In process of growth of popularity of technologies of virtualization and cloud computing also appropriate means of backup develop. Expansion of the virtual computers (VC) becomes the general rule for the companies of all sizes, however, to organize backup of virtual environment up to standard sometimes is not simple at all. Before backup tools were not created for virtual environments, and process of recovery of virtual and physical servers differs. Now many software suppliers of backup, including leaders of this market, build in the products support of environments of virtualization, first of all the most popular.
Backup in virtual environments
For number of reasons it makes sense to integrate problems of backup of physical and virtual infrastructures. From the point of view of administration such option is more convenient and more favorable, than the stand-alone program to virtualization hypervisors, especially if functions of management of backup are integrated with control facilities virtual environment. Besides, practically all customers have infrastructure where both physical, and virtual servers are used. Use of the uniform tool will allow IT administrators to reduce time allowed for execution of this procedure to unify it, to lower number of potential errors, and also to save on licenses due to reduction of quantity of the used products.
Therefore the solution has to be universal and provide the backup and recovery of both physical, and virtual environments managed from the uniform console. And in case of work with virtual environments support of the latest versions of widespread hypervisors has to be implemented. Software vendors of backup focus the attention to VMware in view of high popularity of solution of this vendor. According to polls of Gartner, in the world of 60%–70% of the companies prefer the software of VMware.
Still there is opinion that at all the advantages virtualization significantly complicates backup. Perhaps, it is one of the reasons of ignoring by many companies of need for protection of virtual environment: according to foreign analytical agencies, backup procedures cover less than 70% of virtual servers. Backup of virtual environments is high on the list in the list of the most unsuccessful IT initiatives. According to polls, only a little more half of respondents believe that this procedure in general works in their companies, and third are not sure that it will be possible to execute recovery of backup copy.
It is possible to carry considerable volumes of backup copies (after all very conveniently to save at once all VM) and their check, ensuring integrity of these various applications and process control in difficult virtual environment to problems of backup of virtual environment, especially when backup has to cover the growing number of virtual computers.
The systems of reserve copying / recovery developed for virtual environments have to not only provide required parameters of target point and time of recovery (Recovery Point Objective/Recovery Time Objective, RTO/RPO), but also to support new data types and heavy loads. When the set of VM and the backup application are executed on one server, it is impossible to exclude declines in production. Usually some VM use the general disk array therefore simultaneous copying of their data can create considerable load of SHD. Besides, at increase in number of VM on the server its network interface card has to cope with the growing traffic. For backup of virtual environment also stronger is characteristic, in comparison with traditional procedures, influence on storage network, the increase in time of copying, requirements to space on disks or tapes is possible.
Meanwhile, according to one of foreign polls, only 10% of respondents consider that the organization of backup of VM is more difficult, than physical servers. Really, backup procedures of virtual environments in case of expansion of high-quality software solution are not more difficult at all, than similar procedures for physical machines. Though there are also problems. In some companies hundreds of virtual computers are operated, and scaling of resources of storage with increase in number of VM can represent serious problem. In the difficult environment of virtualization and in large TsOD automated systems are necessary for identification of new physical and virtual servers and their inclusion in backup process.
As show researches, the main problems at expansion of solutions of data security in virtual environment are high costs, inefficiency and duration of backup, and also complexity of recovery of information therefore improvement of these processes, productivity and simplicity of use is called as one of priority tasks.
Developers try to follow tendencies of the IT industry and propose solutions for data security provision in new environments. Suppliers of traditional backup systems supplement them with new opportunities for protection of virtual servers, work in close cooperation with developers of platforms of virtualization.
In May, 2015 the Symantec company has provided the new Backup Exec version – the key software solution for backup, archiving and data recovery. Backup Exec 15 is interesting not only that provides complete approach for information protection in physical, virtual and cloudy medium with uniform policy of backup. It became the first (and still only) the similar product supporting new software version of VMware – vSphere 6, including certificates of safety of vSphere 6. Of course, the list of the operating systems and hypervisors of virtualization supported by it is not limited to it.
BE 15: any news?
The software of Symantec Backup Exec 15 provides protection of all IT infrastructure – creation of flexible and convenient solution for backup and recovery on any platform was the purpose of developers. The product offers expanded support of VMware, higher level of scalability and productivity, the simplified updating, support of cloudy storages, operating systems and applications, and the list of the supported OS is updated quarterly. In particular, the product allows to work with popular platform of virtualization of the VMware vSphere (5.1/5.5/6.0) servers and system of virtualization of Microsoft Hyper-V (2008/2012/2012R2). As for clouds, the company adds support only of the checked cloud platforms which have already gained trust of clients.
For acceleration of processes of cloudy reserve copying / recovery specially developed technologies are used. For example, the choice of compression ratio of data depends on the available computational capability, free capacity of data storage and network transmission capacity. And the system of differential backup allows to add quickly to backup copy the changed blocks, without copying it again.
Backup Exec 15 provides flexible recovery in any volume, including the whole servers, virtual computers, applications, files, folders and separate objects. The technology of selective recovery of separate files helps to recover accidentally remote document quickly.
