Effective Backup Scenarios

    With the advent of new products in the field of both software and hardware, as well as backup systems, sometimes it is necessary to solve the difficult task of managing growing volumes of information, organizing data flow, reducing the time it takes to complete backup tasks and meeting budgetary limits. We’ll take a look at the Symantec Backup Exec 2014 backup and recovery solution, which enables you to implement a variety of backup scenarios and provide high cost-effectiveness.

    Scenario number 1. B2D2T, P2V, and Job Stages Method

    Despite the rapid development of storage technology, tape storage systems are still used in some organizations as the cheapest means of long-term offline storage. However, with the growth of data volumes, we have to admit that the backup windows (usually this is night or even the whole weekend) is not enough to transfer data to tape media, and a one-time transition from tapes to disks leads to significant costs. The most suitable way out in this situation would be to use the backup-to-disk-to-tape (B2D2T) method. In this case, the backup is performed in two stages, first to disk and then to tape. Copying data to disk is much faster than to tape, so the first step, as a rule, satisfies the requirements for the backup window, and the second stage is already performed without the participation of the source server. Thanks to the advanced Symantec Backup Exec 2014 backup job creation mechanism, you can create multiple stages in a single job. For the described situation, the task will contain 2 steps: RK to disk and duplication to tape:

    In the more general case, there can be more steps; they can go sequentially and / or in parallel to implement the most complex schemes. For example, you can create a task (just one!) In which the scheme is implemented: RK to disk, then in parallel there is a step of converting the backup into a P2V virtual machine (physical-to-virtual) and a step of copying data to the tape library. Each step has its own destination settings and execution schedules.
    From a hardware point of view, such a backup system may consist of a backup server and a tape library connected to it. As a backup server for small enterprises, it is optimal to use servers that allow you to install a sufficiently large number of high-capacity hard drives, for example, such as Fujitsu PRIMERGY RX350S8 or PRIMERGY RX2520M1. Occupying a relatively small rack space (4U for the RX350S8 and 2U for the RX2520M1), they can contain up to 12 disks with a capacity of up to 4 TB, which allows you to provide disk storage capacity sufficient to record a full backup of all data.
    Fujitsu ETERNUS LT tape libraries can be used as a tape library. Tape libraries of this family allow you to install from 1 (in LT20) to 4 (in LT60) LTO-6 drives and have from 8 to 48 slots for installing tapes.

    Scenario number 2. Deduplication and OST

    Over time, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with the explosive growth in data volumes, as more and more capacious and expensive storage systems are required. To curb the increasing volume of backup data, Symantec Backup Exec 2014 uses deduplication technology. The idea is simple: the data is divided into blocks, these blocks are compared and only unique ones are saved, eliminating their duplication. Thanks to this technology, it is possible to significantly reduce the volume of stored data, reduce the requirements for storage systems and thereby reduce the cost of acquiring new disk arrays. Backup Exec performs global deduplication of all data from any systems: physical / virtual / windows / linux / mass. The process itself can be performed not only on the Backup Exec 2014 server, but also on the source server - then only unique blocks are transferred, which reduces network load and reduces backup time. This method is well suited for backing up remote servers with a slow access channel. In this case, only the first copy of the data is completely transmitted and significantly loads the transmission channel, all other tasks load the network noticeably less. If you want to avoid the transfer of the first copy, you can save it locally next to the source server and transfer it in another way, for example, transfer it to an external hard drive.

    Deduplication can also be performed on devices supporting Open Storage Technology, such as Fujitsu ETERNUS CS800S5. It is a complete disk storage solution that comes in the appliance model. Using an advanced deduplication algorithm with variable-length data blocks and performing deduplication directly in RAM allows achieving high deduplication efficiency (up to 10: 1 and higher) and high performance (up to 11.5 TB / hour). Depending on the model, the useful physical capacity of the ETERNUS CS800S5 can range from 4 TB to 320 TB, in any model several connection options are available: 1 and 10 Gbit Ethernet (CIFS / NFS / OST) and 8 Gbit FC (tape library emulation, VTL).
    In this case, Backup Exec only manages the backup process, and the data itself is transferred directly from the source server to the OST device, where deduplication and storage of data in duplicated form are performed.

    Scenario number 3. Distributed Infrastructure, ESO, Optimized duplication

    In distributed infrastructures, especially in the form of “center-branches”, it is often required to place several backup servers and storage systems. Moreover, the answer to the question “What is where to place and how to manage all this?” Is not always obvious.
    It is possible to place several servers in the center (if there are several sites) Backup Exec, and in branches one at a time. In this case, one server is assigned as the central (central administration server - CAS), and the rest are subordinate / managed (Managed), then the administrator from the CAS server will be able to assign tasks for all servers (CAS is part of the ESO option). Moreover, disk storage systems connected to Backup Exec-servers can be shared by these servers both via LAN and SAN (SSO is a part of ESO option). If you need to copy data between different sites (for example, copying backups from branches to the center for long-term storage), as a rule, you have to put up with low data transfer speeds. And again, deduplication technology helps out, which is also implemented in the optimized duplication functionality of backup copies between Backup Exec repositories. The backup data is not transferred in full from the source store, but only by individual unique deduplication units that are not contained in the destination store.

    In the smallest branches, there may be no Backup Exec server at all, just install the OST device and you can already set backup tasks from the source server directly to the OST device (see the previous scenario). Optimized duplication technology will also be available in this case.


    Symantec Backup Exec 2014 has support for a wide range of both software (OS and applications) and hardware from different manufacturers, allowing you to solve the widest range of backup tasks. This article examined only a few scenarios for using the Symantec Backup Exec 2014 solution to optimize data flows, reduce the backup window, reduce storage requirements and, as a result, increase the cost-effectiveness of IT infrastructure. As part of a long-term successful partnership, Symantec and Fujitsu provide not only technological integration of solutions, but also provide an opportunity to purchase integrated solutions consisting of Fujitsu equipment and Symantec software through the Fujitsu channel.

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