Tip

Using Symantec NetBackup OpenStorage for disk-to-disk backup and recovery

Three of the big headlines so far this year have been data growth, the economy and data deduplication in backup. The first headline, relentless data growth, is the root cause of most issues in the

    Requires Free Membership to View

backup environment. In an effort to meet service-level agreements (SLAs) for data backup and recovery, more and more organizations are deploying disk in the backup process. With disk, IT organizations can better meet backup windows and recovery objectives. But as IT "modernizes" its backup infrastructure with disk-to-disk backup, new problems emerge -- specifically, the cost of managing copies stored on disk, and the feasibility of taking disk-based backup copies and making them portable for offsite and/or long-term storage.

Deduplication addresses the first issue -- it changes the economics of disk-based backup, allowing more data to be stored in a smaller footprint. The second problem is the new pain point for end users that have adopted disk. How can they rapidly, securely, cost-effectively, and efficiently get data offsite for disaster recovery (DR) or long-term retention? Sure, most target devices with deduplication can replicate copies, but is the backup application's catalog aware of the copy? That's where Symantec Corp. Veritas NetBackup OpenStorage (OST) technology comes in.

More on data backup storage tools
Open-source data backup options for your data center

Using Symantec Backup Exec Advanced Open File Option

Symantec Backup Exec troubleshooting performance tips

Microsoft Office SharePoint backup and recovery strategies

Symantec announced its NetBackup OpenStorage initiative a few years ago. It is designed to allow NetBackup users to utilize third-party storage solutions without the need for tape emulation.

Available as an option for NetBackup 6.5 and higher, NetBackup OpenStorage gives NetBackup a common interface for third-party disk targets. NetBackup sees OST-enabled appliances as disk, enabling features such as intelligent capacity management, media server load balancing, reporting, and lifecycle policies. It also delivers optimized duplication. Without OST, NetBackup media servers have to manage all duplicate backup copies, which means that data must be transferred across the LAN, WAN, or SAN from the primary site secondary storage to a NetBackup media server and then to the disaster recovery site storage medium (i.e., another appliance of the same type or tape media). With OST, the OST-enabled device is doing the replication and the data path does not include NetBackup media servers. This means that only changed segments are replicated, creating savings in bandwidth and, importantly, time. NetBackup is aware of all copies and those copies follow established retention policies.

Symantec Technology Enabled Program (STEP) partners -- such as Data Domain, EMC Corp., FalconStor Software, and Quantum Corp. -- leverage the NetBackup OpenStorage technology API to create plug-ins for their storage systems. OST allows for backup data to be stored on disk with whatever protocol the target device uses, such as a Fibre Channel or TCP/IP. Based on NetBackup policies or commands, the OST-enabled device will create, duplicate or delete copies.

One of the more interesting byproducts of the use of the NetBackup OpenStorage interface is the performance improvement in backup. Several STEP partners with an OST-enabled solution claim 50% to100% improvement in backup performance. Richard Nosal, a server administrator for High Point Regional Health System in Greensboro, N.C., implemented the NetBackup OST option with a Data Domain DD660 and saw his pre-OST 10-hour backup window with a virtual tape library cut in half.

Since the NetBackup catalog is aware of all copies, recovery of data from a NetBackup OpenStorage-optimized duplicate copy is the same as recovery from another duplicate. Through NetBackup's Backup-Archive-Restore GUI, the OST-optimized duplicate copy can be designated as the primary copy and then a full or granular recovery can be initiated. The potential time savings over recovery from a non-OST-optimized duplicate could be significant.

About this author: Lauren Whitehouse is an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group and covers data protection technologies. Lauren is a 20-plus-year veteran in the software industry, formerly serving in marketing and software development roles.


This was first published in August 2009

There are Comments. Add yours.

 
TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Disclaimer: Our Tips Exchange is a forum for you to share technical advice and expertise with your peers and to learn from other enterprise IT professionals. TechTarget provides the infrastructure to facilitate this sharing of information. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or validity of the material submitted. You agree that your use of the Ask The Expert services and your reliance on any questions, answers, information or other materials received through this Web site is at your own risk.