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Design thoughts for NBU Appliances and replication

Created: 13 Feb 2013 • Updated: 11 Mar 2015 | 6 comments
KeirL's picture
This issue has been solved. See solution.


Just after some thoughts really on replicating data from a NBU server at a production site to an NBU server at a DR site - nothing too technical at this stage :o)

my questions are:

I'm looking at NBU appliances but wanted to know if there are any metrics on how effective the 'optimised hardware' is over a, for example, 8 core HP server with 16GB RAM running Linux would be? 5% or 50% better performance - have Symantec run any 'bake off' tests between different platforms?

I notice that Appliances have WAN optimisation built in  - i this part of the hardware that perhaps wouldn't be available in standard server hardware?

If I go with an appliance solution at my production site - to take advantage of the WAN optimisation - do I need an appliance at the other end for this work or could it replicate to a standard server whilst still using the WAN optimisation feature at the source end?

As the DR site has no users or other servers to backup (purely an offsite repository for the data) would I really benefit from an appliance at that end. My guess would be that, as it's not a dark fibre link, a standard server will be able to ingest the data as fast at it can travel over the link and therefore an appliance here would not be as financially attactive (please assume that I am not concerned with restores over the WAN at this stage)

many thanks in advance for any guidance.


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Mouse's picture

Officially you need to go through the NBU Planning and Performance tuning guide an the Deduplication guide to do the sizing. I would just copy the hardware configuration from the appliances :)

WAN Optimization is built-in into NBU 7.5, it is not specific to appliances

You may want to have AIR for the DR site.

StefanosM's picture

WAN Optimization is NOT built-in into NBU 7.5, it IS
specific to appliance

network resiliency is part of netbackup.

wan optimization is between media servers (appliances) for replication and network resiliency is between client and media servers for backups

Mark_Solutions's picture

OK, lets try and answer all of your questions as best i can ....

Q1. Appliance Vs HP Server with 16GB RAM

A1. The appliance runs Linux too but has WAY more memory so should be much faster - the soon to be released Appliances will have 192GB RAM and disks twice as fast as the current breed so you will struggle to match their performance. Linux does always seem to perform best - not sure if there is a whitepaper anywhere on that

Q2. WAN Optimisation

A2. Appliance WAN optimisation is hardware based and has a dedicated chip to do its work. It is one sided so the sending appliance detects the best packet process to send data. It does not need an appliance at the receiving end so will work the same if it sends it to NetBackup MSDP

Q3. Appliance or Server at the other end

A3. Data injest wise you are probably right. The advantage of an appliance is that it is NetBackup in a box so you can have a dedicated Master with de-dupe disk all in one small box that has a single point of contact for hardware and software support - so may just make life a little easier without having more than one point of support for any issues and no need to worry about O/S patches and updates etc.

Hope this helps

Authorised Symantec Consultant . Expert Partner.

Don't forget to "Mark as Solution" if someones advice has solved your issue - and please bring back the Thumbs Up!!.

Mouse's picture

Yeap, mixed this with resiliency that requires the same type of SW support. Appliance will tune outbound traffic, so having MSDP on receiver is fine

That said, all WAN optimization internals referring to a software driver that does it. Can you please elaborate on chips involved in WAN optimization?

Mark_Solutions's picture

Sorry Mouse - my mistake - it obviously all passes through the processing parts of the appliance but actually uses a filter driver in the underlying kernel used in the appliances.

When disabled it bypasses this filter driver completely

So it is software not hardware!

Authorised Symantec Consultant . Expert Partner.

Don't forget to "Mark as Solution" if someones advice has solved your issue - and please bring back the Thumbs Up!!.

Mouse's picture

Thanks, for the clarification, Mark!

I was not quite sure about this part as it is not explained in details anywhere, including these partner-exclusive trainings.