Thursday, July 12, 2018

Backup / recovery materials

Articles about NetWorker
Self NetWorker tutorial
Second link from the top
Articles about Avamar
Self Avamar tutorial
First link from the top
Avamar treats Cloud as Disaster Recovery
Avamar automatically backups new Virtual Machines
Articles about Data Domain
Self Data Domain tutorial
Thirds link from the top
Data Domain DD3300
Articles about RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines
Self RP4VM tutorial
4th link from the top
RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines - Video describing idea of RP4VM
All materials about RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines:

Articles about DPS DD VE license package
Article describing DPS DD VE license package:
DPS DD VE video:

Thursday, June 21, 2018

DPS DD VE - a great license package for start!

DPS DD VE - video:

What if we need a backup solution for start:
• for couple of servers
• best of breed technology
• easy
And of course at the great price!

It makes sense to have a look at DPS DD VE package, which includes top backup solutions on the market:
Data Domain Virtual Edition (DDVE) - backup medium
Avamar - backup software
RecoverPoint for Virtual Machine (RP4VM) - backup/DR solution recovering VMs to any point from the past
DP Search (Search) - finding any info in backups, great for GDPR
DP Central / DP Advisor (Central/Advisor) - monitoring / reporting

DPS DD VE is licensed per number of physical processors (occupied sockets).
So to get the price for DPS DD VE for our environment we need to perform 2 simple steps:
  • Count all the physical processors in protected environment 
          We should know it easily
  • Multiply “single processor price” by “number of physical processors”
          We can get single processor price from our integrator / distributor

And that is all. We have the price for DDVE / Avamar / RP4VM / Search / Central / Advisor for our environment. Those solutions have included all possible features & modules!

What is the price for a single processor in DPS DD VE package?
I checked and… I was shocked! Really makes sense to ask IT integrators / distributors for DPS DD VE single physical processor price.
For those who know the super price-attractive DPS4VM license package (, I can tell you that DPS DD VE is lots of cheaper!

How does the typical backup architecture look like when using DPS DD VE?
Let's consider the below environment:

In the above example, we have 2 sites and totally we have in both locations:
• 5 physical servers with Virtual Machines (number of virtual machines does not matter)
• 3 standalone servers
16 physical processors totally (16 occupied sockets) - This is the only important thing from licensing perspective
• 14TB data to backup

DPS DD VE for 16 physical processors in our environment
• storage space for Data Domain Virtual Edition (DDVE)
• providing 2 virtual machines per site (for Avamar / DDVE)
we have a full backup solution with best features on the market:

Avamar & Data Domain Virtual Edition – which are included within DPS DD VE – they have all possible features and functions. Dell EMC did not limit anything that Avamar / DDVE provides. For example, we can enjoy:
• Automatic backup of newly created virtual machines
• Disaster Recovery with minimal data transfer (1%)
• 100 - 1000 virtual machines FULL backup per hour
• Restore a single file, restore of single email, restore of single SQL table image level backups
• Simultaneous image backup / guest backup at no additional cost (global de-duplication)
• Backup of physical servers with all available Avamar agents
• The highest performance on the market
• Incredible NAS backup/recovery
• Finding any phrase in backed up documents (Search module – GDPR ready)
• Over 300 ready reports in DPA
• ...
Additionally, apart from the above, the package contains all functionalities of RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines (RP4VM) - another top market solution.

What exactly do we get within DPS DD VE package?
DPS DD VE is license package calculated per physical processor. We need to purchase DPS DD VE for number of processors that we have in protected environment.
When purchasing DPS DD VE license we get the following solutions:
DDVE (Data Domain Virtual Edition) - 2TB DDVE for each physical processor
For example if we buy DPS DD VE for 10 processors, we get 20 TBs of  Data Domain Virtual Edition
All functionalities, all modules, all possibilities for a protected environment
2 Avamar backup servers: one for Primary Site and one for Disaster Recovery site
RP4VM (RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines)
15 VMs per each physical processor
For example if we buy DPS DD VE for 10 processors, we can protect 150 VMs with RP4VM.
• Search
Find phrases in backuped documents (GDPR)
• DPA (Data Protection Advisor) / DPC (Data Protection Central)
Monitoring, reporting, warning, single pane of control

