View Branch Office Desktops
Guest blog by Craig Halliwell
The rapid expansion of virtual desktop initiatives (VDI), like VMware Branch Office Desktops, is placing more pressure on IT to deliver faster and more streamlined end user services—particularly anytime, anywhere data access and recovery. In the past, IT departments have struggled with limited tools for desktop recoveries resulting in cumbersome, manual processes for assisting end users with desktop data restores. As result, most IT departments lean toward a 'you're on your own' policy for desktop restores, leaving everyone frustrated with manual ad-hoc processes.
The proliferation of VDI deployments like VMware View Branch Office Desktops promises to help address some of the fundamental challenges facing IT by helping to enable greater automation and better end user self-service capabilities. But current protection models for VDI have a couple of limitations when it comes to branch office environments in that they centralize protection in the data center and lack the ability to deliver granular recoveries, both of which slow the recovery process.
Commvault software's protection model for VMware View Branch Office Desktops solves both of these issues, resulting in fast, seamless recoveries, from either the branch office or the central datacenter. Here's a quick look at how it works:
The starting point is the Virtual Server Agent (VSA), which resides on ESX hosts in both the data center and branch office. VSA indexes virtual desktop files as it protects, which enables the granular recovery features we'll discuss later. Commvault software also protects and understands individual user profile data. Once protection copies and indexes are created and/or updated, Commvault software's source-side deduplication ensures that only changed blocks of data are sent over the WAN.
While deduplication is always important, it's critically important in a branch office scenario, where remote offices may be connected to the central data center by limited and/or shared network connections. We then synchronize across branches and back to the central office with a global deduplication process using Commvault software's unique DASH (Deduplication Accelerated Streaming Hash) Copy capability to drive hyper-efficient copies of deduplicated data. With this solution, when it's necessary to perform a recovery, the intelligent indexing performed by the VSA enables fast, seamless recoveries of a single file, a single virtual desktop, or an entire branch office environment.
Commvault is working closely with VMware's End User Computing group to define these solutions and overcome challenges like efficient recovery in distributed environments. By efficient, we mean end users doing their own restores with limited administrative help. We've recently validated Commvault Simpana software for the View Branch Office Desktop solution, and found that the solution can drive faster, seamlessly integrated recoveries for VDI users.
Check out the related solution brief and how to guide for more information.
Craig Halliwell is Director of Alliances for CommVault.
The content of this blog reflects the thoughts and opinions of the author, and does not represent the thoughts, opinions, plans or strategies of CommVault Systems, Inc. ("CommVault") and CommVault undertakes no obligation to update, correct or modify any statements made by the author of this blog. Any and all third party links provided by this blog are not affiliated with, nor endorsed by, CommVault.