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BE2012 Dedupe- PureDisk version is old 6.5, why?

Created: 02 May 2013 | 10 comments
I had a good amount of exposure with NetBackup with PureDisk nodes at a prior location and am testing BE2012 for a backup refresh project.
I happened to notice BE2012 dedupe is running PureDisk 6.5 last night when I was running some commands to check my content router processing and dedupe health. It supprised me to see such a new product, BE2012, running an older version of PureDisk for it's dedupe storage. I believe PureDisk 6.6 was released in 2009... 
I know PureDisk 6.6 includes many deduplication, rehydration, replication, and all over performance improvements.  For example rebaeing.. 
Does anyone know if these upcoming service packs will upgrade the intigrated deduplication to PD 6.6? If not when, and why hold back BE to old versions of your deduplication technology?
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Colin Weaver's picture

BE Puredisk is a port from NBU to run on Windows, NBU Puredisk was wriiten against Unix/Linux as such comparisons of version numbers (and release dates) are potentially not that valid.

teiva-boy's picture

Let's face it, BackupExec will never have the same level of development like NetBackup has today.  Same goes for NetBackup, where it'll never get some of the development BE has.  There is lots of overlap, but also some differentiators.

One of fthose is that NBU is updated more often, has a newer dedupe engine binary build, and more dedupe streamers.  Not to say that there is an artificial limit put in one product or another, but it has to make you wonder...(So frustrating at times actually)

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

BBrinkman's picture
CColin... I don't agree with you... 
Data Center Technologies developed PureDisk, Veritas aquired them and released Veritas Netbackup 6.0 PureDisk Remote Office Edition. Then Symantec aquired Veritas.... 
PureDisk used to be a stand alone backup solution with agents, scheduled jobs and all.. Symantec transformed it into storage only fronted by it's NBU backup software. 
In NBU there are 2 types of dedupe.. MSDP and PDDO..
PDDO referres to the traditional PureDisk deployment on dedicated servers with a custom Linux OS from Symantec (Suse ent..).
MSDP is PureDisk intigrated into the NBU media server. Kind of like PureDisk lite. 
I'm sure BE Dedupe is exactly the same as MSDP. 
And yes the versions do line up. 
The PureDisk Dedupe Engine is refered to as PDDO, Pure Disk Dedupe Option.
I used to be on a first name basis with all the advanced PureDisk support guys at Symantec and worked with the top 2 PureDisk developers at Symantec a couple times on issues.
I remember asking them specifically why NBU's MSDP version show'ed it lagged behind current PDDO versions. They said it's true there is a gap and as NBU gets upgraded the PureDisk engine will be upgraded in MSDP but there will be a version lag. So the verions MSDP is reporting is, in fact, correct and corrisponds to the PureDisk engine it's created from.
In BE2012 if you run crcontrol --version you'll notice it reports version 6.5.0, run the same command on different versions of NBU MSDP and see what it reports... you can see the version gets upgraded as NBU get's upgraded and is now running 6.6.x(don't know current point release as I don't have a NBU install)
Anyway... where was I... oh yes... let me give you a quick example to prove to you BE2012 is running PureDisk versoin 6.5 and not 6.6.
Try running this command on your BE install crcontrol --version, then run crcontrol --features.... take a look at what version of PDDO is says it's running....
Also look in the dedupe disk folder for the puredisk config files. Look at file contentrouter.cfg. Notice how it does not have the values "RebaseScatterThreshold" or "Rebase Quota"? WHY? Because Rebasing was not introduced untill PDDO 6.6!
Lack of the rebase function is direct proof BE2012 is running an old version of PDDO. This is exactly what I was talking about in my origional post... Because BE is not running PDDO 6.6 we are missing out on many fixes, speed improvements, and more...
Don't feel bad Colin this PureDisk dedupe engine is kind of confusing between all the diffrent ways Symantec is using it and your not the first Symantec employee I've proved wrong on these forums... 
But back to my origoinal question... Anyone know when BE is going to be upgraded to PDDO 6.6? 
For those of you playing along at home.. here's some bonus info.... 
The BE PDDO looks to be an almost full blown MSDP just like in NBU. You can set options BE does not give you to control how PDDO works just like in MSDP.
You can set replication throtteling between BE servers and tweak PDDO values.
Look in your dedupe folder location, for example E:\BackupExecDeduplicationStorageFolder\databases\pddb\data
those CONF files are the same as in MSDP and PDDO and have the same config values. 
Again, the settings and values confirm BE is using the 6.5 PDDO engine... 
Colin Weaver's picture