What if my environment grow?
If we grow from 15 servers to 40 servers - no problem. It is just enough to purchase missing physical processor.
Having bigger environment, we have bigger expectations towards backup. We can attach Data Domain appliance instead of using DDVE. And we can enjoy:
  • ransomware protection
  • starting VMs from Data Domain with SSD speed (no recovery required)
  • separate backup medium from production
  • ...
So in future, while growing, no change to our environment  - just replacing media. Backup software, interface, all features - it stays with us. We already have the enterprise ones!

Who shall be interested within DPS DD VE?
In my opinion, the package is great for:
  • Environments having 1-20 physical servers with any number of Virtual Machines
  • New companies, just creating their infrastructure
  • Remote offices
  • F.e. we do not want to invest a lot in remote office or we do not want to put any additional backup hardware to remote office
  • Separated environments from main Data Centers required their own infrastructure
  • Environments required protection with minimal investments
  • VxRail, Nutanix, any hyper converged infrastructures …

Infrastructure as a Service
I think that especially Cloud Providers shall have a close look at this package. Why? DPS DD VE is
  • Extremely cost effective
  • Powerful
  • Easy to divide for tenants
I have talked with my friend from Cloud Provider. He compared DPS DD VE against another solution. DPS DD VE was 25K Euro cheaper for 5 years assuming 20 physical processor customer. And he said that DPS DD VE functionalities are absolutly #1.

Again. Have a close look at DPS DD VE - a very strong package.
And the price? Check, you can be surprised…

Video describing DPS DD VE backup licenses:
Presentation about DPS DD VE package

Only successful recoveries!

Monday, April 9, 2018

SAP backup / recovery - easy, but...

Recently, my partner called me and asked if NetWorker can backup SAP:
-        Sure!
-        But I am talking about SAP WITH ORACLE  –  Oracle platform was emphasized
-        Still, this is standard for NetWorker…
-        Hm… Can you make Proof of Concept (PoC) at customer site?

What occurred?
Another solution could NOT perform a single backup during 6 months! During another 2 months, this vendor could NOT perform restore!!!
And it was just 300GB SAP/Oracle.
This made customer wondering:
   Is it standard on the market? Or maybe I can still expect easy backup & restore of my SAP/Oracle.

Even more interesting was the next part of the conversation:
-        Let’s meet with the customer. I explain how backup works with SAP/Oracle, what is required, what can we expect  –  I proposed the fair approach
-        No  –  the answer was very strict
-        It cannot be NO... Before anyone (customer, you, me) invest in tests, I want to explain what we will achieve after PoC. If fine, I have no problem to prove the architecture in tests.

Customer was desperate to see that its SAP/Oracle can be easily backup&restore. Functionalities, performance did not matter. 

There was no choice. Starting meeting did not happen...
Our guy (very good one, greetings!) made tests with results as below:

·        FULL backup of SAP/Oracle 300GB took 5 minutes
YES! 5 minutes to make FULL backup!

·        De-duplication after just 4 backups: 1:15

·        Implementation of backup environment: 6 hours!
6h, it was time for the whole backup solution installation/configuration: Backup media (Data Domain) + Backup software (NetWorker), Backup agents, Defining backup policy, …
For previous solution, implementation was 8 months and not working well…

·        In the above environment, it was used:
o   Data Domain Virtual Edition as backup media
(, 3rd link)
o   NetWorker as backup software

The customer was shocked!
I was shocked that he was shocked!!!
Anyhow, the buying process started...

100% of successful backups & restore!

Friday, February 9, 2018

New Data Domain DD3300 - backup appliance focused on performance and reliability

30 min webcast about new DD3300:
      This Wednesday, 14 February, 13:00 CET (Vienna time)
Online invitation:

We have available a new Data Domain model: DD3300.
DD3300 replaces existing DD2200. 

