WhitePaperAddressing NAS Backupand Recovery ChallengesBy Terri McClure and Jason BuffingtonFebruary 2012This ESG White Pap...
White Paper: Addressing NAS Backup and Recovery Challenges                                                                ...
White Paper: Addressing NAS Backup and Recovery Challenges                                                       3Introduc...
White Paper: Addressing NAS Backup and Recovery Challenges                                                         4IT org...
White Paper: Addressing NAS Backup and Recovery Challenges                                                     5Continued ...
White Paper: Addressing NAS Backup and Recovery Challenges                                           6backup agent. This a...
White Paper: Addressing NAS Backup and Recovery Challenges                                         7EMC Avamar’s Innovativ...
White Paper: Addressing NAS Backup and Recovery Challenges                                           8No CompromisesEMC Av...
White Paper: Addressing NAS Backup and Recovery Challenges                                       9The Bigger TruthData gro...
20 Asylum Street | Milford, MA 01757 | Tel:508.482.0188 Fax: 508.482.0218 | www.enterprisestrategygroup.com
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Analyst : Enterprise Strategy Group: Addressing NAS Backup and Recovery Challenges

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Analyst : Enterprise Strategy Group: Addressing NAS Backup and Recovery Challenges

  1. 1. WhitePaperAddressing NAS Backupand Recovery ChallengesBy Terri McClure and Jason BuffingtonFebruary 2012This ESG White Paper was commissioned by EMCand is distributed under license from ESG.© 2012, Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  2. 2. White Paper: Addressing NAS Backup and Recovery Challenges 2Contents Introduction .................................................................................................................................................. 3 Data Protection Challenges for Unstructured Data...................................................................................... 3 NAS and File Storage Continue to Grow ....................................................................................................... 4 Continued Adoption of NAS for Enterprise File Serving ........................................................................................... 5 Backup and Recovery in NAS Environments............................................................................................................. 5 Backup and Recovery Alternatives ........................................................................................................................... 5 EMC Avamar’s Innovative Solution for NAS Backup and Recovery.............................................................. 7 Avamar Backup and Recovery .................................................................................................................................. 7 How Avamar Works .................................................................................................................................................. 7 Avamar Improves NAS Backup and Recovery .......................................................................................................... 7 No Compromises ...................................................................................................................................................... 8 The Bigger Truth ........................................................................................................................................... 9All trademark names are property of their respective companies. Information contained in this publication has been obtained by sources TheEnterprise Strategy Group (ESG) considers to be reliable but is not warranted by ESG. This publication may contain opinions of ESG, which aresubject to change from time to time. This publication is copyrighted by The Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. Any reproduction or redistribution ofthis publication, in whole or in part, whether in hard-copy format, electronically, or otherwise to persons not authorized to receive it, without theexpress consent of the Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc., is in violation of U.S. copyright law and will be subject to an action for civil damages and, ifapplicable, criminal prosecution. Should you have any questions, please contact ESG Client Relations at (508) 482-0188. © 2012 Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  3. 