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«By Vinny Choinski, Sr. ESG Lab Analyst January 2012 © 2012, Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Field Audit: EMC NetWorker Backup ...»

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Field Audit


EMC NetWorker

Backup and Recovery Solutions

By Vinny Choinski, Sr. ESG Lab Analyst

January 2012

© 2012, Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Field Audit: EMC NetWorker Backup and Recovery Solutions 2




EMC NetWorker

Customer #1: A High-tech R&D Organization

Customer #2: Diversified Global Media Conglomerate

Customer #3: International Government Agency

The Bigger Truth

ESG Field Audits The goal of ESG Lab reports is to educate IT professionals about data center technology products for companies of all types and sizes. ESG Field Audits 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 as they are being applied in end-user environments. ESG‘s expert third-party perspective is based on interviews with customers who use these products in production environments. This ESG Field Audit was sponsored by EMC.

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 508.482.0188.

© 2012, Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc

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Introduction ESG recently completed interviews with several customers using EMC NetWorker backup and recovery solutions.

This ESG Field Audit documents the successes of these diverse customers as they take advantage of NetWorker’s benefits along with EMC Data Domain deduplication storage systems and EMC Data Protection Advisor (DPA) software.

Background IT managers are always on the lookout for ways to improve backup and recovery performance, streamline protection management, and reduce costs. ESG research proves the point (see Figure 1), as backup and recovery remain top spending priorities year after year. In 2011, when asked where they would make significant storage infrastructure investments, more than one-third (36%) of survey respondents planned to invest in backup and recovery solutions.1 Other top-ten protection priorities include data replication for offsite disaster recovery (24%) and tape replacement (15%).

Improved storage management software tools (21%) and data reduction technologies (18%) are also expected to receive investment money. While these technologies can improve many aspects of IT, they can be applied to data protection tasks specifically to reduce costs.

Figure 1. 2011 Storage-specific Investments over the Next 12 to 18 Months

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EMC NetWorker EMC NetWorker is a well-known and trusted backup and recovery solution that centralizes, automates, and accelerates data protection across the IT environment. It enables organizations to leverage a common platform for backup and recovery of heterogeneous data while keeping business applications online. NetWorker operates in diverse computing environments including multiple operating systems; SAN, NAS, and DAS disk storage environments; tape drives and libraries; and cloud storage. It protects critical business applications including databases, messaging environments, ERP systems, content management systems, and virtual server environments.

Figure 2. NetWorker Overview Integration with VMware vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP).

NetWorker supports VADP, VMware’s recommended off-host protection mechanism that replaces VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB). VADP improves performance by eliminating temporary storage of snapshots and enabling support for Change Block Tracking (CBT) as well as improving network utilization and reducing management overhead. NetWorker communicates with VMware vCenter to auto-discover and display a visual map of the virtual environment, streamlining administrative tasks dramatically.

EMC Data Domain. Data Domain systems deduplicate data inline during the backup process. Deduplication reduces the amount of disk storage needed to retain and protect data by ratios of 10-30x and greater, making disk a costeffective alternative to tape. Deduplicated data can be stored onsite for immediate restores enabling longer-term retention on disk. NetWorker not only can use Data Domain systems as disk targets, but also can leverage Data Domain Boost (DD Boost) software to achieve faster and more efficient data protection. DD Boost increases performance by distributing portions of the deduplication process to the NetWorker storage nodes and/or application modules so that only unique, compressed data segments are sent to the Data Domain system.

© 2012, Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Field Audit: EMC NetWorker Backup and Recovery Solutions 5 DD Boost also provides visibility into Data Domain system information, and it enables NetWorker to control replication between multiple Data Domain systems while maintaining a single point of management for tracking all backups and duplicate copies.

EMC NetWorker Clone-controlled replication with Data Domain Boost. A key feature available with the integration of NetWorker and DD Boost is clone-controlled replication. Through the NetWorker GUI, administrators can create, control, monitor, and catalog backup clones using network-efficient Data Domain Replicator software. NetWorker also enables administrators to move backup images to a central location where they can be cloned to tape, consolidating tape operations. With NetWorker wizard-based clone-controlled replication, administrators can schedule Data Domain Replicator operations, track save sets, set retention policies, monitor the local and remote replicas available for recovery, and schedule cloning automatically. It also takes advantage of Data Domain’s deduplication, compression, and high-speed replication to reduce data amounts and speed cloning resulting in improved performance and reduced network bandwidth requirements.

EMC Data Protection Advisor. DPA provides unified monitoring, analysis, alerting, and reporting across the data protection environment. It collects information about data protection automatically to inform IT decisions and help administrators correct problems and meet SLAs. The software’s single, integrated view brings simplicity to a complex environment, reduces risk, and helps IT work more effectively. DPA takes volumes of disparate data and turns it into actionable knowledge, enabling organizations to reduce costs by more efficiently managing people, processes, and equipment.

ESG Lab recently tested NetWorker and confirmed that enhancements such as greater integration with Data Domain systems, VMware, and DPA result in faster backup performance, better replication control, and simpler administration across heterogeneous environments. Its enhanced versatility helps reduce both the cost and the complexity of a task that is typically considered to be complicated and expensive.

