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VMware Data Protection with Druva: Key Features and Architecture
VMware Data Protection with Druva: Key Features and Architecture

Comprehensive guide to data protection for VMware virtual machines: Architecture, key features, and best practices

Updated over a week ago

Enterprise Workloads Editions: ✅ Business | ✅ Enterprise | ✅ Elite

Enterprise companies have adopted a complete virtual infrastructure running their entire data center in a virtualized environment primarily VMware. Druva helps protect these environments from a data loss perspective, by allowing organizations to back up the applications and workloads running inside the data center to the Druva Cloud.

What can you back up from VMware

Druva performs an Image-level backup for the complete VM that includes GuestOS and Data on the VM. Druva performs agent-less backup with the help of a backup appliance known as backup proxy.

  • You can protect:

    • VMs on Standalone VMware ESXi (ESXi) host.

    • VMs on VMware ESXi hosts that are managed through VMware vCenter Server (vCenter Server).

    • VMware on premise and VMware on Cloud (VMC) Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC).
      View the supported versions of VMware ESXi and VMware vCenter Server supported by Druva.

  • You can perform the following backups:

  • You can instantly restore virtual machines that are mapped to Linux CloudCache.

  • You can exclude a virtual disk - VMDK from VMware backups.

The backed-up virtual machines can be restored to:

  • Same VMware Cloud SDDC from where they were backed up.

  • Different Public Cloud SDDC than the one it was backed up on.

  • Any on-premise VMware data center.
    Similarly, virtual machines backed up from an on-premise data center can be restored to a VMware Cloud SDDC.

What are the key features for protecting VMware virtual machines

Druva provides you the capability to back up and restore virtual machine images, files and folders, and application data. The following are the key features that Druva provides:

  • Agentless data protection of files, disks, or VMs in the cloud, from on-premises, or from the cloud.

  • Automated storage management with built-in cloud archiving with global deduplication.

  • On-demand scale

  • vSAN certified

  • Intuitive and quick backup proxy deployment.

  • Automates mapping of virtual machines to backup proxies and directs backup requests assigned to proxies based on load balancing.

  • Auto discover virtual machines for backup configuration.

  • Application-aware backups (Druva supports MS SQL Server aware backups only at the moment).

  • Instantly restore virtual machines mapped to Linux CloudCache.

  • Backup & DR with ransomware protection.

  • Sandbox Recovery feature orchestrates VM recovery within an isolated environment (Sandbox VM) without network resources and validates the selected recovery point in a VM is ransomware-free via an antivirus scan.

  • The Long Term Retention setting allows you to store your backed-up data for an extended period, ensuring businesses comply with regulatory requirements. The data stays in the cold storage tier until the configured retention period expires.

  • Enable the Data Lock setting at the backup policy level and prevent modification, deletion, and tampering of recovering points associated with that backup policy.

What restore options are offered

If you have taken a VMware backup, you can restore:

  • Full virtual machine: Restores the entire VM.

  • Data Restore: Restores VMDKs, files and folders

  • Instant Restore: Instantly restores the virtual machines that are mapped to Druva CloudCache (Linux version).

  • MS SQL Restore: Restores MS SQL databases from virtual machines where application-aware backup was done successfully.

  • Sandbox Restore: Recovers a specific recovery point followed by an antivirus scan in a sandbox environment.

What is the architecture of data protection for VMware virtual machines

The following diagram illustrates the architecture:

As illustrated in the diagram: ​

  • Direct backup to the cloud.

  • To back up and restore virtual machines, you have to deploy the Druva backup proxy. The Druva backup proxy is the client-side component that detects the virtual machines running on your setup and executes the backup and restore requests from the Druva Cloud.

  • Data is processed at the backup proxy end for deduplication and the deduplicated data is then sent over to the Druva Cloud.

    📝 Note
    VMC does not support the NBD mode of transport for data transfer (backup over production LAN) and instead uses the hot-add transport mode for backups.

  • By default, data flows over the public network (restricted to the AWS environment) to the Druva Cloud.

  • Once that data is backed up to the Druva Cloud, it is typically stored in the warm storage. But, if you need to hold data for longer periods, Druva offers the ability to automatically tier that data to cold storage. For more information, see About Long Term Retention.

  • Disaster recovery in your AWS VPC. It is automated and secure and helps you meet RTOs in minutes. For more information, see Introduction to Disaster Recovery.

  • An optional on-premises CloudCache feature is available as a software appliance. This offering helps you to meet demanding RPOs, say in a remote office with limited WAN. Or demanding RTOs in either remote offices or the data center. This feature helps with those corner cases where direct backup to the cloud cannot meet your RPO/RTOs. For more information, see CloudCache.

  • (Not in the diagram) Druva also supports AWS Outposts for those customers with low latency workloads or compliance restrictions that require data to be kept on site.

📝 Note

  • To ensure clear understanding, we use VMware terms as defined in the VMware Technical Publications Glossary available at

  • To ensure uninterrupted experience while configuring Druva for your VMware setup, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the VMware documentation in addition to following the VMware-specific instructions within the Druva documentation. The full set of instructions for VMware is available at

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