Sepaton aims at large database backup with DBeXstream multistreaming

Sepaton says its DBeXstream improves performance and data reduction by deduplicating large multistreamed and multiplexed database backups.

Sepaton today moved to improve database backup with DBeXstream software, which the vendor claims can effectively deduplicate multistreamed and multiplexed enterprise databases.

DBeXstream is part of Sepaton’s version 6.1 software release for its S2100 enterprise virtual tape library (VTL) systems.

DBeXstream supports multistreaming and multiplexing of large databases for customers of Symantec NetBackup, EMC Networker, Hewlett-Packard Data Protector and IBM’s Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) backup software. DBeXstream works with Oracle, DB2 and Microsoft SQL Server databases.

Multiplexing writes data from multiple sources to one tape or disk drive, while multistreaming splits backups into two or more streams from the client to the backup server. Sepaton previously supported multiplexing, but DBeXstream supports multiplexing and up to 16 simultaneous multistreaming channels with dedupe, which could resolve a problem for many backup admins.

“Database administrators want multistreaming because it makes the backup process more efficient, but many backup administrators don’t want multistreaming because it breaks deduplication,” said Jason Buffington, the data protection analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

That means administrators often have to choose between maintaining multiple streams to reduce database backup windows or avoid multistreaming and use dedupe to reduce the backup data.

“According to what I have seen, many backup solutions don’t like (multistreaming) because if data is sent in one stream today, it can be sent in another stream tomorrow and that confuses the deduplication process. Sepaton is saying, ‘You can have your cake and eat it, too,’” Buffington said.

Storage Strategies Now analyst Deni Connor said DBeXstream allows database administrators to backup large databases, plus use multistreaming and multiplexing without changing backup scripts or policies.

“That’s something inline hash-based deduplication and backup appliances can't do,” she said, referring to EMC’s Data Domain deduplication platform.

With DBeXstream, Sepaton’s byte-level dedupe has been tweaked for Oracle databases to conduct more granular backups. Quirk said Oracle writes data in 8 KB blocks, which can pose a problem for inline deduplication software.

“We have special optimization for Oracle that has to do with the block size,” said Peter Quirk, Sepaton’s director of product management. “Oracle changes a bit of data in each block of backup data. The tape images have subtle variations of KB blocks. The dedupe system would think each block is new because of the variations. We know how to find this and ignore it and get to the common data. We zoom in at the sub-8 KB level and dramatically reduce the ratio.”

Sepaton’s 6.1 software is certified with Symantec’s OST Automated Image Replication (AIR), Symantec NetBackup Accelerator and for granular recovery of Microsoft Exchange mailboxes or the entire mail store.

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