At VMworld 2011, session SPO3977 was called “Next-Generation Storage and Backup for Your Cloud”. We discussed the current state of the art around backup and recovery in the VMware context – which is about vCenter integration, the vStorage APIs for Data Protection for agentless backup and single step file level restore, use of Changed Block Tracking to accelerate BOTH backup and restore. That, and of course the fact that source and target dedupe approaches are now universal “gotta do it” capabilities.
But then we looked a little further out. There is a “weakly addressed” (in vendor speak – in customer speak, I bet they would call it “non-addressed”!) use case – which is vCloud Director.
To backup and restore vCD is not simple:
- You have to backup the vCD database.
- You need to backup the core vCenter structures which reflect the vCD structures (resource groups as an example)
- You need to backup the vApps themselves
- You need to backup the vCD catalog.
- You need to be able to restore – respecting the core structures of multi-tenancy – after all, you need to restore the objects backed up in the list above without affecting adjacent tenants.
- You need to be able to offer this backup/restore service to the tenant themselves – after all, cloud is all about self service.
Ok – to be clear, EMC does have a good answer to the above (and have done it for service providers) based on Avamar 6. It involves scripting, on-site integration and customization (read “not out of the box”). Core lessons learnt have been written up in this whitepaper (which includes big parts of the solution, but not all):
But… Wouldn’t it be cool if instead of doing it that way – we made it SO tightly integrated that it was PART of how vCD worked? If it looked the same? If it naturally linked in to all the core vCD structures at the API level – and fully understood and respected multi-tenancy? That Backup and recovery became a natural part of vCD? That it was all exposed programatically via APIs (another cloud pre-requisite)?
Of course we’re working on it :-)
Here’s the technology preview demonstration we did in the session:
I think the work is amazing… Feedback welcome! Is this something you would like?