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Duplicate deduped NDMP backup (block-level) to cloud?

Hello,

we have a Backup Exec (16 FP2) job which backups data (mostly vm images) from a NetApp to a deduplication storage via NDMP.
As it is a file-level-based backup and the data of the vm images changes rapidly, no real incremental or differntial backups are possible.

Is it possible to duplicate this deduped backup-set to a cloud storage (as offsite-backup) on a block-level base, so that incremental backups can be used and the data sent can be reduced?
And can I use this duplicated backup to restore (single files) back directly to the NetApp or do I have to restore it first to a local storage and then back to the NetApp?

Thomas

5 Replies
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Re: Duplicate deduped NDMP backup (block-level) to cloud?

Whilst what I am about to say is more than your actual question, you do need to be aware of my points (as the NMDP option is NOT the correct solution for backups involving virtual machines.)

Backing up VMs that are stored on a Netapp using the NDMP option is BAD practice as you have no GRT capability of the files inside the VMs themselves and no incremental capability either because when the VM changes the complete VHD or VMDK file changes which for the NDMP option means we backup and restore the complete VM. In fact if the VMs are inside a LUN (which is a single very large file in terms of how it is stored on the NetApp) then the problem is even worse as you have to backup and restore the complete LUN (which might be more than 1 VM)

VMs should really be backed up using the virtual agent (and if using VMware choosing SAN Transport if possible.)

Virtual machine backups can then be directed to deduplication storage, have incremental stages and duplicate to cloud afterwards.

 

For more info on concepts on NDMP please see this blog (about LAN free configurations) which does cover best practices (and talks about NDMP and Virtual machine requirements)

https://vox.veritas.com/t5/Backup-Recovery-Community-Blog/LAN-free-including-SAN-backup-configuratio...

 

 

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Re: Duplicate deduped NDMP backup (block-level) to cloud?

Thanks for your answer and I know it's not an ideal situation, but we don't use either VMWare or Hyper-V, but KVM with raw image files for virtualization. Is the virtual agent working in this scenario?

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Re: Duplicate deduped NDMP backup (block-level) to cloud?

Ok so if you have VMs managed by a hyper-visor we dont support then NDMP option is still not really the best choice, assuming the VMs can run either our Windows Remote Agent or our RALUS agent then the best choice is a traditional backup of the VM as if it was a physical system.

Basically anything on the NetApp that is single file but in reality is a container for smaller files (so either the similar to a LUN, or similar to a VMDK or VHD files) cannot do incremental backup of the content OR provide individual content restore if backed up using the NDMP option. OK I am not familar with KVM + RAW images (as the bit we don't directly support)  so I am trying to give more generic info

If you contimue with the NDMP option route (just because it is a NetApp and that bit is supported by Backup Exec)  then iyou wil have fun if you evre need to do a restore of just a single file from inside the VM without affecting the active VM itself

 

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Re: Duplicate deduped NDMP backup (block-level) to cloud?

Thanks for your answer again.

We have a separate backup strategy and tool for important files inside the VMs, so we can restore single files from there.
We need this NDMP backup only to be able to restore whole VM images. Let's just forget that I wrote something about VM images and say we store large binary files which content changes often ;-)
so my initial questions stand:

Is it possible to duplicate this deduped backup-set to a cloud storage (as offsite-backup) on a block-level base, so that incremental backups can be used and the data sent can be reduced?
And can I use this duplicated backup to restore (single files) back directly to the NetApp or do I have to restore the whole backup-set first to a local storage and then back to the NetApp?

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Re: Duplicate deduped NDMP backup (block-level) to cloud?

The large files cannot be backed up incrementally - any change to the file will result in the complete file being backed up. I would also be concerned that we probably won't be taking a fully consistent backup (quiescing VM contents etc) - unless you are intending to shut these VMs down prior to backup.

 

With regards writing to deduplication and then duplicating out to cloud, the concept exists, but you will probably need to setup a POC to understand the efficiency (especially as you may not get very good deduplication ratios, how we handle white space uinside the VM could be interesting and it might also be one of those scenarios where the data has to be re-hydrated during the duplication). I doubt we have officially tested your scenario (which is really a workaround against us not directly supporting the virtual technology you are using). Your unique requirements are also not something I would expect many (if any) forum posters to be attempting which kind of means difficult to get someone with real world info, to contribute to this thread.

 

With regards the restore it gets interesting, the NDMP option directly accesses the storage containing the backups as such I am not sure if it can directly access the cloud location as you cannot install cloud connectors or OST plugins onto the Netapp. As such a restore might have to be two stage with you duplicating back to local backup devices first - again not ideal and I doubt we officially test such a scenario so this would be back to a POC.

As an aside anything we don't officially test, may result in limited or no support from us