1 Lab Validation Report Catalogic DPX Copy Data Services Designed for Intelligent Data Protection and Access By Vinny Choinski, Senior Lab Analyst ant Tony Palmer, Senior Lab Analyst September 2014
2 Lab Validation: Catalogic DPX Copy Data Solutions 2 Contents Introduction... 3 Background... 3 Catalogic Copy Data Solutions... 4 ESG Lab Validation... 5 Catalogic DPX Copy Data Services... 5 ESG Lab Validation Highlights Issues to Consider The Bigger Truth Appendix ESG Lab Reports The goal of ESG Lab reports is to educate IT practitioners about data center technology products for companies of all types and sizes. ESG Lab reports are not meant to replace the evaluation process that should be conducted before making purchasing decisions, but rather to provide insight into these emerging technologies. Our objective is to go over some of the more valuable feature/functions of products, show how they can be used to solve real customer problems and identify any areas needing improvement. ESG Lab's expert third-party perspective is based on our own hands-on testing as well as on interviews with customers who use these products in production environments. This ESG Lab report was sponsored by Catalogic Software. All trademark names are property of their respective companies. Information contained in this publication has been obtained by sources The Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) considers to be reliable but is not warranted by ESG. This publication may contain opinions of ESG, which are subject to change from time to time. This publication is copyrighted by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. Any reproduction or redistribution of this publication, in whole or in part, whether in hard-copy format, electronically, or otherwise to persons not authorized to receive it, without the express consent of The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc., is in violation of U.S. copyright law and will be subject to an action for civil damages and, if applicable, criminal prosecution. Should you have any questions, please contact ESG Client Relations at
3 Introduction Lab Validation: Catalogic DPX Copy Data Solutions 3 Catalogic Software s goal is to improve organizations operational efficiency by leveraging cataloging and instant data access for backup, disaster recovery, test/dev, and big data analytics across physical, virtual, and cloud environments. This ESG Lab report focuses on the Copy Data Services portion of Catalogic s overall Copy Data Solution and the technology that make it possible; transparent integration with NetApp snapshot technology; and valuable Catalogic services such as instant virtualization, near continuous data protection, instant data recovery, and bare metal recovery of physical and virtual servers. Background The demands on organizations to manage their data and storage requirements continue while the problem becomes increasingly complex due to data growth, virtualization, and the introduction of other emerging technologies. ESG s 2014 IT Spending Intentions Survey revealed that, as they have been since 2010, increased use of server virtualization, improved backup and recovery, and data growth management are all in the top ten most frequently cited 2014 IT priorities. The adoption of server virtualization is nearly ubiquitous among enterprise and midmarket organizations, and increased usage of the technology was identified by 32% of respondents as one of their most important IT priorities for Given this trend, it is reasonable to expect these priorities to continue through 2015 and beyond. Figure 1. Top-ten Most Important IT Priorities for 2014 Top 10 most important IT priorities over the next 12 months. (Percent of respondents, N=562, ten responses accepted) Increased use of server virtualization Information security initiatives 32% 32% Improve data backup and recovery 29% Manage data growth Desktop virtualization Use cloud infrastructure services Regulatory compliance initiatives Major application deployments or upgrades Business intelligence/data analytics initiatives Data center consolidation 25% 24% 23% 23% 23% 23% 22% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, Source: ESG Research Report, 2014 IT Spending Intentions Survey, February 2014.
4 Lab Validation: Catalogic DPX Copy Data Solutions 4 Catalogic Copy Data Solutions Catalogic Software offers intelligent copy data solutions designed to provide access to all business operational data through instantly mountable snapshots to maximize efficiency and availability. Catalogic divides this task into two essential categories, Copy Data Management and Copy Data Services, visually summarized in Figure 2. Figure 2. Catalogic Copy Data Solutions Copy Data Management s role is to catalog and index all of an organization s copy data and provide deep, actionable intelligence. Copy Data Services leverages capabilities built into storage and virtualization platforms to do the heavy lifting, providing nearly instant backup and recovery using snapshots, vaulting, replication, and archiving. The following is a brief summary of the attributes of Catalogic s Copy Data Management and Copy Data Services platforms: Catalogic ECX: Catalogic ECX is designed to deliver comprehensive copy data management for backup, DR, test/dev, and big data analytics. ECX provides visibility, insight, and control of all copies of data in NetApp and VMware environments to improve business agility. By cataloging all tiers of NetApp and VMware snapshots, an organization can locate any file or object across the data center quickly, identify stale or unwanted data, validate protection compliance, and take action on this data. Catalogic DPX: Catalogic DPX is engineered to protect all of an organization s data quickly and reliably in virtual, physical, and cloud-based environments. Catalogic DPX integrates copy data services like backup, disaster recovery, and bare metal recovery to reduce time to backup and recovery using instantly mountable snapshots to simplify data protection and reduce operational costs.
