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Avamar | NetWorker | Data Domain | Deduplication | CSM | RecoverPoint | Backup and Recovery

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  • 04/24/12--19:39: Counting the numbers
  • How many datacentres do you have across your organisation? It’s a simple enough question, but the answer is sometimes not as simple as some organisations think. The reason for this is it’s too easy to imagine different physical locations equating to different datacentres. There are actually two conditions that must be met before a server [...]

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  • 09/15/12--20:56: Recovery survey
  • We talk a lot about backups, but we all know that backups are done for one reason – to recover when necessary. To that end, I’d like to get an understanding of how recoveries work in the broader backup community. I’ve already got a good amount of exposure to how my customers tend to run [...]

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  • 10/06/12--19:41: Recovery Survey Results
  • Thanks to everyone who provided responses into the recovery survey. It proved to be a very interesting insight into some of the recovery profiles businesses experience. It confirmed some generally held views about recovery, but it also highlighted some differences. For example, consider the results for recovery frequencies: The full report, in PDF format, is [...]

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  • 10/21/12--22:43: NetWorker 8: Synthetic fulls
  • The history of NetWorker and synthetic fulls is an odd one. For years, NetWorker had the concept of a ‘consolidated’ backup level, which in theory was a synthetic full. The story goes that this code came to Legato via a significant European partner, but once it came into the fold, it was never fully maintained. [...]

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  • 11/26/12--23:54: The divisibility of eggs
  • The caution about keeping all of ones eggs in the one basket is a fairly common one. It’s also a fairly sensible one; after all, eggs are fragile things and putting all of them into a single basket without protection is not necessarily a good thing. Yet, there’s an area of backup where many smaller [...]

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    One of the new features of NetWorker 8.2 is the expansion of Windows Block Based Backups (BBB) to support additional backup targets. When the feature was originally introduced into NetWorker 8.1, it supported only the following devices: Data Domain Boost, and Advanced File Type Devices (AFTDs) on Windows systems only. However, there’s a lot of environments [...]

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    Long-term NetWorker administrators may remember that NetWorker used to have a somewhat odd mechanism of dealing with renamed directories. Nowadays the default option for any new client is to enable backup renamed directories, and this is a good thing, even though it might end up using a bit more backup media. To explain the difference between then and now, and why the [...]

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  • 12/01/14--00:03: A locale problem
  • I had a doozy of a problem a short while ago – NetWorker 8.2 in a big environment, and every now and then the NMC Recovery interface would behave oddly. By oddly: Forward/Back buttons might stop working when choosing between specific backups in the file browser Manually entering a date/time might jump you to a different date/time Backups that [...]

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    One of the great new features in NetWorker is the integration of Instant Access, whereby virtual machines backed up with the VBA appliance to Data Domain systems may be instantly accessed from the Data Domain without needing to actually recover them. This allows you to quickly startup a failed service even as you’re migrating the virtual machine [...]

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    A few days ago I had some spare time up my sleeve, and I decided to test out the Emergency Restore function in NetWorker VBA/EBR. After all, you never want to test out emergency recovery procedures for the first time in an emergency, so I wanted to be prepared. If you’ve not seen it, the Emergency [...]

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  • 07/13/15--03:38: Recovery survey
  • Back in 2012, I ran a survey to gauge some basic details about recovery practices within organisations. (The report from that survey can be downloaded here.) It’s been a few years and


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    Introduction When NetWorker 8 was released I said at the time it represented the biggest consolidated set of changes to NetWorker in the all the years I’d been working with it. It represented a radical overhaul and established the groundwork for further significant changes with NetWorker 8.1 and NetWorker 8.2. NetWorker 9 is not a similarly big set of changes: it’s [...]

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  • 12/21/15--22:38: 2015 – that’s a wrap!
  • As we approach the end of 2015 I wanted to spend a bit of time reflecting on some of the data protection enhancements we’ve seen over the year. There’s certainly been a lot! NetWorker 9 NetWorker 9 of course was a big part to the changes in the data protection landscape in 2015, but that’s not by any means the only advancement [...]

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    I’ve been working with backups for 20 years, and if there’s been one constant in 20 years I’d say that application owners (i.e., DBAs) have traditionally been reluctant to have other people (i.e., backup administrators) in control of the backup process for their databases. This leads to some environments where the DBAs maintain control of their backups, and others [...]

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    Backing up data from an NFS mount-point is not ideal, but sometimes we don’t have a choice. There’s a few reasons you might end up in this situation – you might need to backup data on a particularly old system that no longer has a NetWorker client available (or perhaps never did), or you might need to backup a [...]

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    NetWorker 9 introduced a new, pure HTML5 web interface for the File Level Recovery interface for VBA, which works much the same way as the v8.x FLR, just without Flash. However, it also introduced nsrvbaflr, a command line utility that comes with the base NetWorker client install, which can be used on Linux or Windows virtual machines to [...]

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    I’ve recently been doing some testing around Block Based Backups, and specifically recoveries from them. This has acted as an excellent reminder of two things for me: Microsoft killing Technet is a real PITA. You backup to recover, not backup to backup. The first is just a simple gripe: running up an eval Windows server [...]

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  • 09/07/16--00:06: Backing up Oracle with NMDA
  • In previous posts I’ve talked about options around database backups – specifically whether you’d use a NetWorker module or say, DDBoost for Enterprise Applications. There’s a lot of architectural positives towards having the database administrators in control of the backup, but sometimes you’ll want the backups to be controlled and coordinated by NetWorker. It could be [...]

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    On January 31, GitLab suffered a significant issue resulting in a data loss situation. In their own words, the replica of their production database was deleted, the production database was then accidentally deleted, then it turned out their backups hadn’t run. They got systems back with snapshots, but not without permanently losing some data. This in [...]

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    World backup day is approaching. (A few years ago now, someone came up with the idea of designating one day of the year to recognise backups.) Funnily enough, I’m not a fan of world backup day, simply because we don’t backup for the sake of backing up, we backup to recover. Every day should, in fact, be world backup day. [...]

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