A “Two-In, Two-Out Rule” for Data Protection?


There’s a common operating practice in firefighting called the two-in, two-out rule. It’s a backup plan for firefighters.

Two-in establishes common operating procedures for firefighters inside hazard areas (e.g., firefighters operate must operate in a Buddy System); two-out pairs the inside team with an outside team for additional protection.

For the rule to work, communication between inside and outside teams is critical. Two-in teams have to maintain voice or visual contact with each other at all times, and one person on the two-out team is accountable for its two-in team at all times.

The other member can take on additional responsibilities at the scene but can’t take on tasks that are critical to the safety and health of any other firefighter.

There’s no room for communication gaps. The stakes are too high.

So, what if there was some sort of two-in, two-out rule for IT? What would the rules be? What would the teams look like? How would the rules affect common IT operating practices? What would the effects be on your business?

Over the next few posts, we’ll explore these questions. We’ll look at the communication gap that exists today between IT teams and, importantly, between IT teams and the business, we’ll define the teams and we’ll establish some rules of engagement in and among these teams.

And, lastly, we’ll look at some of the tools (products, architectures, etc.) organizations can leverage to help bridge some of gaps within their organizations.

Why do this? That’s simple: Transformation is going to happen with or without you.

So, who’s got your back?

Heidi Biggar

Heidi Biggar

Marketing and IT Consultant, Data Protection and Availability Division at EMC Corporation
I’m often asked how a political science major at Tufts wound up in the IT world, covering backup, storage, virtualization and cloud of all things. Truth is, it’s really a love for learning, a need to understand the “bigger picture” and a desire to share that view with others that’s steered my path over the past 20 years, from campaign manager to editor, analyst and marketer. After hours, you’ll find me hanging with family, running 10ks through Peachtree City’s 90 miles of cart paths, watching football or reading. I’m a New England transplant enjoying life in the South. In my previous life, I also blogged for ComputerWorld, Enterprise Strategy Group and Hitachi Data Systems, but The Backup Window is my baby. It's been great watching it evolve.

App Integrations That Will Make You Want to Sing and Dance!

Last week on The Backup Window, we talked about the new bigger, better, faster, stronger Data Domain systems. While Caitlin was rocking out to Kanye, I had the cheesy tune “We Go Together” from Grease stuck in my head.  In addition to the new systems, we expanded Data Domain archive storage capabilities and further enhanced application integration. So, Data Domain works better than ever with a variety of data sources and applications, like a perfectly choreographed musical and that’s the way it should be!

Optimized Archive Storage

Data Domain systems are the ideal protection storage platform for backup and archive data and the benefits of consolidating backup and archive are pretty impressive, see for yourself in this white paper and infographic from IDC. Simply put, they go together like rama lama lama da dinga da dinga dong. (I’m pretty sure that’s what Danny and Sandy were referring to.)

With this launch, we’ve enhanced Data Domain systems to support archive environments in two key ways: lowered the $/GB and expanded the ecosystem. First, the significant $/GB savings offered by the new generation of Data Domain systems enables you to leverage Data Domain as a dedicated archive storage platform. Using Data Domain systems for archive storage greatly reduces storage costs while still meeting both US and international compliance regulations.

In addition, we have continued to expand the archive partner ecosystem, with new support for OpenText, an industry leader in content management archiving software and Dell Archive Manager for email archiving. With the newest additions in this release, Data Domain systems now support 20 different archiving applications for file/email, content management, database, and storage tiering use cases. This offers the flexibility to protect your archive data on a Data Domain system with the industry leading application that best fits your needs.

Data Domain Ecosystem


Enhanced Application Integration

Data Domain systems and enterprise applications such as Oracle, SAP as well as backup applications like Avamar, and NetWorker are made for each other like wop baba lumop a wap bam boom and continue to integrate seamlessly with these exciting new updates.

Direct SAP HANA Backup

Data Domain systems now support direct backup from SAP HANA Studio via NFS – enabling SAP HANA DBAs to leverage efficient protection storage while maintaining control of backup processes. Data Domain systems significantly reduce HANA backup storage requirements and provide faster, secure network-efficient for disaster recovery.

