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Dell EMC and VMware HCI: Data Protection for VxRail and Cloud

Authored by Colin Durocher, Consultant, Product Management, Dell EMC Data Protection Division


Accelerating data appropriation from Edge to Core to Cloud, customers more and more frequently achieve SLOs for business-critical data by leveraging Dell EMC and VMware’s industry-leading Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI). And pairing these with Dell EMC’s Data Protection solutions, customers not only reduce cost and lower the risk of data loss, but they also reach operational management efficiency and access multi-cloud operating models.

As HCI use cases expand to form the foundation of on-premises cloud deployments, many workloads are simultaneously shifting to flexible off-premises clouds. With the same software stack both on- and off-premises, workload placement decisions become a matter of policy instead of architecture — the multi-cloud vision. VxRail and VMware Cloud on AWS combine to advance toward that vision; as a VMware Validated Design VxRail provides the same software stack blueprint available on VMware Cloud on AWS while Dell EMC offers the appropriate data protection level regardless of workload.

For multi-cloud to succeed, data protection solutions that work across all clouds are critical. Two recent surveys illustrate the importance of data protection in HCI and off-premises cloud environments:

  • TechValidate’s, August 2018, survey reports that VMware partners focusing on HCI solutions bundle data protection in 82% of their opportunities, and 75% bundle disaster recovery services.
  • IDC’s, January 2018, survey shows that Backup & Recovery and Disaster Recovery are the top two managed services offered by Cloud Service Providers, representing 58% and 44% of responses, respectively.


Cloud Disaster Recovery

The elasticity and cost-effectiveness of the public cloud are perfect complements to data protection use cases. Dell EMC covers the four primary cloud data protection use cases (shown below), and offers solutions which leverage cloud economics to reach higher protection levels at lower cost.


Data protection


Nowhere is the impact of cloud economics more powerful than with our DR-to-Cloud solution: Cloud Disaster Recovery (Cloud DR), an add-on capability for Data Protection Suite, Data Domain and IDPA. Cloud DR enables VM-based workloads to failover to cloud (either native AWS or VMware Cloud on AWS) in 3 clicks and failback in 2. At very low cost, CDR delivers backup-class RPO (24 hours) and RTO (0.5-2 hours). In the DR-to-cloud use case, the only cost to maintain your DR position is that of keeping copies of your most recent backup restore points on cloud object storage. You can further reduce cost by compressing and de-duping these copies.

Cloud DR comes as a simple virtual appliance that is deployed on-premises and another appliance that is deployed in-cloud. Together, they copy your most recent backup restore points to the cloud object store, keeping them in compressed form and deleting the oldest ones to limit data consumption.

Cloud DR solution orchestrates the entire failover process based on the target cloud chosen by the customer. Cloud DR offers two choices for target cloud environment – VMware Cloud on AWS or Native AWS. For many customers, operational consistency with their on-premises virtualized environments is very important especially in a transient state like Disaster Recovery. VMware Cloud on AWS is the ideal target cloud solution for DR as it doesn’t require any VM format conversion, customers can continue to use familiar tools and processes in the cloud as they are used to in their virtualized data centers on premises. If customers choose native AWS as a target, Cloud DR will also convert the data to an AMI format before rehydrating the VM data.

Dell EMC Cloud DR is complementary to VMware’s own Site Recovery for VMware Cloud on AWS.  This solution replicates data directly to VMware Cloud on AWS primary storage (vSAN), offering lower RTO and RPO.  Dell EMC Cloud DR offers a more cost-effective Cloud DR solution for those applications that require no more than a backup-class RPO. With the combination of these two solutions, customers can protect their entire range of workloads from Tier 1 to Tier 3.

An ideal DR solution for workloads running on VxRail, Cloud DR delivers operational management efficiencies with its simple deployment and ease of use. You can check out a quick demo of what the recovery process looks like in this video, or learn more from a longer discussion led by Levi Spears from our Global Technology Office during a TechFieldDay at VMworld 2018.


Integrated Data Protection Appliance — DP4400

In the context of increasing HCI and Cloud use — and the backdrop of customer demand for simplicity, power, and low cost, Dell EMC offers the IDPA DP4400, which is an ideal fit for HCI and for VxRail specifically.


Data protection


The DP4400 includes everything your HCI environment needs in a compact 2U form factor: backup software, protection storage, search and analytics, all managed from a single dashboard (creating more operational efficiencies). You can start small with 24TB of protection storage and scale up to 96TB without any hardware upgrades. In addition, you can address up to 196TB in the cloud for long-term retention.  Industry-leading average deduplication rate of 55:1 shortens backup windows by up to 2x, increasing performance while providing the lowest cost-to-protect (turning 96TB into 5PB of logical storage). Dell EMC even guarantees all this (subject to some Terms & Conditions).  And the DP4400 includes Cloud DR in the box.  Paired with an AWS account and some VMware Cloud on AWS credits (to be used in times of emergency), it provides an all-in-one, converged Data Protection solution for HCI.


Data protection


Everywhere we look, automation is eliminating time spent on lower-value tasks and IT is no exception.  HCI and Cloud are both growing exponentially because they deliver simplicity and automation, very much in line with this trend. The IDPA DP4400 with Cloud Disaster Recovery is the Data Protection industry’s answer to these trends.

Look for future blogs delving into additional use cases for the DP4400 and to dive deeper into some of the details.



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