New features and changes for the Avamar 7.4 Service Pack 1 release

Below is a list of the new features in the release of Avamar 7.4 Service Pack 1 (7.4.1-58) that can be found in the release notes.

 Common Access Card and Personal Identity Verification support

Avamar 7.4 Service Pack 1 supports user authentication by using a Common Access Card (CAC) for United States Department of Defense (DoD) personnel or a Personal Identity Verification (PIV) smart card for US federal government employees and contractors. Avamar implements CAC/PIV authentication by presenting alternative login prompts for Avamar Installation Manager and Avamar Administrator.

 Client currency on Avamar 7.4 Service Pack 1

  • BMR support on Windows Server 2016
  • AIX 7.2
  • SLES 12 SP1
  • RHEL 7.2

 Avamar Virtual Edition support for Hyper-V 2016

Avamar Virtual Edition (AVE) for Hyper-V now includes support for Hyper-V 2016.

 Table Level Recovery now supported from SQL transactional Log backups

With Avamar 7.4 Service Pack 1, Table Level Recovery is now supported from SQL transactional Log backups.

 New features and changes for the Avamar NDMP Accelerator with 7.4 Service Pack 1

  • Support for Isilon 8.0.1
  • Support for NetApp Ontap 9.0
  • Support for NetApp Ontap 9.1
  • Support for Oracle ZFS 8.5.2

 Oracle ZFS Cluster support

Avamar 7.4 Service Pack 1 now provides protection for data stored on Oracle ZFS Cluster devices.

 Microsoft SharePoint new features with 7.4 Service Pack 1

  • Microsoft SharePoint 2016 support
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2016 Support

 Updated Data Domain migration procedure with 7.4 Service Pack 1

Migration of source backups to Data Domain storage systems has been enhanced to allow for migration of data when the source Avamar system has already been connected to a Data Domain system. Previously, migration to Data Domain storage systems was supported only when all data on the source Avamar system used GSAN based storage.

 Usage Intelligence

Usage Intelligence is enables your Avamar server to automatically collect and transfer reporting information to EMC support. This feature is enabled by selecting Tools > Manage ESRS from the Avamar Administrator.

New Features and Changes in NetWorker 9.1

The following topics provide details on the new features and changes that are available starting with the release of Networker 9.1 that is covered in the Release Notes

NetWorker VMware Protection with the vProxy appliance

NetWorker 9.1 provides you with the ability to perform virtual machine protection and recovery by using NetWorker VMware Protection with the vProxy appliance, also known as NVP. With NVP, NetWorker directly manages the vProxy appliances without the use of an external node for proxy management.

NVP has the following benefits:

  • Uses standalone data mover proxy appliances, or vProxy appliances to backup and restore virtual machines that run in a virtualized infrastructure.
  • NetWorker directly manages the vProxy appliances without the use of an external node for proxy management and load balancing.
  • Stores the virtual machine backups as raw VMDKs on the Data Domain device, which reduces overhead. NetWorker does not convert the backup to any backup streaming formats.
  • Provides the ability to clone virtual machine backups. When you use streaming devices such as tape, NetWorker converts the save set directories format (SSDF) to Common Data Storage Format (CDSF) during a clone operation, and converts back to SSDF on Data Domain for recovery from streaming devices.
  • Provides user interfaces to perform image-level recovery by using the NMC Recovery wizard or the VM Backup and Recovery plug-in in the vSphere Web Client, and file-level recovery by using the NMC Recovery wizard or the EMC Data Protection Restore Client.

SmartSnap for centralized snapshot management

NetWorker 9.1 allows you to backup and restore VMAX devices using a device worldwide name (WWN).

The SmartSnap feature enables centralized snapshot management and snapshot support for operating system platforms where traditional NetWorker Snapshot Management (NSM) is not supported. The backup component of this feature is supported by the NMC Client Configuration wizard when you select the SmartSnap option from the Available applications and select the Snapshot checkbox. Restore is supported at the array device level.

Rollback to an alternate location

NetWorker 9.1 allows you to perform an array level restore (rollback) of a snapshot to an alternate set of devices.

You can pre-select the device. The devices should be of the same size or larger than the original source devices and should be visible to an alternate host. You must create the same file systems that were on the source devices.


Highly Available Data Domain system support

NetWorker 9.1 supports highly available Data Domain systems. You can add a highly available Data Domain system by creating a new host in NMC.

Data Domain Cloud Tier device support

NetWorker 9.1 provides the ability to clone save sets to a Data Domain Cloud Tier device. Data from the Cloud Tier devices are cloned to a supported Public Cloud provider.

