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Netting Out NetBackup

Accelerating Virtual Machine Backup and Recovery

Created: 21 Aug 2012 • Updated: 22 Jan 2013 • 2 comments
Kristine Mitchell's picture
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Based on a global survey of 1,425 IT professionals, only 58% of organizations think their virtualization backup is working well. Sound shocking? It should. With business-critical applications being virtualized more and more, recovery objectives are more important than ever. And let’s face it, virtualization compounds the problem because you’ve taken one physical server and turned it into 5-10-15 or more. So why is virtualization backup such a challenge?

Challenge #1: Frustration with backup. Backup is the foundation of any sound IT process, and yet, over the years has gotten a bad rap. Why? Well according to the same survey highlighted above, on average enterprise organizations have 7 backup applications – 4 for physical and 3 for virtual. The challenge is that multiple backup products mean separate UI’s, separate policies, and a separate DR process. This adds undue complexity, cost and risk as there are multiple products to not only procure, but install, document, train and maintain.  “Virtual only” products are literally just that. When virtual workloads are at 20-25% this may make sense in the short term. However, over time, as virtual workloads increase and more business-critical applications get virtualized, the dynamics of a true enterprise data center, most notably around scalability, security and reliability, can come into question. Don’t believe us. See what other leading data protection experts have to say including Curtis Preston (aka Mr. Backup) “Are Purpose Built VMware Backup Apps a Good Idea?” and Steve Duplessie from ESG “The Future of Single Platform Backup Tools”.

Challenge #2: Point products have no place in the enterprise. One only has to take a walk back in time to get a “who’s who” of technology trends. I mean remember when compression was all the rage? Over time this evolved into more advanced technologies like deduplication. Then encryption for security whether at the source, in flight or at rest. WAN acceleration for optimized DR, snapshots to complement backup – or replace backup (depending on which side you are on), etc. The point being is that for every backup and recovery pain point there is a vendor out there with the “perfect solution” to solve it. Over time the market has shown that the platform model is the preferred approach.  We’ve seen the market consolidate with vendors such as Dell and VMware build out their platform with targeted acquisitions. This approach is further validated by industry analysts. According to Dave Russell, VP of Storage Technologies and Strategy from Gartner, “Organizations need a holistic protection strategy, a single platform or solution, to handle the variety of data types and workloads as opposed to integrating a number of disparate point solutions, which proves to be costly and time consuming.”

The key takeaway here being that organizations are not interested in cobbling together point solutions – or in other words, being their own system integrator. Backup is for recovery and organizations are looking for a recovery process that is unified across their entire data center despite the workload type or the type of storage it resides on.     

Challenge #3: The rising adoption of a multi-hypervisor strategy. As in the early 90’s, storage vendors came out of the wood work with storage that “was price right and good enough”. As a result, over time storage became more commoditized providing a sea of choices for the end consumer. With the pending Microsoft Hyper-V release, given their extensive reach across the Windows operating system and applications provides an interesting option for organizations to choose whatever hypervisor platform makes sense for their virtual workloads – perhaps even choosing one hypervisor for their non-business critical workloads and another for their business-critical workloads.

Again,  backup is the foundation of any sound IT process. It also needs to be transparent to IT operations, reliable and scalable. Organizations have shown a preference for the platform approach.  So why add complexity when you can streamline backup and recovery operations across your entire organization – whatever the workload be it physical, virtual, array-based snapshots or big data – NetBackup provides the centralized platform. Don’t backup blind by silo’ing your virtual infrastructure with a virtual-only solution. Whatever hypervisor you choose,  the information and applications are the same and recovery equally important. As the market leader in backup and recovery, more customers have chosen NetBackup than any other vendor. With deep integration with award-winning VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V protection, NetBackup provides organizations the ability to choose which hypervisor best meets that particular virtual workload.

NetBackup continues to integrate and innovate with VMware including the industry’s first direct vSphere proxy-less backup appliance with the ability to protect up to 4,800 virtual machines in a single box (see below for how to learn more). Only NetBackup provides centralized backup and recovery with V-Ray technology providing the centralized protection that today’s data center requires.

As a preview of what’s coming soon to a data center near you, NetBackup continues to accelerate VMware backup and recovery in the next release.

Highlights include:

  • Break the backup window with 100x faster VMware backups by turning a full backup into the cost and speed of an incremental – yet still have the ability for any level restore – the full VM, granular file or database.
  • Meet aggressive recovery time objectives with 800x faster recovery by instantly powering on any protected VM from a disk/deduplication backup storage. No need to take the time to restore the VM first.
  • Simplify and accelerate storage-level snapshot replication management and recovery of VMware VMs to help decrease OpEx and enable granular recovery to help meet aggressive recovery SLAs.
  •  Direct integration with vCloud Director for the backup and granular recovery of public or private clouds by automatically protecting any newly provisioned VM’s (vApps) and enabling file-level restore and application granular recovery  so organizations can meet aggressive recovery objectives wherever their data resides – disk, tape or the cloud.
  • Direct vCenter plug-in with detailed backup reports, drill-down detail and self service VM recovery.  
  • Streamlined P2V that converts backups directly into VMs, for physical server DR or consolidation.

To see more, please visit Symantec booth (#909) at VMworld in San Francisco August 26-30 and Barcelona October 9-11.

To see how you can protect up to 4,800 virtual machines in a single backups system – check out the following VMworld session ”Pushing the Backup Performance Envelope: Taking vSphere Storage APIs  for Data Protection to the Limit” on Wednesday at 4pm pacific.

For more information on NetBackup virtual machine protection, please visit

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gmunyadzwe's picture

Lovely product. I have trialed it, attended a roadshow and will be using it very soon as we are currently deploying a Hyper-v environment

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JohnBeimler's picture

Unfortunately the enterprise is entirely made up of point products. Until you can go to one vendor and get the entire stack from OS to application, to management and reporting, there will always be point products.

Yes, having an integrated solution is nice, but what is even nicer is having a product that provides the means (API, text commands for scripting, etc) to be easily integrated into your other point products, manangement and self service tools.

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