Data Domain Boost Enhancements

Here’s the latest Data Domain Boost ecosystem – where we’ve enhanced 3 of our 8 existing integrations – Avamar, NetWorker and Oracle RMAN.

Data Domain Boost Ecosystem

With the latest enhancements to DD Boost for Oracle RMAN, DD Boost can backup Oracle Exadata giving Oracle DBAs the ability to control Data Domain replication with full RMAN catalog awareness. It’s one of a kind like dip dadip dadip doowop da doobee doo!

SAP DBAs who run SAP on an Oracle database can also now leverage DD Boost for RMAN to backup and replicate SAP using BR*Tools. This provides faster, more efficient SAP backup and keeps backup and DR control in the hands of SAP application owners.

With the launch of Avamar 7, DD Boost for Avamar can support all data center use cases with the addition of NAS (via NDMP) and file systems support. In addition, Avamar 7 introduces a new feature called ‘VM Instant Access’, which enables VM images that are backed up with Avamar to Data Domain, to be accessed instantly and run from the Data Domain system. This provides the end user access to a VM in under 2 minutes, enabling access when they cannot wait for a full restore.

In addition, EMC NetWorker 8.1 introduces support for Data Domain Boost over Fibre Channel enabling 50% faster backups in SAN environments. NetWorker has also added support for DD Boost ‘Virtual Synthetic Backups’ for file systems and new feature called “immediate cloning” that improves time-to-DR readiness using NetWorker’s Clone Controlled Replication.

With all of the advancements to Data Domain systems and the Data Protection Suite, you can finally sit back and drive off into the sunset knowing that your data is properly protected.


Alyson Langon
A couple years ago, fresh out of Business School at Boston College, I started at EMC and dove head first into all things backup and archive, focusing on Data Domain systems. I love the challenge of communicating complicated technologies in innovative and engaging ways and there is certainly no shortage of inspiration at EMC’s Data Protection and Availability Division. Outside of the tech world, I am an artist, animal lover and sufferer of wanderlust. You can also find me on Twitter achieving the perfect balance of data protection and cat gifs.

Why We Are So Much Faster

It’s that time of year again! As I write this, the EMC Backup team is preparing to head up to Brunswick, Maine for the annual The Virtualization Technology User Group (VTUG) Summer Slam. The VTUG team and its’ sponsors put on a great event and to me it is the perfect non-conference. It has all of the benefits of a typical geek gathering but in an atypical setting.  The setting is Brunswick High School, complete with student desks, chalkboards, cafeteria, etc.  I have to be honest; it brings back memories (some not so good) of high-school math class.

Heading into the real world as an Engineer, I was trained and/or brainwashed to strictly rely on data and numbers in making certain conclusions and decisions.  As I continue to learn from the “School of Hard Knocks” data is still key in making decisions, but incorporating other factors to make a holistic conclusion is also important.  But it is nice when the data is compelling enough to make the decision process incredibly easy.

So why am I spending time talking about math and data? Well, just recently OpenBench Labs released a 3rd Party Performance Benchmark report on EMC Avamar. In this report Avamar is compared to 2 other main competitors in the data backup and recovery space, Symantec NetBackup, and CommVault Simpana.

I certainly won’t make this blog a rehash of all that is in the paper. For that you can download a copy and read the paper for yourself here and here. What I will do however is provide my interpretation of some of the data, and a behind the scenes explanation for how EMC Avamar as a product pulled off these great results, and they were great results!

EMC Avamar Exchange 2010 VM Restore Results

In last week’s Backup To The Future launch event David Goulden, EMC’s President and COO mentioned specifically how EMC is a very proficient acquirer and integrator of best of breed technologies and products.  I will take this one step further and say that we at EMC and in particular in EMC’s Backup and Recovery Systems Division stand on a foundation philosophy that integration at any point in the IT stack should bring the best possible long-term solution to satisfy customers needs. We don’t do bolt-ons.