NetWorker support in the vRealize Data Protection Extension

The EMC vRealize Data Protection Extension version 4.0 features support for data protection (backup and recovery operations) on NetWorker 9.1. In previous releases, data protection was only available for Avamar systems.

vRealize data protection for NetWorker consists of the following:

  • Image level data protection, which backups virtual machines at the disk level.
  • Image level recovery, to recover virtual machines to the original location or a new location.
  • File level restore using the EMC Data Protection Restore Client.

The following limitations apply to NetWorker data protection support:

  • Restore from a deleted virtual machine is not supported.
  • Networker does not support multi-tenancy for VMware data protection. Multitenancy can be supported with vRA by assigning/dedicating one Networker instance per tenant.

Direct update from NetWorker 8.1 to NetWorker 9.1

A direct update to NetWorker 9.1 from the NetWorker 8.1 release is now supported.

Avamar 7.4 New Features and Changes

The following topics provide details on the new features and changes that are available starting with the release of Avamar 7.4 that is covered in the Release Notes

Avamar server features and changes

Data Domain integration

  • Cloud Tier support
  • Instant Access: The maximum number of VMware Instant Access restores allowed is increased to 32.
  • Replication with Data Domain systems:
    • Range Replication is now supported to improve replication performance between Data Domain systems.
    • Recipe Replication is now utilized to improve replication performance between Data Domain systems.
  • Support for Data Domain Virtual Edition 3.0

Avamar Virtual Edition

  • Support for AVE on OpenStack KVM

Backup clients features and changes

New client support in Avamar 7.4:

  • Windows Server 2016
    • BMR is not supported with Windows Server 2016.

New features and changes for the Avamar NDMP Accelerator

  • Support for EMC Unity.
  • Improved installation and upgrade procedures.

New features and changes for Microsoft application plug-ins

  • Microsoft Exchange new features:
    • Support for IP-less DAG
  • Microsoft SQL new features:
    • Windows Server 2016 support
    • Support for database consistency check before recovery
    • Support for Copy-only backups
    • Support for verification of backups
    • Table-level recoveries
  • Hyper-V new features:
    • Windows Server 2016 support
    • Incremental backups supported for Virtual Machine(s) on SMB shares
    • Incremental backups supported with Granular Level Recovery (GLR)

New features and changes for cross-platform application plug-ins

  • Sybase:
    • Support for Sybase Cumulative Backups.
    • Support for SAP ASE 16.0 SP02.
  • DB2:
    • Support for DB2 High Availability Disaster Recovery (HADR) backup and recovery
    • Protection of existing databases against accidental overwriting:

New features for VMware plug-ins

  • Image backup with database log truncation for Microsoft SQL and Exchange.
  • Automatic on-boarding of newly discovered Virtual Machines into pre-defined backup groups and rules.
  • File Level Recovery performance and scalability improvements.
  • Integration with Log Insight, providing central access to VM and proxy system logs.
  • Support for Windows Access Control List (ACL) recovery for VMware image backups

RecoverPoint 5.0 SP1 New Features

DellEMC has released RecoverPoint 5.0 SP1 and below are the features listed from the release notes.  ScaleIO Support is big!!!

ScaleIO support

RecoverPoint can be used for heterogeneous replication of ScaleIO volumes.

 Partially restoring a consistency group

The partial restore feature allows the user to specify production volumes of a consistency group to restore to production, without affecting production volumes that are not specified. In this version of RecoverPoint, partial restore is only supported when restoring production on an XtremIO array from a replica on an XtremIO array or a Data Domain system.

 XtremIO single snapshot: deleting and expiration policies

RecoverPoint 5.0.1 introduces the ability to delete a single XtremIO snapshot at a copy; and to change the retention time policy of a single XtremIO snapshot at a copy.

RecoverPoint for VMs 5.0 SP1 New Features

DellEMC has just released RecoverPoint for VMs 5.0 SP1 which has a couple of New Features that are listed below from the release notes.  The network configuration process is huge improvement which I am pleased to see happen.

 Copy VM network configuration

Network configuration is now a semi-automatic process that no longer requires glue scripts. The GUI has been improved and relevant setting values can now be retrieved from the production VM. MAC addresses of remote copy VMs located on a different vCenter are now automatically replicated, and users can now select whether or not to replicate the MAC address of local copy VMs located on the same vCenter.

 Deployer GUI improvements

The RecoverPoint for VMs Deployer provides improved user experience with:

  • Browser resizing
  • Clearer error messages
  • Improved validations
  • More intuitive interface
  • Default values to minimize user inputs

 ESX UUID duplication support

Beginning with Release 5.0.1, RecoverPoint replaces the use of VMware’s ESX host UUID and creates its own unique identifier, which ensures that no duplicate or degenerated UUIDs exist in the system. The substitution occurs only if the:

  • vRPA cluster is at version 5.0.1 or higher, and
  • Splitter is at version 5.0.1 or higher

For versions lower than 5.0.1, RecoverPoint displays a warning about the condition.

