If your backup strategy is in need of an overhaul then Commvault and NetApp can help

Backup continues to be a challenge for most organisations, legacy systems are just too complex and expensive, and whilst hypervisor centric solutions, such as Veeam, have done a great job of protecting virtualised environments, their weakness tends to be that their de-duplication engines do not scale. Purpose-built backup appliances (PBBAs), such as EMC Data Domain, ExaGrid EX, Quantum DXi or HP StoreOnce, provide much better de-duplication ratios and performance at scale (i.e. 150 VMs+) – it is therefore often recommended to combine the likes of Veeam with a PBBA, but this does significantly push up the cost of the solution. So what other options are available? Option 1 – Software-Defined Data Protection with Enterprise-class De-dupe By combining Commvault Simpana with NetApp E-Series you get Continue reading

What are the key features of a NetApp FAS storage platform?

Whereas the vast majority of storage arrays are block based, NetApp has taken a different approach – their main storage platform (FAS) uses a file layout to power a range of features (including integrated backup, de-duplication, and truly unified block and NAS) that their competitors struggle to compete with. Let’s take a quick look at the technologies that make FAS so unique: WAFL (Write Anywhere File Layout) Whether you are creating a block LUN to present using FC, iSCSI or FCoE, or an NFS or CIFS file system they both use the WAFL “file system” – WAFL then powers all of the capabilities discussed below. RAID-DP WAFL optimally writes data using large RAID stripes which avoids the small block random Continue reading

Storage platforms for colleges and universities

Given the continual squeeze on budgets in education, finding the right storage solution for a college or university is challenging.  Balancing the needs of both the academic and business departments within the organisation requires a stable, feature-rich and scaleable solution that works in tandem with your existing infrastructure.  In our experience, when looking for solutions that provide great value for money, the NetApp FAS2000 series are hard to beat especially when you take into account the efficiency of the built in snap engine and the SnapProtect data protection add-on. That engine allows you to take snapshots as frequently as you like without affecting the performance of your production systems.  If the FAS2000 series does not meet your needs then the Continue reading

NetApp SnapProtect video 4 of 4 – VMware VMDK recovery

This is the final video in a series of 4 (see NetApp SnapProtect video 1 of 4 – Backup management and replication for the first video) delving into capabilities of NetApp SnapProtect. Recovering files is one thing, but recovering an entire drive is normally somewhat more complicated. SnapProtect makes the process straight forward and provides the flexibility to recover entire virtual machines, or individual files or virtual machine disks, from a local, remote or tape copy. In this video we demonstrate the process of performing the recovery of an entire VMware virtual machine disk file (VMDK). NetApp SnapProtect video 2 of 4 – Mounting an off-site backup snapshot NetApp SnapProtect video 3 of 4 – VM image backup with restore from file scan Continue reading

NetApp SnapProtect video 3 of 4 – VM image backup with restore from file scan

This is the third video in a series of 4 (see NetApp SnapProtect video 1 of 4 – Backup management and replication for the first video) delving into capabilities of NetApp SnapProtect. To create a browsable catalog, to enable easy restores, backup applications perform a file system scan, but this can significantly slowdown the process if there is a large number of files. SnapProtect can accelerate the backup process by providing an option to perform the file scan at restore time. In this video we demonstrate how SnapProtect will make completing backups incredibly fast without compromising the restore process. NetApp SnapProtect video 2 of 4 – Mounting an off-site backup snapshot NetApp SnapProtect video 4 of 4 – VMware VMDK recovery Mark Continue reading

NetApp SnapProtect video 2 of 4 – Mounting an off-site backup snapshot

This is the second video in a series of 4 (see NetApp SnapProtect video 1 of 4 – Backup management and replication for the first video) delving into capabilities of NetApp SnapProtect. In this video we demonstrate local snapshot backups of a VMware environment and automated replication to a DR site, followed by mounting and powering-on the replicated virtual machine – all within the SnapProtect interface (with a little help from the vSphere Client). NetApp SnapProtect video 3 of 4 – VM image backup with restore from file scan NetApp SnapProtect video 4 of 4 – VMware VMDK recovery Mark Burgess Mark Burgess has worked in IT since 1984, starting as a programmer on DEC VAX systems, then moving into PC software Continue reading

NetApp SnapProtect video 1 of 4 – Backup management and replication

The amount of data organisations need to backup is growing every year, but backup throughput is just not keeping up. Having to move even a few TBs of data takes a long time and as more and more organisations need to backup tens or even hundreds of TBs this has become an enormous challenge. Alternative options need to be explored and probably the most popular one is replicated array snapshots: Instant backup and restore as data does not need to move Multiple backups can be taken throughout the day Backup data is automatically replicated off-site Tape backups only need to be performed infrequently or possibly not at all Combines storage, backup and disaster recovery into a single solution There are some issues though Continue reading