Nov 182014
Not so squeezy

It’s funny, the little tools you build up over the years as someone heavily involved in backup, particularly when it comes to testing. I have two tools that help me with filesystem and performance testing – one I call generate-filesystem, and one called genbf (generate big file). The genbf tool came about when I wanted files that […]

Oct 272014
Parallel Save Streams for HDFS Performance Gains

One of the great features in NetWorker 8.1 was Parallel Save Streams (PSS). This allows for a single High Density File System (HDFS) to be split into multiple concurrent savesets to speed up the backup walk process and therefore the overall backup. In NetWorker 8.2 this was expanded to also support Windows filesystems. Traditionally, of course, a single filesystem or […]

Oct 232014
Backing up renamed directories

Long-term NetWorker administrators may remember that NetWorker used to have a somewhat odd mechanism of dealing with renamed directories. Nowadays the default option for any new client is to enable backup renamed directories, and this is a good thing, even though it might end up using a bit more backup media. To explain the difference between then and now, and why the […]

Oct 202014

Introduction There’s currently three distinct and still-supported mechanisms for backing up virtual machines in NetWorker. These are: Traditional (in-guest agent) VADP (image level, previous generation of backup technology) VBA (image level, current generation of backup technology) Each have their own advantages and disadvantages, and the purpose of this article is to outline a few of […]

Oct 062014
Seeing in-flight encryption with Data Domain and NetWorker at work

As I mentioned in an earlier article, Data Domain OS 5.5 introduced a new feature, in-flight encryption. This applies to Data Domain Boost connections, and requires v3 of the DDBoost Libraries, which are thankfully found in NetWorker 8.2. Currently you won’t find the controls for in-flight encryption within NetWorker – it’s something that needs to be enabled […]

Sep 012014
Basics - Workflow for adding a new client

A question I get asked from time to time is “How do I do X in NetWorker?”, and by how, I mean what’s the order of steps, rather than a general description. To me, the configuration steps in NetWorker are often quite minimal compared to the operational and organisational processes that typically should be followed to ensure an appropriately […]

Aug 252014
Architectural implications of in-flight Data Domain Boost encryption

Between the Boost libraries included in NetWorker 8.2, and the in-flight encryption functionality added in Data Domain OS 5.5, it’s now possible to configure Boost-encrypted backups – and there’ll be quite a few sites with rigorous security requirements for which that’s a highly desirable function. But it’s important to keep in mind that there are […]

Aug 182014
External NetWorker Authentication without AD

One of the least used features in NetWorker is the option for external authentication of user accounts for use with NMC. This is normally discussed in the context of integrating NMC authentication into an Active Directory environment, but in theory, other LDAP v3 compliant directory services are compatible. So over the weekend, I gave myself two goals: […]

Aug 152014
Centralising Data Domain Logging

If you’ve got a Data Domain in your NetWorker environment, you obviously need to monitor it, just as you would any other appliance. The two main forms of monitoring everyone is aware of with Data Domain systems are: Autosupport emails Data Domain Enterprise Manager – the Web front-end If you’re logged onto the Data Domain console via […]

Aug 042014
Understanding Client Direct

Client direct is a (relatively) new feature, introduced in the 8.x series, (8.0 to be exact) which allows for a client to communicate directly with the backup device rather than going through a storage node. This obviously requires the client to have access to the backup device, and only happens when you’re backing up to Data Domain […]