Data deduplication itself is nothing new and some may argue that it has not yet delivered on its full potential. How appliances implement deduplication must change and become more refined due to the explosion in the amount and types of data being backed up and retained. Sepaton VirtuoSO has emerged to provide organizations with a hybrid deduplication offering innovation in deduplication to deliver the most efficient experience and one that optimizes backup storage capacity even as it ensures backups complete within ever-shrinking backup windows.
Category Archives: Sepaton
Oracle databases are found in the data center of the vast majority of Fortune 500 companies as are enterprise NAS solutions. The challenge from a backup perspective is how to effectively protect and store the data associated with these applications when the format of their data types are very different and applications use different storage networking protocols to communicate with them. In this fourth part of my interview series with Sepaton’s Director of Product Management, Peter Quirk, we discuss how its VirtuoSO platform adapts to Oracle and NAS data in backups as well as offers a converged infrastructure backup target to these applications.
Jerome: Why is using post-process important for Oracle environments and how does Oracle take advantage of this functionality on VirtuoSO?
Peter: The challenge with Oracle databases is getting them backed up within a reasonable time. Sepaton has a number of customers that have come to us because their backups take more than a day.
If it takes more than a day to backup a database, you are always going be falling behind. The way you get around that is to use parallel streams in RMAN to shorten the time to backup. You obviously need more hardware resources in both the system being backed up and the target to be able to accommodate that data flow. But the more streams you apply, the less the time it takes to back it up.
Typically what happens in this environment is that an organization will also employ either multiplexing or data striping for big tables. This results in backup data being smeared across the channels – often in a very unpredictable way. These techniques defeat most inline deduplication engines.
This is why offering post-process provides the highest predictable ingest speed as it removes the need to do deduplication during the backup. Using post process also finds the commonality across these multiple streams which results in great storage savings as well.
Jerome: Why do you see enterprises as using NAS in growing numbers and what steps is Sepaton taking to protect it?
Peter: Multiple reasons. First, if you believe everything Bob Metcalfe (co-inventor of Ethernet) says, “Ethernet always wins.” It just drives so much volume that the cost of the technology always drops faster than competing technologies like Fibre Channel (FC).
Second, people want to use converged networks to the degree that it is feasible. Managing one network is going to be easier than managing two. Given that we are always going to have a LAN, if an organization can move my storage over the LAN as well, that is a win.
Third is the rise of virtual infrastructure. Whether it is virtual servers, software-defined networking, or unification of storage around IP, it is natural that we would bring out a product with a NAS interface that can connect to virtually everything.
Think about the basic server that organizations buy. If they buy a basic server, it always has a NAS interface. It does not always have a fiber channel interface so there is a FC tax to pay to add FC connectivity for its presumed level of performance.
The truth is that 10Gb Ethernet interfaces are basically good enough. They give organizations this tremendous flexibility to deal with a variety of protocols. 10Gb Ethernet can run CIFS, FCoE, FTP, HTTP, iSCSI, NFS, and OST and be managed through a common switch infrastructure. It was a no brainer for Sepaton to come out with a NAS interface.
The FC infrastructure that is out there will continue to be used. FC has a road map to 16Gb and Sepaton is seeing a lot of early deployments of it plus there is another step up (32Gb) beyond that. Sepaton will introduce a FC interface on the system around the time of our second release as organizations want unified solutions.
FC is not going to unify the network. However organizations certainly want to unify the target and want it to support both FC and Ethernet protocols. Sepaton already has a lot of customers that run OST over IP and there are some that want to run OST over fiber channel as they own their own dark fiber. It makes sense for them to preserve their investment in FC protocols so Sepaton will support all modes of connectivity over time.
Large enterprises already backup hundreds of terabytes if not petabytes of data. The emergence of these Big Data backups means equally big changes need to occur in how enterprises protect this data. While deduplicating disk-based backup targets are part of the answer, these solutions need to increase the number of options they offer to fully satisfy all of the different backup requirements that large enterprises inevitably encounter. The Sepaton VirtuoSO data protection solution gives large enterprises the dynamic and more modern approach they need to backup their growing number of applications.