3. White Paper: Addressing NAS Backup and Recovery Challenges 3IntroductionMeeting service level agreements (SLAs) for full network data management protocol (NDMP) backup and recoveryis often a challenge. Performing a full NDMP backup is more likely to exceed the window of time allocated tobackup—potentially disrupting application availability and end-user productivity. The process also consumes asignificant amount of network and system resources.EMC utilizes integrated global, client-side data deduplication and replication to back up network attached storage(NAS) systems in hours, not days. This creates tremendous efficiency over more traditional approaches to NASprotection, saving time in backup and recovery operations and minimizing the use of network bandwidth andstorage capacity.Data Protection Challenges for Unstructured DataThe majority of capacity under management in the commercial sector will be born as file-based digital content.This data encompasses a wide range of types, including Microsoft Office files, PDFs, scanned images, CAD/CAM,source code, check images, and x-rays as well as Internet-era rich content such as video, audio, blogs, and wikis.Unstructured data and file shares are growing exponentially. ESG research indicates that growth in this area willexceed that of other data types—estimating 226 exabytes of archived file data by 2015, dwarfing database- and e-mail-based archive data (see Figure 1). 1 Figure 1. Projected Archive Data Growth by Type Total Archived Capacity, by Content Type, Worldwide, 2010-2015 (Petabytes) 350,000 300,000 250,000 200,000 150,000 100,000 50,000 0 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 File 25,127 39,237 59,600 92,536 147,885 226,716 Database 4,065 6,179 9,140 13,824 21,532 32,188 E-mail 4,025 6,575 10,411 16,796 27,817 44,091 Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, 2012.File data proliferation has created challenges for management and backup/recovery. As such, it is not surprisingthat improving backup and recovery ranked as the number one 2012 IT priority reported by respondents to arecent ESG research survey 2. Complete, reliable, high-performance backup and recovery is a persistent problem for1 Source: ESG Research Report, Digital Archiving: End-User Survey & Market Forecast 2010-2015, July 2010.2 Source: ESG Research Report, 2012 IT Spending Intentions Survey, January 2012. © 2012 Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  4. 4. White Paper: Addressing NAS Backup and Recovery Challenges 4IT organizations that is often exacerbated by data growth. In fact, the top data protection challenges are tied todata growth, including costs, reducing backup times, and keeping pace with the capacity of data to protect.. 3NAS environments contribute to growth in storage capacity as they have a high degree of redundancy within theirfile shares. Backup solutions that don’t filter and eliminate duplicate data risk consuming a lot of storage andimpacting network links, and still not completing backup processes within the allotted timeframes. As such, it is notsurprising that ESG research has found significant levels of deduplication technology adoption, especially amongenterprise organizations (see Figure 2) 4. Figure 2. Usage of Data Deduplication Technology Is your organization currently using any data deduplication solutions? (Percent of respondents) Midmarket (100 to 999 employees, N=141) Enterprise (1,000 or more employees, N=182) Total (N=323) 45% 41% 40% 37% 35% 31% 30% 26% 24% 23% 25% 22% 20% 20% 17% 15% 16% 15% 15% 10% 4% 4% 4% 5% 0% Yes No, but we plan to No, but we plan to No, and we have no Dont know within 12 months within 24 months plans to Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, 2012.Another issue plaguing many NAS systems is that they typically reside in remote locations. Local backups aredifficult as these branches are often not staffed with backup administrators. Centralized backup is impractical dueto the potential bandwidth impact of daily backup capacity traversing the network.NAS and File Storage Continue to GrowStorage and management of file-based data gave rise to technology optimized for those functions. A NAS device ispurpose-built to store files and perform file serving tasks. NAS systems are typically dedicated, high-performancedata storage systems running embedded proprietary operating systems optimized for disk IO. NAS device hard drivespace accessed via an Ethernet connection can be used as primary storage by any or all host devices on thatnetwork.Many organizations use NAS systems because they are easy to install and deploy, are affordable, and are reliable,ensuring support requests are kept to a minimum. Other factors driving adoption include ease of capacityexpansion and ease of administration, especially when serving files to heterogeneous clients.3 Source: ESG Research Report, The Modernization of Data Protection, report to be published.4 Ibid © 2012 Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  5. 5. White Paper: Addressing NAS Backup and Recovery Challenges 5Continued Adoption of NAS for Enterprise File ServingMassive file data growth is driving increased adoption of NAS. ESG research continues to see widespread use of NASplatforms across both midmarket (86%) and enterprise (84%) organizations. 