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Netting Out NetBackup

All new NetBackup 5220: The complete and purpose-built backup appliance

Created: 15 Aug 2011 • Updated: 22 Jan 2013 • 10 comments
AbdulRasheed's picture
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  IDC defines(1) a purpose-built backup appliance as a disk-based solution that utilizes software, disk arrays, server engine(s), or nodes that are used for a target for backup data and specifically data coming from a backup application (e.g., NetBackup, Backup Exec, Networker etc.). These products are stand-alone disk systems purpose built to serve as a target for backup.

  Symantec’s NetBackup 5200 series appliances, while purpose built for backups, are much more than a traditional PBBA. For example, the all new NetBackup 5220 appliance can be deployed as a NetBackup master server, media server or both. This modular appliance can be used for implementing a brand new NetBackup domain for a remote office or enterprise without needing additional software based backup application to manage data protection for clients. NetBackup 5220 is not just a purpose built backup target, it is a complete backup solution by itself.

  NetBackup 5220 is the newest member in NetBackup appliances family. The system features v 2.0 of appliance software which is based on NetBackup 7.1.0.1 code. The appliance starts at 4TB of deduplication storage which is ideal for remote office/branch office use cases. As mentioned earlier, the appliance can function as an independent all-in-one NetBackup system or it can be configured as a media server reporting to a central data center. The Auto Image Replication (A.I.R) feature makes it possible for these appliances to replicate to remote NetBackup domains for Disaster Recovery readiness. There is no need to have a backup server and a duplication appliance as in the case of using a traditional PBBA. Moreover, the 4TB model may also be used as the driver for NetBackup 5000 series based global deduplication appliances thereby providing 192TB of deduplication pool. The storage on NetBackup 5220 can be expanded up to 36 TB by adding a Symantec Storage Shelf.

  Another key feature for NetBackup 5220 is the support for SAN Client. We will talk about this in a separate blog.

  Thanks to Symantec V-Ray, NetBackup 5220 appliances provide unprecedented visibility into virtual machines, giving you faster recovery and reduced storage costs in virtual environments. Whether you have Hyper-V or VMware (or even both), the appliance understands the data stream with embedded stream handlers whereby it can identify the file boundaries and strip out the meta data before deduplicating the segments. This level of content intelligence makes it possible to deduplicate across virtual, physical, application and NAS systems without brute force resource intensive processing. VMware Intelligent Policy makes it possible to set data protection in auto pilot mode, no need to manually add/remove virtual machines into backup policies. Highly customized rules can be engaged to ensure visibility while automating protection.

Do you know that NetBackup 5220 is designed to kill the VTL? We will talk about it next week!

1 Worldwide Purpose-Built Backup Appliance 2011–2015 Forecast and 2010 Vendor Shares, Robert Amatruda, IDC Research Director, Data Protection and Recovery, May 2011

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teiva-boy's picture

How do you "kill the VTL," when you have a 50TB NAS device, that NDMP over FC is often the best solution?

 

There is an online portal, save yourself the long hold times. Create ticket online, then call in with ticket # in hand :-) http://mysupport.symantec.com "We backup data to restore, we don't backup data just to back it up."

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AbdulRasheed's picture

This is a great question. I had been planning to post the details next week, but I am happy to answer this question now.

You are right, traditionally NDMP over FC (known as local NDMP) is the best way to protect a large filer. With NetBackup appliances two choices.

1.       You want to use NDMP: In this case, note that even the basic configuration for NetBackup 5220 comes with 6x1Gb Ethernet ports. You can bond some or all of them together. Plus you also have an option to go for a unit that also features 2x10Gb Ethernet ports. Depending on how your current environment is (1Gb or 10Gb) you can use either of these options to send NDMP backup stream to NetBackup 5220. The 6x1Gb beats 4Gb FC whereas 2x10Gb beats 8Gb FC. NetBackup features a dedupe stream handler for NetApp NDMP data stream that understands the ufs_dump format and accurately segments at the exact file boundaries because it also knows about NDMP meta data. This makes is possible to run high speed NDMP backups without expensive processor intensive algorithms or post processing to adjust windows. Dedupe streamers for other NAS devices are being developed as well. When it comes to Symantec FileStore (scale out NAS), it also has SAN Client built-in which we can discuss next week.

