1 ESG Lab Review Symantec NetBackup 5230 Appliance Author: Vinny Choinski, Senior Lab Analyst, and Kerry Dolan, Lab Analyst Abstract: This ESG Lab review documents hands-on testing of the Symantec NetBackup 5230 appliance, a backup solution for physical and virtual environments. Testing focused on getting started with the appliance and data protection efficiency. The Challenges According to ESG research, nearly two-thirds (64%) of the typical 2013 IT budget of respondent organizations is spent on maintaining existing infrastructure, while only 36% is spent on new technology projects (see Figure 1). 1 While IT budgets will always have some focus on keeping the lights on, forward-thinking organizations search for ways to spend more of their budgets on innovative solutions that provide strategic value. Unfortunately, many heterogeneous infrastructures are burdened by overly complex architectures, tedious interoperability challenges, and multiple administration tool requirements. Figure 1. Business Challenges Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, Integrated platforms are helping businesses change this dynamic. In the data protection segment of IT, the Symantec NetBackup 5230 Appliance is an example of an integrated solution that can help businesses eliminate many of these challenges and gain a competitive edge. 1 Source: ESG Research Report, 2013 IT Spending Intentions Survey, January The goal of ESG Lab reports is to educate IT professionals 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 Symantec.
2 ESG Lab Review: Symantec NetBackup5230 Appliance 2 Symantec NetBackup 5230 Appliance The Symantec NetBackup (NBU) 5230 is an appliance-based backup solution designed to protect physical and virtual environments. At its core are 4TB of RAID 6 storage (that can be expanded up to 76TB of usable capacity) and NetBackup software for backup, restore, and replication. The ESG Lab test bed shown in Figure 2 was used in this review to test and validate key NetBackup 5230 Appliance features. On the left, several different backup client types were LAN-connected to the first of a pair of 5230 Appliances. The physical Windows and Linux servers were staged to test NetBackup Acceleration for file systems. The VMware client and the pair of NetApp filers just below the first 5230 Appliance were used to test backup and restore with NetBackup Replication Director. Lastly, the second WAN-connected 5230 Appliance, on the far right of Figure 2, was used to test Auto Image Replication (AIR) functionality. Figure 2. Test Bed Configuration The appliance can be used as a master server, media server, or both, and fits easily into existing NetBackup environments without disruption. It can automatically discover and protect virtual machines (VMs), is integrated with VMware vstorage APIs for Data Protection, and uses Symantec V-Ray technology for flexible and granular VM recovery. The initial set up is easy and fast, and ongoing management is simplified by the patch utility (included) that combines appliance, operating system, NetBackup, device driver, Veritas Volume Manager, storage components, HBA, and other updates into a single patch file, eliminating the extensive time and effort normally required to verify, integrate, and deploy individual updates. NetBackup Accelerator The NetBackup Accelerator functionality lets you run full backups of Windows and UNIX/Linux file systems at faster speeds, leveraging change tracking to reduce data volumes sent to storage. After the initial full backup, the Accelerator file-system-independent tracking log intelligently identifies changed files without reading all the data on the client; only changed segments are then sent to the appliance storage. There is little impact to client-side CPU and production disk I/O because the file system is not being crawled. Accelerator full backups are automatically synthesized on the backup server each time a backup runs, ensuring that an optimized synthetic full backup is available for single-pass restore.
