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New Year’s Resolution #1 – Better Backup for Snapshots

How many of you have made a New Year’s resolution to lose weight?  Well OK, maybe not weight literally but you’ve been tasked to find ways in 2012 to reduce cost in your backup infrastructure and with a bit of smart maneuvering actually improve backup and recovery performance.  In the upcoming release of NetBackup, Symantec can help reduce cost and accelerate recovery with the integration of backup and snapshot replication management with the new NetBackup Replication Director.

In most Enterprise backup environments, both backup software and array based snapshot technology co-exist to provide tiers of protection and recovery.  The problem is that in many cases, the backup infrastructure is managed by the Backup Team, and snapshots and replicas are managed by the Storage Team.  While this may ‘appear’ to be efficient when things are good, when things turn bad and a fast recovery is required from either a major or minor disaster, it can quickly become a case of too many cooks in the kitchen, increasing risk and cost.

The reason this ‘appears’ to be efficient is that while the teams are aligned functionally, there is additional cost incurred as a result of redundant resources required to manage backup and recovery.  I know, I know, while this may sound like great marketing spin for a new feature, NetBackup Replication Director is actually the result of massive customer demand and several years of joint development between Symantec and NetApp, a leader in snapshot technology.  Our customers really are very smart, and vocal, about what they need to better optimize their environments and reduce costs.

And if lots of screaming customers weren’t enough to justify the investment in a solution like Replication Director, here’s what a leading analyst (Dave Russell, Gartner) had to say, “Backup vendors need to exploit and integrate with network-based, NAS-based and/or storage array replication.  The integrated replication and snapshot capability has become valued, and is considered a differentiating feature by end users.”

NetBackup Replication Director does exactly that.  It unifies snapshot and replication management and the backup infrastructure. In this joint solution, NetBackup creates; catalogs and manages NetApp Snapshot copies and replication to deliver a future-ready backup strategy. Management is centralized enabling administrators to leverage their existing NetBackup skills and expertise to manage traditional backup processes as well as high-speed snapshot and replication processes.  The NetBackup scheduling process and administrator defined retention processes control when NetApp Snapshot copies are automatically created, maintained and expired.  This removes the barriers between processes—significantly reducing the time spent managing data protection and making it easier for administrators to easily gain access to powerful data protection tools within the NetApp array. The integrated solution provides the speed of snapshots and the recoverability of backup in one solution.

Let’s not forget about NetBackup’s legendary and powerful global search and granular restore.  As part of backup processing, data within the array can automatically be cataloged.  Data that exists across multiple snapshots or multiple destinations can instantly be found and restored.  Because this data is cataloged and controlled by NetBackup, granular file or entire volume restores can be processed from any backup destination, regardless of whether the data exists on a snapshot, in the cloud or any other supported backup target. 

Replication Director leverages powerful new OpenStorage feature sets to automatically control array based snapshots and replication as part of a comprehensive data protection strategy.  The scheduling, cataloging and subsequent migration of snapshot data and images is completely controlled by Replication Director.  This integration across many levels of backup hardware allows backup administrators to take advantage of the relative strengths of any tiered backup medium by automatically migrating data from array snapshots to other arrays, VTL’s, deduplication targets, the cloud, tape or any combination of these technologies.  All of this capability is powered by Symantec’s OpenStorage technology.

You’ve already invested in backup and snapshot protection.  Now, it’s time you get the most out of your investment dollars and start nailing your New Year’s resolutions.  For a sneak peak at the upcoming release of NetBackup Replication Director, take a look at our exciting “Countdown to Better Backup” video series presented by Symantec’s Backup Guru’s and see how you can streamline your backup and recovery, reduce cost, and start losing that weight in 2012.



Will this work with other array vendors snapshot interfaces as well?

With NetBackup 7.5 release only NetApp is supported.

Most customers already use snapshots for a long time and have built up a large quantity of snapshots.

Will NetBackup + Replication director be able to import / catalog and search these existing snapshots in NetBackup?