Veeam presented a couple of new features for their Backup & Recovery suite at Tech Field Day 20. Three of them stand out for me: the Scale-out Backup Repository, Enhanced NAS backup, and Continuous Data Protection. The first one is a logical container to bundle other backup repositories in. The second because backing up large NAS filesystems is hard, especially if you want to maintain a low RPO. And talking about RPO’s, there’s Continuous Data Protection (CDP) which protects your volume or VM with an RPO of seconds. Let’s explore what’s changing and when we can expect to see these features in the field.
Last year we decommissioned a physical Avamar grid in London because it was both out-of-support and the location was about to close down. The Avamar was however still being used for desktop/laptop (dt/lt) backups. A separate project was taking care of replacing those laptops, but in the meantime we needed to keep the Avamar backup service running.
We did a quick calculation on the required capacity and deployed 4 new Avamar virtual editions in our central VMware farm. After configuring them and connecting them to the Avamar Enterprise Manager dashboard, we were able to move the majority of clients over.
Now, almost a year later, many of those laptops have been replaced and are no longer backed up by these 4 new Avamars. Which clearly shows in the utilization, as you can see. Three out of four systems are <10% utilized. Since these Avamars claim a fair bit of resources from the VMware farm, I set out to consolidate the systems into the first virtual Avamar. Thus, reclaiming 75% of the resources.
Several of our Data Domains are end-of-life and need to be replaced with new hardware. In most of the cases it’s a small site with a small Data Domain that only holds roughly 1 month of backups. In these cases we just install a new Data Domain next to it, reconfigure our our backup software, and that’s it. After a month, the old backups have expired and you can switch off the old Data Domain.
For the slightly larger sites, there’s more than one backup client/server writing to the Data Domain. There are Oracle RMAN backups, SQL dumps, etc. Plus the retention of backups on the Data Domain is much, much longer. In these cases you want to perform a proper Data Domain migration which retains the name and IP address of the old Data Domain, so you don’t have to touch all the clients. Here’s how you do that, and a DDBoost gotcha you should be aware of!
I recently deployed a new 32TB Data Domain DD3300 system. The initial configuration is easy and familiar enough. Connect to the system via the serial cable, setup iDRAC, and run the initial configuration wizard. Afterwards the rest of the configuration can be performed via SSH and/or the GUI.
While continuing with the configuration, I noticed I could not create an aggregate Ethernet interface. No LACP or Etherchannel! So what if my Ethernet interface goes down, for whatever reason?
Back at Storage Field Day 16 in Boston, Zerto presented their VM replication software. It’s a block level, continuous hypervisor based replication, using a journal to log I/O in a VCR-like fashion. This enables you to rewind to any point in time that’s covered in the journal, and recover your VMs to that exact state. Zerto’s plans are a bit grander than “just VM Replication” though… they aim to cover the complete IT Resiliency market.