DD3300 gives a wide choice of capacities. We have 3 variants:
·        DD3300 4TB net
·        DD3300 16TB net
·        DD3300 32TB net
The values above gives us info, how much net space we have for de-duplicated backups.

As we know, Data Domain is extremely efficient de-duplicator, so the question is:
How can I judge, which of DD3300 fits to my environment?
Best approach is to use Dell EMC sizer via partners / integrators / distributors.
Anyhow below there is simple “rule of thumb”:
a.      DD3300 4TB net fits to environments between 0TB to 6TB
b.      DD3300 16TB net fits to environments between 3TB to 20TB
c.      DD3300 32TB net fits to environments between 12TB to 40TB
Number of TB in size of environment above means how much data we have on production to protect (front data). In other words this is the size of single full backup of all my data (without any compression / de-duplication).
For example, having VMware 8TB large and  2TB on standalone servers, it means I have environment with 10TB production data all together. And probably I shall think about DD3300 16TB.

Another question is, how long can I keep backups on DD3300?
Customers keep backups on Data Domain from 14 days to 5 years or even longer. The most common retention is 30 days.
If we want to keep data for long (years) on DD300, we shall choose for sure higher capacities (for example DD3300 16TB net for environment 5TB large).
If 1 month retention is fine for us usually DD3300 16TB is fine for environment about 12-17TB.
Again best is to use sizer from partners / vendor.

Let’s have a look at speed of new DD3300:

 DD3300 offers huge 7TB/h backup speed. It means that FULL backup of 30TB environment we can have in something like 4 hours!
Anyhow, I would like to point to number of streams. DD3300 16/32 net gives us 90 parallel backup streams. Having good backup software we are able to backup almost 100 Virtual Machines in the same time! 
Or backup 80VMs and restore 20 VMs...

When you choose backup solution, take care about number of parallel backup streams. This gives huge flexibility for simultaneous backup / recovery / replication. It is even more important parameter than backup speed itself...

CloudTier - automated moving old backups to S3 storage
DD3300 has built-in export of old backup to cheap S3 storage. This is called CloudTier.
So if we have long retention for backups (years), DD3300 will automatically move backups older than a month (for example) to S3 storage making free space for fresh backups.
No additional hardware is required, anyhow we need a license.

What about the upgrades? Can I upgrade between DD3300 variants?
The possible scenarios are as following:
  • If we have bought DD3300 4TB net.
    We can upgrade from DD3300 4TB net to DD3300 16TB net.
  • If we have bought DD3300 16TB net.
    We can upgrade from DD3300 16TB net to DD3300 32TB net.

Upgrade can be performed by:
  • Dell EMC / authorized partner
  • By customers
    Dell EMC provides tutorials (pdf / video) how to add disks / memory…

DD3300 among other models

The existing DD2200 is available until something like August 2018. 

30 min webcast about new DD3300:
      This Wednesday, 14 February, 13:00 CET (Vienna time)
Online invitation:

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Avamar 7.5 - what is new?

The latest version of Avamar 7.5 provides a lot of new features in virtualization / cloud / application backup and more.

Presentation with a full list of news in Avamar 7.5:
Video with a discussion of the newest in Avamar 7.5:
Avamar 7.5 appears on the market exactly half a year after the previous version. The speed of development is impressive!

Some of the new features in Avamar 7.5:

  • OpenStack image backupFull backups with reading delta from disk Avamar 7.5 implements its own CBT mechanism that reads only changed data since the last backup. Anyhow we can enjoy the full backup.
    Full backup in couple of minutes with no load of OpenStack.
  • HyperV image backup
    Restoring single objects of Exchange / SharePoint / MSSQL from HyperV image level backups
  • VMware image backups
    Skipping pagefile.sys during VMware image backups
    It does not make sense to backup pagefile as it is as new one (from scratch) after restore.
    pagefile can be even 16GB large.
    By skipping pagefile Avamar saves money (less backup storage required) and speeds up the backup.
  • Disaster Recovery in the Cloud Avamar can clone backups to the cloud.
    We can restore data or start our applications in the Cloud for tests or in case of Disaster Recovery.
  • Moving old backups to S3 storage Avamar can move old backup to cheap S3 storage (local or in the cloud) via Data Domain Cloud Tier.
    It saves money and allows efficient use backup storage.
  • VMware application consistent backups Avamar backups VMware images and guarantees that SQL backup is consistent.
    We have full backups, backup of logs only, …
    We can restore the image of VM, just SQL databases, or recover database to point in time.
  • Restoring only rights of files from VMware image backup
  • Tight integration with VMware vCenter
  • ...