It is this philosophy that I find leads to data points such as that shown in the OpenBench Labs report highlighting yet another EMC product as industry leading. The paper specifically highlights a backup and recovery use case in a VMware context. Any backup and recovery solution worthy of the next generation software defined data center should leverage as close as possible any and all formats and data access mechanisms provided by the platform for more efficient data protection.

As you can see from the data, EMC Avamar provides not only the tightest feature function integration with the VMware vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP) support but also it’s the most efficient. It is the co-development process that our teams participate in with the application and platform developers for the source data under backup that is directly attributed to achieving the fastest and most efficient methods.

Validated in this OpenBench Report, EMC’s Avamar leverages Changed Block Tracking (CBT) on the recovery, something that certainly could not have been done without a solid partner relationship and co-development with engineers on the VMware team, gives our customers up to a 141X faster recovery than other players in the market. That’s 141 times more satisfaction from those end users waiting for that data to be recovered!

I am just speaking specifically here about the VMware backup and recovery use case, but this development philosophy of, “do it the right way the first time” covers all the features and products we deliver. From interfacing with mission critical applications APIs the right way for the highest performing and most efficient backup scans and recoveries, to integrating directly with application native UIs allowing application admins visibility and control into the backup. It is this one philosophy that allows us to deliver solutions that help customers implement that next-generation backup infrastructure and do away with the “accidental architecture” in your own IT shop.

Alex Almeida

Alex Almeida

Technology Evangelist, Data Protection and Availability Division
My passion for technology started at an early age and has never stopped. Today, I find myself immersed in data protection. Yep, I live, breathe and tweet backup, availability and archive. In fact, nothing short of fully understanding how things work will keep me from digging deeper. But when I’m not evangelizing on the benefits of backup or technology in general, I can be spotted at a New England Revolution game, behind the lens of a camera or listening to my favorite albums on vinyl. In addition to blogging for The Protection Continuum, you can find me on the EMC Community Network. Also, I'm a member of EMC Elect 2014, and I'm active in the New England VMware User Group (NEVMUG) and the Virtualization Technology User Group (VTUG). Let's get technical!

New Data Domain Systems – Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger!

For the past 3 months I’ve had Kanye West’s ‘Stronger’ stuck in my head.  Why?  Because I’ve been preparing to launch new Data Domain systems that are ‘bigger, better, faster and stronger’ and sadly that’s just how my mind works.

Now that we’ve finally launched, I’m thrilled to share the details about the new generation of midrange Data Domain systems we announced last week. The four new systems – the DD2500, DD4200, DD4500 and DD7200 – offer dramatic improvements over the previous generation of midrange systems:

  • Up to 10x bigger with scalability up to 1.7 PB usable capacity
  • Enable better consolidation with up to 3x more streams supported
  • Faster performance with up to 4x the speed
  • Deliver stronger ROI with up to a 38% lower cost per GB

I don’t know about you – but that makes me feel like dancing!  So let’s break it down:

Bigger Scale

All four new systems support the new 3 TB expansion shelves, which provides enough logical capacity to support any midrange enterprise:

  • DD2500: Up to 6.6 PB
  • DD4200: Up to 9.4 PB
  • DD4500: Up to 14.2 PB
  • DD7200: Up to 21.4 PB

Now is the time to get rid of that last stack of tapes by leveraging Data Domain for long-term backup retention.  With DD Extended Retention, you get even more logical capacity:

  • DD4200: Up to 28.4 PB
  • DD4500: Up to 57.0 PB
  • DD7200: Up to 85.6 PB

Better Consolidation

With all that scale – what are you going to protect on Data Domain?  Whatever you want! If you’re a regular reader here, you know that one of the keys to the protection storage architecture is integrating directly with data sources.   And doing so requires more streams since applications are no longer running through a backup server to connect with Data Domain.  With that in mind, these new systems support up to 3x more streams, enabling you to consolidate all data protection workloads (backup, archive, DR) on a single system.