5 While NAS platforms are commonlyused as primary storage, they also frequently serve as target repositories for disk-based backup. Indeed, recentlyconducted ESG research 6 on the topic of data protection revealed that – on average – nearly one-quarter of thetotal amount of on-site disk-based backup capacity is provided by NAS-based systems and devices (see Figure 3). Figure 3. NAS Capacity Is Frequently Used for Disk-based Backup What percentage of your immediate organization’s total volume of on-site backup data is stored on each of the following types of disk-based storage systems? How do you expect that to change over the next 24 months? (Mean, N=217) Today In the next 24 months 35% 32% 30% 26% 24% 25% 23% 20% 15% 14% 15% 15% 13% 11% 10% 10% 10% 8% 5% 0% Internal (server) Direct-attached Network-attached Fibre Channel iSCSI storage area VTL (virtual tape storage storage (DAS) storage (NAS) storage area network (SAN) library) device device network (SAN) device device Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, 2012.Backup and Recovery in NAS EnvironmentsTraditional file server backup methodologies utilize a software agent that runs on each production server. Thebackup client agent facilitates data capture and transfer, and communicates with the central backup engine. Since aNAS device usually runs a proprietary operating system and is dedicated to serving files, it doesn’t typicallyaccommodate backup software components such as a software agent usually needed to facilitate backup andrecovery.Backup and Recovery Alternatives Proxy Backup One of the simplest ways to back up NAS environments is to maintain a proxy backup system on the network where the backup agent is installed. Each NAS volume requiring backup can then be mounted via common interface file system (CIFS) or network file system (NFS) sharing protocols to the server hosting the5 Source: ESG Research Report, Scale-out Storage Market Trends, December 2010.6 Ibid © 2012 Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  6. 6. White Paper: Addressing NAS Backup and Recovery Challenges 6backup agent. This approach is less efficient due to excessive use of network bandwidth to move databetween systems, which has the potential to introduce performance degradation for backup operations.NAS System-specific (Built-in) Data ProtectionMany NAS platforms may offer built-in data protection features to facilitate backup and recovery. Forexample, a snapshot provides local or remote block-level point-in-time (PIT) copies. However, the numberof snapshots may be limited (up to 250, for example), which can introduce retention issues. In addition,many snap-based protection mechanisms encounter challenges when restoring individual files and/orexposing their file recovery options in a useful way outside of the NAS management tool itself.In addition to PIT copies, many NAS platforms offer replication to enable scenarios that include local orremote and synchronous or asynchronous mirroring. These native tools may require added license fees andwill likely be limited to operating on homogenous storage systems. Snapshot copies typically capture onlychanged blocks between each PIT copy, minimizing the number of blocks captured, transferred, and stored.With greater frequency of snaps, recovery point objectives (RPOs) can be improved. One of the hiddencosts of this approach is that the NAS device may pre-allocate disk space for snapshots (often estimated tobe 20% of total volume) on more expensive primary storage.NDMP BackupThe network data management protocol (NDMP) is an industry-standard programming interface thatprovides best practice backup and recovery for NAS systems. An NDMP-approach enables a backup serverto communicate directly with a NAS appliance and to transmit data to the specified backup storage device.NDMP eliminates the need for backup vendors to write device-specific code for NAS devices to facilitatebackup (e.g., backup agent software). Instead, any authorized third-party backup application running on itsown backup or media server on the network has access to a set of commands to read from or write to NASvia NDMP for backup and restore purposes, respectively. The advantage of this approach is that iteliminates the load from production servers and can keep backup traffic off of the production LAN since theNAS device sends its individual files and metadata directly to the backup platform and its media.There are some tradeoffs associated with this technique, including additional costs for NDMP licenses fromthe backup software vendor. Most traditional backup solutions leveraging NDMP require a weekly full“Level 0” backup and daily incremental “Level 1” backups. Completing full backups within the prescribedwindow is more often a challenge given the massive amount of data on NAS systems today. Full backupsthat run too long can impact end-user productivity and application availability. Difficulty in completing theweekly full backup will impede NAS consolidation goals, preventing IT organizations from maximizing theirNAS