Deduplicating purpose built backup appliances (PBBAs) have rapidly become the de facto standard as the preferred backup target in small and midsized enterprises (SMEs). However large enterprises have been slower to embrace these solutions because they often require highly manual setup processes and lack scalability. Sepaton has addressed these concerns in its S2100 7.1 release and automated the deployment of virtual tape libraries (VTLs) in Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) environments. With it, large enterprises may leverage Sepaton to experience more of the same backup benefits that SMEs already enjoy.
Large enterprises are feeling the pressure of Big Data in every way possible. They have more data to store, more information to access and less time than ever to back it up, secure it and then recover it. It is in this area of backup and recovery that enterprises need better options to protect their data while also alleviating mounting security concerns. The Sepaton S2100-ES3 2925 with its new V7.0 software provides them with the match they want.
Encryption’s value is no longer in question in large enterprises. Rather the broader challenge they face as they look to manage petabytes of data in complex backup environment is, “How to overcome the substantial costs and time required to manage encryption keys?” An answer to these concerns is finally at hand in the form of the newly available Key Management Interoperability Protocol (KMIP).
Business continuity and disaster recovery have been “top” priorities for many enterprises going back at least a decade. However it is difficult to keep these strategic objectives at the “top” of the priority list when they encounter operational headwinds brought on by age-old tactical backup concerns such as increasing backup capacities and performance. Tackling these complementary but often conflicting priorities requires the implementation of a solution that delivers on both of these objectives.
Disk-based backup and deduplication have been godsends for many organizations looking for a fast, effective way to protect and store their growing amounts of data. However Oracle DBAs still sometimes feel like these two technologies have come up short in ways that have not adequately been addressed. SEPATON’s new DBeXstream technology changes this by giving Oracle DBAs access to these two technologies with the corresponding increases in throughput and deduplication ratios that they were originally led to believe they would see.
“Impossible. Nobody can jump this.” Enterprise technology buyers and IT administrators who have seen the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade can relate to how Indy feels as he looks across a great chasm and is asked to step out in faith. But too often these individuals may feel the same way when asked to make an enterprise technology buying decision with little more information than what Indy possessed.
It is 2010 and time to deduplicate, at least that’s what 60% of the respondents in a recent IDC survey had to say. However once an enterprise has said it is going to deploy deduplication is the easy part. It gets a little tougher to find a deduplication solution that meets their diverse needs of affordability, high availability, scalability and simplicity. It is these enterprise hot buttons that the new SEPATON S2100-MS2 seeks to hit.
In the last year or so a number of articles and blogs have appeared on the topic of inline and post-processing deduplication in an attempt to answer the question, “What is the best approach for deduplicating data during disk-based backup?” Unfortunately what these pieces fail to quantify is, “What objectives are enterprise organizations looking to accomplish with disk-based backup and recovery?” The problem this creates is that without first establishing these objectives, it makes it very difficult to arrive at any sort of meaningful conclusion about how to best proceed with deduplication.
Perhaps the biggest industry buzz coming out of the October 2009 SNW show was not any product announcement or new technology but an interview with EMC’s Frank Slootman that appeared on SearchDataBackup.com. Minimally this interview made a number of revelations about EMC’s current strategy and future direction for its Data Backup Division. But of greater concern for those enterprises planning to use EMC’s products, it revealed a lack of understanding on Slootman’s part in terms of what enterprise organizations are looking for in disk-based backup and deduplication solutions.
The lines between NAS and VTL have started to blur. More NAS solutions can now scale to hold more than one petabyte of deduplicated data, deliver sustainable aggregate throughputs of more than one TB/hour and handle multiple concurrent backup loads. This combination of features may make it seem like a face-off between upper end NAS and VTL solutions is looming in enterprise environments.