Feature

Big three apps adjust to disk-based backup

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Product roadmaps

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EMC Corp. NetWorker: NetWorker 7.4, to be released within the next year, will include the following new features:
  • NetWorker will manage all TCP/IP ports opened through a firewall. These ports will be locked and controlled by NetWorker to prevent other programs from using these ports and compromising the firewall.
  • The PowerSnap module for the EMC RecoverPoint continuous data protection product will be released in April.
  • Over the next year or two, all of the different NetWorker modules will be able to be managed from a central console.
Symantec Corp. Veritas NetBackup: The NetBackup 6.5 release is planned for the second half of this year. Some features Symantec plans to include or enhance are:
  • Enhanced support for virtual tape libraries.
  • A new shared disk option that allows SAN-attached disk volumes controlled by the master server to be assigned to client servers, which is similar to how Symantec's shared tape option now works.
  • Improve the ability to restore from file-system snapshots so that only a single file is restored rather than the entire file-system snapshot.
  • Integrate the PureDisk data de-duplication technology into NetBackup.
  • Over the next year or two, integrate the data classification engine in Veritas Enterprise Vault with NetBackup to allow users to classify and categorize data on new backups, as well as classify data on old backups.
IBM Corp. Tivoli Storage Manager: Declined to provide information about the upcoming features it plans to offer in the next year or two.

Instant backup and restore
An offshoot of the growth of disk-based backup is the increased interest in backup and recovery technologies such as CDP and snapshots. NetWorker and TSM offer snapshot and replication options that support primarily array and virtualization technologies sold by their respective companies. TSM lets users execute instant restores and backups using IBM's TotalStorage DS6000 and DS8000 storage arrays or SAN Volume Controller (SVC). Similarly, EMC's NetWorker PowerSnap modules integrate predominantly with EMC's Symmetrix and Clariion storage arrays. Prior to EMC's acquisition of Legato, NetWorker offered PowerSnap modules that supported older IBM and Sun storage array models; going forward, the PowerSnap modules won't be upgraded to support non-EMC storage arrays.

With NetBackup 6.0, Symantec introduced Advanced Client, which allows the central management console to identify the host-, network- or array-based snapshot options available to the client server. It also grants the storage administrator the ability to remotely configure snapshots on that server.

But don't assume a backup program containing a wizard-like snapshot option will work out of the box. There are a number of tasks required to get some wizards to work in complicated storage environments.

For instance, NetWorker PowerSnap modules are licensed by specific storage devices, so a future storage array change requires changing the host software and licensing. If you're using a Clariion, you must first verify that it has up-to-date firmware; because Clariion supports two snapshot methods, you must then choose the type of snapshot to use--copy on write or split mirror. The next step is to verify that the Clariion contains sufficient storage space for the desired type of snapshot. Finally, you must install EMC's Navisphere Host Agent, Navisphere CLI, PowerPath and NetWorker client software on the host before a snapshot is created. While these steps vary in complexity according to the backup software product, both TSM's and NetBackup's snapshot modules require similar steps.

McLeavy decided not to use snapshot modules. Instead, McLeavy scripts snapshots using SYMCLI commands because NetWorker didn't offer a PowerSnap module for the Tru64 operating systems he used at the time. While McLeavy is now moving from Tru64 to AIX, he still has no plans to purchase the PowerSnap Symmetrix modules because "the modules are a little pricey, considering we already have a working configuration."

This was first published in April 2006

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