3 Auto Image Replication ESG Lab Review: Symantec NetBackup5230 Appliance 3 AIR enables automatic replication of deduplicated backup images to remote NetBackup domains for disaster recovery. Immediate recovery from any global location ensures fast return to productivity, while both storage capacity and network bandwidth requirements are minimized. AIR is controlled by a Storage Lifecycle Policy (SLP) configured on both the source and target NetBackup domains. When an AIR backup is created, NetBackup database information is appended to the image. When the deduplicated image is replicated, the database information is used to update the target NetBackup domain database. After a successful AIR job has completed, the NetBackup DR domain will have both the backup data and the backup history information for the replicated job. This feature enables quick DR recoveries and ad hoc or planned restore testing because the backup information is automatically indexed in the database and can be easily browsed from the management interface. Other features of the NetBackup 5230 appliance include: Built-in WAN optimization for faster backup and replication between NetBackup appliances Policy-based, optimized deduplication (same NetBackup domain) or replication (different NetBackup domain) using the Symantec OpenStorage API Fast snapshot replication with file-level recovery Snapshots and replicas managed using NetBackup policies, scheduling, and catalog Flexible and efficient deduplication, including dedupe performed at the client, media server, or disk target, as well as inline or post-process Configuration as a SAN media server to enable high-speed backup of large data sets with target dedupe Veritas Volume Manager built in for high-performance storage management Symantec Critical System Protection including Host Intrusion Detection and Prevention Data encryption in flight and at rest Gateway for sending backups to supported cloud providers (including AT&T, Amazon S3, and RackSpace) Support for tape-outs
4 ESG Lab Tested ESG Lab Review: Symantec NetBackup5230 Appliance 4 ESG Lab performed a combination of onsite and remote hands-on testing of the NetBackup 5230 Appliance via the Symantec Mountain View, California corporate facility. Testing focused on ease of deployment and management as well as data protection efficiency. Getting Started This section captures the experience of deploying a NetBackup 5230 Appliance from the time it lands on the data center floor, packaged in its shipping material, to launching the NBU application. ESG Lab began its testing by physically removing the appliance from the box and reviewing the Getting Started Guide. The Lab next attached the rail kit to the appliance, installed the unit in a predefined rack location, applied power, and connected the pre-run network cables. Once racked, we powered on the appliance; it took about five minutes to run through its initial boot. Next, the NetBackup Appliance Web Console was used to conduct the configuration. The Lab added typical configuration settings such as password and network settings, which were supplied to us by the Symantec support team for the project. During the configuration and directly in the setup wizard, we allocated space for the NBU catalog, an advanced disk storage unit, and a deduplication storage unit. There were a total of eight steps in the wizard configuration process, after which an automatic build process launched to apply the settings. As shown in Figure 3, the full deployment was conducted in less than 25 minutes. This included time for the physical install, several minutes to run the configuration wizard, and the eight-minute build process to apply the settings. Figure 3. Out of Box Experience Next, with the appliance up and running, ESG Lab logged into the NetBackup administrative console. As shown in Figure 4, the Lab used the interface to create a new backup policy. The Lab created a Standard policy type as shown in the red callout box in the upper left side of Figure 4. Also configured in the policy was the use of Accelerator as shown in the second callout box in the middle right side of Figure 4. The policy was configured to support the Linux client shown in the Figure 2 test bed diagram. The policy created in this step was also used for subsequent validation testing conducted in this report.
5 ESG Lab Review: Symantec NetBackup5230 Appliance 5 Figure 4. NetBackup Configuration Next, the Linux host was populated with more than a million files, ranging in size from 512k to 4MB. The files were created using a file generation tool and were distributed across four directories on the Linux host. Once the host was populated with data, a number of backups were run according to the backup policy with acceleration enabled. The Lab next created a second policy with acceleration disabled. We then re-ran the backup jobs from the same Linux host to the new non-accelerated policy. The data created from these backups was used in the performance analysis of this review. Why This Matters IT personnel operate with many resource constraints, and time is one of them. From the planning phase to deployment, creating your own backup infrastructure can take days even without glitches. Alternatively, an appliance-based solution needs no integration, delivers faster time to value, and is purchased from and supported by a single vendor. So, what are IT professionals looking for in an integrated data protection solution? They are looking to reduce complexity, streamline operations, and remove interoperability headaches. ESG Lab confirmed that deploying the NetBackup 5230 Appliance was quick and easy. The Lab took the appliance from box to backup-ready in less than 25 minutes.
6 Patch Management ESG Lab Review: Symantec NetBackup5230 Appliance 6 In this section of the report, ESG Lab explored the process of managing updates to the NetBackup 5230 Appliance infrastructure. We used the Software Updates utility to conduct a consolidated patch upgrade. The update utility is located in the NetBackup Appliance Web Console under the Manage tab. All updates for the appliance are managed via this consolidated process and each appliance-specific patch is qualified for interoperability by Symantec before being released. The detail view in the bottom right of Figure 5 shows a subset of the components that were updated with this patch. Highlighted in blue is an update to the multipath-tools module; all firmware, OS, and application software updates are managed with this single utility. Before the patch is applied, a snapshot is created so that the appliance can be easily rolled back to its previous version should any issues be encountered. Figure 5. Software Update Management Patch Results ESG Lab deployed a consolidated patch using the utility in just a few mouse clicks. The patch deployed in the background while we made policy configuration edits to our test environment. The utility deployed dozens of packages in about the time it takes to manually deploy just a few. Why This Matters Any IT professional who has been in the business for even a short time knows the headaches associated with patch management. It s time consuming, requires intensive interoperability planning, and a single glitch can easily result in serious system downtime. ESG Lab confirmed that the NetBackup 5230 Appliance approach truly automated the patch process. The Lab used the software update feature within the appliance web management interface to easily apply a Symantecqualified patch to the solution, eliminating interoperability testing and providing a point-in-time rollback if any issues are encountered.
