Read this if you’re thinking of going 100% agentless!

Since the beginning of backup times (almost), backing up specific platforms has typically required an agent optimized for the environment in question.  Typically, you’d get one agent installed on each server, the agent would interact with the backup engine/server and do its thing.  This became very cumbersome when virtualization exploded, when adding a server (virtual) could be easily done with one phone call to your favorite admin. Not just one, but dozens or hundreds. It meant installing one agent on each virtual machine, which quickly became cumbersome and operationally created data protection gaps and issues.

Along came agentless backup which significantly reduced the difficulty associated with backing up virtual machines.  With this approach, you can capture all of the VMs with a proxy server without having to install an agent in each virtual machine.  Less administration, less data loss exposure…what else could be better? It certainly made agent backup look old and clunky.

Not so fast…. As is often the case, there’s more than meets the eye.  You can’t just go 100% agentless…Here’s why:

  • With VMware, any virtual machine that does not use native VMFS cannot be properly protected “agentless-ly” leveraging the native VMware API’s.  Raw Device Maps (RDM’S), and SQL Cluster disks are both examples where a different File System to VMFS is used.
  • Our competitor Company V’s agentless technology, for example, can’t protect these systems.  In contrast, Arcserve easily can through the installation of an agent.  In a recent conversation with our field, we confirmed that we often see customers who use RDM’s being told by Company V that they have to convert them to ‘normal’ virtual machines.  That’s a dirty little secret, and something that many customers just won’t deal with. (By the way, this company’s recent announcement around agent deserves serious inspection – a glorified desktop agent is not the same thing as a full-featured server agent.)

To quote one of our field leads: “Our physical server support through the UDP agent install is a significant advantage over Virtual only agentless solutions.  The ability to be able to protect and recover physical machines as bare metal, as virtual machines or at an object and file level is obvious, but it also allows us to protect virtual machines that are not supported by the native tools and API’s.  There are also circumstances where it may be preferable to install an agent inside the virtual machine – for example if the virtual machine is very large or has a very high change rate, or if the VM Tools are perhaps not properly configured or up to date.”

Also, with our High Availability module, which provides Continuous Data Protection, Fail Over, Fail Back and more, supporting replication and backup of an MSCS cluster running on Windows 2008 R2 in VMware with physical RDM is easy.  It is however a big issue with our competitors Company V and Company Z.  In addition, remember that Arcserve offers great deduplication, global across nodes.  Not everyone does that!

Beware of 100% agentless solutions – they just don’t cut it in many cases!

Arcserve UDP vs. Company Vm – Part 2

In this second and final post comparing Arcserve UDP and Company Vm, we will focus on some very important differences in our respective backup and recovery technology. Let’s first remember that Company Vm focuses only on data protection for virtual environments, and by definition, creates serious gaps in their ability to support hybrid environments.

Support for physical systems is a built-in capability with Arcserve UDP. While many production environments may be highly virtualized, not everyone is 100% virtualized yet, nor do industry analysts seem to believe it will ever be the case. This underscores a very real need to offer support that protects physical systems in addition to virtual servers, or customers have no choice but to run multiple solutions, which is counter-productive and doesn’t deliver coherent restores across the environment.   Arcserve UDP supports both physical and virtual sources, and rrestores to physical and virtual destinations.

In terms of flexible recovery options, Bare Metal Recovery (BMR) is a “must-have” in a data protection solution, and allows you to quickly recover when a complete system fails. Customers often resort to “adding on” other BMR products when their “virtual system only” product does not offer this capability. With Arcserve UDP, customers get instant BMR to support local and remote bare metal recovery of Linux physical machines. Instant BMR provides better restore capability and an improved end-user experience by enabling instant access to a target machine prior to the entire recovery process being finished. This feature empowers users to instantly regain access into a failed physical Linux node, and is a first of its kind.

Let’s talk about tape. Tape is not a primary backup medium anymore as most end-users today have adopted disk to disk strategies (i.e. backing up to disk vs. tape). However, there are still many reasons to use tape as a secondary backup medium for long term retention or archival requirements. Company Vm’s V9 technology introducedadvanced” tape support, including parallel processing, concurrent copy sessions and GFS Rotation schemes (Grand Father, Father, Son). However, you can’t “improvise” tape support; it takes years to master it – and Company Vm’s support is very basic. In contrast, Arcserve UDP offers actual advanced tape features, such as: multiplexing (2-32 jobs), multi-streaming, device group and media pool, GFS rotation and synthetic backup, append media, media maximization, media pool manager, tape library option and auto library detection and configuration, bar code support, auto inventory, auto eject media, monitor blank media quantity, tape management and tape vaulting, auto tape cleaning and configurable block size for tape. We could go on, but hopefully you see the stark differences in our tape support.

