NetWorker 8 – A Mover and a Shaker of Backup Transformation?

Sweaty palms. Churning stomach. Breathlessness. Yep, I was ready for my first meeting at Legato HQ.

It was 1998, and I was a very junior engineer at Network Appliance discussing potential integration projects with Legato co-founder Bob Lyon (or, as I knew him, one of the gods who invented NFS). The last time I’d gotten this worked up was when I’d interviewed with Network Appliance CTO Steve Kleiman (another of the NFS gods). My goal was to be less star struck than when I met Kleiman – i.e., to not sweat uncontrollably while struggling to form complete sentences. All I remember of that meeting is:

  • I did not achieve my goal. I lost 5 pounds in water weight during those 90 minutes.
  • I was convinced that Legato was going to change the world.

It’s been 20+ years since Jon Kepecs, Rusty Sandberg, Joe Moran, and Bob Lyon founded Legato. As more customers search for “cloud” solutions, the original NetWorker vision – to provide value-added services on the network – is more vital than ever. Fourteen years after meeting Bob Lyon, it’s my honor to be CTO of the division that drives his work forward; today it’s my pleasure to announce NetWorker 8, which continues to change the world.

NetWorker 8 addresses the 3 key trends that continue to pressure backup teams, and it can help organizations transition to next-generation backup and recovery by enabling backup teams to build private “protection clouds,” or internal backup clouds:

  1. Backup and recovery window pressure drives the market. While we usually focus on the speed of the data movement, the backup application itself needs to scale, or it becomes the bottleneck. NetWorker has proven its “big-boy backup application” status, protecting everyone from small companies to the largest enterprises. NetWorker 8 has re-architected some lower-level structures to dramatically improve its performance and scale. Regardless of the number of servers, sites, PBs, or VMs – NetWorker 8 makes it faster and simpler to protect your data.
  2. Backup appliances continue to displace/replace tape. After years of optimizing for tape, enterprise backup applications have struggled to leverage disk. NetWorker 8 treats disk as a first-class citizen. First, we re-architected NetWorker’s Advanced File Type disk interface to create a simplified workflow that supports all disk, not just EMC’s. Second, while NetWorker 8 continues to work with all types of disk storage, it has extended the Data Domain integration. NetWorker 8 supports DD BOOST on both application and file clients; that’s right, leveraging the power of disk directly… no storage nodes!
  3. Everybody wants more visibility. Users’ demands for increased access to their protected data must be balanced with the need for centralized management and security. Whether you’re an enterprise or a service provider, the central protection team must deliver protection in a multi-tenant environment. This requires spanning different security, network, and backup policy zones. With Restricted Data Zones (RDZ), NetWorker simplifies protecting multi-tenant backup environments. Users can have increased control and visibility in the cloud without compromising security and trust.

As backup teams become service providers to their businesses, NetWorker 8 is the building block for the protection cloud (yes, I know clouds aren’t built of blocks, but you get the idea). The backup team can create a disk-centric protection environment that scales to the largest enterprises and service providers, while securely handling the different tenants in that environment.

Nobody reaches their 20s without significant changes in their life. NetWorker is now part of EMC BRS instead of Legato. It’s had triumphs and challenges. Some people swear by it; others just swear. I can’t tell you how often somebody has asked if we’re “killing” NetWorker, while we continue to expand our engineering investment and market footprint.

Therefore, I’d like to close with these thoughts. We will continue to integrate the BRS portfolio, leveraging the best of all our technology to build the protection cloud, and we will ensure all of our customers can join us on that journey. Every day, I try to advance the NetWorker vision, and live up to the standards of Bob Lyon and the rest of Legato’s founders (if Edison was right about genius, then I’ve got the perspiration part nailed). NetWorker is an integral part of our strategy, and NetWorker 8 sets the stage for the next 10 years of innovation. It’s time to change the world again.

Stephen Manley

Stephen Manley

CTO, Data Protection and Availability Division
Over the past 15 years at both EMC and NetApp, I have traveled the world, helping solve backup and recovery challenges - one customer at a time (clearly, I need to optimize my travel arrangements!). My professional mission is to transform data protection so that it accelerates customers’ businesses. I have a passion for helping engineers pursue technical career path(without becoming managers), telling stories about life on the road and NDMP (yes, that’s NDMP).

One thought on “NetWorker 8 – A Mover and a Shaker of Backup Transformation?

  1. Pingback: The Message Is What Matters – The Backup Window | The Data Storage Backup Site

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