2.       You don’t want to use NDMP: In this case, you can protect the filer from any NetBackup client that is mounting the NAS volume. Of course, the initial backup is going to be longer in this case as in the case of any deduplication enabled backups. After the initial backup, you run just the incremental backups and use optimized synthetics to achieve superior performance where there is zero data movement for unchanged data.  This is also a highly scalable solution with distributed processing.  If you have multiple volumes to protect, you can distribute those volumes across multiple clients.

Also keep in mind that NAS filers tend to store a lot of end user file data and might need to be kept much longer. VTLs workaround that requirement by providing a tape out feature. With NetBackup 5220, you still get to use your existing investment (e.g. that tape library that is directly attached to the filer or the one originally connected to a software media server) for long term retention. You still get local, 3-way and remote NDMP configurations in addition to the two methods listed earlier. You don’t have to do a fork lift replacement.

The other areas where VTLs used to play great was production clients with large data sets. SAN Client is the answer to that, we can certainly talk about that while explaining the new features now available with 5220. Thanks much for the comment!

Warm regards,

Rasheed

Warm regards,

Abdul "Rasheed" Rasheed

Tweet me @AbdulRasheed127

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Mohamad Topaji's picture

Dear Abdulrasheed,

 

Does it mean that NDMP is only supported over Ethernet and not over FC using 5220?

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AbdulRasheed's picture

Hi Mohamad,

   That is correct. NDMP backups are done via Ethernet. The very nature of NDMP is that no third party client can sit on the filer. Providing FC support using the current protocol standard would mean that we need to put a VTL interface on the appliance, it is like going back 6 years in technology! VTL interfaces would create bottleneck in this high-performing device.

   You can either use 10GigE ethernet between filer and appliance (most high performance filers support 10GigE) or you could use non-NDMP techniques. We have a number of customers scaling out the processing away from the filer by backing up via NFS + Source Dedupe on one or more NAS clients + Optimized Synthetics. This provides super fast full backups after the initial backup. I blogged about Optimized Synthetics here

  Let me know if you have any follow up questions. 

Warm regards,

Abdul "Rasheed" Rasheed

Tweet me @AbdulRasheed127

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Efi G's picture

Can you configure a Clustered master of the 5220’s?

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AbdulRasheed's picture

Hi Efi,

 

   Traditional active/passive clustering is not supported with appliances at this time. The focus on this release had been Automatic Image Import (A.I.R) which makes appliances on different sites function as master servers serving their own clients while also taking the role of DR master of others (Active/Active configurations).

Warm regards,

Rasheed

Warm regards,

Abdul "Rasheed" Rasheed

Tweet me @AbdulRasheed127

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frank.butler's picture

Will clustering be a focus with the 5230's? or is it even on the radar at all?

 

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AbdulRasheed's picture

Hi Frank, 

  Unfortunately, I cannot discuss road map items on forums. It is against Symantec social media policy. Stay tuned though! 

Warm regards,

Abdul "Rasheed" Rasheed

Tweet me @AbdulRasheed127

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Jaykullar's picture

Rasheed, are there any tech spec's on the disk speeds (random writes etc) available from appliances?

 

Thanks

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AbdulRasheed's picture

Hi Jaykullar,

   As given in its data sheet, the appliance can protect up to 23.7 TB/hr. We do not publish component level performance stats for a few reasons. 

1. NetBackup 5220 is an appliance with predictable performance

2. The write speed to disk alone does not determine the system performance. When you are deduplicating incoming data streams, the effective throughput is a function of data type, processors, memory etc. which has no relationship to actual write speed of drives. 

Warm regards,

Abdul "Rasheed" Rasheed

Tweet me @AbdulRasheed127

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