As far as remote office protection, it’s important to protect business data no matter where your employees are located, and to protect those data nodes in an efficient fashion. Company Vm’s solution requires a separately installed WAN Optimization service (and that’s for their Enterprise edition only). In comparison, Arcserve UDP’s Recovery Point Replication is included in all the versions of our solution, and our Gateway feature provides fast WAN Transfer that makes it highly efficient.

There are also differences in how Arcserve approaches cloud backup and replication, compared to Company Vm. Cloud backup and replication allows for the backup product console to connect to a cloud-based service provider. This lets you replicate VM copies or backup points offsite into the cloud as a disaster recovery solution.

With Arcserve, the target Hypervisor is cross-compatible, and the source and target Hypervisor can differ in this instance. Also, Arcserve supports this on physical servers at the source which allows for physical to virtual (P2V) to the service provider. With company Vm, one of the limitations is if you’re replicating from Hyper-V, your service provider must provide Hyper-V. Not very flexible, is it?

Finally, in contrast to Company Vm’s software and cloud partnership only, Arcserve UDP is available as a software solution but also as an appliance, in addition to the Arcserve Cloud.

Veeam V9 Vs Arcserve UDP V6 – A Practical Comparison

Comparison

2016 is off to an exciting start with Veeam and Arcserve releasing their latest versions. Veeam releaded the V9 Availability Suite and Arcserve released UDP6 (codenamed “Tungsten”).

Side note: Veeam coined the Phrase “RTPO” which is essentially means “RTO and RPO”. Personally, I disagree with this term as I think that the two terms are completely independent from one another: “Restore Time” and “Restore Point”. This is just my opinion.

Both are excellent products. I have had some time to test both capabilities and have done some research on their features. Below, I have a comparison based on the new features of Veeam V9 vs Arcserve UDP V6 and how each one delivers its’ functionality.

Instant VM Restore

An instant VM restore, or IVM, is about mounting your latest backup point to your Hypervisor host as a temporary data store point and registering that VM into the virtual infrastructure for immediate accessibility. It is no longer necessary to wait for your restore to copy points from backup disk into production – with IVM your RTO is seconds to minutes.

VeeamVeeam has had this functionality in previous versions, but has added some development: vPower Cache. This feature allows for recently accessed backup files to be cached and this will assist in speeding up instant VM restores, unlike Arcserve’s IVM.

 

arcserveUDP6 has just developed this feature in the new release V6. UDP 6 does have vPower functionality and can support instant VM restore cross-hypervisor, can instantly restore a VMware VM onto Hyper-V. In addition, UDP 6 also protects physical machines and allows for instant VM recovery of a physical node “P2V IVM”. This is very powerful stuff, unlike Veeam’s IVM.

 

Replica VM – Virtual Standby (For Disaster Recovery)

Replica VM or Virtual Standby “VSB” is a pre-exported conversion of your latest backup point into a virtual machine ready to power up in the event that production VM is lost. This is not a new feature for Veeam or Arcserve, but I would like to compare the two in any case.

VeeamVeeam has replica VM functionality , which is easy to use. You can create a replica VM off of the latest backup point or live snapshot process on your production VM. Both Veeam and Arcserve have networking and configuration functionality on these tasks. I would like to mention Veeam’s DR failover plan here. Where the plan is created with a boot sequence of multiple VMs, this failover plan allows you to commit to replica VMs or fail back to production VM.

arcserveUDP6 has what is called “Virtual Standby” that very easy to use. You can have a backup plan create virtual instances of the latest backup point. UDP6 VSB supports virtual standby cross-hypervisors and “P2V” (physical to virtual). This would mean you can have a VSB of your Vmware VM on hyper V or vica versa. This also means that you can have a VSB of a physical node onto your hypervisor. In addition, once failed over to VSB from the physical node you are able to restore back to the physical node directly off of the virtual standby to incorporate the latest changes written to the VSB.

