By Deanna Hoover, Sr. Technical Marketing Manager, EMC Backup Recovery Systems
Making your list and checking it twice. It’s that time of year again – where does the time go?
A friend and I were talking and the conversation ended up being that her husband always buys her things he thinks she needs, like a vacuum cleaner. Not exactly on her top 5 list of what she wants for Christmas.
Do you make an assumption on what to buy for gifts or do you do inventory first (which is probably a good idea)?
How many times have you found that your company owns more than one software package that performs nearly the same function?
I often wonder, for example, how many NetWorker customers are not aware of all the features available to them in the modules that they already own.
Case and point is the NetWorker Module for Databases and Applications (NMDA) and SAP (NMSAP). These modules have many features – including high performance, scalability, the ability to be highly configurable and customizable for your environment, a zero-install do-everything-from-anywhere backup configuration wizard, Disk Array and snapshot integration, and full platform coverage. The database support is also robust: Lotus, DB2, SQL, Informix, and Oracle.
Read on, because I’m quite sure you will learn of at least one feature in NMDA/NMSAP that you are not aware exists and that will bring value, while allowing you to eliminate at least some duplication of effort.
- The NetWorker modules support Oracle Flash Recovery Area (FRA). For those of you new to FRA, Oracle 10g release 1 and later provides the ability to backup to, and recover from, a flash recovery area – this is a special disk area that is managed by Oracle and is used to minimize recovery time. The value that NetWorker brings is being able to treat the FRA as an alternative backup source, rather than directing backup I/O workloads to the production database volumes if the administrator so chooses.
- Event based backups. Have you ever wanted to perform a backup based on a critical event rather than being forced to stick to the schedule, or start a backup manually? NMDA/NMSAP support event-based and scheduled backups. Let me give you an example to help explain the value of event based (also called probe-based backups). Suppose your database admin and/or backup admins are on vacation. Something goes wrong and the backups don’t run for a few days. You can create a backup policy based on an event that states a backup should run if a regularly scheduled backup has not been successful in a specified number of days. It’s great to know that you can better guarantee the integrity of your backups in this manner.
- Configuration Wizard. What happens when a new critical database or application is added, and the admin is not in the office so therefore does not have the software loaded on his/her laptop? NMDA/NMSAP allows for backups to be configured from the web without any software being loaded on a laptop. The value is that the administrator can configure the backup from anywhere, and has access to all the devices, applications, etc. through the configuration wizard (again via the web). An added bonus is that the wizard will auto-detect and auto-populate the required fields. This means that the admin does not need in-depth knowledge of the database environment to configure the backup. Again, this demonstrates intelligence being worked in where it makes sense within the backup software.
- Deduplication support. This is an interesting topic. Everyone is talking about the need to deduplicate backup data. In reality, not all databases are prime candidates for deduplication technology (high change rate for example might be better fitted for backup to less expensive storage). With NetWorker you have options.
- Hardware Snapshot integration. According to a recent study, 53% of organizations have one hour or less of downtime for backups. I know what you must be thinking–it’s impossible to backup large databases in less than one hour. Well, not if you leverage hardware snapshots. In fact, while more customers are becoming aware that snapshots are not the most cost-effective end-of-the-road solution for backup, they are also realizing that snapshots are the perfect means to achieving super-efficient, and low-production-impact backup processing. To work within this framework, NetWorker is application-aware so will manage the off-host, live backup to disk, tape or deduplication storage via snapshot management.
The list above is just a subset of what is offered with NMDA/NMSAP. There are several other features that you might find useful and these can be found in the NMDA datasheet (for example, multi-streaming backup to the cloud, and RMAN for SAP on Oracle support via the NMSAP module).
Perhaps it’s time to go back and re-inventory your backup needs for databases and applications. I’m quite sure that both new and existing NetWorker customers can find value in leveraging NetWorker, NMDA, and NMSAP for backup and recovery of their databases and applications.
Reach out to the EMC NetWorker Community and collaborate with your colleagues: www.emc.com/networkeronline
To see a complete list of NetWorker modules: http://www.emc.com/backup-and-recovery/networker/networker.htm
A full list of the EMC backup and recovery portfolio: http://www.emc.com/backup-and-recovery