Backup & Recovery

The Technical Services team for Backup and Recovery have produced a number of documents we call "Blueprints".

These Blueprints are designed to show backup and recovery challenges around specific technologies or functions and how NetBackup solves these challenges.

Each Blueprint consists of:

  • Pain Points: What challenges customers face
  • Whiteboard: Shows how NetBackup solves the customer challenges
  • Recommended Configuration: Shows recommended installation
  • Do’s: Gives detailed configurations suggested by Symantec
  • Don'ts: What configurations & pitfalls customers should avoid
  • Advantages: Summarises the NetBackup advantages

When severe data loss happens, quickly regaining access to that information can be extremely important. The time required to access that data (or recovery time objective - RTO) depends heavily on the technology used to protect it. Clustering technologies provide the fastest possible RTO but are expensive, complex and require special skills to deploy and maintain. Standard backup technologies are simple to implement but the restore process can be extremely time consuming. Before data is user accessible, the entire OS image or data set must be restored. This restore process can take hours or even days. But what if the restore process could be completely reversed? What if you could first gain access to the data and then begin the restoration? This is exactly what the NetBackup Instant Recovery for VMware (IRV) feature does.

Developed in conjunction with the NetBackup for VMware data protection technology, IRV can instantly power on a VMware virtual machine (VM) from a full or Accelerator incremental disk based backup image (normal incremental backups cannot be used as they are not “whole” backup images). The VM can be made accessible in as little as 60 seconds. Once the VM is running, users can access it just as they would any other VM. Any subsequent changes made to the VM are 100% retained. From the user perspective the VM is fully functional. The user has no indication that the VM is powered on from a backup destination. The physical restore process can begin as soon as the VM is running and while it is in use.

To recover the full VM, VMware’s Storage vMotion is used to copy the live VM image to a traditional ESXi Datastore. During the entire Storage vMotion restore process there is zero service interruption to this newly powered on VM.

If the requirement is simply to verify the backup is good or restore some data from the VM and not to recover the full VM vMotion is not required. The required data can simply be copied from the running VM on the backup storage and the VM can then be shut down again.

Note: The backup image itself is never altered during a recovery operation; all updates are written to a transaction log and only merged with the VM on the traditional ESXi Datastore once the vMotion operation is completed.

Data protection technologies have always been a balance between cost and restore performance. Faster restores have traditionally required more hardware. But what if you could perform an extremely fast restore with no modifications to your backup infrastructure and no new additional and expensive hardware? That is exactly what IRV provides. Using currently existing NetBackup disk backup storage technologies, IRV “tricks” the VMware environment into treating the NetBackup standard disk or deduplication backup target(s) as VMware storage. The VM to be restored is automatically registered on the vCenter server and booted by IRV. At this point VMware’s Storage VMotion migrates the VM files to the permanent ESXi storage with zero service disruption to the VM.

You can download the full Blueprint from the link below.