At VMworld 2011, session SPO3977 was called “Next-Generation Storage and Backup for Your Cloud”. We discussed the current state of the art around backup and recovery in the VMware context – which is about vCenter integration, the vStorage APIs for Data Protection for agentless backup and single step file level restore, use of Changed Block Tracking to accelerate BOTH backup and restore. That, and of course the fact that source and target dedupe approaches are now universal “gotta do it” capabilities.
But then we looked a little further out. There is a “weakly addressed” (in vendor speak – in customer speak, I bet they would call it “non-addressed”!) use case – which is vCloud Director.
To backup and restore vCD is not simple:
You have to backup the vCD database.
You need to backup the core vCenter structures which reflect the vCD structures (resource groups as an example)
You need to backup the vApps themselves
You need to backup the vCD catalog.
You need to be able to restore – respecting the core structures of multi-tenancy – after all, you need to restore the objects backed up in the list above without affecting adjacent tenants.
You need to be able to offer this backup/restore service to the tenant themselves – after all, cloud is all about self service.
Ok – to be clear, EMC does have a good answer to the above (and have done it for service providers) based on Avamar 6. It involves scripting, on-site integration and customization (read “not out of the box”). Core lessons learnt have been written up in this whitepaper (which includes big parts of the solution, but not all):
But… Wouldn’t it be cool if instead of doing it that way – we made it SO tightly integrated that it was PART of how vCD worked? If it looked the same? If it naturally linked in to all the core vCD structures at the API level – and fully understood and respected multi-tenancy? That Backup and recovery became a natural part of vCD? That it was all exposed programatically via APIs (another cloud pre-requisite)?
Of course we’re working on it
Here’s the technology preview demonstration we did in the session:
I think the work is amazing… Feedback welcome! Is this something you would like?
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- Check This Site Out, November 19, 2012 at 9:35 am
There are some fascinating dedaeinls on this article however I don’t know if I see all of them heart to heart. There's some validity however I will take maintain opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well
- Briseida, September 11, 2012 at 9:46 pm
NICE! Will vCloud Protector support linked clones? :)
- Mathias Seiler, April 19, 2012 at 5:38 pm
Eugene - thank you for your comment - and it's nice to talk to a long time EMC bigot :-)
That said - what I like about your loyalty is that it includes disagreeing with stuff we do :-) It's that open, frank dialog that makes us all continuously improve.
IMO - while the tape is never going away, man - I don't see customers WANTING it. I think that the point Stephen is making is that vendor land (us included) are going to continue to strive to expand the use cases where disk is a fit, shrinking the tape island (see DD archiver as an example). But - it's not ZERO yet - which I think is your point.
- Chad Sakac, September 23, 2011 at 10:12 am
I certainly agree that when people think about recovering their data, it’s coming from disk. While the percentage of restores from tape (and the corresponding percentage of backup storage investment in tape) continues to decrease, it is still widely deployed. I have seen customers, however, eliminate their tape by taking a hard look at their environment. For example, I share your fears about storing your primary and secondary backup copies on the same disk system; that is why we have many customers who backup to purpose built disk systems. As you extend the retention on those disk systems, I can understand the fear that all your eggs are in one basket; that is why customers are increasingly adopting the Data Domain Archiver, which provides separate failure domains for different sets of backups. As for extremely long retentions (10+ years), we have increasingly seen companies either admit that they can’t restore the data from their historical tapes (hardware, software incompatibilities) or work their lines of business and compliance teams to arrive at more reasonable retention periods – sometimes both. So, tape is still out there, but the end may be closer than you think. As for Avamar and NetWorker integration… stay tuned.
- Stephen Manley, September 23, 2011 at 8:54 am
great article as always, thanks! :-)
I'm a loyal 'EMC Bigot' of about 15 years but I still think that backup and recovery is the one big thing that EMC still doesn't get. VADP backups/restores to/from de-duped disk and super-efficient replication that goes along with it is our main data protection bread and butter these days - I've had several such projects on the go non-stop for the past 1.5-2 years - but tape is not dead and not a single one of our customers could accept backup to disk alone. As an example, Google "Distribute.IT." - they apparently lost 4,800 web sites despite backup to local and remote disk. An air gap is the last back-stop for security and keeping data on disk for 25 years has a really, really bad TCO. Avamar needs to have proper, granular tape support - today would be great.
Pity that EMC didn't focus more on improving and integrating NetWorker withAvamar
The Right Architecture Is Priceless, Part IEvolving data protection technology and expanding requirements have completely transformed the backup industry. Unfortunately, with such rapid change, many organizations have fallen into the chaos of an accidental architecture.