Mixed physical and virtual IT infrastructures and the protection of them are now a reality in enterprises of almost every size. But with these environments now in place, enterprises are turning their attention to using either a single product or interface to manage data protection across all of it. Quest’s Software’s release of NetVault Backup 9.0 gives them two paths to follow to arrive at this common centralized data protection management destination.
The majority of server virtualization in data center infrastructures has been largely completed with IDC estimating that up to 70 percent of server workloads already virtualized. This work done, enterprises are coming to two realizations:
- Support for both physical and virtual infrastructures will persist for the foreseeable future as virtualizing mission critical applications will take a longer period of time
- They want a single solution to centrally manage data protection for this mixed physical and virtual environment
Achieving this objective to date has left most organizations with only two data protection choices. Acquire separate solutions that individually protect their physical and virtual environments or use a single enterprise backup solution to protect both.
The first option comes with the downside of having to manage multiple products. The second is accompanied by the potential that the enterprise backup product they select is not up to the task of protecting virtual machines (VMs).
In its NetVault Backup 9.0 release, Quest Software (now a part of Dell) addresses both of these concerns while giving enterprises two options in which to do so.
The first is through integration with Quest’s NetVault Extended Architecture (NetVault XA) solution, which I have covered in a previous blog entry. Rather than requiring that organizations implement and manage multiple backup solutions or one big general-purpose backup product to protect their entire infrastructure, NetVault XA functions as a central console, allowing admins to schedule backups, manage data and do recoveries across multiple solutions in Quest’s data protection portfolio, including both NetVault Backup and vRanger.
In this way, organizations may deploy NetVault Backup 9 and use it to protect their mission critical physical applications. Then, leveraging NetVault XA, they may centrally manage a vRanger implementation in order to protect VMs across their virtual environment, all from a single, common interface.
Quest alternatively gives organizations the option to solely use NetVault Backup 9 to protect both their physical and virtual environments. Using NetVault Backup 9 to do this more comprehensive form of physical and virtual backup is more solidly in play as a result of NetVault Backup 9 now incorporating many of the specific technologies used to protect to VMs that were previously only found in its vRanger product.
Two major vRanger features that NetVault Backup 9 now includes are:
- File-level restores from single-pass backup. NetVault Backup 9 now enables organizations to restore either an entire VM image or an individual file from a single-pass backup. Further, using NetVault’s Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) integration, it can synchronize VSS snaps to create application consistent backups.
- Enhanced GUI. NetVault Backup 9 has updated its user interface so that it is more of a “vCenter-like” experience. This was done is to reflect the growing trend among enterprises to use vCenter Server to manage their infrastructure and give users a familiar look and feel when they go to manage NetVault Backup 9.
While making centralized management of physical and virtual environments easier to accomplish, NetVault Backup 9 continues to enhance upon its core set of features in other noteworthy ways.
First, NetVault Backup 9 has added disaster recovery to its SmartDisk feature. SmartDisk already enabled organizations to do disk-based backup and data deduplication. But in this 9.0 release organizations may configure it to replicate deduplicated data to secondary site so they can simply recover data remotely or if they need to put in place a disaster recovery solution.
Second, NetVault Backup 9 continues to enhance its support for tape. Tape continues to be a viable medium for backup in enterprises so it has improved its support for ACSLS 8.0 (Automated Cartridge System Library Software) found on Oracle StorageTek tape libraries which are in use in many enterprises.
Third, NetVault Backup 9 will expand its support for hardware deduplication appliances. It will have the ability to target Dell deduplication appliances, beginning with the DR4000. Dell claims that the DR4000 can help customers reduce the amount of storage required up to 15:1.
NetVault Backup 9 will also offer plug-and-play integration with EMC’s Data Domain “DD Boost” software. Users can configure their NetVault Backup jobs to stream directly from clients to an EMC Data Domain system thereby improving throughput, reducing network traffic, and shortening their backup windows.
The future is virtual in most enterprises but these same enterprises are at best only 70 percent of the way toward achieving this goal. So in this new physical-virtual world in which they must reside, they need a backup solution that meets this twin set of needs.
NetVault Backup 9 does that but with an added twist: it provides them two paths toward achieving that objective. Organizations may use either ts new NetVault XA solution that manages multiple data protection products or they may use NetVault Backup 9 natively to manage both physical and virtual backups. The upside is that regardless of which direction organizations opt to pursue, NetVault Backup 9 gives them a path to get there.