 

Instant Bare Metal Recovery “BMR”for Linux

For Linux physical machines, Arcserve UDP introduces Instant Bare Metal Restore (BMR) to support local and remote bare metal recovery of Linux physical machines. Instant BMR provides better restore capability and an improved end user experience by providing users with instant access to a target machine prior to the entire recovery process being finished. This is done without physical interaction with the Linux nodes across the network though PXE boot solution.

VeeamVeeam does not currently support this and has limited support for physical server environments, as it was originally designed for Virtual solutions.

 

arcserveUDP6 provides for exactly what has been described above. Arcserve can instantly regain access into a failed physical Linux node with instant BMR. This is a first of its’ kind and a very powerful feature.

 

Granular Restore Tools “GRT”

GRT are interfaces that the backup vendor develops to facilitate for granular level restore back into applications. Example: an exchange GRT, allowing single mail items to be restored from a DB backup back into a mailbox into the live exchange DB. Most backup products support file level GRT as this is supported by Windows Explorer.

VeeamVeeam refers to a GRT as a “Veeam Explorer” and has in their new release V9 an Oracle Explorer and Veeam has granular VM recovery in Veeam Explorers for Microsoft Active Directory, Exchange, SharePoint and SQL Server.

 

arcserveUDP6 refers to this as “GRT” and has integrated this into the console restore capabilities, rather than having to install a separate feature application. Arcserve must be commended on its exchange GRT as this is very granular, allowing restores of mail down to calendar and tasks back into a mailbox. However, Arcserve currently supports Microsoft Active Directory, Exchange and Linux file/folder on GRT. Granular restores are still possible for Oracle, SharePoint and SQL but rather through its’ own interface.

Corruption Guard or Recovery Point Check

This feature tests the data integrity of the files systems in the backup points to ensure no corruption on backup points and no loss to data or unusable restore points.

VeeamThis is a new feature for Veeam called “Corruption Guard”. This runs a process similar to check disk CHKDSK that tests and repairs file system data integrity issues on your backup restore points.

 

arcserveThis is not a new feature to Arcserve. The feature is called “RPC” or Recovery Point Check. Arcserve will mount the restore point and actively run a CHKDSK on the files system and repair any corruption.

 

 

Backup Data Reduction

This is somewhat a large topic as it covers a variety of features. Data reduction on backup mainly consists of compression and global deduplication in most cases. Deduplication is the comparison to data across a deduplication domain only holding one instance of unique data, thus cancelling out redundant data being held on backup. Compression will compact files during backup to shrink the backup size to as small as possible.

VeeamVeeam has added a few features and further development on their de-duplication feature.The largest setback on Veeam’s global deduplication is that it’s not so global. The deduplication domain is across a single job – only servers within a plan will be de-duped against one another. There has been added development where multiple VMs within a job can be de-duplicated in parallel across both live backup streams. In addition, they have focused on third party storage vendors’ deduplication (such as HP and Netapp) to assist in reducing their backup footprint to storage.

Another feature, defragmentation and compact, will assist on further reducing the backup foot print over longer retention periods. This will access backup points and remove deleted data or VMs without requiring you to create a new active full.

Scale-out backup repositories (SoBR) and bitlooker are further additions to the V9 release.

Bitlooker allows you to exclude files and folders from your backup (e.g. exclude c:\temp). Further to that, it will allow you to exclude blocks that are marked as deleted. When a file is deleted in Windows, the space isn’t actually wiped clean – Windows just removes that file from the master file table, effectively forgetting about it and allowing future data to occupy the space. Unfortunately, because the data is still occupying space, it is getting backed up. BitLooker recognizes this fact and skips over these files.

The scale-out backup repository allows you to create a backup storage pool using multiple physical storage appliances, thus creating a federated storage repository. This increases write performance, as backups are written in multiple streams to multiple devices and this will also reduce storage cost (because you can repurpose storage devices).

arcserveUDP6 has true source side global de-duplication. The deduplication domain is at the backup server (RPS) storage level. Similar to Veeam, storage is presented through Windows or IscsI to Arcserve, but all backups to Arcserve storage repository are de-duplicated against each other, allowing for multiple plans/jobs/policies. This runs at 32k, 16k, 8k or 4k block size levels with a forever incremental strategy utilising CBT change block tracking. This means that only changed data blocks from the source are included into the backup pass. Furthermore, these blocks are compared to the backup storage repository to confirm they are indeed unique, thus massively reducing the storage requirement for backup on arcserve UDP. Both physical and virtual will be included in the same de-duplication domain. UDP6 has included physical Linux nodes into this single de-duplication domain. Impressive lab results have shown that protecting half a Petabyte of storage has left a storage footprint of 13.5TB on backup disk. Whilst the storage features Veeam V9 has developed are beneficial, these seem to be in place to assist their struggling de-duplication protocol or algorithm. Arcserve seems to have hit the nail on the head when it comes to data reduction, leaving backup simple yet efficient.

