vRanger and VEEAM: Scale Issues

16 09 2010


I manage the backups for about 400+ vms on a daily basis.  We are using a mix of vRanger and VEEAM to backup our vms both at our main site, and at a couple of smaller branch sites.  We use vRanger for our main site and VEAAM for the branch sites.  As far as features, vRanger and VEEAM have flip-flopped in the past, with VEEAM usually taking the lead and vRanger following suit 6 months to a year later with certain features (CBT support for instance).  The main differentiator that caused us to choose one over the other for the our production site is SCALE.

vRanger is our choice for VM backups in our production site.  As we must fit all 400 of these backups into reasonable backup windows, we are using the limits available for tasks running per datastore, host, and backup Groups.  By using jobs based on backup groups composed of small numbers of hosts, we dont have to constantly edit jobs to exclude new vms, and we have a small number of jobs to deal with.  The limits per host and datastore ensure that we are running multiple vm backup tasks at any given time.

image  This is the key differentiator from VEEAM.  VEEAM only processes vm backup tasks one at a time.  So if I have 30 vms to be backed up in a job, it will plod through them one at a time.  If it hits a particularly large backup, you are stuck waiting.  On the flip side, with vRanger we can often have 6-8 vm backup tasks all running at the same time.  Sure, it will still take some time to backup the larger vms, but it is working on several others at the same time.  I talked with VEEAM at VMWorld about this a couple of weeks ago, and their answer was to setup additional backup servers to run things simultaneously.  Wrong answer.  Who wants to add another box you have to manage and try to schedule all that out?  No thanks.  The other option presented was to make a job for each vm.  HA!  Don’t even get me started on why that is a nightmare.



VEEAM is our choice for the smaller branch sites.  These have a small number of vms (about 10).  They all have CBT enabled.  These 2 factors mitigate the sequential nature of VEEAM, as the backups all finish in the nightly backup window just fine.  The killer features that made us use VEEAM for the branches is the Enterprise Manager and the Virtual appliance mode.  Enterprise Manager lets us see all of our backups and history for multiple installs of VEEAM across our branches from a single web page.  Very nice.  Virtual appliance mode will hot-add the vm disks to the VEEAM virtual server installed at each branch for backup, making them faster.  This is much easier to do than trying to “mount” the vmdk’s on a physical box like VCB used to be.


What are your thoughts?  How are you backing up your vm infrastructure both big and small?


Data Domain is now owned by EMC

22 07 2009

Well it’s official folks, EMC owns Data Domain.  As you may know, EMC also owns VMWare.  I am ready for a completely deduped datacenter, all the way from production data to backup.  Who is with me?  The following letter was sent by the CEO’s of EMC/Data Domain…

Dear Data Domain Customers,
Today, with a majority of Data Domain’s shares owned by EMC, we are pleased to
announce that Data Domain and EMC have officially joined forces and become one company.  We are excited about the opportunities to accelerate our leadership in the fast-growing next-generation disk-based backup, recovery and archive markets.
Our companies already share many customers and business partners, and we intend to enhance and expand these essential relationships.  As a result of our business combination, our customers and partners will now have access to an extraordinary portfolio of storage products and services.
Deduplication technology is fundamentally altering the way our industry stores, protects and archives data.  It has ushered in new economics to long-running storage processes such as backup and disaster recovery. This powerful technology is permeating the entire storage infrastructure in various forms and approaches.  Both source-based and target-based deduplication approaches will feature prominently in our strategy, and in combination with virtual and physical tape automation architectures.
We are dedicated to maintaining and increasing the quality of innovation, support, and service that you have come to expect from our companies.  Together, we will continue to focus on cost reduction, power and space efficiency, and simplicity.  For our respective partners, you can expect to see increased market opportunities through an expanded set of solutions, programs and services.
Both EMC and Data Domain are very grateful to our partners and customers who have already chosen our companies for their storage needs, and we greatly appreciate the partnership. As we proceed with our integration in earnest, we expect many questions. Please refer to the
FAQ document, and we look forward to keeping you updated on our progress.
Frank and Joe
Frank Slootman, President and CEO, Data Domain
Joe Tucci, Chairman, President and CEO, EMC

vSphere Upgrade Checklist

22 05 2009

With the general availability of VMware’s newest virtualization platform, vSphere, I am sure lots of folks are chomping at the bits and trying to make sense of all these new doodads. Once you have secured your new license keys, its time to look through this upgrade checklist….


Also, dont miss the upgrade center…


I am going to be taking notes as I go, so stay tuned.

NetApp seeking to acquire Data Domain

20 05 2009

Just got this note in my email from the CEO of Data Domain. Looks like NetApp is acquiring Data Domain. Combine NetApps hardware and backup capabilities with Data Domain’s deduplication, and this could be pretty powerhouse….

Dear Data Domain Customers and Partners,

Today we announced that Data Domain has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by NetApp. The proposed merger is subject to Data Domain stockholder approval, certain regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Until the deal closes, each company will continue to operate independently, and it is business as usual.

Deal rationale. The merger combines our own market leading data protection and archive storage with NetApp’s best-in-class primary storage solutions. Worthy of note are the following characteristics of the combined entity.