7 ESG Lab Review: Symantec NetBackup5230 Appliance 7 NetBackup 5230 Appliance Performance The efficiency section of this report presents a technical overview along with the observed performance results for key NetBackup components deployed on the 5230 Appliance. The components include NetBackup Acceleration for file systems, Replication Director with VMware, and NetBackup AIR. NetBackup Accelerator is a feature used to improve the backup operation for large file systems. As shown in Figure 6, NetBackup Accelerator has a built-in, file-system-independent track log that intelligently identifies changed files without traversing the entire file system. The track log comes into action only during the backup, so other file system operations are not impacted as is the case with traditional file-system-specific change journals. It can also work in conjunction with the file-system-specific change journal for Windows clients. Using this intelligent scanning (or by monitoring the file system if the NTFS change journal is used), the Accelerator agent is able to identify the changed data without incurring the I/O penalty that most backup agents cause. At that point, the Accelerator agent can queue up only those changed segments from just the modified files for transfer to the NetBackup storage engine. As part of the storage engine s enhancements in NetBackup, the changed segments from the files are received and an Optimized Synthetic full backup is extrapolated based on the changed data from Accelerator, along with elements already stored in the backup storage pool. Figure 6. Accelerator for File Systems Overview To demonstrate the power of NetBackup Acceleration for file systems, ESG Lab audited the results from the backup jobs conducted in the previously completed testing. The Lab conducted a baseline full backup of the test Linux client with both the accelerated and non-accelerated backup policies. We then ran three more full backups with each policy and measured the results. Figure 7 shows the performance results of the third backup run for both the accelerated and the non-accelerated jobs, and Figure 8 shows the change tracking data transfer savings (similar to deduplication savings) generated by using the NetBackup Acceleration agent.
8 ESG Lab Review: Symantec NetBackup5230 Appliance 8 Figure 7. Backup Performance with NetBackup Accelerator for File Systems What the Numbers Mean Backup of our Linux client with more than a million files was 97% faster with NetBackup Accelerator. This equates to a 34X improvement in backup performance over a standard backup. As we added 10% new data to the Linux client, we were able to maintain the 97% improvement. Figure 8. Backup Data Transfer Savings with NetBackup Accelerator for File Systems What the Numbers Mean The Accelerator agent uses change log tracking to produce deduplication-like results. The Accelerator agent with change tracking reduced the amount of data transferred by over 99%. With Accelerator, less than half a GB out of the 211 GB of data had to be transferred for the backup.
9 ESG Lab Review: Symantec NetBackup5230 Appliance 9 Next, ESG Lab explored NetBackup Replication Director, which provides the ability to manage NetApp snapshots as backups completely within the NetBackup GUI. The entire data protection lifecycle from backup to replication to tapeouts can be managed from within NetBackup. ESG Lab began testing backup-managed storage snapshots by creating a Replication Director-enabled policy. Figure 9 shows the workflow of the Replication Director-enabled backup. The left side of Figure 9 shows the 300 virtual machines and the VMware ESXi server that hosted them. The VMs were configured on NetApp-provisioned NFS datastores. On the right side of Figure 9, we see the NetApp FAS2240 array that serves the NFS datastores and the NetBackup 5230 backup appliance. We then used the option to select the backup clients automatically through a query. The query was designed to look for VMs based on their storage location in this case, NetApp-provisioned datastores. The query was then run. It identified 300 VMs that would be backed up upon execution of the policy. Figure 9. NetBackup Replication Director Overview When the Replication Director-enabled policy ran, it communicated to the NetApp storage array through a NetApp OnCommand management server not shown in Figure 9. It leveraged an NBU OpenStorage (OST) plug-in created and maintained by NetApp. Through the OnCommand server via OST, NetBackup managed the NetApp snapshot technology process for data protection as shown by the smaller blue snapshot icon on the lower right side of Figure 9. With this process, each snapshot was seen by NetBackup as a standard backup and its images were indexed in the catalog. This means that not only do you get the benefit of recovering a complete VM in matter of seconds as compared with the traditional, time-consuming, and sequential restore process, but you also get the ability to do file-level restores for the efficient snapshot backup process.
