Cloud device integration with NetWorker

The NetWorker Cloud Backup Option provides support for backing up to both private (onsite) and public (offsite) cloud configurations. This post covers the basics of cloud device integration with NetWorker, followed by configuration steps

Before you can create and use a cloud device for backup, there are several prerequisites that must be met. These include:

  • The NetWorker Cloud Backup Option must be licensed and enabled. The licensed NetWorker Cloud Backup Option allows EMC Atmos Online Storage to be used as a target for backup operations. An unlimited number of cloud backup devices can be configured.
  • A private or public cloud account is setup and you have user name and password access to the cloud account.

You must also consider that Cloud backups are not supported in NetWorker versions prior to release 7.6; Native NDMP backups are also not supported and deduplication storage nodes do not support cloud backups.

With NetWorker 7.6, there is a new NetWorker device media type for cloud storage: Atmos COS (cloud optimized storage).

Setting up a cloud storage device is a two-step process: first, you define the cloud storage device and then, you label and mount a volume on the device.

In this article, I will illustrate how to define a cloud storage device with EMC's Atmos Online Storage Service. Before creating the device, obtain credential information from the Atmos online account. Required information includes a token id and corresponding shared secret, and the server name or access point.

Creating a cloud storage device

Create a cloud device from the NetWorker Administration Device view. Right-click Devices in the navigation tree and select <b.New. The General tab is the first tab to be displayed when creating the device. Attributes of particular note to the cloud storage device on the General tab include:

  • Name: enter a name for the cloud storage device that uniquely identifies this device. Unlike other device resources, the name of a cloud storage device does not refer to a device path.
  • Media type: select Atmos COS
  • Remote user: enter your Atmos token id
  • Password: enter the shared secret corresponding to the token id

Next, select the Cloud tab (shown on the slide) to specify additional information specific to the cloud device. To see all the attributes for the cloud storage resource, enable the diagnostic mode by selecting View -> Diagnostic Mode from the NetWorker Administration menu bar. The attributes on the Cloud tab include:

  • Server: enter the IP address or fully qualified name of the cloud server
  • Use the options under Parameters to adjust communication settings:
    • Network Write Size: the amount of backup data to cache in memory before sending to the cloud (in kilobytes)
    • Number of Retries: the number of times NetWorker will try to send or receive data in the event of a network failure
    • Send/Receive Timeout: the number of seconds NetWorker waits for confirmation that network transmissions to the cloud server have occurred successfully
    • Network Failure Retry Interval: the number of minutes that a backup or recover session must wait before a failed network connection results in an aborted session
  • Compression: select a compression level. Faster compression results in less data compression and requires less CPU resources. The fastest compression is selected by default. For optimal compression, balance the speed of backing up to the cloud with the potential efficiency and cost savings of sending less data to the cloud. Note that if the data cannot be compressed effectively, compression may not occur.
  • Encryption: specify whether to encrypt data sent to the cloud. Options are none and AES 256 Encryption (default value). The NetWorker datazone passphrase is required to recover encrypted data. This encryption is performed at the NetWorker server/storage node. If this option is selected, encryption will occur regardless of any client-side encryption directives. Note that if encryption is already enabled for the NetWorker client and encryption is enabled here, backup operations will be slower because encryption will occur twice.
  • Cloud network interface: specify the IP address of the network interface that will send backup data to the cloud. Use this field if the NetWorker server/storage node has multiple network interfaces.
  • Throttling: select this option to specify the maximum amount of network bandwidth that can be used for cloud operations during specific periods of time. Click the bandwidth icon to display a dialog box where you can create a throttling policy for a specific day of the week and time. You can create as many policies as you want. Throttling is not checked by default.

After clicking OK to create the new cloud device, a prompt appears to select verification of the cloud credentials at this time. It is best to verify the cloud device connectivity to make sure that the credentials have been entered correctly and that communications can occur.

For more information about configuring the cloud storage device resource and its attributes, please refer to the EMC NetWorker Administration Guide.

Labeling and Mounting a cloud volume

To direct backup data to cloud storage devices, you use media pools. Follow these best practices when lableling a volume on a cloude device:

  • Set up a media pool for cloud storage devices and use a unique label template
  • Do not mix cloud backup devices with other device types in a media pool

Backup and Recover with a cloud device

A single cloud volume can be mounted simultaneously on multiple cloud storage devices to support concurrent backup and recovery operations. There is no restriction on the number of cloud devices that can be created. For example, to do backups and restores at the same time as illustrated on the slide, create two cloud devices and mount the same volume on both devices.

Also, like tape drives, cloud devices support multiple volumes. You can create as many volumes as needed. Multiple volumes can be used to organize backup data. When manually mounting a volume, NetWorker displays a list of applicable, defined volumes from which to choose if there is more than one volume to choose from.