 

Stand Alone Console

The console would be the management interface for the backup application where reports and logs, jobs, schedules etc. can be configured.

VeeamVeeam has released a standalone console in V9 that allows you to install an application on your workstation that will connect to your Veeam backup servers on the network instead of multiple RDP sessions to your backup servers. The Veeam console is an installed application and so is the standalone server. Performance here is impacted by server or workstation CPU and memory utilization.

arcserveThis has always been a feature for Arcserve (UDP stands for “Unified Data Protection”). Arcserve offers a unified console that is web based and backed by Tomcat. This has a tiny footprint when it comes to compute overhead and is browseable via Http or Https on any workstation or mobile device on your network.

ROBO Support

ROBO (Remote Office, Branch Office) support allows for your main backup infrastructure to communicate and maintain processes or jobs on your remote sites. This should allow for features such as remote backup/restore capabilities and reporting on multiple sites from a central location.

VeeamVeeam previously had issues relaying commands from Veeam B&R console to backup proxies across the WAN sites or VPN tunnels. In V9, Veeam has released Guest Interaction Proxy which allows for a secure SSL connection between sites and proxies back to B&R console. This allows for remote restore across WAN sites and mounting backup points locally. This was a much needed feature for Veeam service providers.

arcserveUDP had a similar issue when it came to ROBO solutions where this had to be done through VPN connection. Even so, this worked and was functional to each remote site. In UDP6, the Remote Management Gateway feature allows for secure SSL connections across WAN links to ROBO sites. It allows for all management out of a single console and the ability to configure and push agents from one console for all sites. This compliments the existing unified console.

 

Cloud Connect (Cloud Backup & Replication)

Cloud backup and replication allows for the backup product console to connect to a service provider service such as storage or compute resource. This will allow the customer to replicate VM copies or backup points offsite into the cloud and pose as a DR (Disaster Recovery) solution.

VeeamVeeam has added development to their cloud connect feature. Previously, this only allowed for copying backup points to a cloud target, but Veeam V9 brings the replication feature too.

Previously, I discussed Veeam’s replica VMs. A customer with an onsite Veeam installation can enter details of their Veeam service provider’s Veeam B&R Gateway and replicate replica VMs to their service provider. A limitation is that if you are replicating from Hyper V, your service provider must provide Hyper V.

 

arcserveThis is not a new feature for Arcserve. Arcserve does this differently, though. The service provider creates a share plan with credentials and a secondary task to export as a virtual standby on either Hyper V or VMware. These credentials are shared with the customer. The customer will add a task to their backup plan to replicate to a remotely managed RPS server and use the credentials provided. The target hypervisor is cross compatible and the source and target hypervisor can differ in this instance. Arcserve supports this on physical servers too at the source, which allows for P2V to the service provider (“Physical to Virtual”).

Hardware Integrated Snapshots

Hardware snapshots allow the backup software to access the hardware array and initiate a snapshot of a VM of the hardware array, utilising the array compute resource to carry out the backup process. This results in a more efficient snapshot.

VeeamVeeam has done a lot of development with various storage vendors and has support on multiple storage arrays, such as NetApp and HP and the new edition in V9 of EMC. Veeam has also released Sandbox for HW snapshots in V9. This creates a clone of a snapshot into an isolated environment for testing purposes directly off the storage appliance, cutting out the unnecessary overhead.

arcserveUDP6 includes a hardware level snapshot integration in the new release for Netapp .

 

Tape

VeeamVeeam has released advanced support for Tape in the V9 release. This includes parallel rocessing, concurrent copy sessions and GFS rotation schemes (“Grand Father, Father, Son “). Tape is still underdeveloped for Veeam .

 

arcserveUDP6 has integration into its father product, Arcserve backup, which has been around for over 20 years. With over 20 years of development around tape features and support, it is far superior to Veeam’s Tape functionality. These features include: Multiplexing (2-32 jobs), Multistreaming, Device Group and Media Pool, GFS Rotation and Synthetic Backup, Append Media, Media Maximization, Media Pool Manager, Tape Library Option and Auto Library Detection and Configuration, Bar Code Support, Auto Inventory, Auto Eject Medi, Monitor Blank Media Qty., Tape Management and Tape Vaulting, Auto Tape Cleaning and Configurable Block Size for Tape.

