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AbdulRasheed | 01 Aug 2014 | 0 comments

Nutanix is a hyper-converged infrastructure solution where each node is a self-sufficient set of compute and storage resources to run workloads. Four Nutanix nodes form a Nutanix Block. Multiple Nutanix Blocks can be acquired for pooling compute and storage. Nutanix follows ‘shared nothing’ architecture for storage. While storage from multiple nodes are pooled and presented as a single name space, data locality is ensured as much as possible with the use of a service VM on each node that keeps hot data on server flash and moves cold data to hard drives. Making data copies on other nodes in the cluster ensures availability. For a simple visual on Nutanix architecture, I recommend watching this video

One of the most popular use cases of Nutanix is to run VMware vSphere. How do you backup workloads on VMware vSphere if they are running on Nutanix platform?

Just like any other platform for hosting VMware vSphere,...

AbdulRasheed | 11 Jun 2014 | 0 comments

Backup is like an insurance policy. You want it for the peace of mind, but you don’t want it to dominate your workday (also, nights and weekends!). You need to protect data on your virtual machines to guard against hardware/storage failures and user errors. You may also have regulatory and compliance requirements to protect data for the longer term.

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VMware made virtual machine data protection easy for administrators by introducing vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP). VADP is a set of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) made available by VMware for backup software vendors. These APIs make it possible for backup software vendors to embed the intelligence needed to protect virtual machines by integrating with vSphere. Through these APIs, the backup software can create snapshots of virtual machines and copy those to backup storage.

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AbdulRasheed | 18 Mar 2014 | 0 comments

NetBackup Instant Recovery for VMware enables you to boot up and run multiple virtual machines directly from backup image. As far as the end user of the virtual machine is concerned, there is no functional difference between an instance of VM run from production storage or the one run from NetBackup backup storage. NetBackup presents the virtual machine files from the backup storage as an NFS data store for the ESXi host. Let us take a look at the under the hood details on how this capability is implemented.

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A bit of history first. This concept of Instant Recovery (i.e. a backup copy functioning as the production copy) is not new in NetBackup. Symantec has supported this capability for over a decade, since the release of Snapshot Client option in NetBackup 4.5. In simple terms, NetBackup would treat a supported snapshot (e.g. snapshot taken using Symantec Storage...

AbdulRasheed | 20 Jan 2014 | 17 comments

Let us start our technical deep dive with NetBackup Accelerator for VMware. Most of you already know that NetBackup Accelerator is designed to provide full backups for the cost of performing an incremental backup. In this case cost stands for the backup window, backup storage, client CPU, client memory, client disk I/O, network bandwidth etc. required for running backups. NetBackup Accelerator was first introduced in NetBackup 7.5 for file system workloads and became an instant hit. Answers to frequently asked questions on NetBackup Accelerator for files systems could be found here.

In NetBackup 7.6, backup acceleration comes to both VMware vSphere and VMware vCloud Director environments (more on VMware vCloud Director support in a later blog in this series). NetBackup Accelerator for VMware is a combination of three powerful technologies.

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AbdulRasheed | 17 Dec 2013 | 16 comments

It had been a while since I added something new to this series on Nuts and Bolts in NetBackup for VMware. The dawn of NetBackup 7.6 is here. It is one of the biggest releases in NetBackup for VMware vSphere and vCloud. This release prepares for your journey to Software Defined Data Center. Are you ready? Fasten your seat belts!

First and foremost, let us put some perspective on the adoption of virtualization in data centers. Symantec and VMware have been guiding you in reaping the benefits of virtualization. It is happening in three phases. You are likely to be in one of the three phases in this exciting journey.

  1. IT Production: In this phase, you are looking save on capital expenses through server consolidation for general-purpose workloads. The key advantage here is to pool and abstract hardware resources for optimal utilization. NetBackup prepared...
AbdulRasheed | 26 Feb 2013 | 0 comments

  I have worked for NetBackup Technical Support as a Staff engineer for long time. Customers don’t call us when things are working great; they need our help when they are not getting what they want from the product. Naturally, a seasoned engineer in support is continuously dealing with weaknesses or defects in the product more than its strengths.

  Recently, I watched a demo of protecting virtual machines using a competitor’s product. This product’s primary backup server (equivalent to a NetBackup master server) runs only on Windows. The product installation setup screen reminded me of Windows 3.1 installation back in 90s during my high school days. What a nostalgic feeling! It prompts the user for a few inputs, goes and copies a few files, comes back and asks a few other questions, then it does something else and so on. It also prompted for reboots a couple of times. The partner consultant who was installing the software pretty much had to baby-...

AbdulRasheed | 27 Oct 2011 | 8 comments

Looking for the details on NetBackup for VMware?  Would you like to know about the nuts and bolts inside? We recently published, and we intend to publish more on technical details on award winning NetBackup for VMware protection. As there are many blogs in this series, I am publishing this blog as a container for this series.

The series so far:

Discovery job in VMware Intelligent Policy

Understanding V-Ray vision through backup process flow

Transport methods and TCP ports

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AbdulRasheed | 27 Oct 2011 | 20 comments

Recently, one of our customers asked me if NetBackup for VMware supports the use of a dedicated data store for snapshots. That triggered this blog.

  Snapshot is great. Among many of its uses, NetBackup employs it to create a consistent point-in-time image of the virtual machine for the purpose of backup. When a snapshot is active, the writes to VMDK files are directed redo logs. At the end of the backup, the snapshot is released and redo log is played back into VMDK.

  The world is less than ideal. What happens if a backup ends prematurely and the snapshot is left behind? Now the redo log grows. What if such situations arise frequently? Now you have multiple redo logs growing in the data store. There are two major issues here.

  1. The storage space on data store gets used up quickly, if the data store fills up all the VMs using that data store would be affected
  2. The more snapshots you have for the same virtual...
AbdulRasheed | 25 Oct 2011 | 6 comments

Note: Please click here for a recent and updated version of this webcast

As more and more of your business critical applications get virtualized, your data protection solution needs to step up to the plate. You are likely to have a hybrid environment and your data protection solution should have the visibility into what is inside both virtual and physical systems. Processor intensive blind deduplication of VMDK files will not scale as your environment grows. Above all, the solution also needs to protect vCenter server, the backbone of vMotion, DRS, HA and more.

We provided a technical deep dive on NetBackup for VMware and how this award winning data protection solution can be quickly deployed for protecting everything in your data center in a matter of minutes. Powered by V-Ray and Intelligent...

AbdulRasheed | 27 Aug 2011 | 15 comments

Now that we know how VM discovery job works for a VMware Intelligent Policy (VIP), let us move on to the actual backup job. The process flow described here is the same for both VIP and browse-and-select type policies unless specified otherwise.

As we did in the previous blog, let us assume that the NetBackup master server, media server and VMware backup host are three different systems.

  1. NetBackup Policy Execution Manager (nbpem) triggers a backup job once the policy, schedule, virtual machine combination is due and backup window is open. It works in conjunction with NetBackup Job Manager (nbjm), NetBackup Resource Broker (nbrb) and NetBackup Enterprise Media Manager (nbemm) to identify the resources (media server, storage unit etc.) for backup. This resource identification process is well detailed in NetBackup Documentation,...