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IBM Systems and Technology Group

IBM Systems and Technology Group This brief describes how the ProtecTIER features are strengthened by the

This brief describes how the ProtecTIER features are strengthened by the use of Symantec OST.

features are strengthened by the use of Symantec OST. OST-enabled ProtecTIER: What’s in it for you?

OST-enabled ProtecTIER:

What’s in it for you?

Introduction:

With the release of Version 2.5 of IBM® ProtecTIER® systems, IBM has enhanced the functionality of its enterprise class deduplication product. Among the features that have been introduced in this release is the exploitation of Symantec OpenStorage (OST) technology. OST application programming interface (API) for NetBackup, which is the flagship enterprise-level backup and data protection software of Symantec, working hand in hand with the ProtecTIER systems, simplifies the management of the deduplication product and enhances many of its capabilities.

ProtecTIER systems

ProtecTIER is a revolutionary, enterprise-class, disk-based virtual tape software product that complements a customer’s data protection solution and effectively increases the capacity of a given disk array by up to 25 times or more.

ProtecTIER is powered by a unique data deduplication technology, IBM HyperFactor®, which helps eliminate redundant data, and thus, radically reduce the amount of required physical storage, resulting in significant cost savings.The ProtecTIER product is capable of inline deduplication throughput of up to 500 MBps with a single node and 1000 MBps with a dual-node cluster. It supports up to 1 petabyte of physical storage per virtualization engine, which represents up to 25 petabytes of deduplicated capacity, without compromising data integrity. ProtecTIER uses a unique binary diff process for identifying elements of duplicate data. This process only eliminates redundant data after a byte-by-byte comparison, which helps maintain high data integrity and eliminates the problem of hash collisions.

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It is designed for 100 percent data integrity, and is the only solution on the market that does not use hash-based technology. Processing requirements are optimized because the product uses inline deduplication. That is, the redundant data is reduced as it is ingested. This eliminates the need for a dedicated post-process window that is required by many other deduplication products.

ProtecTIER is one of the enterprise-class deduplication solutions on the market today. When it was launched in 2005, it was the first Virtualization Tape Library (VTL) with deduplication capability. Now, it is installed in all major industries and has the global reach through IBM offices and IBM Business Partners. There are over 300 customers worldwide and over 650 systems in production with over 35 PB of disk capacity under management.

Symantec OpenStorage

Symantec is a leader of the data protection and recovery market. Their latest innovative idea, OpenStorage, is changing the way people generally think about backup.

OpenStorage makes it easier to manage, control, copy, replicate, and store large amounts of backup data. It does away with the traditional thinking of backup data in terms of the media they are stored on and the storage device formats they use. It allows backup data to be copied between different media types that have different storage characteristics.

For example, tape is a good medium for storing data that is infrequently accessed but often stored for long periods of time. Whereas, disk is good for storing data that is accessed often but stored for only short periods of time. OpenStorage facilitates seamless movement of data between these two media.

NetBackup is the Symantec flagship enterprise-level backup and data protection software. The OST API for NetBackup allows developers to write plug-ins to their storage appliances that allow NetBackup to control when backup images are created, duplicated, and deleted. It also allows these appliances to control the manner in which the images are stored in the appliances and copied between them.

OST-enabled ProtecTIER

Prior to Version 2.5, ProtecTIER systems could be configured only with a VTL interface. This meant that they emulated the behavior of tape devices such as robots, tape drives, and cartridges. This also meant that the limitations of tape systems (for example, sequential media, no simultaneous reading or writing, and no advanced features known to the backup application) were inherited by the ProtecTIER systems even though such limitations were not inherent to them.

Starting with Version 2.5, a ProtecTIER system can be configured either as a VTL or as an OST-enabled system (but not as both simultaneously.)

OST API for NetBackup supports communication between NetBackup and OST-enabled systems. A ProtecTIER system thus enabled provides the following values:

Management of backup images: NetBackup determines when the backup images are to be created, copied, deleted, or restored, and sends appropriate instructions to the ProtecTIER system through the OST API. Thus, NetBackup is not only aware of all the backup images; it also manages their creation, movement, and deletion, and thus provides a tighter integration between NetBackup and ProtecTIER systems.

Management of the replicated backup images: OST allows many-to-many, bi-directional, IP-based replications with up to 12 peers. For OST-enabled systems, replicated backup images are recorded in the NetBackup catalog to facilitate rapid recovery of data in the event of a disaster.

Balance workload and performance: NetBackup balances backup jobs among media servers and ProtecTIER systems by choosing the least-used media server and least-busy ProtecTIER system.

Monitoring: Detailed statistics on the state of ProtecTIER systems and the backup images stored in the systems are available through the OST API.

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OST interface allows NetBackup to interact directly with the ProtecTIER resources without having to go through the VTL interface. Instead of managing images on virtual tape media, NetBackup writes images directly to a diskpool setup for OST. The number of devices and objects that a backup administrator needs to work with are reduced significantly.

OST API simplifies setup and management of replication. It also allows greater control over what is replicated and how many duplicates are desired. Replication without OST involves specifying replication policies for ranges of tape barcodes. With OST, the NetBackup administrator simply selects backup images to be duplicated and specifies a different OST ProtecTIER diskpool. ProtecTIER interprets this request and start replication to process the data. Such deduplicated replication results in network savings and performance.

OST runs over the gigabit Ethernet interfaces of the ProtecTIER system. Some customer environments do not have Fibre Channel connectivity to all of their NetBackup Media Servers. Some Media Servers may be in remote offices or other locations where only Ethernet or TCP/IP connections are available. The implementation of OST provides NetBackup Media Servers access to ProtecTIER services over Ethernet.

Summary

OST-enabled ProtecTIER systems simplify management of backup images by allowing NetBackup to interact directly with the ProtecTIER resources. It also simplifies setup and management of replication. Enterprise and mid-range customers running Symantec NetBackup with OST and requiring to improve backup operations are likely to benefit from this product significantly. When combined with many-to-many replication, this product greatly improves a customer’s disaster recovery capability.

improves a customer’s disaster recovery capability. © Copyright IBM Corporation 2010 IBM Corporation IBM

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2010

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Produced in the United States of America December 2010

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