investments.Traditionally, scans of large file systems added hours to the incremental backup process because the entirefile system (many millions of files and directories) had to be traversed to check for changes—which can benew, modified, or deleted files. Any change to a large file required backup of the entire file, not just of thechanges. Redundant copies of files, particularly common in unstructured data sets such as homedirectories, will also impact backup time and storage consumption on both the production platforms andthe backup servers.Recovery processes are also affected by these large file set challenges. Recovering from a backup failure is amuch slower process since checkpointing is not supported. Backup software must read sequentiallythrough the backup image to locate the requested information. Recovery could require multiple steps torestore a directory, individual file, or set of files unless direct access restore (DAR) is supported by thebackup vendor. © 2012 Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  7. 7. White Paper: Addressing NAS Backup and Recovery Challenges 7EMC Avamar’s Innovative Solution for NAS Backup and RecoveryAvamar Backup and RecoveryEMC Avamar is backup and recovery software with integrated data deduplication technology. As part of its backupworkflow, it pre-identifies and ignores redundant sub-file data segments at the client system level, dramaticallyreducing the amount of backup data sent over the network. By only sending deduplicated and unique changes,Avamar provides fast backups even across slow or congested links. It also reduces the storage consumed by thebackup platforms’ storage via deduplication across sites and servers globally—making disk-to-disk backup morefeasible than a disk-to-tape approach both from a technology perspective and also in terms of its economic cost.Avamar also enables the creation of offsite data copies for disaster recovery purposes via site-to-site deduplicatedreplication over a WAN connection. Data can be encrypted in-flight as it traverses the network, as well as at-rest onthe backup media, for added security and privacy. Avamar backup data on disk can also be exported to physicaltape media.The solution is ideal for fast and secure backup and recovery of not only NAS environments, but also of virtualizedVMware environments, desktop and laptop systems, and remote offices.How Avamar WorksDeduplication at the client drives Avamar’s advantages and is the reason it is able to solve key enterprise dataprotection challenges. Enterprise data is highly redundant, with identical files and sub-file data segments storedwithin systems and across systems company-wide. Traditional backup software magnifies the problem by storingredundant data over and over again. Avamar’s solution is to view primary data in sub-file chunks called datasegments. The software generates and assigns each data segment a unique ID based on its content, which is thenused to compare it with other data segments that have already been backed up. Only new, unique data segmentsare transferred during a backup operation, ensuring that only a single instance of each segment is stored in acentral location. Avamar eliminates redundant backup data at the client—before that data is sent across thenetwork. It also deduplicates across sites and servers, which is why it is considered “global.” As a result, Avamarprovides daily full backups and dramatically reduces backup times, the impact on the backup network, and therequired back-end disk storage for cost-effective retention on disk and fast, single-step recovery.Avamar Improves NAS Backup and RecoveryTo address many of the aforementioned challenges of protecting NAS-resident data, EMC offers Avamar NDMPAccelerator. A single, dedicated Avamar NDMP Accelerator Node uses NDMP and acts as a pass-through conduitfrom one or more NAS devices to the Avamar server. Deduplication at the Avamar NDMP Accelerator Node createsefficiency by reducing demand on network and system resources and improving performance significantly overtraditional NDMP full backups. Avamar supports leading NAS solutions including the EMC VNX Family, EMC Celerra,and NetApp NAS systems.The result? With Avamar, the weekly full backup becomes a thing of the past. The initial Avamar NDMP backup ofthe NAS environment is a full “Level 0” backup. Thereafter, Avamar only requests daily incremental “Level 1”backups, which take significantly less time to complete and are then stored within the Avamar storage pool.Avamar maintains indices of pointers so that while only incremental changes are added to the system, every PITcopy is recoverable as if it had been a full backup. Because of this, recovery becomes a simpler and less time-consuming one-step process. Avamar eliminates the need to perform multi-layer restores (a full restore plus one ormore incremental restores) to reach the desired recovery point, delivering immediate one-step recovery to theoriginal or an alternate location with a single operation. © 2012 Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  8. 