Symantec Declares DeDuplication Everywhere, Backup Exec, Netbackup, Enterprise Vault

A common question about Symantec’s Netbackup and Backup Exec platform are the ability to support deduplication. Netbackup has Netbackup Puredisk functionality but deduplication has been a little lacking in the Backup Exec world. Well, that will soon change.

According to this Symantec press release, the Puredisk deduplication technology will soon make it’s way into Backup Exec, Enterprise Vault and other Symantec products:
http://www.symantec.com/about/news/release/article.jsp?prid=20090707_01

Another post that I found regarding deduplication that might be useful to customers is at:
http://symantec.dciginc.com/2008/11/symantec-netbackup-takes-the-d.html

From the Press Release:
Symantec is moving deduplication closer to information sources by integrating the technology into its information management platforms: NetBackup, Backup Exec and Enterprise Vault, and centrally managing native deduplication as well as third-party deduplication appliances.

Symantec is delivering on its deduplication strategy with a multi-phased approach:

  • Integrated deduplication is available today in NetBackup and Enterprise Vault, offering deduplicated archiving, deduplicated backup storage and global deduplicated remote office backup.
  • NetBackup currently offers integrated, centralized management for third-party deduplicated storage from Data Domain, Quantum, Falconstor and EMC through the OpenStorage API.
  • NetBackup PureDisk 6.6, scheduled to be available later this year, will improve storage efficiency by adding enhanced deduplication for backups of virtual server images.
  • Backup Exec 2010, scheduled to be available later this year, will integrate deduplication (using NetBackup PureDisk technology) into both backup clients and Backup Exec media server.  Backup Exec will also add the OpenStorage API to manage third-party deduplication appliances.
  • NetBackup 7, scheduled to be available in 2010, will integrate deduplication into the backup client and NetBackup media server.

HP Bladesystem ASR Events after PSP 8.20

Lewan has received reports from multiple customers where after applying Proliant Support Pack (PSP) 8.20 to a Windows server the servers are spontaneously rebooting.

One possible cause for this is an issue with the version of the  “HP ProLiant iLO 2 Management Controller Driver for Windows Server” which was included in PSP 8.20.  PSP 8.20 includes  version 1.9.0 of this driver.

A specific fix for a false ASR  issue is included in version 1.11.0 of the same driver.

Release History

If you are experiencing this issue, you will see ASR related events logged by the system management; these logs can be viewed via the System Management homepage.

To correct this issue, either apply the updated driver, or disable the ASR feature via the System Management Hompage.  It’s probably also a good idea to update the iLO firmware itself.

PSP 8.25 includes a newer version of the driver.

ASR is the Automatic System Recovery feature of the HP iLO which attempts to detect a hung or crashed server and reset it.

Enterprise Vault 8.0 SP2 Released for EV, CA and DA

Today Symantec announced that Service Pack 2 for Enterprise Vault 8.0, Discovery Accelerator 8.0 and Compliance Accelerator 8.0 has been released.

This release should be considered a recommended update for Enterprise Vault for Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, FSA, Sharepoint & SMTP and Accelerators

 Enterprise Vault 8.0 SP2 provides the following new features:

  • EV Entourage (Mac) client
  • EV Mobile Search
  • Domino Retention Folders CLI
  • New DA reports
  • EVSVR Repair
  • FSA DOD
  • Archive draft & future calendar items
  • Improvements to deletion of archived files on placeholder deletion
  • Improved handling of calendar, meeting and task items
  • Archiving from Domino 8.5 mail servers
  • Support for Microsoft SQL Server 2008
  • Improved documentation for EV reporting and OWA

Enterprise Vault 8.0 SP 2 is a full product release and can only be obtained from the Symantec Licensing Portal.  http://entsupport.symantec.com/docs/292866

VMware Fault Tolerance (FT) and CPU Compatibility Requirements

More and more information regarding the requirements of VMware Fault Tolerance (FT) feature are becomming available. Here’s a few very useful posts that I’ve found regarding these requirements.
http://www.techhead.co.uk/can-you-run-vmware-vsphere-fault-tolerance-ft-on-an-hp-proliant-ml110-or-ml115
http://www.ntpro.nl/blog/archives/1061-CPU-compatibility-with-VMware-Fault-Tolerance.html

** Update 8-10-10 **
Here’s an awesome link that outlines some very detailed requirements and limitations of Fault Tolerance (FT):
http://communities.vmware.com/blogs/vmroyale/2009/05/18/vmware-fault-tolerance-requirements-and-limitations

Here’s a nice and short overview of Fault Tolerance (thanks to TechHead.co.uk):

Key Features of Fault Tolerance

The following are some key features of VMware Fault Tolerance as provided in VMware’s FT white paper:

• Runs on standard x86 based servers, vendor neutral.

• Supports standard unmodified guest operating systems and
applications.

• Protects dozens of guest operating systems already supported
by ESX, including 32- and 64-bit Windows, Linux, Solaris, and many other legacy guests.

• x86 hypervisor-based solution; integration with virtual machine technology, operating system neutral.

• Support for all emerging applications frameworks that have
not yet evolved their own clustering solutions.

• Support for existing virtual machines.

• Single image management: virtual machine is installed and
managed in the usual way as a single image; no need for
additional operating system and software licenses.

