Rubrik 4.0 – Alta

Rubrik 4.0 has release and I want to give an overview of the new features. Rubrik continues to develop and is meeting my expectations as a great Backup technology!!

Hyper-V Support

The following options are available for Hyper-V 2016 with Native API (WMI) Support

  • Auto Protect
  • Failover Cluster Support
  • Agentless backups
  • Incremental Forever
  • Live Mount
  • Instant Recovery
  • Search

The following options are available for Hyper-V version below 2016 with Connectors based support

  • Incremental Forever
  • Search

Nutanix AHV Support

  • Automated protection and restore workflow
  • Securely replicate or archive to other sites
  • Rubrik Core Capabilities – global search, erasure coding, reporting
  • Scale as you need
  • Pick your hypervisor: Acropolis, ESXi or Hyper-V

Oracle Support

  • Rusbrik Cluster is now a NAS target for Oracle RMAN with an agentless approach.
  • RMAN manages Backup and Restore for DB and Redo logs. Support for Incremental Merge –advanced RMAN feature.
  • Multi-channel support, ingest to flash for fast backup/ingest.
  • Recovery and DR through RMAN

Cloud Instantiation

  • Enables customers to power-on snapshot of a VM on the cloud
  • Instance type recommendation based on VM config file
  • 2-click deployment and end-to-end orchestration
  • UI Integration to launch, power off or de-provision an instance

SQL Server Live Mount

  • Power on read/write clones instantaneously
  • Provision a clone to any desired Point in Time
  • Mount same database across multiple hosts
  • RestAPI’sallow to automate workflows
  • Self Service using RBAC

Archive to Tape

  • Uses QStar to expose tape library as NFS/SMB share
  • Each Tape vendor has their proprietary interface
  • QStar presents a common interface irrespective of tape vendor
  • Supports Industry Standard LTFS format

Other Feature add

  • NFS Archive Encryption
  • Custom TLS Certificate – Web UI

ScaleIO Fundamentals – ScaleIO Data Sever (SDS) and ScaleIO Data Client (SDC)

The next part of ScaleIO that I want to cover is the ScaleIO Data Server (SDS) and the ScaleIO Data Client (SDC).  These components provide the storage as well as access the storage in ScaleIO.  You could consider the SDS as storage and SDC as a host, but they can reside on the same server.

The ScaleIO Data Server (SDS) – A software daemon that enables a server in the ScaleIO cluster to contribute its local storage to ScaleIO Storage. An instance of the SDS runs on every server that contributes some or all of its local storage space, which can be HDDs, SSDs, or PCIe flash cards to the aggregated pool of storage within the ScaleIO virtual SAN. The SDS manages the capacity of a single server and performs the Backend I/O.  You have SDS only nodes, where the node just serves out storage, or you can have a node that is both a SDS and SDC.

The ScaleIO Data Client (SDC) – A lightweight block device driver that gives the capability to access ScaleIO shared block volumes to applications. The SDC runs on the same server as the application.  The SDC communicates with other node over TCP/IP-based protocol and it is fully routable. When installed in a server, it presents ScaleIO volumes as block devices to any application on the server. Note that the SDC is a Block device driver that can run alongside other Block device drivers. The only I/Os in the stack that are intercepted by the SDC are those I/Os that are directed at the volumes that belong to ScaleIO. There is no interference with I/Os directed at traditional SAN LUNs that are not part of the ScaleIO. Users may modify the default ScaleIO configuration parameter to allow two SDCs to access the same data. The SDC is the only ScaleIO component that applications see in the data path.

On the next post I will go into some more of the fundamental terms and start getting deeper into the technology.

ScaleIO Fundamentals – Metadata Manager (MDM)

Over the past month, I have been working with ScaleIO and wanted to share some knowledge.  The SDDC is really making waves in the industry and Software defined storage is a big part of that.  I am going to start with the Fundamentals of ScaleIO and work my way up.  Metadata Manager is a good starting point as it is the control component.

Metadata Manager (MDM) – The Metadata Manager (MDM) configures and monitors the ScaleIO system. It contains all the metadata required for system operation. MDM is responsible for data migration, rebuilds, and all system-related functions. No user data passes thru the MDMs.  Three or more instances of MDM run on different servers for high availability. The MDM can also be configured in Single Mode on a single server or in Cluster Mode for redundancy.

When you have a MDM cluster you have the options of 3 members on 3 servers or 5 members on 5 servers. Below are the key MDM members in a cluster setup.

MDM – Server that has the MDM package installed.  MDMs have a unique ID and can have a unique name as well.

Master MDM – The MDM in the cluster that controls the SDS and SDC.  The Master contains and updates the MDM repository, the database that controls the SDS config, and how data is spread across the SDSs in the system

Slave MDM – MDM in a cluster that takes over for the Master if needed.  A 3 node cluster has 1 Slave and a 5 node cluster has 2.

TieBreaker – MDM where the only role is to help determine which MDM is the Master.  A 3 node cluster has 1 TieBreaker and a 5 node cluster has 2.  There will always be an odd number of MDMs in a cluster to make sure there is a majority in electing the Master.

Standby MDM – MDM specified as a standby to a cluster.  When it is needed in the cluster it can be promoted to a Manager MDM or a TieBreaker.

Manager MDM – MDM that is a Master or a Slave in the cluster.  Manger can also be a Standby MDM.

The next blog will cover ScaleIO Data Client (SDC) and ScaleIO Data Server (SDS).

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.