Intersting info - however it does nto change the fact the BE suport team is finding issues with PDDE that are then found to also affect NBU (PDDO guess) - which kind of means that whatever the revision number,  fixing issues with Dedup is a two-way street with NBU issues being used to fix BE and BE issues being used to fix NBU.

teiva-boy's picture

About the CONF files in BE...  I've known about them for a long time, since BE2010.  However, it was Symantec's opinion that users shouldn't mess with it, and didn't support changing any of those values for the first year+.  They still only support a couple of things actually, not all the options.

Me?  I still change em.  I too used to have customers with PD6.5, and it worked really really well.  Almost as good as Avamar from EMC. 

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

BBrinkman's picture

Teiva- Good point. You should NOT be messing around with these conf files if you don't know what you're doing. You'll mess it up bad. I don't see much reason to change any settings untill told so by Symantec. 

Colin- I don't see where you're going with this... yes both BE and NBU will share issues because they use the same PDDO code.. BE just uses an older version, 6.5.

The question is why doesn't BE use PDDO 6.6 code? It's newer, faster, better... and what NBU uses. 

BTW.. Now that I think about it... I don't think rebaseing was added to PD till 6.6.3... It wouled be great to see BE running on this code. 

It's also funny BE reports its running LOL

teiva-boy's picture

Except there were some great settings to turn on like compression, changing segment size, throttling bandwidth, and encryption...  yet for more than a year, the BE team were telling folks "it's not supported to change those settings."  But it worked fine in the real-world.

The problem is really two different teams and testing schedules.  What works good with NBU or PD or BE is not cross-tested with the others.  This is one of the HUGE problems Symantec is facing today with their products and reliabiltiy.  This is why there is so much layoffs happenings within the company.  Trimming the fat.  They needed to do this a long time ago!

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

BBrinkman's picture

\Here's another one that will blow some peoples minds... you can be running a much more up to date version of PDDO if you are running NetBackup 6.5 verses the most current version of Netbackup 7.5.x...

How's that? PDDO is built into NetBackup 7.x.. so you get what ever version that shippes with that verison of NBU. In version 6.x you had to install the PDDO engine on the media servers. So you can simply download what ever the latest version of PureDisk is, and then update your NBU media servers to match! 

Oh.. here's an email reply when I asked if the long awaited BE 2012 version that will finally support VSphere 5.1 will also update the PDDO engine.. oh.. and if you read the email, they acknowledge BE runs an oudated PDDO version..  Colin?

Short answer: NO

Sorry for the delayed response. While there are plans to update our dedupe technology to the latest PureDisk version, the service packs for Backup Exec 2010 R3 and Backup Exec 2012 is only targeted to provide new platform support. Updating to latest PureDisk is definitely on our radar, but it is currently planned for a future release of Backup Exec.

How's does it make sense to have all these different version levels of your software duck taped and bolted to your different products is beyond me... but hey.. 

Colin Weaver's picture

OK I did some asking around internally

Both the Built in/embedded NetBackup Dedup Engine MSDP (so not the separate Pure Disk Engine) are the same as the BE PDDE version and are 6.5 derivatives.

The full (none embedded) version PureDisk is the 6.6.x version.

The embedded versions of Puredisk do remain as a minor revision behind due to development timescales and other factors.

There is a future version of PureDisk being planned which on release will almost certainly affect the embedded versions in both NBU and BE - any changes will be as and when product updates for the core programs roll out PureDisk (Embedded) updates. As such BE may never go to the 6.6 codebase as it may just go straight to whatever version is most appropriate at the time and no I cannot give a timescale for such changes.

Also the word Beta in the command you mention for BE is a known issue (it was in fact me that reported it)

teiva-boy's picture

Colin, PureDisk is dead isn't it?  EOL already.  Some of my Customers were given FREE NBU 5200 appliances for their troubles of Puredisk 5000's and when on their own hardware.  LOL.

So to say that BE/NBU will be behind is a bit misleading?  Hopefully it'll surpass it. :-)

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