5 ESG Lab Validation Lab Validation: Catalogic DPX Copy Data Solutions 5 This report covers testing and analysis of the DPX Copy Data Services platform offering from the Catalogic Copy Data Solutions suite. ESG Lab performed hands-on evaluation and testing of Catalogic DPX at a NetApp facility located in Sunnyvale, California. Catalogic DPX Copy Data Services DPX is a Catalogic copy data service that integrates backup, disaster recovery, bare metal restore, and copy management into a single solution. It supports file, image, NDMP, block, and agentless VMware modes of backup. The solution supports physical and virtual clients and can store and manage backup data on disk and tape targets. DPX was designed with ease of use and deployment in mind and all of the typical data protection tasks that an administrator would commonly conduct are wizard driven. DPX solution design is focused on multipurpose (e.g., recovery, test and development, DR, and analytics) rapid access and efficient management of protected data. It provides access at all levels such as file, application, volumes, or entire servers. DPX is highly integrated with NetApp FAS storage and leverages its advanced data snapshot technology in its copy data service schema as well as its storage efficiency services such as compression and deduplication. For non-netapp environments, the Catalogic DPX Open Storage feature can be leveraged. ESG Lab Testing ESG Lab started its validation of DPX with a review of the test bed configuration and an architecture overview. As shown in Figure 3, the test environment consisted of LAN-attached clients on the left, the DPX server and management interface in the middle, and a pair of NetApp filers as target devices on the right. Though the clients were all virtual machines, the Lab installed DPX client code on a Windows VM to simulate a physical server in the environment. Clients included Microsoft Exchange, SQL, and SharePoint servers to simulate a corporate data center. The second NetApp filer was setup to simulate recovery at a remote location. Figure 3. DPX Test Bed Overview
6 Lab Validation: Catalogic DPX Copy Data Solutions 6 ESG Lab leveraged the Windows server with the DPX client code installed to configure a block-level backup job. The Lab launched the Block Backup Wizard and selected the option to create a new job. We were also given the option to edit an existing job. From the next wizard screen, ESG Lab selected the Windows server with the hostname SQL as our backup source and chose to back up the complete server. It should be noted that the Windows server was hosting a MS-SQL database. Next, the Lab selected a volume on one of the NetApp filers as the backup destination. We chose to leave the default setting on the advanced backup options tab and then completed the configuration by creating a daily backup schedule and saving the job. The new backup job was then run to create backup data for the server SQL in the test environment. To test granular recovery, ESG Lab first used the latest block-level backup image to restore two simple bitmap files, which were backed up from the C: drive on server SQL to a recovery directory on the DPX backup server. Then, the MS-SQL application was stopped, the SQL data was deleted form the production E: drive, and the drive was taken offline to mimic a disaster at the application level. Then, as shown in Figure 4, the Lab used the same backup image for DPX Instant Access of the MS-SQL database on server SQL. Figure 4. DPX Instant Access To perform Instant Access, ESG Lab used the recovery tab in the DPX user interface to drill down to the latest E: drive backup. The Lab then right-clicked on the backup and selected the map option. The map option initiated a clone process on the storage array and, in a matter of seconds, presented the SQL data back to the server as an iscsi mapped drive. With the SQL data mapped back, the Lab restarted the SQL services and launched the SQL management interface to confirm that MS-SQL was running properly. As shown on the right side of Figure 4, once the SQL environment was validated, the Lab tested the un-map feature. This feature initiates the cleanup process on the storage array. This can be used when the mapped data is no longer needed and prevents orphaned snapshots or clones from consuming valuable storage capacity.
7 Lab Validation: Catalogic DPX Copy Data Solutions 7 Next, ESG Lab tested Instant Virtualization (IV) the ability to automatically create, configure, power on, and run a virtual machine in an existing vsphere environment as part of restoring an entire server from a backup image. The Lab used the existing Windows machine SQL for the process. It should be noted that the virtualization process works for both physical server and virtual machines. As shown in Figure 5, the DPX virtualization wizard was used to create the new VM. The upper left of Figure 5 shows the first screen of the configuration wizard. The first screen of the process allows the selection of VM name (as shown by the red callout box), hostname, memory allocation, vcenter server, and type of virtualization (Instant or Full Virtualization). ESG Lab selected Instant Virtualization, which enables the VM to be created instantaneously from the Bare Metal Recovery (BMR) ISO image created during the backup. The instantly virtualized VM was able to run from the backup image in the target storage array. Figure 5. Instant Virtualization A total of five wizard configuration screens needed to be filled out to complete the virtualization process. The second screen allowed for the configuration of resources (e.g., ESXi host, datastore, iscsi adaptor, and network type). Screens three and four were used to enter detailed network configuration information and to select the boot file location. The last screen was used to review the configuration and complete the process. The lower right of Figure 5 shows the resource summary of the new running virtual machine IV-SQL from the vsphere client view. The red callout box in the vsphere summary view shows the temporary datastore from which the instantly virtualized VM is running. The temporary datastore was created automatically, as part of the IV process, from the target storage array. The entire SQL server was restored in approximately ten minutes in the test bed environment and after the restore, the IV machine was running from the target NetApp storage array using RDM LUNS.
