More than Microsoft Support – EMC NetWorker 8.1 SP1

Sherry Davenport

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.

Time flies.  How many times have you heard that??  Colloquialism aside, it’s true.  We announced NetWorker 8.1 in July.  For the 5th blog post in the ‘Meet NetWorker 8.1’ series, I would like to introduce you to the latest update, Service Pack 1, which is now available.

If you have been following The Backup Window, EMC Pulse blogs, or @EMCBackup on Twitter you saw that we publicly announced NetWorker 8.1 SP1 on November 4 along with Avamar 7 SP1, as enhancements to the Data Protection Suite for Backup.  While our emphasis was around support for the latest Enterprise releases from Microsoft, I’m here to inform you that this Service Pack for NetWorker offers much more!

What, you ask?  Well, I will try to make this a quick read for you by giving you some of the highlights and point you to further reading, if you are so inclined.

Enhanced EMC Data Domain Integration

Deeper integration with EMC Protection Storage

Let’s start with the expansion we continue to make in integrating NetWorker with Data Domain systems.  We are seeing incredible adoption rates of our NetWorker Client Direct to Data Domain capabilities. To expand this adoption, we now offer client direct support for databases on UNIX/Linux platforms.

At the same time, we have continued to enhance NetWorker’s integration with Data Domain Systems.The new DD Boost over Fibre Channel support in NetWorker 8.1 allows customers with established FC networks to eliminate VTL systems as a “backup-to-disk band-aid” and use Data Domain systems in a next generation backup to disk workflow. While this support was previously available for file systems and Microsoft applications, we have now added the cross platform applications supported with the NetWorker Module for Databases and Applications.

Snapshot Management Enhancements

Can you say ‘snapshots’?  I hope you have taken the opportunity to test out the new snapshot management capabilities directly integrated into Snapshot Management EnhancementsNetWorker 8.1.  If you are protecting a mission critical application like SAP or Oracle, you know that using snapshot technology can keep you ahead of the game when trying to meet RPO’s.  To make life easier for you, we have added SAP and Oracle workflows to the NetWorker Snapshot Management configuration wizard, eliminating all the scripting that would need to be done manually.  This makes things more reliable as there is less room for configuration error by using a wizard based workflow, and it validates the settings you selected before they are applied.

Backing up a file-system block-by-block…

Have you tried the new Block Based Backup for Windows feature in NetWorker 8.1?  If so, and you felt that the VHD format was too limiting at 2TB, we now support VHDx and, therefore, lightning fast backup of 64 TB volumes using VSS and change block tracking technology. For those that aren’t too familiar with this capability, NetWorker Block-Based Backup enables backup of high-density, Windows-based file systems at five times faster than traditional file-based backup technology, two to four times faster restore, and up to 25 times faster than the nearest competitor.

Support for VMware vSphere 5.5

The EMC Data Protection Suite and it’s integration with VMware vSphere is stronger than ever! We work to release support in our products for the latest versions of VMware releases and this release is no different. EMC NetWorker  for Backup includes virtualization support to include private-cloud environments based on VMware vSphere 5.5!

The features mentioned here outline a taste of the ‘biggest bang for the buck’ when you upgrade to the latest Service Pack. For more information regarding highlights of the new Microsoft support within the Data Protection Suite, please read last week’s blog by Phil George (@vPhilGeorge).

Look here if you’d like to read more about what’s new in NetWorker 8.1 SP1 and join the conversation, too!

Oracle OpenWorld 2013 – Tuesday Recap

Sherry Davenport

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.

The time has finally come and I am now smack-dab in the middle of Oracle OpenWorld 2013.  I have heard that this is one of the largest shows in IT and now I really believe it!  It has been a very exciting time.  The EMC booth has literally been slammed with customers interested in EMC solutions for Oracle the last two days!

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Today started out with a bang with Joe Tucci, EMC CEO, and Jeremy Burton, EMC EVP Product Operations, Solutions, and Marketing kicking off the event with a Keynote Address.  Joe underscored that Oracle and EMC share an 18 year partnership and 80K joint customers worldwide.  He also shared that EMC has built a differentiated technology stack in that ours is horizontal, rather than vertical, offering our customers CHOICE.