More information news in Avamar 7.5 in presentation:
and in the video from CEE partner session:

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

New NetWorker 9.2 - ransomware protection / de-duplication to S3 storage

Register to 30 min webcast that discuss NetWorker 9.2 new features in details.
Thursday, 28 September, 10:00 CET (Vienna, Prague, Berlin time).
Details / registration:

There has been released a new version of NetWorker 9.2 with plenty nice features.
You will find list all of them at the bottom.

Anyhow, at the beginning, let me dig into 2 most interesting aspects of the new NetWorker 9.2:

  • De-duplication to S3 storage
  • Ransomware/hacker protection
Backup to S3 storage with source de-duplication
NetWorker can use S3 storage in the same way as Data Domain. So if we store backups on S3 storage we can enjoy:
  • De-duplication
  • Source de-duplication
    NetWorker sends to S3 storage only small, new data fragments that are not yet existing on S3 disk system
  • ClientDirect
    Each protected machine sends its data directly S3 storage
What is the value?
Why the backup to S3 media with source de-duplication is so important for us?
  1. Reducing cost of storage / network
    S3 storage is the cheapest medium.
    In addition, thanks to source de-duplication, we minimize network costs, backup media.
  2. Minimizing cost of cloud data backup
    If we do backup resources located in the cloud (Amazon / Azure / ...), then S3 storage is the cheapest medium available in the public cloud. With source de-duplication, we additionally highly reduce the cost of backup storage and the cost of the cloud network – 2 most important cost factors.
  3. Accelerating backups
    Storage S3 is cheap and secure. However, it is not the fastest medium. De-duplication on the source allows us to send / write to S3 storage very minimum amount of data. Thus, anyhow we achieve very good performance. Why? Because of source de-duplication, there is almost no data sent, no data writing so speed of the network / storage is not important. The performance is maybe not as huge as with Data Domain but better than using ordinary disk.
  4. Disaster Recovery for cloud data
    What if we need to protect data in the cloud locally, in our Data Center?
    NetWorker can do that easily and in very cheap way. We have several scenarios to choose from:
    • Backup our cloud data to our Data Center (S3 storage) with source de-duplication
    • Backup to S3 storage in the cloud and than replica to our Data Center (all the way de-duplicated data)
Briefly: NetWorker is the fastest and cheapest solution for cloud backups!

One of my friends backs up old, archive files directly to S3 storage using NetWorker. and having all the values:
  • ClientDirect
  • De-duplication on the source
  • Bypassing any other media: Data Domain, disks or tape
He finds this very cool thing because:
  • For archive data, he does not need huge backup / restore performance -> he does not need Data Domain
  • Backup is simple with a few clicks to make it
  • He has Disaster Recovery within the solution
  • The cheapest possible backup cost!

Protection against ransomware / hacker
Having NetWorker / Data Domain, we are sure that even in the case of ransomware or hacker attacks, our backups are safe.
In NetWorker 9.2 – besides regular retention - we can also define blocking time for our backups. What does it mean blocking backups? For example, we can say to NetWorker:
Please keep my backups for 5 years, but for 14 days do not allow anyone to change/ delete    those particular backups.
In this case neither the virus nor the hacker nor us (administrators) can delete/change the backups within the defined 14 days.

This is standard NetWorker functionality available at no extra charge / license.
At the backup price we have an additional layer of protection against cyber-attacks.

This is also important from GDPR perspective.
One of the requirements is to provide security and data integrity.

