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NetBackup 7 for VMware Virtually Eliminates Backups!

I love a good infomercial. In the short span of 30 minutes, they try to convince me that their product is completely revolutionary and I cannot live without it. They predictably offer to deliver not one, but two for the price of one (S&H charges excluded). I know their claims are exaggerated. I know I don’t need one, let alone two. I am highly skeptical. Yet, I’m sold! I am so intrigued that I find their website and enter my credit card number. Highly absorbent rags, exercise videos, belts promising six-pack abs, juicers, acne treatments, and regrettably, make-up for my wife (good intentions - bad idea). I’ve bought them all. Some I return, while others exceed my expectations.

In NetBackup 7, the combination of virtualization protection and deduplication offers some elements of a good infomercial. It sounds revolutionary and exceptional. In a way, there are 2-for-1 savings. After years of backing up physical servers to tape, how can NetBackup 7 make such extraordinary claims and how could it apply to my business?

Let me explain, in well less than 30 minutes.

First, NetBackup 7 for VMware integrates with VMware’s vStorage APIs for Data Protection (aka VADP). In other words, if you were waiting for a drastic improvement over VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB), this is it. By definition, using VADP with NetBackup 7 will reduce VM backup times in half! Why? Because VADP allows NetBackup to read the VM snapshot directly from the source. With VCB, NetBackup had to wait for VMware to copy the entire VM snapshot to a staging area before the backup began. No more!

Second, NetBackup 7 for VMware integrates with the vSphere 4 Change-Block-Tracking capability. This allows NetBackup 7 to only backup the new or modified blocks within a VMDK, aka incremental backup. (Recall that VCB did not support incremental backups.) Moreover, NetBackup 7 supports the unique option to perform file-level recovery from an incremental backup. So, backing up fewer blocks means shorter backup windows, without limiting your recovery options.

But wait! There’s more!

NetBackup 7 introduces integrated deduplicated storage in the NetBackup media server. The NetBackup PureDisk deduplication engine is now integrated and available as a new type of backup destination. Any/all NetBackup clients can immediately leverage this capability, including NetBackup for VMware. In our own evaluations, we’ve seen deduplication rates from 50% to 90% in VM backups! (Another infomercial characteristic: Individual results may vary.) An exciting double bonus: In addition to using less backup storage, your backups will be noticeably faster (shorter backup windows).

And finally, NetBackup 7 for VMware offers an unheard-of advantage: global deduplication across physical and virtual machines! This means that no matter how many copies of the same file are distributed between physical and virtual Windows servers (e.g. explorer.exe), effectively only 1 copy of that file is stored in the NetBackup deduplicated backup destination. Unbelievable! The storage savings apply to both physical and virtual servers!

OK. Enough teasers. I hope you are truly interested, and welcome you to get more information from:

  • for webcasts of our virtualization protection and deduplication offerings in NetBackup 7.
  • Your Symantec account team or partner, for insights regarding how to apply these new capabilities to your business.
  • Me. I’m happy to answer questions.

I know this release has exceeded my expectations, and urge you to try it for yourself!

Happy Virtualizing and Deduplicating,
Brian Smith
NetBackup Product Manager