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Data Domain-Optimized Backup using NetWorker 8.1

In this Knowledge Sharing article, Gururaj Kulkarni and Soumya Gupta discuss the performance benefit gained from two new features introduced in NetWorker 8.1 with Data Domain integration. The authors explain their testing approach and results along with providing best practices recommendations.

Data Domain Boost Over Fibre Channel
This authors describe the new feature introduced in NetWorker 8.1 where NetWorker clients and storage nodes support Fibre Channel (backup and recovery operation) connectivity to Data Domain devices by leveraging Fibre Channel capability available with DD Boost 2.6 library.

Prior to availability of this feature, customers using NetWorker with Virtual Tape Libraries, auto changers, or tape device as their backup solutions were unable to transition to NetWorker backup to disk with Data Domain since they had a dedicated Fibre Channel environment and Data Domain devices supported data transfer only over TCP/IP.

This support not only optimizes existing investment in Fibre Channel infrastructure but offers both client-side deduplication and support of the Fibre Channel protocol using a backup-to-disk workflow.

Virtual Synthetics
The current Synthetic Full Feature consolidates full and one or more incremental backup on the NetWorker Storage node. If backup data resides on Data Domain, it has be pulled from it and then processed on NetWorker Storage Node and consolidated backup will be sent back to Data Domain. This requires additional network bandwidth and un-necessary overhead on NetWorker storage node. Due to this the time taken to synthesize the Saveset and network bandwidth usage was more.

With the new feature introduced in NetWorker 8.1, Virtual Synthetic Full backups are an out-of-the-box integration with NetWorker, making it ‘self-aware.’ Therefore, if a customer is using a Data Domain system as their backup target, NetWorker will use Virtual Synthetic Full backups as the backup workflow by default when a synthetic full backup is scheduled, thus optimizing incremental backups for file systems.

Virtual synthetics reduce the processing overhead associated with traditional synthetic full backups by using metadata on the Data Domain system to synthesize a full backup without moving data across the network.

Read the full article.

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