Veeamon 2019 banner

VeeamON 2019

The Challenge

Mouse trap

I was playing Mousetrap with my kids this morning and it got me thinking about data management.  In the board game you move around trying to win pieces of cheese whilst at the same time avoiding the mousetrap.

mouse in trap

As I got to be caught in the mouse trap for about the 8th time it reminded me how often in IT we are chasing the cheese – new projects, platforms and objectives whist neglecting the importance of data management. Data is the life blood of most companies these days but data management and protection is often an afterthought until there is an issue, aka you are caught in the mouse trap.

The solution

Firstly I would recommend not playing Mouse Trap with kids they always seem to win.  Secondly good data management is about recognising it’s importance from the inception of projects and creating a data management strategy, so as to avoid any pitfalls. Veeam are putting on one of the largest data management events of the year in Miami with their VeeamON event. The event features key data management experts, training opportunities, break out sessions, demos and key partners such as HPE and NetApp.

Event Detail

This years event takes place 20-22nd May in Miami Florida.  Some of the sessions I thought looked interesting included:

  • Ultimate Guide to Veeam Cloud Mobility: Tips, Tricks and Use Cases
    Veeam Backup & Replication Common Mistakes and How to Fix Them
  • Veeam Storage Integration Deep Dive
  • Architecture, Installation and Design for Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365
  • Automate Yourself Out of a Backup Job — Advanced PowerShell & API Usage
  • Veeamon 2019 banner

On the Veeam site you can see a full list of sessions.  Other reasons to attend include discounted VMCE training and the legendary VeeamON party which this year features Flo Rida. You can read more about the event at the VeeamON site

 

 

Vembu 4.0 -What’s new?

Data protection provider Vembu are due to release the 4.0 version of their Vembu Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) suite 4.0 imminently.  This release is heavily focused on enhancing the existing features and adding new functionality related to Hyper-V backup.

Hyper-V Backup Enhancements

Cluster aware backups – previously if a VM was live migrated to a different host the backup would fail as the backup software could not find the VM on the host it was expecting. Vembu 4.0 adds cluster awareness so that a VM can be migrated to any host in the cluster and the backup will still work, this is an important feature to facilitate enterprise adoption

Shared VHDX backup – A shared VHDX allows a virtual hard disk to be shared between several VM’s, this is useful for example creating a cluster. Vembu 4.0 now supports the backup of these shared VHDX files

Application aware processing –  It is now possible to select application aware settings on a per VM basis for Hyper-V VMs

Vembu BDR 4.0 – What else is new?

Other new features in Vembu BDR 4.0 include:

VM Disk Inclusion – Prior to 4.0 when a new disk was added to a VM this would not be added to backups until the next scheduled full. Now that additional disk is backed up on the next run even if the scheduled backup is an incremental

Virtual hardware selection – You can now amend the hardware of a VM CPU, Memory disks etc when it is recovered

Storage detail API’s – APIs are now available to deliver analytics into storage.  Available metrics will include size of the VM, storage space utilized by the backup job, compression etc

Quick VM recovery job report – Reports on the status and information surrounding recoveries such as time, target hypervisor, recovery point used

Credential manager – this allows the credentials for all the VMs and hosts to be stored in a single place

Image backup resume feature – If a backup job is interrupted it is now able to resume the job from where it left off

Improved live recovery – When a live recovery is initiated an agent is pushed to the recovery VM for performing the restore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New in Rubrik 4.2 windows volume protection

Rubrik Alta 4.2 and Data Management

In my first post about Rubrik I called the system a data protection platform. Whilst this is still somewhat accurate their continued and rapid evolution has made me reconsider my position and consider if Rubik’s offering is a true data management platform? In this post we will look at why we need data management and what’s new in Rubrik 4.2

Technology brings challenges

Each new technology wave brings its own set of advantages that drive user adoption but also bring a new set of challenges. If you rewind a few years to when virtualisation was the new kid on the block I have a short tale of new technology and new challenges. At the time I was working as a server administrator for a large local hospital.  In the role we faced major challenges as an underfunded government organisation including a large, ageing, and distributed server estate. I strode confidently into our IT director’s office at the time with a proposal to virtualise everything and told him with a mixture of enthusiasm and naivety this would be the solution to all our problems, no more old hardware, everything in one place and easy management.