As a complement to our hands-on testing in the laboratory setting, we also recently spoke with three IT managers using NetWorker, Data Domain, and DPA in heterogeneous physical and virtual environments. Their organizations, which vary in size and in the types of data being protected, include a high-tech research and development organization, a diversified media company, and a government agency.

In the next sections, we let these customers speak for themselves. All customer quotes appear in italics.

© 2012, Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Field Audit: EMC NetWorker Backup and Recovery Solutions 6 Customer #1: A High-tech R&D Organization ESG spoke with the backup and recovery architect for the worldwide R&D organization of a global technology leader. This architect is responsible for protecting file system and SQL database data, test-build source code, and user-experience test media files for all the R&D teams and departments across the company in all geographies.

Situation Our organization was established specifically to support the product groups and their mission. A great many spots had not been covered by backups, so we wanted to provide backup services that would have a global span of reach and be able to scale. Our goal is to be 100% virtualized, which means we could be looking at 20,000 to 30,000 discrete virtualized servers in a single environment with a single data zone. We have to scale to meet those needs.

Also, we aim to be 100% tapeless.

NetWorker Environment We have 20 TB of data now, but we are just turning on the environment for the general population. We sized the environment to scale and have 128 TB of committed use for about 2,000 clients. We back up physical and Hyper-V virtual servers. This is just the tip of the iceberg. We plan to expand to other data zones in the future, but we built the NetWorker Server to handle 7,000 to 8,000 clients before we extend it to other zones. Next we will expand to a large lab with about 200 TB across 4,000 clients. We’ll probably be backing up multi-petabytes within the next two to three years.

Right now, we’re a single data zone with a single NetWorker server running at the central site. We built a highspeed environment with 10 Gb connections, tiered storage, fast drives, and flash cache. Storage won’t be a bottleneck as far as getting NetWorker performance. Four storage nodes are attached and run within that data zone. Two of those storage nodes are in a remote location using the 10 Gb connection between our central and remote sites. At the central site, we have a DD880, and DPA runs there as well. Primary data is in the lab environment with two storage nodes. Those are using a DD670 target, so all clients in the labs backup to those two storage nodes.

The entire environment is controlled in the central site 10 miles away. We use DD Boost from the storage node to the DD670, and NetWorker to manage replication from the DD670 to the DD880. So DD Boost clones create our offsite components. The DD670 provides 30-day retention, while the DD880 provides 90-day retention. Data is expired from there. Longer retention will be offered later but with a goal of remaining tapeless. We have multiple VLANS, including a dedicated replication and metadata VLAN.

Why Select NetWorker We looked at other solutions from Symantec and CommVault. One was too complex to deploy with the number of services we run. With the other, the size of the company was too small: I’m not going to bet our source code on a small company, and their view of support and customer response were not up to my enterprise standards. Also their interface is very complex, while NetWorker’s is intuitive. NetWorker’s footprint is also lighter-weight.

Implementation Our NetWorker environment (see Figure 3) has been in place for about a year. It took 12 hours to implement NetWorker, Data Domain, and DPA for reporting and chargeback.

Results We have expanded the data that is protected, incorporating global reach and central management. We are now able to do cost recovery and chargeback. We no longer have to write scripts because we can schedule cloning and pick save sets. The cloning mechanisms are working very well for us.

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Figure 3. High-tech R&D Organization Why This Matters Protection of critical business assets has never been more important.

Using multiple distributed point solutions can make it difficult, complex, and expensive to reach all the assets that should be protected, particularly as server virtualization exacerbates the already high level of data growth. As a result, many organizations are forced to leave areas of data unprotected.

NetWorker, along with Data Domain and DD Boost, enabled this customer to protect more critical R&D data in laboratories across the globe in a 100% tapeless environment capable of scaling to support thousands of users and hundreds of terabytes of backup data.

Virtualization is creating the need for tremendous scale. The customer’s new NetWorker implementation is designed to expand to multiple petabytes over the next few years using Data Domain deduplication storage systems with centralized management. The ability to use clone-controlled replication simplifies offsite copying and improves the level of protection, while DPA enables the customer to perform chargeback and cost-recovery tasks.

© 2012, Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Field Audit: EMC NetWorker Backup and Recovery Solutions 8 Customer #2: Diversified Global Media Conglomerate ESG spoke with the director for international infrastructure and projects at this large global media company. The organization provides services to all international offices—60 locations across all divisions, from film to consumer products, retail stores, and entertainment locations. This customer’s major IT hubs are located in Hong Kong and Tokyo (covering Asia); Paris and London (covering Continental Europe, the U.K., South Africa, the Middle East, and Russia); and Buenos Aires and Mexico City (covering Latin America).

Situation We currently provide services for more than 15,000 employees. That number will grow over the next few years as we add about 13,000 employees in 160 locations including China. We have focused on consolidating sprawl and reducing costs—because these improvements will drive the agility that enables us to expand at a very high rate. Our offices are not running the same things—they are doing film, theatrical, distribution, consumer products, retail, etc.

The way we are growing, we just cannot have individual backup servers in every location—but we can grow organically using the major hubs in each area, making us nimble enough, for instance, to have a 30-day cycle from signing a lease to opening a retail store.

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