Both products have their features that stand out. In my opinion, a lot of the new features Veeam has added to their suite were pre-existing with Arcserve since 2014 and before the release of UDP. Veeam seems to be playing catch-up. Veeam also doesn’t have a developed protection solution for your physical server workloads. Arcserve has physical and virtual protection features with  integration into your environment which allows for physical to virtual,  virtual to physical, virtual to virtual, “ Vmware to Hyper V “ restore/conversion functionality.

Arcserve also holds a replication and high availability suite that has been integrated into UDP, which allows for more than just disaster recovery and actually provides what Veeam claims to be: always on, automated fail over and instant replication of your business critical services.

 

 

Arcserve UDP Windows Remote BMR with WDS

 

With the new release UDP6, so comes the functionality of instant Linux BMR (Bare Metal Restore) which allows you to recover physical hardware remotely and instantly. This feature would be also be great for Windows environments not yet available.

A great solution for the remote recovery of physical Windows servers is to use Windows Deployment Service (WDS) integrating Arcserve UDP 6 Restore Capabilities with WDS, allowing for remote physical restore. It is no longer a requirement to have an engineer standing in front of your data centre rack to run system state recoveries on your physical system.

In this post I explain how I have created such an implementation and tested it!

The prerequisites are a Windows server and DHCP server (I used Virtual Servers in my testing but it applies to physical servers too).

The process would be to access your physical server through remote BIOS (e.g. ILO, IPMI or IDRAC or similar) and setting the server to network boot, at which point the server will PXE boot the Arcserve Windows BMR ISO files.

I used one server for the implementation: Server 2012 R2, running Arcserve UDP Console and RPS roles. I added Windows roles WDS and DHCP.

Installation guidance for WDS and DHCP:

How to install and configure Windows WDS

Installing and configuring DHCP

 

This one server had an Arcserve agent, so I created a BMR ISO for X86 and X64 compatible with ADK 8.1. You can create both Windows 8 and Windows 7 compatible boot kit ISOs for Server 2008 and 2012 physical server spreads in your environment.

*One important thing to note: if you run WDS and DHCP on the same server then some properties need to be altered on WDS as they both listen on the same port.

Port

Once your BMR ISOs are created, browse to their location and mount ISOs.

Then open WDS MMC through Server Manager: under “Boot Images” browse, select add boot image and follow the wizard.

How to add boot images

 

Unfortunately WDS can’t use ISO format boot images and requires .WIM.

Browse Image location to:

ISO:\AMD64\SOURCES\BOOT.WIM for X64

ISO:\X86\SOURCES\BOOT.WIM for X86

Name your images as this will be displayed at your boot screen.

Add Image

Once the image has been created and stored, you can begin a network boot. (Log into server remote BIOS interface, initiate boot from network device.)

DHCP will assign an IP address and discover PXE proxy “WDS Server”.

Press F12 to Boot into PXE.

PXE

You can now see available images to boot from.

Boot

arcserve

After boot select you will then see the Arcserve Bare Metal Recovery screen.

This is great for large workstation environments and multiple remote sites.

 

Online Backup of Lotus Domino with Arcserve UDP

Since Lotus Domino is an application non-VSS aware, the database’s consistency must be guaranteed during the Arcserve Snapshot of Lotus Domino process.

Using Lotus Domino as corporate messaging system, the database’s consistency is guaranteed running custom quiescing scripts (pre-freeze and post-thaw or Cache Flush) stored in C:\Windows in the Domino Server during the backup job.

See below; Option 1

Create 1 Batch File

This will Drop all connected users & Drop Cache.

Run the following Pre backup Script

Cache-Flush.bat
“C:\Program Files\IBM\Lotus\Domino\nserver.exe” -c “drop all”

timeout /t 5 /nobreak

“C:\Program Files\IBM\Lotus\Domino\nserver.exe” -c “dbcache flush”

timeout /t 5 /nobreak

Net Time \\%computername% >> C:\Arcservebackup.log

Save As .bat

On the backup plan, add this:

backup plan

See below; Option 2

This will stop Domino Services get the DB to a consistent state and then run Snapshot.

After the Snapshot Process it will then start service once again.

You can Add Option 1 to Pre Freeze to speed up the Process.

