Dell EMC PowerProtect Data Manager provides software defined data protection, automated discovery, deduplication, operational agility, self-service and IT governance for physical, virtual and cloud environments.

  • Orchestrate protection directly through an intuitive interface or empower data owners to perform self-service backup and restore operations from their native applications
  • Unique VMware protection: Protect VMware VMs without business disruption
  • Ensure compliance and meet even the strictest of service level objectives
  • Leverage your existing Dell EMC PowerProtect appliances

PowerProtect Data Manager gives you valuable insight into protected on-premises and in-cloud workloads, applications, file systems, and virtual machines. Designed with operational simplicity and agility in mind, Data Manager enables the protection of traditional workloads including Oracle, Exchange, SQL, SAP HANA and file systems as well as Kubernetes containers and virtual environments.

Network attached storage (NAS) is an IP-based file-sharing storage device which is attached to a local area network (LAN). NAS can serve a variety of clients and servers over an IP network. A NAS device uses its own operating system and integrated hardware and software to deliver a range of file-service needs. NAS is widely used for its simplicity, ease of use and outstanding performance. With its simple use comes challenges regarding data protection. For years, NAS and backup vendors have used the NDMP protocol to protect NAS data. The NDMP protocol has its own limitations, such as manual slicing of a NAS share to achieve multi-stream backup, limited parallel streams, and periodic full backups. Customers also face
challenges to protect their growing amounts of data and back up this data within their specified backup windows.
PowerProtect Data Manager for NAS protection addresses today’s customer challenges of protecting evolving NAS environments. Unlike NDMP-based solutions, dynamic NAS protection is a NAS-vendor-agnostic solution. With dynamic NAS protection, customers can overcome the challenges with the NDMP protocol. Protecting NAS assets with Data Manager is a non-NDMP solution. Dynamic NAS protection uses the NAS Protection Engine for backup and recovery orchestration. This solution is easy to use, providing automatic discovery, orchestration, and management through the Data Manager UI. With its snapshot technology and intelligent slicing, Data Manager protects NAS data efficiently within the required backup window.

This solution addresses some of the challenges to dynamic NAS protection with the following capabilities:
• Vendor-agnostic solution for NAS protection
• Forever incremental backup and no periodic full
• High number of parallel streams and multiple virtual containers to address scale and performance
• Index, search, and restore
• Restore to any NAS device, such as NFS/CIFS

With PowerProtect Data Manager 19.9 , You have the ability to restore data on-premises or in the cloud, and you can do that from native interfaces. And, centralized governance control ensures IT compliance, making even the strictest service level objectives obtainable. You are enabled with additional operational efficiencies such as self-service, automated discovery, SaaS-monitoring and reporting, and easy deployments, upgrades and scale. And only with PowerProtect Data Manager can you ensure availability of all your VMs at scale without business disruption.

In this post, I’ll introduce Dell EMC PoweProtect 19.9, Part1 – Dynamic NAS Protection, a new feature within Dell EMC PowerProtect Data Manager 19.9, which changes the way we protect our NAS infrastructure to ensure availability of all your NAS systems at scale without business disruption.

A new feature of PowerProtect Data Manager is Dynamic NAS Protection. Dynamic NAS Protection automates and optimizes the protection of your NAS infrastructure, delivering a simple, modern way to protect your NAS systems.

Protect and recover any NAS that supports NFS or CIFS, including Dell EMC PowerStore, PowerScale and Unity. NAS assets are automatically discovered through communication with the NAS array.

Dynamic NAS Protection efficiently runs backups in parallel multi-streams by automatically and dynamically slicing NAS assets with load balancing for movement to protection storage. The slicer can be used to partition a NAS share, a filesystem, or a volume with multiple files and folders. Slicing is tunable from the PowerProtect Data Manager UI and the Data Manager REST API with support for both full and incremental backups.

The Slicer partitions NAS assets dynamically, with slices being reassessed prior to each backup, with slices added, removed or rebalanced based on backup history and on changes in the content of the NAS asset being partitioned. Periodically, unbalanced trees are automatically managed as content changes over time. No manual reconfiguration is required.

Dynamic NAS Protection intelligently and automatically scales to optimize performance. Multiple proxy hosts are deployed with Dynamic NAS Protection and as load requires, proxies can be spun up and torn down efficiently. Because proxies are virtual, reconfiguration happens without the need for manual intervention.

The virtual proxies are bundled within a proxy host so that all services needed for backup are provided at deployment. Further, agents are containerized on the proxy host, and the setup and teardown of proxies happens dynamically, spinning up and tearing down NAS containers as needed. This in turn minimizes backup job queues, while keeping backup resources productive and eliminates the need for separate agents to accommodate different share types.

By providing up to 3x faster backups and up to 2x faster restores, Dynamic NAS helps you achieve improved SLAs through simple, efficient management of NAS backup and recovery.

What are the key Differentiators?

  • Snapshots for every backup with Intelligent crawl
    • Snapshot for Unity, PowerStore, PowerScale
  • Scale beyond the NDMP backup stream limitation e.g. 8 max streams
  • Intelligent slicing / directory slicing for better efficiency
  • Multiple proxies support
  • A single share can be backed up with multiple proxies / streams
  • Existing Avamar supports forever incremental but at the cost of high compute resource
  • Higher number of parallel streams and multiple virtual compute nodes to address scale and performance

Backup Workflow

  • NAS Backup is initiated from PPDM Server
  • – Each task is executed in Proxy host(s)
  • Backup “Pre-Task”
  • – Create Snapshot and “Slice” NAS Share
  • Backup data task
  • – Compute Proxies and Parallel streams
  • – Backup “Slices” in parallel from multiple Proxies
  • Backup “Post-Task”
  • – Register backup with PPDM
  • – Initiate Index and Search
  • – Collect logs
  • – Clean-up
  • Backup job Monitoring during complete backup cycle

Restore Workflow

  • User Selection for Recovery
  • – Share Level
  • – Search and Recovery
  • Recovery initiated from PPDM Server
  • – vPod identifies the Proxy host Recovery
  • – vPod sends Recovery job to Proxy host
  • Recover Tasks on Proxy host
  • – Parse backup catalog
  • – Create input list to restore selected backup
  • – Recover to user selected destination path
  • Recover “Post Task”
  • – Collect logs
  • – Cleanup

Here you can see a video showing how to configure and run Dynamic NAS Protection using PowerProtect Data Manager 19.9

And below, you can go through, an interactive demo

And, some media coverage

A guest post by Tomer Nahumi

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