List of the most important features in new NetWorker 9.2:
  • Backup to S3 storage with source de-duplication
  • Protection against ransomware / hacker attack
  • VMware: Image level backup with SQL consistency
  • HyperV: Ability to dexclude particular disks in VMs from image level backup
  • Backup to Date Domian running on Amazon / Azure
  • SQL database backup
    • Simplified installation
    • Ability to disable databases from backup
  • Exchange / SharePoint
    • Recovery of single items
  • Support for SAP IQ
  • Support for SAP HANA on Power Linux
  • Recovery of Isilon snapshots between different physical Isilons

Register to 30 min webcast that discuss NetWorker 9.2 new features in details.
Thursday, 28 September, 10:00 CET (Vienna, Prague, Berlin time).
Details / registration:

Have fast and 100% successful recoveries!

Monday, July 31, 2017

NetWorker and VMware backup: Extremely fast, ransmoware protection

NetWorker & VMware
NetWorker is currently one of the fastest backup solution for VMware environments:
  • Backup 6000 Virtual Machines in the environment without any problem
  • 100 virtual machines backed up in parallel
  • Full backup of 500 virtual machines per hour in real environment (change ratio of 3% - 5%)

Film / presentation
Video describing NetWorker capabilities in VMware:
Full backup - is it important?
Why do I underline that every VMware backup using NetWorker is full backup?
Restore from full backup is the fastest possible. Just because we restore from single, full copy, we have several hours faster recovery.
And recovery, restore time - this is the most important parameter.

Start virtual machines without recovery? Faster with backup than production?
What if we need to restore the virtual machine immediately? For example:
  • Disaster Recovery in the remote center
  • Analysis of the situation from the historical moment
  • Tests / Development
  • ...
NetWorker / Data Domain offers immediate start of virtual machines just from the backup, without any data restoration.
And important: Virtual Mahines started from NetWorker/Data Domain have huge performance:
  • 1,000 IOPS (DD6300)
  • 10 000 IOPS for DD9800
It can be faster than real production!

NetWorker / Data Domain offers protection against ransomware / hacker attacks. We are sure that neither ransmoware nor hacker (even if he has access to the top level admin passwords) will not delete the backups.
So even if ransomware has encrypted all the production data or hacker erased all the production data - we can always restore from NetWorker/Data Domain! Here data are secure!
Is it difficult to set it up? Just one click away. See slide 51 and further:
Imagine that the connection between VMware and backup medium has crashed. NetWorker, without interrupting the backup, directs the data transfer to another available connection to the medium. Backup is successful though the one of connection crashed.
The result: Our SLA is still 100%!

Distribution of traffic
NetWorker uses lightweight proxy to backup 25 VMware virtual machine in parallel.
We can implement for example 8 such machines and enjoy 100 parallel backups (10 times more than market average). NetWorker automatically distributes backups / restores between all 8 proxies.
Again: The failure of a single proxy does not affect the backup. We still have 100% SLA backup / restore.

Every function is available with wizards (shown in the movie / presentation):
  • Running Virtual Machine directly from backup (1,000 IOps to 10,000 IOps)
  • Repairing (reverting) virtual machine (few minutes for 1TB VM)
  • Restoring virtual machine to new instance
  • Restoring single file
  • Restoring virtual machine without vCenter (Emergency Restore)

The whole VMware backup configuration is extremely simple - as any other backup in NetWorker.
Below screen shows how easy is to achieve in NetWorker the most advanced backup / Disaster Recovery strategy:
  • Backup to local medium (Data Domain) in a primary location (1 month retention)
  • Disaster Recovery: Replication to Data Domain at remote location (2 weeks retention)
  • Local tape out (5 years retention)
  • Remote tape out (10 years retention)
All in just few clicks. We can define:
  • When the replica / tape out should happen
  • Retention
  • Which virtual machines shall be backed up / have Disaster Recovery / taped out

How much does it cost?
NetWorker has a new way of licensing per processor. Details in the movie / presentation.

For more I invite you to the film:
Have a speed ​​and reliability not only in VMware backups!