We did go ahead and virtualise our environment making a massive positive impact to our daily operations but it did of course bring a whole new set of challenges which I had not foreseen such as reskilling staff, VM sprawl, poorly planned VM’s popping up with little missing AV monitoring etc.

Increasing Data Challenges

One of the key challenges companies face today with the evolution of technology is data management. Whilst good data management is not a new requirement, several factors are combining to make it an increasing priority. Previously companies were less reliant on their data, there was a lot less of it and crucially it was most likely in one place and in a limited number of formats. Like in the virtulisation example hybrid-cloud has allowed significant benefits such as flexibility and choice but has also brought challenges including managing and protecting data across multiple locations and formats.

Managing data

I am sure there is a definition somewhere of good data management but to me it is having the right data in the right place at the right time. You of course want this data to be highly available, portable and be able to do all this from one place where you can get a global view.

Rubrik offers a one stop shop with their cloud data platform which aims to deliver backup, instant recovery, replication, search, analytics, archival, compliance, and copy data management.

Rubrik cloud data management

If we look at the release history of Rubrik in recent times we will start to see the picture forming of a complete ecosystem for data management, each release has allowed data to be pulled in from more sources to combat the complexity of data management in hybrid-cloud.

Rubrik Alta 4.0

  • Oracle RMAN
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Nutanix Acropolis
  • Cloud Instantiation:

Rubrik Alta 4.1

  • Azure CloudOn
  • AWS GlacierCloudOut
  • Google CloudOut
  • AWS C2S (Defense Cloud)
  • Hyper-V SCVMM
  • Azure Stack Support

Rubrik Alta 4.2

  • AWS Native Protection (EC2 Instances)
  • VMware vCloud Director Integration
  • Windows Full Volume Protection
  • AIX & Solaris Support

4.2 A Deeper look

AWS Native Protection (EC2 Instances) – Snapshots used for protection in AWS have until now been a manual process driven via scripts. Rubrik leverages AWS API’s to orchestrate and manage snapshots.  This is a key value proposition since it allows your AWS backups to be managed from a central console like the rest of your infrastructure, plus can be managed in an automated and policy driven fashion. Other neat features include the ability to restore into another region.

The screenshot below shows an example of policy driven backup, retention period and backup window for EC2 instances are being set.

Rubrik AWS Backup

VMware vCloud Director Integration – Rubrik extends support not only in the public cloud but private by offering VMware vCloud Director support. Rubrik allows policy based management of VM’s organised via vApp like the VM’s themselves in vCloud. Instant recovery, file restore and recovery of network settings are available functions.

Windows Full Volume Protection – Users can now protect entire volumes that sit on physical Windows servers.  The crash consistent snapshots capture not only the data on the volume but also permissions and volume size information. Potential use cases for this feature include cloud to cloud migrations e.g. AWS to Azure, P2V and backup up RDM’s in physical mode.

New in Rubrik 4.2 windows volume protection

AIX & Solaris Support – Rubrik continue their march to be the one data platform to rule them all by not only enhancing cloud and VM support but adding further operating systems to the supported list. AIX and Solaris are now supported offering the same feature set as other systems including policy based management,compliance reporting and cloud archive. As well as backup / restore this offers the opportunity for migrations via Rubrik.

Conclusion

Data management is going to become an increased focus in coming years driven by the perceived increase in value of data,the challenges of a distributed environment and data regulation laws. Rubrik looks well placed to ride this wave and I look forward to seeing how they develop and the product evolves.

Further Reading

Rubrik 4.2 Datasheet

Rubrik Cloud Data Management 4.2 Announced – “Purpose Built for the Hybrid Cloud”