Expert
Expert

vRO - EMC Networker 8.1 EBR Appliance integration. Experiences?

I've asked the question on the EMC support forums, btu maybe there's a chance to tap on some knowledge on the topic here: has anyone made experience with integrating the EMC Networker Appliance into the Orchestrator?

Recently I have  deployed the EBR Appliance in my vSphere environment, now I want to automate adding\removing virtual machine to and from the backup policy.

The VMs are being provisiond using vCAC and the vRO. Now I want to allow the VM owner to optionally add the VM into a backup policy. I would need a vRO workflow to talk to the EBR Appliance API so the particular VM would be added.

I could not find a documentation for the EBR Appliance API anywhere, nor a EBR plug-in for vRO.

Thanks!

7 Replies
Leadership
Leadership

Hi,

I haven't seen an integration with EMC Networker in past, I'm quite sure no Plugin exists. (EMC indeed would be the better audience 🙂 ).

But that does not mean it cannot be done... Here's how I would apporach it:

1. Note down the process that you want to automate, and how you do it manually now (you mentioned the first part, I assume currently a Backup Operator adds the new VM to a backup policy using the Networker UI, whatever that is)

2. See if the vendor provides a vRO Plugin, if so, check if it provides your functionality

3. Check if the vendor provides some API  / Automation tools (didnt find anything for these two points)

4. Check with the BAckup team if they have scripts, or a CLI that can be used to automate the task (very likely they already have some scripts that they use today)

5. Now see how from vCO you can call out to this CLI or script (using the SSH, Powershell, SOAP or REST Plugins, or even the Command.execute() method in javascript)...

6. Worst case: Semi-automate the task: Integrate with the ticket system, to automatically create a ticket for the Backup team to add the VM. Best case is you can even monitor the ticket, to automatically proceed with your overall deployment workflow.

Once people start using the automation, and more and more tickets come in to the backup team automatically, they will be very supportive find an automation solution :smileygrin:...

Regards,

Joerg

www.vcoportal.de - Orchestrate. Your Cloud.
Expert
Expert

Thanks for answering so quickly!

About the procedure you have mentioned:

1. Note down the process that you want to automate, and how you do it manually now (you mentioned the first part, I assume currently a Backup Operator adds the new VM to a backup policy using the Networker UI, whatever that is)

The EMC appliance integrates into the Web Client - this is the only interface you can use AFAIK. There you can tell EMC Networker (with the whole Server, DataDomain backend) which VMs you want to back up. You can choose a cluster or resource pool and back up the whole inventory element too. I administer the whole vCenter\vCAC\vRO combo including the EMC Appliance - the appliance itself however has very limited options though. You can basically only add VMs to a backup policy and restore them. The rest (liek creating new backup policies) is done by the Backup Admins on the Networker Server.

2. See if the vendor provides a vRO Plugin, if so, check if it provides your functionality


EMC does provide some plugins, but none of them are strictly backup related and cannot talk to the backup appliance (or, for example, VMwares' VADP)

3. Check if the vendor provides some API  / Automation tools (didnt find anything for these two points)


Nope, sadly. I'm waiting for someone to answer on the EMC forums, next week I'll ask one of the Backup Admins to open a SR at EMC, maybe we will get some useful info. The product documentation says that the Web Client is the only way to manage the appliance, but I don't know if this includes direct access via the API or not. This is really frustrating:(

4. & 5.


The EMC Backup appliance is "VADP Appliance by EMC", a third-party VADP based backup solution.By that I mean that it's VADP with the EMC Backup Infrastructure access integrated. So the whole backup planning jobs are done on the EMC Networker backend, not the appliance itself. The GUI is even the same:

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So, I guess, the API access would function similar as with VADP? Sadly I have not yet made experience with it.


6. Worst case (...)


I thought an alternative would be to create a new ressource pool, tell the appliance to back up every vm in there, and just move a vm in or out of the pool according to the vm owners preferences. This move can easily be automated. But, I've tested this jsut now and altohugh, after moving a vm into the pool, the appliance says it will be backed up, it throws an error during the backup job 😐 Meh.

Is it possible to automate backup tasks on the native VMware VADP appliance using the Orchestrator?

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Leadership
Leadership

I tried to figure out internally, but it seems we don't provide any public API for VADP Smiley Sad.

So you either can try to get more details from EMC, or "re-engineer" how the web client plugin integrates with the EMC Networker backend.

I guess for Networker at least there is some CLI available?

www.vcoportal.de - Orchestrate. Your Cloud.
Expert
Expert

Thanks for looking this up.

I've posted a similar question over at the VDP Backup community:

Re: Automating VDPA backups?

There I've learned about the Avamar CLI:

https://support.emc.com/docu39179_Avamar-6.1-Management-Console-Command-Line-Interface-%28MCCLI%29-P...

It can be used to automate the backup, I can leverage the vCO guest script workflow package for that (not tested yet though). The issue now is, that if you use the Avamar CLI, you loose the functionality provided by the EMCs Networker server integration - the CLI ("mccli") is not aware of those and if I use it to configure backups, they will not show up in the web client GUI. So it just works like on the 'vanilla' VDPA from VMware. On a sidenote, a DataDomain integration using the CLI is possible too, but in my case it won't be allowed.

I've asked my Backup colleague to open a ticket over at EMC, so they can check why VMs are not discovered and backed up, even though they were migrated into a ressource pool which is included in a Backup Policy. If I don't get a satisfactory solution from EMC, I will use the VDPA from VMware and put the backups on cheap SAN storage.

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

Hi,

Im currently investigating EMC Networker integration with vRA. If you will have answer from EMC I would be interested to know that. Also I will provide new information to you. Smiley Happy

Contributor
Contributor

Hi any update on this - since I do no see a lot of vRO or API integration ...

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Enthusiast
Enthusiast

hi, no you wont see any integration into VRA/VRO.

my experience of emc networker (we call it notworker) is awful, the product is by far the worst backup product i have ever come across.  the support is the worst support experience i have ever come across.  We put this product in and after about a year we saw the light and switched to veeam.

Veeam integrates with cloud director and pretty good, although this is no use to you i see your issue, we too are stating to build VRA7 for an internal private cloud.  Veeam does not yet integrate to VRA/VRO but in time it will and they have a far better way of feeding  improvements back into development.  Simple fact is that is not a lot of people are requesting it they wont develop it.  if they did this for vcloud director i would imagine that VRA/VRO will come around soon , vmware seem to be pusing the VRA solution more the vcloud director these days.

at least with veeam you can use restful api

http://theithollow.com/2015/12/07/veeam-plugin-for-vrealize-orchestrator/

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