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Improve your data protection resilience with Backup Exec

Learn Backup Exec's top resiliency features that ensure every workload gets protected even during disruptions.

What is the importance of resiliency in data protection?

Business Continuity has always been a challenge for businesses – both small businesses and enterprises. We live in a world of uncertainty. No systems are free from failures. There are breakdowns due to ransomware attacks, denial of service, cyber breach, exploiting network security, infrastructure outages, application and services outages, etc. Organizations suffer losses caused by these breakdowns.

In addition to following the industry best practices, organizations rely on data protection solutions to meet their Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO). With unpredictable environmental disruptions and data growth, the data protection solution needs to be resilient and robust.

How does Backup Exec provide backup resiliency?

Decades of experience have helped Backup Exec build a resilient backup solution. It smartly manages all controllable environmental disruptions (e.g. intermittent network failure, slow system, etc.) to ensure no data remain unprotected.

Let's take an overview of the top resilient features of Backup Exec.

1.    Cyber Resiliency:

Cyber resilience is the ability of an organization to prepare, respond, and recover when cyberattacks happen.

Attacks like Ransomware, data-breach, etc. are becoming smarter every day, and protecting against these with just firewall and security software is not enough. To maximize the impact attackers don’t just target the production environment, but also backup data which is the organization’s lifeline to avoid paying a ransom.  Backup Exec has in-built ransomware resilient feature that protects your backup data from such attacks to keep data safe.

Additionally, Backup Exec is committed to remaining up to date with security best practices to defend vulnerabilities and trending cyber-attacks.

For more details, refer to https://www.veritas.com/protection/backup-exec/ransomware-protection

2.    Network Resilience:

Network resilience is a fundamental component of the communication network. IT services are committed to maintaining a high-quality level of service; however, you can't predict the disruptions at runtime. 

Backup Exec is designed to work in network disruptions like high-latency, low-bandwidth, intermittent connection loss etc. Backup Exec smartly auto-tunes its behavior based on the network availability to reduce the chances of failure. 

For example, the success of backup to the cloud depends on the internet bandwidth and traffic, which is mostly outside the organization's control. The heavy fluctuations in bandwidth could lead to job failure that may impact RPO and incur unnecessary cloud storage charges.  To handle this situation, Backup Exec adjusts the backup speed at a certain extent. Manual tuning is also available under Backup Exec settings.  

Similarly, Backup Exec also provides resiliency during Instant Recovery of virtual machines from network losses. 

These are just a few examples; overall, Backup Exec has a rich set of network configuration settings to tune the performance as per the environmental needs.

For more detail, please refer to  https://www.veritas.com/support/en_US/article.100023307

3.    Elasticity of Backup Exec

In the real world, we can't guarantee the stability of applications and platforms as their behavior changes based on the workload, system parameters, and many other factors—E.g. slow responses, connection failures, etc.

Backup Exec has a high tolerance for such environmental interruptions. It detects intermittent failures and adopts the best approach to minimize the chances of backup failures.

Below are a few in-built capabilities to help mitigate these issues

BE Your Own Healer:ResilientBackups1.png

With decades of innovation and enriching alliance with multiple software/hardware vendors, Backup Exec built a robust self-healing solution to handle the logical failure without the user's attention intelligently.

For example, file systems and applications have been protected with snapshot technology for years. However, unstable snapshot services or slow service responses could lead to failures. Backup Exec intelligently detects and rejuvenates the services and service communication to improve backup success rates.

Backup Exec is hardened to handle such situations gracefully. It also provides flexibility to retune the behavior to work best in your environment.

For more detail, please refer to   https://www.veritas.com/content/support/en_US/doc/59226269-140215363-0/index

Protecting Clustered Applications:

Organizations use High-Availability solutions (e.g. Microsoft Cluster Services, Oracle Real Application Cluster etc.) for their critical applications to minimize downtime in case of failures. The protection and recovery of clustered applications require special care and handling to keep minimum RTO.

Backup Exec is designed to protect clustered applications with seamless experience irrespective of the cluster configuration (i.e. active-active and active-passive) and the number of cluster nodes. Backup Exec intelligently detects the active node at run time and acts accordingly.

4.    From Job Failure to Success:

Backup Exec proactively takes all necessary measures to avoid failures. It provides ways to restart backup jobs conditionally when they run into unexpected failures.

Error Handling rules:ResilientBackups2.png

Backup Exec provides a rich set of error-handling rules to decide behavior during erroneous situations.  These easy to configure error handling rules ensures no workload remains unprotected. With the help of these rules, one can rerun failed jobs automatically. 

For example, a cloud backup may fail due to an outage on the internet. To manage this situation, Backup Exec provides a rule to rerun the job (along with configurable retires) if a job fails.

For more details and best practices, refer link https://www.veritas.com/content/support/en_US/doc/59226269-140215363-0/index.

Check-Point Restart (CPR):

Check-Point Restart feature is an extension of the Error-handling rule discussed above. This feature allows the backup job to restart from the point of failure. It helps save backup storage.

For more detail and best practices, please refer  https://www.veritas.com/content/support/en_US/doc/59226269-140215363-0/index.

5.    Backup Exec Server Resilience:

Organizations deploy multiple Backup Exec Servers to protect a variety of workloads – especially when there is a limited backup window and many workloads to protect. If one server’s hardware goes down for some reason, backups configured on that server get impacted, and concerned resources may remain unprotected.  To ensure no resource remain unprotected, Backup Exec recommends using Central Admin Server Option (CASO). 

In the case of CASO environment, a single Backup Exec Server (aka CAS Server) manages multiple Backup Exec media servers (MBES) ensuring load balancing and job resilience. If one or more MBES goes down, the CAS server intelligently delegates the backup jobs to remaining MBES ensuring the protection of all resources.

For more details and best practices, please refer to   https://www.veritas.com/support/en_US/article.100018502.

6.    Backup Storage Resilience:

Backup Exec provides the backup storage resiliency, in addition to native resiliency provided by storage vendors.

If a backup job sees some unexpected issues while accessing the backup store, it could lead to job failure. The typical issues are a) Storage is full b) Remote B2D not accessible c) Tape Library not responding.

Backup Exec recommends managing such issues with the help of Backup Storage Pool. The storage pool can bundle uniform storage types such as disk/tape/cloud.   When Backup Exec faces an issue with the backup storage, it automatically chooses different suitable storage from the pool and continues the job operation.

For more detail and best practices, please refer  https://www.veritas.com/content/support/en_US/doc/59226269-140215363-0/v62502882-140215363.

Further Reading

The Backup Exec Admin Guide has a lot of information on these topics.  You can get its online copy here.

Get More Help

If you are facing a problem with Backup Exec and looking for assistance, you can contact Veritas Technical Support for Backup Exec.  For more details, refer https://www.veritas.com/support/en_US/contact-us

If you wish to try Backup Exec free in your environment, please visit https://www.veritas.com/form/trialware/backup-exec