DellEMC World 2017 – Conference Recommendations

DellEMC World 2017 – Conference Recommendations

This will be my 2nd year attending DellEMC World and I wanted to give my perspective on what to expect and some recommendations on attending.  There are several different key pieces to the conference, each with a different set of value.

Breakouts – There are 3-5 per day with Thursday being a session only day.  These are good for server different reasons.  The first breakouts on Monday will have something new to announce, which is always exciting.  These breakouts will have product owners and some super smart minds presenting on their technologies.  Some of the Breakouts also outline best practices and go into deep dives.

General Sessions – Monday thru Wednesday there is a general session starting at 10am and lasts until Lunch.  These are always well done and should be attended.  This year you will see Michael Dell, Jeremy Burton, Jeff Clarke, Pat Gelsinger, David Goulden and Chad Sakac.

Solutions Expo – This is self-explanatory.  Showroom floor where all the Sponsors and Vendors have their booths setup.  Always a great place to network and a lot of value can be had here.  Also, SWAG!!

Free Exams – DellEMC exams are free on the first try for each one.  Take advantage of this.  By visiting the Proven Professional area you can also pick up some nice swag.

Entertainment – This is Vegas, there is plenty of entertainment.  The conference offers a Grand Opening Reception in the Solutions Expo on Monday, a Happy Hour on Tuesday, and the Appreciation Event on Wednesday.

Travel – Highly recommend arriving on Sunday.  You don’t want to miss the start on Monday and it gives you the opportunity to network and meet with people you may only see once a year.  Last year I left early Thursday. This year I am leaving Early Friday.  The reason is that Thursday is a day dedicated to Breakouts and it’s the perfect opportunity to make up for any possible breakouts you may have missed.  You will find that you make a plan for each day and it changes as things arise.

More DellEMC World 2017 Posts to come!!

Rubrik 3.1 Release Details

My current role has me focusing on Data Protection in depth, which has been a passion of mine for a long time.  I have recently started diving into Rubrik and I believe this product is great solution for protecting your data.  Below is a breakdown of the latest release of 3.1 and the continued improvements and added features of the platform.

Native (Physical) Windows Protection

  • Granular File & Folder Level Protection
  • Incremental-Forever Backups
  • Automatic Connector Upgrades
  • Secure Cloud Archival
  • Pre and Post Scripting Features
  • Full Integration with Compliance Reporting
  • Support for Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012 and 2012 R2

There are a few Recovery Options for Windows Servers

  • Restore (in place)
    • Overwrite the original or create a new folder
    • Preserve ALCs and Timestamp
  • Export (out of place)
    • Export to another Windows Server
    • Preserver ACLs and Timestamp
  • Download Locally
    • Download files to the machine from where the administrator is running the Rubrik Web Interface

SQL Server Failover Clustering and other Improvements

  • Complete support of Microsoft SQL Servers running on WSFC Clusters
  • Automatically recognize a WSFC and creates a dedicated Failover Cluster Tab
  • Automatic failover following to the active node

Advanced Export Options

  • A SQL Server database can have multiple data and log files in various locations
  • User can specify where each file goes, individually, during an Export Operation

Other Improvements

  • Source side Compression and Decompression
  • SQL Server 2016 fully supported
  • Cross Version Restore – Support for restore to the same or newer version

Rubrik Envision

  • Create and customize reports to manage, share and visualize analytics for data management, compliance, and utilization.
  • Build your own or select from the system-built reports
  • Schedule emails in HTML-5 or download on-demand Excel reports
  • There are over 15 Attributes and almost 40 measures available

Software Encryption

  • AES-256 Encryption
  • Multiple Encryption modes used for speed
  • Key wrapping for higher security & secure cluster erasure
  • Supports encryption on a 1 Brik cluster
  • Internal Key Management via TPM
  • Support for all r300 series Briks

Other Enhancements

  • New design based on customer feedback to be “Host” centric
  • 100% Customer Driven Upgrades
    • Self-service upgrades via CLI
    • Simple workflow just download the upgrade file, upload to cluster, issue upgrade command
    • Enables scalable ROBO growth using the Rubrik Edge Virtual Appliance
  • vSphere Improvements
    • Manual vCenter refresh form the GUI
    • Restore directly to ESXi hosts
  • In-Place File Restore – Linux VMs
  • Log & Support Bundle Download
    • Download support bundle so it can be sent to Rubrik Support
  • Extended Timeframes for Dashboard and System charts from 4 hours to 24 hours