Introduction to Avamar and Data Domain system integration
EMC Data Domain deduplication storage systems are typically implemented to back up large high-change rate databases. Avamar is typically implemented to back up file systems, virtual servers, low change rate databases, remote offices, and desktop/laptops. Before Avamar 6.0, managing Data Domain systems and Avamar servers required two separate user interfaces.
Beginning with Avamar 6.0, Avamar and Data Domain systems are integrated through a single user interface, Avamar Administrator, as shown in Figure 1.
Avamar and Data Domain system integration enables:
- Data Domain systems to be a backup target for Avamar backups
- One or more Data Domain systems to be managed by Avamar
- Avamar clients to use the EMC Data Domain Boost software option to use Data Domain systems as backup targets
- The target destination of backup data, which is set by a backup policy at the dataset level
- Transparent user interaction to the backup target (Avamar or Data Domain)
New features for Avamar 7.0 and Data Domain system integration
The following new features have been added for Avamar 7.0 and Data Domain system integration support:
- Support for file system backups. “File system support” provides additional information.
- Support for NDMP backups. “NDMP support” provides additional information.
- VMware Instant Access allows the backup administrator to boot up a lost or corrupted VMware virtual machine almost instantly from an VMware image backup stored on Data Domain system. “VMware Instant Access” provides additional information.
- Checkpoint Backups to Data Domain enable Disaster Recovery for single node Avamar Server by creating periodic checkpoint backups to an attached Data Domain system. This feature is only available on Single Node Avamar servers and requires target Data Domain system with DD OS 5.3 or later. “Avamar checkpoint backup support” provides additional information.
- SharePoint backups support backing up Remote Blob Storage (RBS).
- The Avamar Plug-in for Lotus Domino is supported.
- Exchange logs are backed up to a Data Domain system instead of to the Avamar server.
A Data Domain system performs deduplication through DD OS software. Avamar source based deduplication to a Data Domain system is facilitated through the use of the Data Domain Boost library.
Avamar uses the DD Boost library through API-based integration to access and manipulate directories, files, and so forth. contained on the Data Domain File System. The DD Boost API gives Avamar visibility into some of the properties and capabilities of the Data Domain system. This enables Avamar to control backup images stored on Data Domain systems. It also enables Avamar to manage maintenance activities and to control replication to remote Data Domain systems.
DD Boost is installed on the backup clients and on the Avamar utility node or an Avamar single node system.
Figure 2 depicts a high-level architecture of the combined Avamar and Data Domain solution. With Avamar and Data Domain integration you can specify whether specific datasets in an Avamar backup policy target an Avamar server or a Data Domain system.
When you select an Avamar server as the backup target, the Avamar client on each host perfroms deduplication segment processing. Data and metadata sent are stored on the Avamar server.
When you select a Data Domain system as the backup target, backup data is transferred to the Data Domain system. The related metadata generated by the Avamar client software is simultaneously sent to the Avamar server for storage. The metadata enables the Avamar management system to perform restore operations directly from the Data Domain system without first going through the Avamar server.
The EMC Avamar Metadata Capacity Reporting and Monitoring Release 7.0 Technical Note provides more information about metadata capacity for backups stored on Data Domain systems. This technical note is available from EMC online support (https://support.emc.com).
Avamar and Data Domain integration provides the following backup support:
- “File system support”
- “Avamar client support”
- “NDMP support”
- “Avamar checkpoint backup support”
- NOTE:Up-to-date client compatibility information is available in the EMC Avamar Compatibility and Interoperability Matrix on EMC Online Support at https://support.emc.com.
File system support
Avamar supports file system backups and restores from the Data Domain system on the
Listed operating systems. Only 64-bit operating systems are supported.
NOTE: There is no file system support for desktop/laptop backups. Windows supported operating systems:
- Avamar Client for Windows
- Windows Server 2012
- Windows 8
- Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 or later
- Windows Server 2008 SP2 or later
- Windows Server 2003 SP2 or later
- NOTE: You cannot back up Windows System State data to a Data Domain system through Avamar integration.
Windows unsupported configurations The following Windows configurations are not supported for Avamar and Data Domain system integration:
- Windows VSS System State (System State and Disaster Recovery)
- Traditional Windows Active/Passive Cluster over Fiber Channel
- Windows Scale Out File Server over Clustered Shared Volumes (CSV)
- Windows Traditional Active/Passive Cluster over SMB-3
UNIX supported operating systems
- Avamar Client for AIX 6.1, 7.1
- Avamar Client for HP-UX 11.31
- IA-64, no support for RISC
- Requires ONCPlus (requires Library revision 11.31.06 or later)
- Avamar Client for Solaris (Solaris 10 x64 and Solaris 10 on SPARC)
- Avamar Client for Linux
- RHEL 5 and 6
- SLES 10 and 11
- NOTE:For Solaris 10 on SPARC, client side deduplicaiton is disabled and deduplciation is performed on the Data Domain system. This causes Avamar to report network bytes as the same size as the original dataset.