8 Lab Validation: Catalogic DPX Copy Data Solutions 8 Next, ESG Lab explored the ability DPX provides to seamlessly move a VM that was created via the Instant Virtualization process into full production mode. What this means is that the VM data in the temporary datastore that was created from the backup image and used to quickly bring the VM online will be migrated to a production datastore. Again, ESG Lab was able to leverage a DPX wizard to conduct this process. As shown in Figure 6, the Lab used the Rapid Return to Production (RRP) wizard for the task. The left side of the figure shows the two major steps required for the procedure. The first step is to simply select the VM to be moved, and the second step is to select the destination datastore. Optional job settings can be configured but ESG Lab chose to leave the default configuration for the job that was run during the validation testing. The right side of Figure 6 shows the source and target datastores for the RRP job. Figure 6. Rapid Return to Production Next, the Lab validated the DPX Agentless functionality available for VMware virtual machines. Figure 7 shows the four granular recovery options for restoring data from agentless VMware backup jobs. The options include Full and Instant VM restores, and Full and Instant VMDK restores. ESG Lab conducted an Instant VMDK restore as part of its validation testing. The Lab backed up a VM with two drives, C:\ and E:\, using DPX Agentless feature. Then, the E: drive was selected as part of Instant VMDK restore, which automatically iscsi mapped the underlying VMDK backup image to a selected target VM in the vsphere environment. With the drive mounted, a directory and associated files were copied from the mapped E: drive to a recovery directory on the target VM. Once the copy was completed, the mount was unmapped.
9 Lab Validation: Catalogic DPX Copy Data Solutions 9 Figure 7. Agentless VMware Restore As shown in Figure 8, the Lab also used the application recovery tool to perform granular recoveries of application data. ESG Lab used the DPX Exchange Mailbox Recovery tool to recover deleted messages from a point-intime backup of the Exchange application to a running production Exchange instance. As shown in Figure 8, the Lab simply highlighted the deleted messages and dragged them back to the user s inbox. Figure 8. Application Recovery
10 Lab Validation: Catalogic DPX Copy Data Solutions 10 Lastly, ESG Lab used the Catalogic BMR wizard to conduct a bare metal restore of a Windows server. The left side of Figure 9 shows the first step of the automated recovery process. The wizard enables the new system (physical or virtual) to be booted from the BMR ISO created as part of the backup process. It allows the user to easily configure network setting and update system drives as it guides you through the recovery process. The lower right side of the figure shows the easy-to-use network configuration screen that the Lab used while restoring the server. The entire process took less than 30 minutes, which is critical if your environment is down and the administrator is under pressure to quickly restore. Figure 9. BMR Why This Matters IT professionals continue to place improving backup and recovery and managing data growth in the list of top ten most important priorities year after year. 2 Organizations also struggle to keep their current data protection solutions from adding to the challenges associated with managing data growth. In fact, if given the opportunity, one in four data protections professionals would change the way they currently protect their data, and would be inclined to include VMware and storage-level snapshot technology to improve efficiency. 3 So, what are these IT professionals looking for? An agile solution that provides the ability to leverage their copy data assets for multiple business purposes and enables them to move away from the paradigm of backup as simply an insurance policy. ESG Lab validated that DPX from Catalogic was extremely easy to use. Copy data operations were simple to manage via the many intuitive configuration wizards. The solution leverages block-level backups as well as storage and VMware-level snapshots for data protection efficiency and flexible copy management. It is highly integrated with NetApp s Data ONTAP features and offers an open storage transport (OSS) for non-netapp environments. To manage data growth, DPX automates the cleanup of storage snapshots when they are no longer needed. 2 Source: ESG Research Report, 2014 IT Spending Intentions Survey, February Source: ESG Research Report, Trends for Protecting Highly Virtualized and Private Cloud Environments, June 2013.