· In the face of never-abating data growth, the two companies share a passion for storage efficiency, using software and CPU-centric approaches to deliver ultra-efficient storage rather than the brute force method of adding more disk spindles to boost performance and availability. Disk spindles are expensive in large volume and consume great amounts of power and data center space. Our combined quest is simply to be the very best in enterprise data storage.

· The combined company will deliver a broader solution footprint in the data center. This will allow enterprise customers to rely on a single vendor for more of their needs. The combined company will have a much stronger position in the highly competitive storage market place than either of the individual companies.

· We see compelling opportunities to innovate through integration of our respective product sets, yielding enhanced compatibilities, feature sets and differentiation. Specifically, we believe that our combined storage solutions will address the complete spectrum of performance and capacity optimized storage needs. At Data Domain we have long recognized the need to become present in the primary storage market, and this merger accomplishes that objective in a very timely and compelling manner.

· Data Domain partners may see an expanded opportunity to sell Data Domain products as a function of NetApp’s much deeper and broader sales coverage as well as customer base. Data Domain products will gain access to enterprise customers, vertical industry sectors and geographies where we have had less presence thus far.

· The respective companies have a good cultural fit. We share similar business values and a commitment to superior technology and solutions.

We are very grateful to our partners and customers who chose Data Domain for their IT infrastructure needs. We believe that this merger will strengthen our business globally, accelerate our roadmap on critical technologies, and deliver a superior product, support and service experience for our valued customers and partners around the world.

There are still many details and activities to be worked through – and we expect many questions. We will be communicating with you as more information becomes available for us to share. To learn more about the acquisition, please visit www.datadomain.com.

Frank Slootman
President and CEO
Data Domain, Inc.

Forward-Looking Statements

Information set forth in this message contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. NetApp, Inc. (“NetApp”) and Data Domain, Inc. (“Data Domain”) caution readers that any forward-looking information is not a guarantee of future performance and that actual results could differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking information. All such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements about the benefits of NetApp’s acquisition of Data Domain, including future financial and operating results, NetApp’s plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements that are not historical facts. The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ from those set forth in the forward-looking statements: the ability to obtain regulatory approvals of the transaction on the proposed terms and schedule; the failure of Data Domain’s stockholders to approve the transaction; the risk that the businesses will not be integrated successfully; the risk that the cost savings and any other synergies from the transaction may not be fully realized or may take longer to realize than expected; disruption from the transaction making it more difficult to maintain relationships with customers, employees or suppliers; and competition and its effect on pricing, spending, third-party relationships and revenues. Additional factors that may affect future results are contained in NetApp’s and Data Domain’s filings with the SEC, which are available at the SEC’s web site http://www.sec.gov. NetApp and Data Domain disclaim any obligation to update and revise statements contained in these materials based on new information or otherwise.

Additional Information and Where to Find It

NetApp plans to file with the SEC a Registration Statement on Form S- 4 in connection with the transaction, and Data Domain plans to file with the SEC and mail to its stockholders a Proxy Statement/Prospectus in connection with the transaction. The Registration Statement and the Proxy Statement/Prospectus will contain important information about NetApp, Data Domain, the transaction and related matters. Investors and security holders are urged to read the Registration Statement and the Proxy Statement/Prospectus carefully when they are available. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the Registration Statement and the Proxy Statement/Prospectus and other documents filed with the SEC by NetApp and Data Domain through the web site maintained by the SEC at www.sec.gov and by contacting NetApp Investor Relations at (408) 822-7098 or Data Domain Investor Relations at (408) 980-4909. In addition, investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of the documents filed with the SEC on NetApp’s website at www.netapp.com and on Data Domain’s website at http://www.datadomain.com/.

Participants in the Acquisition of Data Domain

NetApp, Data Domain and their respective directors, executive officers and certain other members of management and employees may be deemed to be participants in the solicitation of proxies in respect of the proposed transaction. Information regarding these persons who may, under the rules of the SEC, be considered participants in the solicitation of Data Domain stockholders in connection with the proposed transaction will be set forth in the Proxy Statement/Prospectus described above when it is filed with the SEC. Additional information regarding NetApp’s executive officers and directors is included in NetApp’s definitive proxy statement, which was filed with the SEC on July 14, 2008, and additional information regarding Data Domain’s executive officers and directors is included in Data Domain’s Annual Report on Form 10-K/A for fiscal year ended December 31, 2008, which was filed with the SEC on April 30, 2009. You can obtain free copies of these documents from NetApp or Data Domain using the contact information above.

SSD Drives Compared

19 05 2009

Excellent article here from Tech Report, benchmarking several SSD drives…


These drives are really coming around to being very reasonable, especially as an upgrade to an existing system. If you already have at least a dual-core of some variety, one of these dropped in would really be a sweet upgrade. The Intel X-25M is selling for about 315 bucks on newegg right now, which gives you 80 GB of screaming fast storage. Thats a good size for a primary drive, and large enough to install most if not all of your games. You can edit video and other things on your large secondary drive. Price per gig for that Intel, that’s about 4 dollars. Compare that to a lower capacity, say OCZ Vertex 30GB, at 5 dollars per gig, and that price doesnt seem too bad. And the price will just go down! Hurray!


8 05 2009

This is a clever idea. Rent out a whole configured vmware infrastructure. That is some very nice hardware to try out….