Avamar client support
Avamar and Data Domain system integration supports the following Avamar plug-ins:
- Avamar Plug-in for DB2
- Avamar Plug-in for Exchange VSS
- Avamar Plug-in for Hyper-V VSS
- Avamar Plug-in for Lotus Domino
- Avamar Plug-in for Oracle
- Avamar Plug-in for SAP with Oracle
- Avamar Plug-in for SharePoint VSS
- Avamar Plug-in for Sybase
- Avamar Plug-in for SQL Server
- Avamar VMware Image Backup/FLR Appliance
Avamar supports Data Domain systems as the backup target for Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP) backup through the Avamar NDMP Accelerator.
The following items are related to NDMP support:
- NDMP support is available for VNX, Celerra, and NetApp
- Incremental backups must be based on a backup from the same storage device
Avamar checkpoint backup support
Avamar checkpoint backup support allows Avamar checkpoints to be stored on a Data Domain system (that uses DD OS 5.3 or later). These checkpoints are then used if disaster recovery is required.
The backup option for Avamar checkpoint support is only available on a single node Avamar server or Avamar Virtual Edition (AVE). You configure this option through the Avamar Administrator. The restore option is only available through EMC Professional Services.
The use cases for this option are:
- Disaster Recovery for a single node Avamar server or AVE
- For configurations that do not have a secondary Avamar server and Data Domain system for replication
- For environments which perform backups mainly to Data Domain systems
During a backup, the Avamar server sends a backup request to the Avamar client. If the backup request includes the option to use a Data Domain system as the target, backup data is stored on the Data Domain system. Metadata is stored on the Avamar server.
The process of data recovery is transparent to the backup administrator. The backup administrator uses the same Avamar recovery processes that are native to current Avamar implementations.
VMware Instant Access
VMware Instant Access is used to boot up a lost or corrupted virtual machine almost instantly from an image backup stored on a Data Domain system.
VMware Instant Access works through the following processes:
- A virtual machine image backup is staged to a temporary location on the Data Domain system.
- The virtual machine is exported to a temporary location as a secure NFS share.
- The share is mounted as a NFS datastore on an ESX/ESXi host.
NOTE: When VMware Instant Access is used, the virtual machine should not be left running on the Data Domain system for extended periods. When the virtual machine runs on the Data Domain system, performance might degrade because of the workflow. To move the VMware Instant Access from the Data Domain system to the VMware production environment, use vMotion. NOTE: An alternative to VMware Instant Access is to restore a virtual machine back to the production environment. The Avamar software's ability to leverage Changed Block Tracking (CBT) dramatically speeds the recovery process.
See the EMC Avamar for VMware User Guide for additional information on performing VMware Instant Access.
Replication between primary and replica Data Domain systems is integrated into the Avamar management feature set. This is configured in Avamar Administrator through the Avamar replication policies applied to each dataset. All typical Avamar replication scenarios are supported for datasets that use a Data Domain system as a target, including:
- Many-to-one, one-to-many, cascading replication
- Extension of data retention times
Monitoring and reporting
Avamar can collect and display data for health monitoring, system alerts, and capacity reporting on a Data Domain system by using Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). This enables you to monitor Data Domain activities, events, capacity, and system status in the same way that you monitor activities, events, capacity, and system status for the Avamar server. You can also run reports to analyze the system. “Monitoring and reporting” provides details.
The following topics provide details on security in an Avamar environment with Data Domain for encryption and user access.
The connection between the Avamar client and the Data Domain system is not encrypted. The DD Boost library does not support data encryption between the client and the Data Domain system. Backups from the Avamar client to the Avamar server are always compressed and encrypted.
Use caution when granting users access to the Data Domain system. A user should not be able to directly access the Data Domain system and manually delete data.
You cannot migrate backup data directly from the Avamar server to the Data Domain system.
To start using the Data Domain system as the backup target for an Avamar client instead of the Avamar server, edit the dataset to use the Data Domain system, and start performing backups to the Data Domain system. When you change the backup target to the Data Domain system, you must perform a full backup.
After you successfully perform a backup to the Data Domain system, you can delete the earlier backups from the Avamar server. The EMC Avamar Administration Guide provides details on how to delete backups.