11 Lab Validation: Catalogic DPX Copy Data Solutions 11 ESG Lab Validation Highlights ESG Lab found DPX extremely easy to deploy and use. The Lab was able to use the guided wizards provided with the solution to conduct all of the data protection tasks tested in this validation. ESG Lab believes that the ease of use designed into DPX will prove extremely useful for organizations that do not have the luxury of a dedicated backup administrator or backup team. ESG Lab was able to manage policies, perform backups, and recover files for a variety of operating systems and applications from a single DPX management console (e.g., Linux, UNIX, vsphere, Microsoft Windows, Exchange, and MS-SQL). The solution offers block-level backups as well as file-level backups for those environments where block-level backups are not a viable option. The Lab leveraged the DPX Instant Access feature to provide on-demand access to an MS-SQL database from a backup image as an instantly mountable volume, with zero reconfiguration of the application server, in just a couple of minutes. This process can be leveraged for multiple purposes such as recovery, test and development, DR, and analytics. ESG Lab also used the Instant Virtualization wizard to create and deploy a Windows server with an MS-SQL database from the backup of an existing server. We then used the RRP wizard to seamlessly return the SQL server completely back to the production environment. Issues to Consider While snapshot-based backups with Catalogic DPX are exceptionally fast because only blocks changed since the previous backups are transferred, special planning should be considered for the initial first full backups, especially when backing up to a remote/secondary site over a WAN with limited bandwidth. Using SnapMirror to local tape or disk, then shipping the media to the remote site for initial baseline is recommended. ESG Lab is pleased that DPX includes the ability to automate the cleanup of snapshots that are no longer needed for data protection. However, the Lab believes adding a standard identifier to snapshots created by DPX would greatly improve the synergy of a combined DPX/ECX environment. This would make it easier for ECX to search and sort data copies that were created for data protection.
12 The Bigger Truth Lab Validation: Catalogic DPX Copy Data Solutions 12 According to a recent ESG survey of IT spending intentions for 2014, increasing the use of server virtualization, managing data growth, and improving backup and recovery remain in the top five IT priorities for Fulfilling requirements for software that can not only protect large, complex physical and virtual environments, but also provide effective tools for managing all the disparate data access needs will be a high priority as a result. These challenges are motivating IT to find solutions that can provide copy data services, which provide data protection and instant multipurpose data access leveraging advanced storage capabilities native to solutions like NetApp FAS and VMware. The days of heavily investing in traditional infrastructure such as tape, dedicated backup disk, media servers, and the physical transport and storage of media for recovery insurance purposes only are fading. In fact, ESG research indicates that only 8% of survey respondents rely solely on traditional backup applications as compared with a combined 73% who leverage snapshot technology at the datastore and virtualmachine level. 5 Companies that are leading the way in solving these challenges are leveraging the speed and efficiency of snapshot technology to provide cost-effective access to business data. Catalogic DPX is a robust, mature product that has been on the market for more than a decade, yet it is still innovative and dynamic. DPX Bare Metal Recovery, integrated with disk-based NetApp snapshot images, provides simple, robust, one-step recovery after a disaster. A centralized management console manages local and remote installation through a simple-to-use web-based browser. Instant Virtualization proved its ability to improve RTO by restoring an entire virtual machine and creating and starting it on a new ESX host in a manner of minutes. Instant Access also helped improve RTO by providing read/write access to a SQL database backup image in a little more than one minute without transferring data. Catalogic s simple-to-use management interfaces and integration with both NetApp and VMware provides a seamless solution for quickly making and managing multiple copies of an organization s data in highly virtualized environments for improved RPO. Low-level storage and virtualization functions associated with snapshots and creating virtual machines are hidden from the administrator, making creating and maintaining backups and restores an intuitive task. ESG Lab was quite impressed with Catalogic s ability to leverage a tight integration with NetApp and VMware for disk-based data protection and copy data management, Instant Virtualization for rapid recovery, and fast, easy, bare metal restores. The Lab found all of these features quick and easy to implement and manage, which can help customers reduce operational costs by saving both administrative time and physical resources. 4 Source: ESG Research Report, 2014 IT Spending Intentions Survey, February Source: ESG Research Report, Trends for Protecting Highly Virtualized and Private Cloud Environments, June 2013.
13 Appendix Lab Validation: Catalogic DPX Copy Data Solutions 13 Table 1. Test Environment Details Catalogic Catalogic DPX Master Server Version 4.3 IBM Blade Server H VMware ESX, version 5.1 NetApp FAS3210 NetApp Virtual FAS Servers, Virtualization, Operating System, Applications Storage Windows 2008 R2 SQL Server 2008 Data ONTAP 8.1 Data ONTAP 8.1
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