4 Beryllium

Ask the Expert: Avamar Server management best practices

Troubleshooting Avamar Server management & implementing best practices with ianderson

Welcome to the EMC Support Community Ask the Expert conversation. This is an opportunity to learn how to troubleshoot Avamar Server managment.

http://community.emc.com/servlet/JiveServlet/downloadImage/102-14674-1-33946/168-168/Ian+Anderson.jpg

Ian Anderson started with EMC in 2009 as a member of the NetWorker support team, moving into Avamar support that same year. Ian was privileged join the Avamar Engineering team in 2011 as a specialist in Avamar Server training, troubleshooting and repair. He has travelled to a number of EMC centers, delivering training and mentorship on the Avamar product to the global Avamar team. Ian is an EMC Proven Professional and a Microsoft Certified Professional. Ian is on Twitter - @ionthegeek.

This eventis now concluded.

A summary document of the main points of converasation in this discussion can be viewed here:


Summary - Ask the Expert: Avamar Server management best practices (2012-04-06)


Reply
64 Replies
Highlighted
4 Beryllium

Re: Ask the Expert:Avamar Server management best practices

This Discussion is now open for questions to Ian. We look forward to this discussion.

Regards,

Mark

Reply
Highlighted
2 Bronze

Re: Ask the Expert:Avamar Server management best practices

Ian, a two-part question for you:

1:

when we activate a client by right-clicking on the avamar client icon in the toolbar and saying “Manage, Activate”, the Avamar server adds a suffix like ".our-org.com".

So the client name will be something like "websrv01.our-org.com".

We have many avamar servers, and they are not set up identically, so today, we have many different suffixes: "our-org.com", "ent.our-org.com", no-suffix, etc.

On the other hand, when we activate a node using the MCCLI command line, we can give it any name we want, including no suffix at all.  No-suffix seems to works fine, backups work fine, Avamar has the full DNS name in its database somewhere - all is good.

But we'd like to get our client names consistent, if we can.

Is there any reason NOT to just use (for example) "websrv01" instead of "websrv01.our-org.com"?

I would guess that if there WERE a problem, the client would fail to activate.

Right?

2:

We can rename a client using, for example, "mccli client edit --name=webssrv01.our-org.com --new-name=websrv01".

And if we do, do its old backups get orphaned? So would  we have to rename them, too?

Thanks for your advice here.

Reply
Highlighted
4 Ruthenium

Re: Ask the Expert:Avamar Server management best practices

For the first question, we recommend using the fully qualified name instead of the short name because by default, Avamar will not allow two clients with the same name to be activated to the same grid. This could be an issue if you have, for example, Windows Domain Controllers called "dc1.west.our-org.com" and "dc1.east.our-org.com". One of these clients would fail to activate because of the name conflict.

The answer to the second question requires a bit of background first.

When explaining how client accounts work, I always like to use a bucket as a metaphor for a client account. Inside the bucket, you will find all the backups for that client. Engraved into the handle of the bucket is a unique identifier called the Client ID or CID. There is also a label on the bucket (the hostname) but that's only used for two things:

  1. We use the hostname as a human-friendly identifier because humans aren't very good at remembering 20-byte hexadecimal strings (funny, that).
  2. We compare the hostname and CID whenever an activated client checks in. If the hostname and CID do not match what we have recorded, we will not issue backup or restore workorders to that client. This is to prevent a rogue client from stealing the hostname of an activated client and impersonating it.

So using the bucket analogy, changing the label on the bucket (the hostname) will not affect the contents of that bucket (the backups).

I ran some quick testing of this and as long as the client name you use as "new-name" is the short name or any of the fully qualified names associated with the client, you shouldn't have any issues. You do have to be careful with this, however. If you make a typo in the new-name, the Avamar Backup Agent will not be able to process workorders because the mapping between the hostname and CID on the client will not match the mapping between the hostname and CID on the Avamar server.

I hope this helps!

Reply
Highlighted
3 Cadmium

Re: Ask the Expert:Avamar Server management best practices

Why is it when you register a physical server it comes in FQDN but when importing a VM it comes in short?

Reply
Highlighted
4 Ruthenium

Re: Ask the Expert:Avamar Server management best practices

Short answer: Virtual Machines are special.

Long answer: The accounts for Virtual Machines (an account is a "bucket" where we store the backups for that client) are stored on the Avamar server using the name provided by vCenter, followed by _ and a GUID for uniqueness. What you see in the GUI is the friendly display name of the Virtual Machine as given to us by vCenter. This is generally the short name of the client but not necessarily.

(with many thanks to my colleague Vijay_(Avamar) who knows way more about Avamar / VMware than I do)

Reply
Highlighted
1 Copper

Re: Ask the Expert:Avamar Server management best practices

Ian,

Just started a new role,

- Avamar is my new resp, what should I check/do first to get everyth under control in the Avamar env?

I determined that data that is being backed up is about 7TB, and it is being replicated from VNX5500 to itself.


- After reading everything on this forum, I concluded that DPN report is to place to start to check if everything is going as it should?

- What are the first steps you would take to assess the backup environment overall, to make sure to get things under control?

I am currently catching up by reading everything related Avamar. I know how to add/remove clients, modify backup jobs and create/delete backup schedules, thats about all.

- What else would you recommend to read/watch to catch up on everything related to Avamar administration?


Thank you for doing an awesome job btw, I already learn so much by reading these 4 pages of this thread. Keep it up Ian.

Reply
Highlighted
1 Copper

Re: Ask the Expert:Avamar Server management best practices

Quick question.  We have about 950 laptops/desktops that we backup.  With people moving and everything else, you can imagine we have a lot of computer that need to be moved to another Avamar node (we have 2).  My question is the following:  We have a few clients that we have 1 or 2 backups that we have changed the retention on to "Indefinitely".  If I retire those clients, all their backups will eventually be deleted, but will the one that is set to "Indefinitely"?  It's critical we keep that 1 or 2 backups for those clients, but I want to be able to retire those clients if they are no longer here or have moved to another Avamar node.  Thanks for any input!

Reply
Highlighted
4 Ruthenium

Re: Ask the Expert:Avamar Server management best practices

It depends which option you select when you retire the client. If you select the option to maintain the existing retention (I don't remember the exact wording offhand), the backup that is currently set to indefinite retention will be kept forever.

If you are only using the system for DTLT backup, you may wish to look into the "Keep last backup" functionality. This feature prevents the last backup for a client from expiring even if it goes offline for a long time. I don't remember if the last backup for a retired client is retained so you should probably test this before relying on it.

Reply
Highlighted
1 Copper

Re: Ask the Expert:Avamar Server management best practices

Hello Ian

I am new to Avamar.. While retiring vmware image backup I am facing some issues.. while retiring without any error I am able to retire and the client is moved to MC\retire folder aswell.. But in next day schedule the client started running... Felt like the client is adding back while the maintenance window is running..

Kindly advise what will be the cause for this and how to retire

Reply