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5 reasons you should be using NetApp for VMware data protection

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Chance Bingen
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Around the world, more than 400,000 organizations use VMware. But if you’re a VMware customer who has yet to make the switch to NetApp, I have just three words for you: VMware data protection.

Of course, there are a lot of phenomenal reasons to switch to NetApp for VMware, like our partnership, our joint experience, and our technology. But one of the most popular reasons is that no one does integrated data protection and enterprise-class disaster recovery for VMware better than NetApp. Our competitors have tried (and failed) to recreate the magic of NetApp® ONTAP® for VMware data protection. But in the end, there’s nothing like the real thing.

Consider this

If you’re not using NetApp to protect your VMware workloads, here are five big reasons to consider NetApp solutions for VMware data protection.

1. Optimized VMware performance.

Most data protection technologies—even native VMware data protection—can negatively impact the performance of your production servers. NetApp integrated data protection enables you to offload snapshots, backup, replication, and disaster recovery from the VMware vSphere software layer onto the storage layer. By offloading data protection to the storage layer instead of the server layer, you can keep your CPU cycles focused on running VMware at maximum performance without paying for unnecessary CPU resources. NetApp ONTAP software also enables zero-space virtual Snapshot™ copies for backup, test, dev, QA, and analytics with zero performance overhead.

“But Chance,” you say. “Haven’t you always done this?” Yes, and it’s just as important now as it’s always been.

2. Simplified administration.

But what happens when you have vSphere admins managing VMware and storage admins managing your NetApp storage? That sounds complicated, right? NetApp’s integrations with vSphere let your VMware administrators activate and manage backups themselves from a simple, easy-to-use user interface—an extension of the vCenter UI. We’re talking backups and restores using familiar vCenter tools in just a couple of clicks. That means fewer steps, less manual effort required, and less back and forth. (Your customers and administrators will thank you.)

3.
 Automation and orchestration.

The heart of our data protection platform is NetApp SnapCenter® software, which centralizes control of backup, restore, and clone operations. SnapCenter also simplifies the adoption of automation using REST APIs. Pretty much everything it can do is exposed to the REST API, so you can integrate SnapCenter capabilities into your own self-service portals to deliver VMware data protection as a service and automate traditionally manual tasks.

This means that your automation engineers and site reliability engineers can create, manage, schedule, remove, and destroy copies of data using policy-driven automation. Meanwhile, your day-to-day operations users can do things like restore their own VMs, and you can serve both personalities without having to code a zillion different workflows.

SnapCenter in action at Be The Match

Be The Match is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping patients get life-saving bone marrow transplants by matching them with donors who aren’t related. With 39 million potential donors worldwide, Be The Match is critically dependent on its IT infrastructure and data management.

The organization’s VMware environment spans hundreds of hypervisors and several thousand virtual machines. Hospital systems and diverse organizations around the world use Be The Match’s matching and research applications, so their applications must be high performing and reliable at all times.

Be The Match depends on NetApp SnapCenter software for backup and recovery and cloning across their environment. By using SnapCenter to offload VMware CPU utilization to the storage devices, they were able to increase the performance of their VMs, databases, and applications.

When it comes to SnapCenter, accept no substitutes. Learn more about the Be The Match story.

4. Integration with VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM).

NetApp data management platforms powered by ONTAP software are some of the most widely adopted storage solutions for SRM. Why? ONTAP provides a secure, high-performance, unified protocol (NAS and SAN together) data management platform that offers industry-defining storage efficiency, multitenancy, quality of service controls, data protection with space-efficient Snapshot copies, and replication with the SnapMirror® feature of ONTAP.

SnapMirror gives you the advantage of secure and highly efficient data transfers, copying only changed file system blocks, not entire VMs or datastores. You can define your VMs in terms of service gears, and you can control how to fail over from one VMware data center to another. And, as usual, it’s faster, simpler, and doesn’t impact performance compared with other VMware data protection solutions.

5. Instantaneous, transparent application failover.

NetApp offers synchronous replication solutions, which combine high availability and disaster recovery to protect against site disasters and hardware outages. It provides solutions with transparent recovery from failure, with zero data loss (0 RPO) and fast recovery (RTO within minutes).

6. Hybrid cloud integration.

Did I say five reasons? I meant six. Because only NetApp lets you take all the goodness of ONTAP on premises and do it in the cloud. Instead of building and managing a secondary data center that sits and waits for a disaster while you keep buying more and more CPU and storage resources that you hope never to use, you can back up to the cloud and tier the backup off to cost-effective archive storage in the cloud.

NetApp’s portfolio of cloud data services enables you to run VMware workloads in the hyperscaler of your choice without refactoring your applications. Meanwhile, the new integration of Cloud Backup service with SnapCenter lets you leverage the best features of Cloud Backup for applications and VMs, including cloud-based backups, object storage, 3-2-1 strategy alignment, PAYGO consumption, object storage scalability and reliability, and reduced infrastructure overhead and costs. 

But whether we’re talking on premises or in the cloud, the principle remains the same: By offloading VMware data protection to NetApp at the storage (data) layer and letting VMware software run VMware workloads, you can drive the most consolidation of servers for the most workloads in the most cost-effective way.

Learn more

For more information about NetApp for VMware data protection take a look at our VMware solutions.

Chance Bingen

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