Faster Performance

But, what’s the point of trying to consolidate all that data if you can’t do it within the allotted time?  It should come as no surprise that these systems also offer the performance required to meet the toughest backup windows:

  • DD2500: Up to 13.4 TB/hr
  • DD4200: Up to 22.0 TB/hr
  • DD4500: Up to 22.0 TB/hr
  • DD7200: Up to 26.0 TB/hr

Stronger ROI

Believe it or not – all of that and these new systems are up to 38% more cost effective than the previous generation.   With savings like that, it should be no surprise that IDC recently released this infographic that shows Data Domain systems offer a payback in under 6 months.

To learn more about these new Data Domain systems and to get pricing, visit the EMC Store.

Data Domain systems

Caitlin Gordon

Caitlin Gordon

Data Domain Product Marketing, Data Protection and Availability Division
I have spent the past nine years focused on all things data protection, with a focus on backup and archive. Lucky for me, Data Domain Systems give me lots of good topics to discuss here. When I’m not blogging, I’m equal parts gadget geek and sports freak – always ready to chat about the latest IT rumor or celebrate/lament the latest Boston sports heartbreak/victory. You can also find me talking backup on Twitter and YouTube.

Meet EMC NetWorker 8.1

Data Protection Suite

By now I hope you have had the opportunity to watch and/or read about the latest announcement from EMC – Backup To The Future.  If you have, you heard that we have enhanced two products key to the EMC Data Protection Suite – Avamar 7 and NetWorker 8.1.

What you may not have gathered from the announcement is the true breadth of new features in NetWorker 8.1.

Exactly a year ago from last week’s announcement, we announced a new phase in the life of NetWorker–NetWorker 8.0–based on an updated architectural foundation focused on backup to disk workflows.  The updates are the base upon which we built many of the new features in this latest release.  Those features include, but are not limited to:

  • Tight integration of snapshot management for EMC arrays and RecoverPoint within the heart of NetWorker… from a configuration wizard that eliminates scripting to a Recovery user interface built into the NetWorker Management Console that enables granular, point-in-time recoveries from snapshots on primary disk or rolled over to Data Domain (or any other supported backup media).
  • More IntegrationMore integration with Data Domain including Data Domain Boost over Fibre Channel, enabling backup topologies built on FC to take advantage of a true B2D workflow with all the benefits of source-side and inline deduplication using EMC Data Domain.  Additionally DD Boost Virtual Synthetics, enabling up to 90% fewer full backups that need to be run each year.
  • New integrated VMware protection, using Avamar technology built into NetWorker, enabling unique features including CBT for both backup and restore, and more.
  • pic3A new Block Based Backup feature for Windows file systems that really screams, eliminating the walk of high density file systems and the creation of an index… yet, enables granular level recovery using the new Recovery UI.  Best yet, this feature simply ‘comes with’ NetWorker!
  • More support for a marquee feature of NetWorker – Client Direct.  We now offer Client Direct to generic disk for all NetWorker supported applications and databases running on Microsoft.
  • Visibility and control for VMware Admins and Oracle and SQL DBAs through integration at the data source, enabling them to use their native tool of choice for backup management.
  • Support of Oracle 12c and more.Oracle
  • Updated support for all the latest Microsoft applications and Hyper-V.

Suffice to say that there is way too much to go into here today!  So, we promise to publish a series of blogs here on The Backup Window–each singling out a new feature–highlighting new support and benefits.

We hope that you keep coming back to learn more about how EMC NetWorker 8.1 can help transform your data protection strategy and accelerate your backup plan for the future.

Sherry Davenport
I started in the IT industry over 30 years ago — it sure doesn’t feel like that long! I worked my way through the ranks starting at the old Digital Equipment Corporation in software sales support, sales training, channel training, product management and, ultimately, marketing. My background includes digital imaging, team productivity software, Alta Vista (remember that?), storage management, storage networking and most recently backup and recovery software. While I love my job, I love cooking and wine appreciation even more.