10 ESG Lab Review: Symantec NetBackup5230 Appliance 10 Next, the Lab monitored the status of the Replication Director backup job. As shown in Figure 10, the NetBackup GUI was used to display job status details. The details shown in the red callout box display a status of zero for the job. This indicates that the job was successful and that no issues were encountered during the process. The details also show the number of VMs that were protected and the elapsed time of the backup. Figure 10 shows that the Lab was able to back up 300 VMs in less than five minutes. Figure 10. Replication Director Results Lastly, as shown in Figure 11, ESG Lab configured a policy with AIR to enable the automatic replication of our deduplicated backup images to the remote NetBackup server on a different domain for disaster recovery. Figure 11 shows two NetBackup 5230 Appliances connected via a WAN. The first appliance (nbapp210) is the system that was used for the primary backups conducted throughout this review. The second appliance (nbapp226) is our simulated DR target on a different domain. The upper left side of Figure 11 shows that the Lab configured a policy with a deduplicated replication target on the DR appliance. The policy replicated both the backup data and the associated catalog image data for our Linux client from the primary appliance to the simulated DR appliance. The upper right corner of Figure 11 displays the activity monitor view, showing that the Lab was able to run a successful restore of the Linux host from the DR appliance. The Linux host restore was made exceptionally easy at the DR appliance because along with the backup data, the backup history was also replicated and added to the NetBackup 5230 DR Appliance. The Lab was able to easily initiate the restore from within the management interface with just a few clicks.
11 Figure 11. NetBackup AIR ESG Lab Review: Symantec NetBackup5230 Appliance 11 AIR Results The AIR replication job had a 97% deduplication rate between targets. The replication job only had to send less than 1% of the database and backup data to keep in sync. The backup history was also replicated and automatically appended to the DR system database. Why This Matters Backup and recovery remain dominant challenges for many IT organizations. Unfortunately, the ability to successfully manage data protection often decreases as the amount of data and the complexity of the infrastructure increases. It is not surprising, then, that ESG research indicates that over the last four years, improving data protection along with managing data growth and increased use of server virtualization rank in the top five most-cited IT priorities among surveyed companies. 2 ESG Lab validated that the NetBackup 5230 Appliance can help make managing these large, complex environments with both physical and virtual components a far less daunting task. The Lab used NetBackup Accelerator for file systems to improve a backup window by 97% for a server with more than a million files. We also used Replication Director to recover 300 VMs in less than five minutes and AIR to automate our DR process. 2 Source: ESG Research Report, 2013 IT Spending Intentions Survey, January 2013.
12 The Bigger Truth ESG Lab Review: Symantec NetBackup5230 Appliance 12 Creating an efficient backup and recovery environment is never an easy task. Data protection involves almost every part of the IT infrastructure, and businesses are always looking to simplify the protection experience. Constant data growth and ever-changing infrastructures make it hard for backup administrators to keep up. A successful deployment requires that both the software and supporting hardware work in perfect harmony to achieve operational efficiency. Symantec has recently introduced an integrated backup appliance that combines NetBackup data protection software, a mainstay product well known in the backup and recovery community, with a purpose-built appliance. The appliance is designed to be easily deployed in an existing environment as a complete new data protection solution or integrated into an existing NetBackup infrastructure. The appliance starts as a 2U, purpose-built Linux server with 4TB of built-in RAID 6 backup storage capacity that can be expanded to 76TB. Interoperability for all hardware-required firmware and software components is managed via a single utility, which is accessible under the Software Updates tab in the management section of the appliance web interface. Symantec quality assurance support distributes and maintains bundled updates that can be applied and rolled back if necessary with the same utility. ESG Lab was very pleased with how easy it was to deploy a NetBackup 5230 Appliance. In less than 25 minutes, we moved from the shipping-packaged hardware to a solution that was ready to run backups. Even more impressive was the fact that we were able to quickly configure advanced data protection features (e.g., Acceleration, Replication Director, and AIR) on basic appliance configurations. ESG Lab believes that the NetBackup 5230 Appliance can help eliminate many of the headaches and pitfalls encountered when creating and maintaining an internally architected data protection solution. From consolidated compute environments to backup/recovery appliances, integrated solutions are being leveraged by many IT organizations to simplify deployment and improve operational efficiency. ESG Lab believes the NetBackup 5230 Appliance truly creates a better together solution. As long as Symantec can keep the deployment and update process running as smoothly as ESG Lab experienced during validation testing while still supporting future NetBackup features, the NetBackup 5230 appliance should remain a reliable and efficient data protection solution. 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
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Backup for branch offices and compartment backups Måns Höiom & Rikard Lindkvist Today s IT Challenges: Why Better Backup is needed? Accelerated Data Growth 62% Year Over Year This kind of data growth means
White Paper Abstract This white paper describes the benefits of NetWorker Snapshot Management for EMC Arrays. It also explains the value of using EMC NetWorker for snapshots and backup. June 2013 Copyright
Enterprise Cloud Backup and Recovery with Symantec NetBackup Data Sheet: Backup and Disaster Recovery Overview of Symantec NetBackup As the established market leader, Symantec NetBackup delivers reliable
Lab Validation Report EMC Data Domain and Avamar Performance and Efficiency for VMware Data Protection By Kerry Dolan, Lab Analyst October 2015 2 Contents Introduction... 3 Background... 3 ESG Lab Validation...