In general improvements of Backup Exec 15 have concerned the following main areas:
- Expansion of range of tools for work with virtual and cloudy environments. In addition to already mentioned VMware vSphere 6, it is ESXi 6.0, vCenter 6.0, Virtual Volumes, vSAN 5.5 and 6.0, support of convergent infrastructure of VMware EVO:RAIL, cloud platforms of Amazon VLT and EC2. The available and new tasks of backup can be transferred to the cloudy environment of data storage thanks to integration with AWS Storage Gateway VTL. Thus, administrators can involve possibilities of data storage in cloud directly from Backup Exec. They do not need to study and configure new products or to upgrade the IT environment.
- Work with large volumes of data. The GRT technology (Granular Restore Technology) allows to use virtual disks with a capacity over 2 Tbyte, to work with storage networks (SAN) and drives connected without stop of system (vSphere SATA in the HotAdd mode). Recovery with vSphere SAN will help to implement advantages of high-performance storage.
- Profitability and simplicity. Opportunity centralized expansion and system maintenance of data backup, simple transition to the new version of software from any Backup Exec versions, since BE 2010 R3, and also storage reduction in cost. Single solution and one console of management for virtual and physical medium allow to reduce expenses and to simplify protection of all IT environment.
Integration with vSphere 6, ESXi 6.0 and vCenter 6.0 actually means support of the concept of the program defined VMware data-center (Software-Defined Data Center, SDDC), support of Virtual SAN 5.5/6.0 and virtual volumes of Virtual Volumes allows to use the program defined VMware data storage systems (Software-Defined Storage, SDS), and support of AWS Storage Gateway VTL opens possibilities of cloudy storage (Cloud Storage).
In the new BE version scalability and productivity is improved: granular recovery of VM with the sections GPT and with volumes with a capacity more than 2 Tbyte is provided, possibilities of high-performance SHD (VMware Virtual Machine SAN Transport Mode) are used, operational adding of the disks SATA for guest VM in the HotAdd mode is supported. Capacity of disk VM can reach 16 Tbyte. Productivity of the user interface is improved, to 90% needs for memory when viewing big directories are reduced. Besides, the Backup Exec server can be started on the Windows 2012 R2 virtual computer.
Deduplication of backup copies at the level of blocks and change tracking of blocks (Change Block Tracking) reduce the volume of the stored data. The deduplication is carried out on the client, on the BE server, or possibilities of intellectual SHD are used. The option Data Deduplication in Backup Exec Capacity Edition and Backup Exec V-Ray Edition versions is free. It is possible to store backup copies practically on any device, including disks, magnetic tapes and third-party cloudy services. By default as repository in BE 15 SQL 2014 is used.
For protection of virtual environments of BE 15 implements such developed functions as backup without use of agents, granular recovery of Microsoft Exchange, Active Directory, SQL and SharePoint, fallback recovery (Disaster Recovery, DR), dynamic protection of the created VM. Actually agents for VMware and Hyper-V are used, but only for the purpose of deeper integration of Backup Exec and Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) and VMware vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP), more reliable creation of backup copies of VM taking into account features of applications. Agents do not participate in the process of backup.
Backup Exec 15 supports recovery directly in Amazon cloud, and support of Microsoft Azure shortly is expected. And it will be possible to use at the same time both clouds, and also to integrate processes of creation of backup copies of all types, thereby considerably having raised the protection level of data.
Migration and licensing
To pass to the new Backup Exec version rather simply: when replacing Backup Exec 2010 R3 SP3 or later versions the product uses uniform policy of backup for several servers and their configuration settings. Besides, to clients with the existing license for Backup Exec, Backup Exec V-Ray or Backup Exec Small Business Edition is provided discount upon transition to Backup Exec Capacity Edition.
Will please customers and the cost of BE 2015 – at the Capacity Edition version it is lowered more than by 40% in comparison with the previous version of product. And those to whom enough basic functions, can use cheaper BE 2015 Capacity Edition Lite version. Let's remind that except Backup Exec for the small and medium companies Symantec offers the Symantec NetBackup version for big corporate customers.
In the whole Backup Exec offers wide choice of functionally different options according to different requirements: Backup Exec 15, Backup Exec 15 Small Business Edition, Backup Exec 15 V-Ray Edition, Backup Exec 15 Capacity Edition Lite (version 15 novelty) and Backup Exec 15 Capacity Edition. These options provide different opportunities of licensing: "for the module" (agent/option), "for terabyte" or "for socket". The list of the supported BE of 15 operating systems and software platforms is also very extensive.
Veritas: back, in the future
Traditional products of backup and fallback recovery are improved in connection with transition of the companies of all sizes to virtualization and cloud platforms. The BE 15 developers managed to create the product capable to protect the modern quickly changing IT environments, and thus to observe balance between functionality and simplicity of use of solution of backup. Also that, according to Symantec, in comparison with the previous version productivity is cardinally improved is important: it is raised for 100% at creation of backup copies and for 180% at recovery.
Now in Symantec there is process of restructuring and selection of business of the Veritas company bought once to separate structure. The newly created company Veritas is going to complete process of division in 2016 and has already created strategy of development of the products for data management at the enterprise. That is future product line of Veritas is not limited to backup. Two directions are declared: actually data management (Information Orchestration) and research of data (Information Intelligence). Customers will receive tools not only for protection of the accumulated data, but also for their understanding. Future Veritas Velocity platform will become management system copies (Copy Data Management, CDM). It is going to develop also the Veritas eDiscovery platform on the basis of the bought Clearwell technology Symantec. This platform offers service of information search at the enterprise. So in the future there will be even more interesting novelties.
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