 

 

 

 

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Jeremy highlighted that an Independent Oracle User Group survey indicates that 71% of the users polled stated that ‘Managing Backup and Recovery’ was their #3 activity that is increasing in volume.  He underscored that EMC is offering tools that enable DBAs to spend LESS time in the back office and MORE time in the front office where the business gets done.  To amplify the message, there were demos of the new plug-in for Oracle Enterprise Manager as well as how backups can be optimized using EMC Data Domain with new support for multi-plexing when deduplicating data during Oracle backups.

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It was an even bigger day for the EMC Backup Recovery Systems Division (BRS) – Guy Churchward, President and Stephen Manley, CTO were hosted in theCUBE with Dave Vellante, CEO of Wikibon.   Guy discussed EMC strategy and vision including EMC’s perspective on the current data protection market and the importance of delivering new solutions for Oracle protection while Stephen talked about how to strike a good balance between empowering the DBA while also maintaining oversight of the data protection process.

 

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Caitlin Gordon, Product Marketing, summarized EMC solutions for Oracle data protection including Oracle RMAN with NFS/dNFS/CIFS and DD Boost, as well as the Data Protection Suite.  She outlined the new announcements since oow12 which include support for Oracle 12c , Exadata, SAP on Oracle, and the new collaborative protection with NetWorker.

Since I’m writing today’s recap blog, and am the Marketing Manager for NetWorker, I’m taking this opportunity to share deeper details about the new feature in NetWorker that offers the best of both worlds for Oracle DBAs using RMAN with the Fast Recovery Area and Backup Administrators.  It enables the Oracle DBA and Backup Administrator to collaborate, yet work independently, to achieve common data protection goals.  The best part is that neither one has to learn a new tool or a different process dictated by another team.

SherryBlogPhoto6With NetWorker, the Oracle DBA continues to use RMAN and their native RMAN scripts for both backup and recovery.  NetWorker synchronizes the Oracle and NetWorker catalogs – without requiring the DBA to do a single thing, or the Backup Admin to know Oracle.  The Oracle DBA now has access to an ‘infinite Fast Recovery Area’.  NetWorker will help support RMAN policies by moving data that has been backed up to an EMC Data Domain system or another secondary backup media, ensuring backups do not fail due to lack of disk space.  This process enables IT to maintain oversight and management of corporate SLAs that may include retention and compliance policies while the Oracle DBA has full control and can recover their data from where ever it was stored, without ever even having to know (or care) it had been moved!  Backups are stored in native Oracle format.

It has been a great show so far.  And, I can’t wait to get back to the EMC Booth to talk to more folks about how we can help Oracle DBAs spend more time in the front office than in the back office!

For more information about this newly supported feature, watch this whiteboard video or, if you prefer, read our white paper on the topic.

VMware Data Protection – EMC NetWorker Integration with vCenter

Deanna Hoover

Deanna Hoover

I spent most of my career (25+ years) as a systems administrator with responsibilities for storage architecture. But after many years of supporting production environments and becoming burned out by the 7x24 on-call schedule, I made the move into presales and then technical marketing. Life is good. I am able to leverage my customer and sales experience, by helping my team understand the customer’s perspective and challenges. If you have questions, ask them here on or on EMC NetWorker Online Commnity. I'd love to chat! My life away from work consists of playing in the great outdoors - I am an adrenaline junky, triathlete, mountaineer and techno-girl.

It’s no secret that the technology behind the VMware VDP offering is EMC Avamar – providing image-level backup and changed block tracking for backup and restores.  The out-of-the-box VMware VDP solution is targeted for environments that have no more than 2 TB or 100 VMs. While VMware offers upgrade possibilities, there are advantages to leveraging EMC for data protection of your VMware environments.

NetWorker

EMC recently announced a new data protection solution for VMware.  This solution is available with EMC NetWorker 8.1 and is also based on EMC Avamar.  The solution adds many bells and whistles in NetWorker that will help companies scale their VMware protection and provide administrative advantages, as well as policy management.

Now, let’s focus on the new VMware data protection available with NetWorker 8.1.

