NetBackup 7.6Beta is currently being tested by a wealth number of customers. So far the feedback has been very positive especially with regards to one of its new features: NetBackup Accelerator for VMware.
NetBackup Accelerator reduces the backup time for VMware backups. NetBackup uses VMware Changed Block Tracking (CBT) to identify changes made within a virtual machine. Only the changed data blocks are sent to the NetBackup media server, to significantly reduce the I/O and backup time. The media server combines the new data with previous backup data and produces a traditional full NetBackup image that includes the complete virtual machine files
Accelerator has the following benefits:
- Performs full backups faster than traditional backup.
- Creates a compact backup stream that uses less network bandwidth between the backup host and the server.
- Accelerator sends only changed data blocks for the backup. NetBackup then creates a full traditional NetBackup image that includes the changed block data.
- Accelerator backups support Granular Recovery Technology (GRT) for restoring Exchange and SharePoint applications (using a full schedule only).
- Accelerator backups support instant recovery of virtual machines. if the Enable file recovery from VM backup option on the policy VMware tab is enabled, you can restore individual files from the backup (full or incremental).
- Reduces the I/O on the backup host.
- Reduces the CPU load on the backup host.
With the first release of NetBackup 7.6, GRT restores of SharePoint and Exchange will be supported (Fig1), allowing administrators to restore Site Collection, Library, documents, Webapps or single emails.
Accelerator VMware backups will support MS SharePoint, MS SQL and Exchange Full schedule only, no Incremental or Differential.
Requirements will be NetBackup 7.6 for Master, Media and Client, Proxy Hosts (SLES or AMD64), VMware ESX version 4.0.3 or greater.
Similarly to file system Accelerator backup, supported since NBU 7.5, the Accelerator backup for VMware will generate a Full image on the storage server using blocks from previous image (Synthetic backups). Only the blocks that have changed are transferred from client to media server.
The Accelerator for VMware does not require any changes to the installation process and the feature is available with the standard NBU installation. As with previous accelerator, it requires NetBackup Data Protection Optimization Option license.
One of the key benefits of the new (in NetBackup 7.5) VIP Policy is the possibility to select the VM to backup, by means of a query. This reduces the risk to miss the backup of a VM if the VMware Administrator does not notify the Backup administrator of the creation of the VM to protect. Fig 2 and Fig3 show the Query builder tab and some of the selectable options.
Performing a VMware backup using the Accelerator, leaves the user shocked by the speed reached by backup. The screenshot below shows the throughput of the fist backup without accelerator. Fig4, JOD ID 23 and JOB ID 24
JOB ID 25, 26 and 27 show the speed of the first backup with Accelerator. This is similar to the previous backup since the first accelerated backup gathers all the information needed to facilitate the subsequent bacukps. FIG5
The deduplication rate of the first backup was already as high as 54%. The seconf full backup deduplicated at 98% reducing drastically the amount of data moved via the LAN.
Accelerator Optimization field this time is populated with 0% since this was the first accelerated backup.
Last, Fig 6, shows the real benefits of the Accelerator. Enlapsed time goes from around 10 minutes down to 4 minutes.
I expect that Accelerator performances and benefits will be much higher in a production environment with powerful machines.