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DataDomain VTL / NetWorker - best architecture

Posted on 2011-09-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi,

Does anyone have any experience of using EMC DataDomain (DD) units (DD670s especially) as VTLs with EMC NetWorker for their backup solution?  
I'm looking at using the same but have been presented with two potential architectures; the first I have been 'expecting' as it was discussed a while ago, but the second (and latest) has raised some questions and I can't find enough information I need to either back it up (no pun intended!) or dismiss it.

Environment: Two DCs, less than 30km apart with 30Mb link between the two.  DD670s and RP units talk over the link (Production <=> DR).  Predominantly HP-UX systems, some Windows.  EMC VNX SAN.

The first architecture mentioned above involves a top-level NetWorker Server (NS) and two Networker Storage Nodes (NSNs); pretty standard stuff, NS controlling the jobs and dedicated NSNs shifting the data (from the backup clients) to the DDs.  I haven't had detailed sight of the connecitivity but assumed the NSNs were multi-homed, with GbE to a Backup VLAN (for backup client connecitivity) and fibre to a multi-Gbps fabric which also connects the DDs (for throughput).

The second architecture has two main differences; the NSNs role is no longer on dedicated servers, the role moved to each backup 'client', i.e. the app and db servers themselves.  Secondly, the DD670s are both GbE-connected, no fibre connectivity.

This has raised more questions that I could really post here, so my main ones are:
1) Has anyone implemented their solution the second way and did it have any negative effects, e.g. poor server performance, incompletion within backup windows, incompatibilities, etc.
2) Does the DD670 need fibre-connections if used as a VTL? GbE just seems as though it might be more than a little stretched with a large client base/lots of data.  Also, the standard DD config seems to be only two GbE NICs, which would be taken up for other purposes than the dedicated Backup VLAN here.

TIA

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Question by:Mark_R
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theruck earned 500 total points
ID: 36589468
1) yes. it is the preffered way i would say as it is also preferred solution as each client is a DSN so its backup is quicker but
2) each client acting as DSN needs fiber conectivity to the VTL

so i would say your decision depends on the status of your clients .if they all have FC cards you are to go for option 2
if you have at least one client without FC card you need to implement a NSN so maybe you will need to combine those 2 options.

the second option is good because you can generate 256 (i think) virtual tape drives on the DD670 so you can generate one for each client so they can all theoretically start to backup themeselves at the same time. anyway best practice from EMC is max 8 parallel streams to one VTL so you might need to keep that in mind and spread the backup starts over the whole backup window and watch it and adapt as needed

consider also the price for DSN vs NSN. NSN price is quite the same as the price of the networker server itself so maybe if you have a lot of clients, the option 1 will be the only way to go for you.

it is always better to take backups over SAN than over LAN (if the infrastructure can hold it) so once again i vote for option 2
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 36592936
Are you intending to backup between the two sites?

If so your 30Mbps link will be far to slow. @3MBps, say 2MBps in reality it will take you too long to transfer any siginificant amount of data.
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by:theruck
ID: 36593039
no only the DD670 replication goes over the 30 Mbps link as he stated
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 36593395
But even if the dedupe gives you 20:1 reduction it still means that writes to one dd670 of anything over 40MB/s (and even that is optomistic) will be too much.
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by:theruck
ID: 36593624
The dedupe of dd670 is transparent. You always transfer all the backup data to the virtual tape then dd670 handles it. Therefore you need to keep max 8 paralel sessions writing to it and no parallelism on client is recomended so that the dedupe is really working. Dedupe is for space saving not for data transfer/ throughput saving
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by:Gerald Connolly
ID: 36593692
Guys i think you are missing the point. If you have 2 * DD670 replicating either one-way or to each other over a 30Mbps link the link is going to become a serious bottleneck once the data being transferred reaches the 2MBps threshold, it doesnt matter what the data is or if it is already deduped, the synchronisation of the two boxes will be compromised.
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Author Comment

by:Mark_R
ID: 36596270
Cheers for all of the input, folks.....much appreciated!

With regards to the links, if my memory permits I'll update the thread if there are any issues.  The link size has been considered in the design though, which EMC themselves have provided significant input for.
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