Create 2 Batch Files

See below Create 2 Batch Files

Run one Pre backup and the other Post backup
 
pre-freeze.bat
Net Time \%computername% >> C:scripts\logs\freeze.log
rem ***************************************
rem creates and inventory of all running Domino processes
rem ***************************************
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nadminp” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”naldaemn” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”namgr” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”ncalconn” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”ncatalog” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nchronos” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”ncollect” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”ncompact” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nconvert” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”ndesign” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”ndircat” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”ndrt” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”ndsmgr” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nevent” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nfixup” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nhttp” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nhttpcgi” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nimap” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nimsgcnv” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nisesctl” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”niseshlr” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nldap” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nlivecs” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nlnotes” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nlogin” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nmtc” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nnntp” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nnsadmin” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nnotesmm” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nobject” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nomsgcnv” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nosesctl” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”noseshlr” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”notes” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”npop3c” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”npop3″ >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nreport” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nrouter” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nreplica” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nsapdmn” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nsmtpmta” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nsmtp” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nstatlog” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nstaddin” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nstats” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nsched” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nservice” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nserver” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”ntaskldr” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”ntsvinst” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nupdate” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nupdall” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nwrdaemn” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nweb” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nxpcdmn” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nccmta” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”ncctctl” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nccmctl” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nccttcp” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nccbctl” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nccmin” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nccmout” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nccdctl” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nccdin” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”nccdout” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”ngdsscan” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”ngsscan” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
pslist | findstr /I /C:”ngstmgr” >>C:scriptslogspid.lst
rem ***************************************
rem Stops Dominio daemon in a controller fashion
rem ***************************************
net stop “Lotus Domino Server (LotusDominoData)”
rem ***************************************
rem Wait a fair amount of time for processes to stop
rem ***************************************
Sleep 300
rem ***************************************
rem If some Domino processes are hanged, it kills all of them
rem ***************************************
for /f “tokens=2” %%I in (C:scriptslogspid.lst ) do pskill %%I
Net Time \%computername% >> C:scriptslogsfreeze.log
post-thaw.bat
net start “Lotus Domino Server (LotusDominodata)”

On the backup plan, add this:

backup plan2

Deflate Your Bloated Backups With Arcserve Infinite Incremental Strategy

Incremental 1

Let’s start by explaining the image above. The blue illustration shows the most efficient way of backing up one full backup, followed by daily infinite incremental backups. The red illustration shows an older strategy (still used by many vendor backup solutions) – a weekly full backup with incremental chains. As you can see, the required storage footprint is more than doubled in the red illustration. An infinite backup strategy is becoming increasingly more popular as organisation strategies and policies are forever changing with future technologies.

To define “Incremental-Forever” aka infinite incremental backups:

The most basic form of incremental backup consists of identifying, recording and preserving only those files that have changed since the last backup. Since changes are typically low, incremental backups are much smaller and quicker than full backups. For instance, following a full backup on Friday a Monday backup will contain only those files that changed since Friday. A Tuesday backup contains only those files that changed since Monday and so on. In addition, the restore process is optimized, as only the latest versions of blocks that belong to a restored backup are restored. Since the same area on the production disk is recovered only one time, the same block is not written to multiple times. Therefore, one full backup followed by many backup increments act as your retention but with lower I/O impact on your storage overall.

In addition to this, Arcserve allows for multilevel incremental schedules on one plan. This means that you are able to add separate weekly, monthly, and yearly schedules to the same job that could consist of incremental or full backups. Unlike the common backup software as shown in the red illustration above, Arcserve’s infinite incremental backup allows the synthetic operation to create a new full backup which is limited to the size of the incremental file instead of the complete size of a full backup file.

So you would see a something similar to below with Arcserve’s infinite backup strategy:

Incremental 2

Infinite incremental forever backups may sound crazy. However organizations with very long retention requirements should consider this philosophy.

Complications

After a bit of searching on the web for general concerns with infinite or incremental forever backups & from my experience with multiple organizations and setups, the main concern with infinite incremental is that should any one of the copies created fail, including the first (full) backup, the possibility of restoration will be incomplete or impossible from the chain and the longer you go without a new full backup the more risk you take. What if corruption happens along the way and you lose an increment? You would lose the integrity of the chain, up to last working backup.

Looking at the image below, Backup #1 is dependent on the Full backup, Backup #2 is dependent on Backup #1 and so on. If corruption occurred on Backup #2, the last restorable would be backup #1.