• vLockstep guarantees: the primary and secondary execute
exactly the same x86 instruction sequences.

• Transparent failover with no data or state loss in the virtual
machine; all state, including storage, memory, and networking
is preserved even in the face of catastrophic hardware failures.

• Potential different physical locations for primary and secondary
to guard against campuswide or buildingwide failures.

• Automatic re-establishment of fault tolerance after hardware
failures.

• Integration with HA and DRS that are responsible for selecting
a new secondary host after a failure; no manual steps during
failover or after recovery.

• Failing systems can be returned to the HA cluster after repairs
without any additional FT reconfiguration.

• Component failover when combined with network teaming
and storage multipathing.

• No additional installation; FT is a built-in feature of VMware
ESX.

• Mixing FT and non-FT virtual

Current Fault Tolerance Limitations

There are however a couple of limitations:

Compatibility – VMware Fault Tolerance will only run with the following models of CPU and above:
VMware Fault Tolerance requires Intel 31xx, 33xx, 52xx, 54xx, 55xx, 74xx or AMD 13xx,23xx, 83xx series of processors or above.
Update (7-16-09): A nice VMware KB article for CPU compatibility is located here:
http://kb.vmware.com/kb/1008027

See also the NTPro.nl link at the top of this post for an even more detailed CPU list. Also see the VMware website at
http://www.vmware.com/products/fault-tolerance/ (near the bottom of the page) for details as well.

The reason for this being that these models of CPU have additional physical processor extensions required by the vLockstep technology.

It’s in the family – When using FT in a cluster all physical ESX hosts must be running CPU’s from the same family.  For more information on this see Eric Sloof’s informative posting here which has an easy to follow table.

vCPU – FT, at this stage, will only with work VM’s with a single vCPU – at this stage though expect to see multi-vCPU compatibility in the future.

Thin Provisioning – FT is unable to protect VMs that are running thin provisioned disks.

Oracle Kills Virtual Iron Brand and Fires Employees

Wow, I thought this was crazy.. Virtual Iron was gobbled up by Oracle a couple months ago and I know a lot of us were wondering what was in store for Virtual Iron.. well, the future isn’t a good one for them. It looks like Oracle has killed the Virtual Iron brand, assimulating their technology and moving on (yes, that was a geeky Star Trek reference hehe). Read more about it at these links:

http://storageinformer.com/oracle-to-terminate-virtual-iron-business/
http://gregarius.dropcode.net/demo/virtualization.info/2009/06/19/Oracle_kills_Virtual_Iron_brand,_fires_all_employees_but_10

Oh, and if you need a VMware design/demo/quote to replace Virtual Iron in your environment, just let us know! ;-)
UPDATE: VMware has also provided special promo pricing for ex-Virtual Iron customers to move over to VMware! See the details here:
http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/virtualiron-safepassage.html

Microsoft Virtualization Calculators and VMware Calculators

Here are some very useful calculator links that we show many of our customers on the benefits of virtualization.

http://www.vmware.com/go/calculator = VMware TCO/ROI Calculator. Show the potential cost saving from VMware virtualization solutions and identifies the tangible CapEX and OpEX savings.

http://www.vmware.com/go/costperapp = When comparing Hypervisor products, it is best to compare “cost per application” (or VM) when using that hypervisor. Here is a calculator which shows how VMware can provide the lowest overall cost per app over other Hypervisors.

http://www.microsoft.com/Windowsserver2008/en/us/hyperv-calculators.aspx = Windows Licensing Calculator for Virtual Environments (when using Calculator #1, under “Virtualization Technology”, for VMware modify the configuration and choose 3rd-Party virtualization running on “bare metal”). This calculator will help you identifiy the Windows licensing cost savings when used in a virtual environment (when using any Hypervisor product like Hyper-V, vSphere, etc). More and more companies are using the unlimited Virtual Machines option that comes with the Windows Datacenter per CPU license which offers substantial cost savings on Windows licensing when virtualizing!

How-To: Make ISO’s from the ESX/vSphere Service Console

Since you can mount ISO files as a “CDRom Device” inside VM’s, the common question that normally will come up is, “How do I make ISO files from my existing CD’s?” There are a number of ways to do this however you can use ESX to make the ISO images and then store them either locally on the ESX server or on a SAN attached VMFS. I would recommend putting them on a SAN attached VMFS volume so all of your ESX servers can access them.

Connect via SSH and Make ISO

media_1231184205175.png

The first step is to put the CD in the physical CD reader on the ESX hardware.

Now, SSH into the ESX server (as described under "Connecting via SSH/CLI" in this guide).
Next, type in the following command (also shown in the screenshot):

dd if=/dev/cdrom of=/vmfs/volumes/vmfs_name/filename_for_cd.iso

Replace "vmfs_name" with the actual name of your VMFS datastore.
Replace "filename_for_cd" with the actual name that you want to use for the ISO you are creating.

Browse for ISO

media_1231187598311.png

Now go to that directory where you pointed the “of” (or output file) and you should be able to see your ISO image as shown in the screenshot. Now you can use this ISO file as a CD-ROM device in your Virtual Machine by editing the properties of the virtual machine and pointing the CD to the datastore ISO you created.