You will hear the solution called NetWorker VMware Protection, or possibly VMware Backup Appliance (VBA) – they are essentially one and the same.  High level, the solution offers integration with vCenter through the vSphere Web Client.  NetWorker VMware Protection delivers the following advantages through an OVA deployment and is installed into vCenter as the NetWorker VMware Backup Appliance:

  • 3x faster backup and 30x faster image-based recovery than the competition
  • Changed Block Tracking for both backup and restore
  • Utilizes existing LAN/WAN IP bandwidth and virtual infrastructure
  • Centralized policy management
  • Integrated deduplication via Data Domain Boost
  • Leverages existing management interfaces
  • Integration with VMware vCenter
  • Centralized monitoring and reporting
  • Self-service file recovery
  • Forever incremental backup
  • Disaster recovery and replication

In case it’s a little confusing, I will cover “what exactly is the VBA”.

VMware Backup Appliance

The VBA is deployed into the existing VMware infrastructure and includes Data Domain Boost, a backup proxy, and a backup engine. Each VBA will support up to 800 VMs, and each NetWorker server supports up to 20 VBAs.

  • Backup Engine
    • Provides communication with the proxies, vCenter, and NetWorker.  The backup engine is also responsible for Changed Block Tracking.
  • Data Domain Boost
    • A Data Domain system is the primary backup target for the VBA.  Client side deduplication is automatic for all backups through integration with Data Domain Boost.
  • Backup Proxy
    • Deployment of multiple proxies, which are internal to the VBA, provides scalability and performance.
      • The NetWorker solution is configured with 8 internal proxies with the ability to back up as many as 8 VMs concurrently.
      • To back up more than 8 VMs concurrently, you must deploy an external proxy VM that also encompasses 8 internal proxies. A maximum of 3 external proxies can be added.
      • A NetWorker Server can manage multiple VBAs in order to back up hundreds to thousands of VMs per backup window.

Why should you consider NetWorker as the backup solution of choice? NetWorker is a proven solution with over 25,000 customers – and includes support for physical as well as virtual servers, plus robust tape management, reporting, disaster recovery readiness, and more.  A high level overview of EMC’s offering for VMware data protection can be found by viewing the Master of your Destiny blog, as well as a short demo – or you can find a more in-depth overview in the VMware Protection with EMC NetWorker 8.1 whitepaper

Master of your Destiny

Sherry Davenport

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.

“You are the master of your destiny.  You can influence, direct, and control your own environment.”

–Quote from Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich

Napoleon Hill is considered to be one of the greatest writers on success in history.  And, while this quote is specifically related to one’s ability to achieve high levels of personal success, the sentiment behind it is also a basic premise for the new VMware support announced as part of the enhancements to the EMC Data Protection Suite.

VMwareTo remain agile and flexible, data owners—in this case, VMware Administrators—have moved to their own processes and tools for protecting their environments.  This has contributed to the ‘accidental architecture’ discussed in Stephen Manley’s blogs.  This movement disenfranchises the backup team, making it impossible for them to ensure SLAs at a corporate level.

EMC recognizes this need and is addressing it through the Protection Storage Architecture. The Protection Storage Architecture enables an open and modular approach to data protection that, among other benefits, provides visibility and control for data owners, while also enabling IT to move closer to an ITaaS model.  There is almost no better example of what we are delivering than the tight integration with VMware vCenter™ engineered into both Avamar 7 and NetWorker 8.1.

Effectively, through the enhancements to VMware protection in both solutions,  VMware administrators have the ability to choose the policies, as set by IT, that best fits the vm’s or vm containers in their environment and apply them.  Further, they are using their own native tool, the vSphere Web Client, for the administration.  From the vSphere Web Client, via the EMC Backup and Recovery plug-in, they are also able to process image backup and recovery and run reports, among other activities.  Alternatively, backup administrators set corporate policy from their native UI and have the visibility to monitor and report on the corporate infrastructure.  Finally, the EMC Data Protection Restore Client web user interface enables any system administrator with privileges to run file level recoveries from the image backups.

vSphere Web Client

You can see how the tight integration with VMware vCenter in NetWorker 8.1 and Avamar 7 offers a best-of-both-worlds scenario and enables each administrator to literally be the master of their environment.  We invite you to watch the demo of how this works in NetWorker 8.1.  Or, if you prefer to read about the capabilities, please take a look at the complete Solution Overview.

Meet EMC NetWorker 8.1

Sherry Davenport

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.

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.