Incremental 3

 

With Arcserve this is not the case. Arcserve has a completely different method of holding the restore points. Basically, each increment and backup is a pointing file rather than a reference to a set of block data set in a destination. Arcserve also allows for Verify backup to be run to check reference points and rebuild the chain if needed. This protects your infinite retention chain and preserves data. Verify backup can be run manually or scheduled as a multilevel incremental backup. The image below shows how Arcserve holds this data compared to other backup vendors as seen above.

Incremental 4

I ran a lab test on this and deleted an incremental pointer from Arcserve backup destination on a protected server from the middle of its chain. I then immediately tried to restore from the next point forward and received errors. I was able to return to a point before the deleted point but nothing following. I then ran a manual verify backup, and I was able to restore from all points in the chain except the deleted point. Arcserve can thus repair corruption or loss in the chain and statements such as “should any one of the copies created fail, including the first (full) backup, the possibility of restoration will be incomplete” are no longer valid when using Arcserve Unified Data Protection.

Why infinite incremental with Arcserve UDP?

  • It reduces backup windows from hours to minutes for many applications, while providing faster recovery of your data.
  • In a virtual environment, further data reduction can be observed with incremental changes being feed by CBT change block tracking on a lower block level.
  • It can support 24 x 7 backup strategy, reducing your RPO drastically.
  • It reduces costs by consolidating backup devices & backup storage across your infrastructure.
  • It reduces media costs incurred from offloading to tape cartridges needed on previous backup strategies to fulfill retention requirements that included bloated backups (D2D2T). When infinite incremental is your strategy going forward then retention can be kept on disk and rather replicated offsite to disk once again for peace of mind. This reduces your RTO.
  • This will enable full on and off site data retention, compliant with industry standards & corporate data policies.
  • Reduce the amount of data that goes across the local area network (LAN) and what’s replicated on across your wide area network (WAN)
  • Reduce data growth, as all incremental backups contain only the block level changes since your previous backup (incremental).
  • Source side global deduplication on incremental backups, making backups even more efficient and shortening windows: no comparison with the backup target is done since only changed blocks are identified at the source.

Why should Arcserve to be your infinite incremental backup vendor?

Because of the impressive data reduction ratios and costs savings that are achievable. Below is a breakdown of what you can achieve with Arcserve infinite incremental bundled with deduplication and further compression (even more impressive on a virtual environment using change block tracking: more data reduction can be observed).

A traditional infinite incremental backup before compression and deduplication, and no CBT:

Incremental 5

A Virtual CBT infinite incremental backup before compression & deduplication:

Incremental 6

A de-duplicated infinite incremental backup before compression:

Incremental 7

A compressed, de-duplicated infinite incremental:

Incremental 8 

It’s easy to see who the leader is in backup data reduction in the market, right? Don’t build your infrastructure around your backup software. Let Arcserve reduce your cost, backup windows, RTO, RPOs and maintenance.

 

 

 

 

Crazy. I Love Crazy.

 

Arcserve award

The picture for this post is the Arcserve team holding the award that they just won at VMworld 2015. Two things stand out for me:

1. IT IS A FANTASTIC ACHIEVEMENT. Arcserve is just 1 year out of their old CA parents. in that time, they basically had to rebuild their business process back end. New ERP, new CRM, new everything. At the same time, they enhanced the product to such an extent that it has won this award against some pretty well-entrenched VMware aligned solutions.

We are achieving ridiculously good results. De-duplication and compression of 12TB to 199GB is an example. This performance and richness of features that allows a single solution to perform simple backup, right through to application High Availability and at a price point that makes other solutions weep is seriously compelling for service providers, mid-market and enterprise customers.

2. THEY ARE CRAZY. These guys do things differently. They add fun into the equation and they make you want to deal with them. Just take this picture of them holding their award. They are doing it in front of their largest competitor’s stand and posting it all over social media. At VMworld Europe last year, they had a “silent club” where people put headphones on in a dark booth with a proper DJ and strobe lighting and danced away and a few months ago, they drove around the UK with a massive green inflatable elephant, pumped it up in their partners’ offices and spoke about the “elephant in the room” and how they can help partners make more money and build better businesses.

You may have read my post “When Crazy Becomes The New Normal“, if not, go read it. Arcserve is Crazy. We love Crazy. We support Crazy. We love Arcserve. You should try some Crazy!