Putting Your VMworld Knowledge to Work: Becoming a VM Master!

Posted 09/12/2014 by Commvault

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Another VMworld has come and gone (for those of us in the US), and there was so much to learn in San Francisco this year that my head is still spinning! I’ve spent the last few weeks trying to synthesize all of the tidbits I picked up so I can actually start to make use of them. Now that we’ve heard the stories, it’s time to start investigating the elements that we found were the most relevant at VMworld.

Let’s start with VM backup & recovery. It’s not cost-effective to protect every VM exactly the same way. You should custom fit data protection to meet the SLA of the application running inside that VM. So, as you bring more critical workloads into your virtual environment, you need to account for the fact that their data change rate is really too much for a streaming VADP backup to handle. So, there’s a new consideration to address: providing SLA-aligned backup & recovery for those high change rate workloads running inside VMs. The ability to mix streaming hypervisor-based backups with hardware snapshots in the same tool is critical to the scalability of your virtual environment. Surprisingly, not everyone agrees with this school of thought but we believe offering choice for data protection is paramount. There is far too much on this topic to cover in a quick blog, so you can learn more about that in our upcoming webinar.

Looking at other aspects of the show, we saw VMware repackage their private cloud management capabilities (again?) into what they’re calling “vRealize.” They say that vRealize is “purpose-built for the hybrid cloud,” which is true if the public portion of your hybrid cloud infrastructure is based on VMware vCloud Hybrid Service or vCloud Air. I’m increasingly convinced that the goal of a cloud management platforms (CMP) should be platform agnostic. Again, technology choice is key. Virtualization is really infrastructure, and infrastructure should be a commodity, right?

It’s the services that run on top of the infrastructure – the applications – that are the focus. In a market where SLAs seem only to be shrinking, it’s important that we keep our eyes on the prize. That means providing the best fit of everything – infrastructure, management, backup & recovery, etc. – to those applications. Note that I said “BEST FIT,” not the highest performance solution for every workload.

However, often providing a best fit has been translated into the deployment of multiple point tools for tasks like backup and recovery, reporting, and infrastructure (cloud) management. That’s a problem because you’ll eventually find that you’re jumping between multiple disparate tools that don’t talk to each other to manage your environment.

Why is that a big issue? Because 1) it’s a waste of your time, and 2) you’re not getting a full view of how your environment is performing.

If you were able to sit in on any of our sessions or stopped by our booth at VMworld San Francisco (or if we’ll see you at VMworld Barcelona in October), you heard a different story from CommVault. Yes, we’re still providing you the very best in VM backup & recovery, but we’re giving you the ability to expand that into holistic cloud management. There are too many complexities and hidden costs associated with point tools for VM backup, recovery, and cloud management. They’re just too inefficient for today’s environments. So, we’re providing a modular VM Backup, Recovery & Cloud Management solution set that gives you all of these capabilities in a single platform. Read that as, “buy only what you need now, and expand using the same platform as your organization needs new functionality.”

Holistic VM & Cloud Management is another topic that’s just too broad for us to cover in this blog, so we’ve put together the “VM Masters Webinar Series” to help you wrap your mind around what we mean. The series will cover everything from VM provisioning and management to using hybrid or public cloud for disaster recovery to VM retirement and retention.