ScaleIO 3.0

The software defined data center continues to evolve with Storage, compute, and networking.  ScaleIO has become a leading SDS solution and is continuing to improve.  Below will cover some enhancements of ScaleIO 3.0.

Storage Efficiency

  • Space Efficient layout
    • 4k granularity disk layout – optimized for SSD
    • Optimized for SSD and leverage NVDIMM’s
    • Snaps now on equal footing with AFA when it comes to efficiency, management and performance
  • Compression
    • Variable size compression algorithm based on LZ4
    • Optimized for SSD and leverages NVDIMM’s
    • Can be turned on / off at a pool or volume level

Volume Migration

  • Zero application impact
  • Non-disruptive storage-side volume migrations moving volumes between different Storage Pools and Protection Domains
  • Entire VTree can be non-disruptively migrated

Full Support for Dell EMC PowerEdge 14G and NVMe Drives

  • ScaleIO 3.0 takes full advantage of the latest Dell hardware
    • NVDIMMs
    • NVMe
  • ScaleIO Ready Nodes
    • R740XD and R640 Support
    • SSD, NVMe and HDD Options. Hybrid to be released later.

VMware vVols Support

  • Tie VMs more directly to storage Volumes which provides simplified management, less resource contention, and the ability to leverage storage side features like snapshots
  • Requires ESXi 6.0 and newer
  • VASA service runs in a VM
    • Mapping database is stored in a ScaleIO Volume
    • HA is handled by VMware
    • VASA services presents an API to VMware and talks directly to ScaleIO MDM
    • Uses existing ScaleIO SVM Template and adds services to it

Snapshot enhancements

  • Snapshot count increased by 4x
    • 31 to 127 for current medium granular layout
    • Fine granular layout snapshot count is increased 8x – 255 snapshots
  • Volumes can be reverted to any snapshot within the vTree
  • Volumes can be refreshed in place
  • Snapshot can be deleted anywhere in the vTree without affecting other snapshots in the vTree
  • Automated snapshot management
    • Set snapshot creation and retention policy and ScaleIO will automatically manage the snapshots
    • Snapshot management works with CG as well

AMS with OS/FW patching and Storage Only Support

  • AMS handles Storage SW, OS and Firmware
  • VMware support now for 6.5
  • All components upgrade in a rolling manner
    • ScaleIO Software
    • SVM Operating System
    • VMware ESX / RHEL OS
    • Firmware for hardware components

I will be working increasingly with ScaleIO in the future so expect more posts!!

DellEMC World 2017 – 3 Weeks Away!!

We are only 3 weeks away from DellEMC World and things are coming together! Listed below are some of the updates that have come out since my last post on DellEMC World.

Breakouts – There are over 500+ breakouts in 3 different categories of Technology, IT Leadership and Code and modern ops.  The session catalog is now live and you can schedule your time.

Entertainment – Gwen Stefani and Andy Grammer will be the performing at the Customer Appreciation Event on May 10th.

General Sessions – General Sessions have been finalized with the following speakers on the following days

Monday, May 8th

Realize Your Digital Future with Michael Dell, David Goulden, Diane Bryant and a special appearance by David Blaine

Tuesday, May 9th

Realize Workforce Transformation with Jeff Clarke and Pat Gelsinger

Wednesday, May 10th

Episode 2: The Dark IT Knight Rises: Realize the Power of Transformation with Jeremy Burton, Chad Sakac, Jeff Boudreau, Beth Phalen, and Ashley Gorakhpurwalla.

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.