8. White Paper: Addressing NAS Backup and Recovery Challenges 8No CompromisesEMC Avamar and its NDMP Accelerator Node enable faster NAS backup and recovery without compromise. Thereare several key advantages to Avamar-driven NDMP backup and recovery: Fast daily backups. Because Avamar requests only modified “Level 1” data for daily backup and deduplicates this data before transmission, EMC claims that Avamar backups are up to ten times faster than traditional NDMP backups. This means that daily backups occur in hours, not days, and the need for recurring, lengthy “Level 0” backups is eliminated. Single-step full recovery. Avamar maintains all of the previous PIT copies as if they were full backup images, so there is never a need to reconstruct a backup image from the last full and then apply one or more incremental layers. This simplifies and speeds recovery of NAS data. Avamar provides flexible options for recovery, including the ability to restore the entire file system or just individual files—and the restore can be directed to any other Avamar client on any supported operating system. Minimized impact on network and backup storage resources. By dealing with only modified data, Avamar significantly reduces the volume of backup data transferred and stored. This makes backing up remote NAS systems to a central location much more practical. NAS consolidation. The optimization provided with the Avamar Accelerator Node removes backup bottlenecks and enables greater levels of NAS consolidation. Assured recoverability. Built-in high availability and daily data integrity checking provide a high degree of confidence in data recoverability. Replication of encrypted data to a remote Avamar server provides a simple and secure disaster recovery solution. Unlimited retention. Unlike a NAS snapshot-only protection strategy, Avamar has no limitations on the number of PIT copies (backups for Avamar) that can be retained. Integrated central policy engine, interface, and index. Application-specific backup is integrated from a single and central policy engine, managed from a single user interface, and tracked via a single index. © 2012 Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  9. 9. White Paper: Addressing NAS Backup and Recovery Challenges 9The Bigger TruthData growth—especially file data growth—is driving greater adoption of NAS. Ironically, the increased power andmanageability of NAS platforms enables higher scale-out and scale-up file serving storage, thus acceleratingunstructured data growth.NAS architectures create challenges for traditional client/server backup solutions performing backup and recoveryof NAS-resident data. It has forced IT organizations to work around scalable storage in order to try to protect it,with examples including attempts to mount each NAS volume from a server on the network which hosted a backupagent. The performance degradation and operational overhead associated with this approach led to thedevelopment of NDMP. NDMP streamlines backup and recovery operations for NAS platforms, but still haslimitations—specifically, meeting prescribed timeframes for performing backup and recovery. NAS-specificsnapshot and replication technologies offer an alternative to NDMP backup operations; however, they also havetradeoffs.EMC Avamar NDMP Accelerator Node works with Avamar software running within a centrally-managed Avamardata repository (server) to eliminate duplicate backup data at global scale. A logical full/incremental thereafterbackup policy—combined with client-based global data deduplication and compression—provides fast and efficientbackup and recovery.Its N-way grid architecture provides extreme capacity and performance scalability by simply adding nodes (servers)to the grid. And Avamar’s redundant array of independent nodes (RAIN) architecture provides high availability byeliminating single points of failure and introducing fault tolerance across nodes. Avamar also performs dailyintegrity checks of the Avamar server and backup data, ensuring that it can be quickly recovered when needed.Organizations that rely on NAS and are challenged to meet backup and recovery objectives for NAS-based datashould evaluate EMC Avamar and its NDMP Accelerator technology. Avamar provides end-to-end efficiency for NASenvironments to capture significantly less data at the source, resulting in lower bandwidth requirements, shorterbackup timeframes, and reduced storage requirements. Avamar’s single full backup/incremental thereafterapproach ensures a rapid, single-step recovery. As a result, EMC Avamar offers an efficient backup and recoverysolution for NAS environments, without consequences or compromises. © 2012 Enterprise Strategy Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
  10. 10. 20 Asylum Street | Milford, MA 01757 | Tel:508.482.0188 Fax: 508.482.0218 | www.enterprisestrategygroup.com

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