When to use the SnapCenter GUI and the vCenter GUI

SnapCenter Plug-in for VMware vSphere is different from other SnapCenter plug-ins because you use the web client GUI in vCenter for all backup and restore operations for VMs, VMDKs, and datastores. For all other plug-ins, you use the SnapCenter GUI for backup and restore operations. You can also use the Dashboard in the vCenter web client GUI to monitor the list of protected and unprotected VMs.

Note: The Plug-in for VMware vSphere supports the vCenter web client. It does not support vCenter thick clients.

To work with the Plug-in for VMware vSphere to protect VMs and datastores, you use the VMware vSphere web client interface in vCenter. The web client GUI integrates with NetApp Snapshot copy technology on the storage system. This enables you to back up VMs and datastores in seconds and restore VMs without taking a host offline.

Use this GUI... To perform these operations... And to access these backups...
Plug-in for VMware vSphere web client GUI in vCenter VM and datastore backup

VMDK attach and detach

Datastore mount and unmount

VM restore

VMDK restore

Guest file and folder restore

Backups of VMs and datastores performed by using the Plug-in for VMware vSphere GUI in vCenter.
SnapCenter GUI Backup and restore of virtualized databases and applications, including protecting Microsoft SQL Server databases, Microsoft Exchange databases, and Oracle databases. Backups performed by using the SnapCenter GUI.
Note: You must use the SnapCenter web client GUI in vCenter to perform SnapCenter operations. Although it is possible to perform some operations using VMware tools, for example, mounting or renaming a datastore, those operations will not be registered in the SnapCenter repository and, therefore, will not be recognized.
Note: SnapCenter does not support single Snapshot copies of databases and VMs together. Backups for VMs and databases must be scheduled and run independently, which creates separate Snapshot copies, even if the databases and VMs are hosted in the same volume. Application backups must be scheduled by using the SnapCenter GUI; VM and datastore backups must be scheduled by using the SnapCenter web client GUI in vCenter.

Both vCenter and SnapCenter job monitors display all SnapCenter jobs, regardless of which GUI was used to start the job.

Example for protecting a Microsoft SQL Server database that is running on VMs

To perform an application-consistent backup of a Microsoft SQL Server database that is running on VMs, you use the SnapCenter GUI to start a backup of the database.

SnapCenter uses the SnapCenter Plug-in for Microsoft SQL Server and the SnapCenter Plug-in for Microsoft Windows to perform the operation, and uses the Plug-in for VMware vSphere to communicate with vCenter.

You also use the SnapCenter GUI to access or restore the backup.

Example for protecting an Oracle database that is running on VMs

To perform an application-consistent backup of an Oracle database that is running on VMs, you use the SnapCenter GUI to start a backup of the database.

SnapCenter uses the SnapCenter Plug-in for Oracle Database and the SnapCenter Plug-in for UNIX to perform the operation, and uses the Plug-in for VMware vSphere to communicate with vCenter.

You also use the SnapCenter GUI to access or restore the backup.

Example for protecting a VM

To perform a host-level backup of a VM in which a database application is running (not an application-consistent backup), you use the SnapCenter VMware vSphere web client GUI in vCenter to start the backup.

SnapCenter uses the Plug-in for VMware vSphere to perform the operation.

You also use the VMware vSphere web client GUI in vCenter to access or restore the backup.