EMC and Data Protection Unification

A constant theme in all the Backup/Recovery sessions I have attended has been about the integration of Avamar, Data Domain, NetWorker, major applications and VM’s. I didn’t realize how much work EMC Backup has done in this area. I was pretty impressed to see the work that has been done in NetWorker to provide a single interface to manage the backup infrastructure in these products.  It’s interesting to hear this message from EMC and I think it is one that they should promote more. The single pane is very compelling to most customers. EMC has done a great job on positioning Avamar, NetWorker and Data Domain to provide specific benefits in data protection. Administration of these systems as well as application recoveries (including RMAN) can be completed via the NetWorker GUI.

I had not explored the virtualization monitoring area of NetWorker before, but I can see the huge value it adds after seeing it. The VM visualization screen shows the entire VM infrastructure and reports on how your virtual machines are backed up, but more importantly which systems aren’t.  The focus on best practices were on leveraging VADP and DD Boost for ever broadening application support.




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Data Domain long term retention

Data domain long term retention has increased focus on the convergence of backup and archive. Traditionally archive data has belonged in the tape backup wheelhouse. Maybe if RTO of archive data is important you may consider nearline storage on inexpensive disk.
Of course, Data Domain continues its campaign to assassinate tape backup. Now they are setting their sight on tape archives. By leveraging global dedupe across primary backup and archive space to discover greater savings and minimize archive silos into a single solution. There is a huge market in disk archives and DD hopes to capture more data with this new feature.

Governance, Industry requirements and legal require increased data retentions to meet their requirements. With data growth exploding, maintaining cost efficient data storage by introducing some kind of archive solution has become the status quo.

Most customers have in the past or are currently using their backup apps to create archives. Maybe to tape maybe to disk. Others may have purchased another product that may be a mix of hardware and software to move infrequently accessed data.
Data Domain loves to remind us of the challenges with tape. Sometimes I wonder after drinking a big old glass of Data Domain kool-aid how we ever get data recovered from tape. I feel some of the challenges are exaggerated. The challenges stated include migration from media as tape technologies evolve, security and SLA. Disk also has its challenges, predominately scalability.

With DD extended retention they hope to entice more customers to move archive data to DD. The extended retention solution is a software option available for the new DD990 and the DD860. Existing 860’s can be upgraded. and the 990 scales to 65 PB. Data is written to the active tier and then automatically moved to the archive tier. DDboost, VTL, CIFS, NFS protocols are supported. The archive tier can also be used in replication.

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What’s new with Data Domain at EMC World 2012



Data Domain was a great acquisition for EMC when they purchased the deduplication appliance manufacturer in 2009. I was in Santa Clara on training at the EMC campus there when the news broke. “What are we going to do!” said one of the EMC VTL sales guys in the classroom. When I asked what the issue was he advised? “We have been trashing Data Domain for years, and then we go and buy them?” The EMC VTL product line was very successful for the company, but Data Domain started a very important conversation that created a paradigm shift in how we backup data.

Now at EMC World in 2012, we seem a long way off from the DD200 with it 1.25 TB of storage. So what’s new?

The new DD OS 5.2 code will feature better inline data verification. Where after data is written to the DD the code will continue to look for disk IO errors and correct instantly. Adaptive data scrubbing ensure data remains recoverable and reverifies every 34 weeks without impacting performance.

Also this week the DD990 was released. Here are some highlights.

  • Backup up to 248 TB in 8 hour backup window with 31 TB/hr throughput
  • Protect up to 65 PB of logical capacity for long-term backup retention
  • Replicate up to 270 remote sites into a single system
  • Consolidate backup and archive data
  • Available in a preconfigured rack.

The extended retention software is no longer a separate system. It is now a software feature available for DD860 and DD990. Currently deployed DD860’s can be upgraded with this feature.

EMC’s focus in the Backup recovery portfolio is defiantly on integration with its own products as well as with the business critical applications in the enterprise. The message has been to keep Data Domain vendor agnostic and some of these new features reinforce this ideology. With DDBoost for Oracle recovery manager DBA’s can retain the control they love to realize faster restores by minimizing the touch points required to restore data and keeping the RMAN catalog aware of all copies of the database. Also added is DDoost for vRanger. In addition NetBackup gets some love with support for NetBackup synthetics.

Other enhancements include mtree quotas to control logical space consumed. Soft and hard quotas can be configured for application specific allocations. Also granular management for mtree replication with DD extended retention system has been added by creating vpools as mtrees.





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