Information Technology Navigator - Tips, Advice & Insights from Technology Pros

Still Backing Up Duplicate Data?

Posted by Mike Mahan on Fri, Jan 09, 2015

Meeting with clients, I’m hearing a lot of folks complaining about two common problems: First - Backups are taking far too long to complete.  Second – Recovering a single file is a long, painstaking process.

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Tags: Backup, Data Integrity

Have You Outgrown Your Symantec NetBackup Domain?

Posted by Peter Wright on Mon, Dec 22, 2014

How do you know if your NetBackup Domain has become too large? 

When NetBackup Domains grow beyond Symantec best practices guidelines, performance and manageability can begin to degrade. During my 15 years as a NetBackup backup engineer, I’ve found that the following 5 criteria are worth considering:

Catalog size - As the catalog grows, the time required to protect it can become excessive. The catalog backup is a database backup. The synchronization checkpoints and locking required for other NetBackup jobs will cause extra processing time.

Number of media serversAs the number of Media Servers grows beyond recommended values, overall performance can be impacted.

Number of EMM devices -  (Media Servers, Tape Drives, Robots, Disk Pools, Storage Units, SAN Clients, Fibre Transport Devices) - The number of media servers and EMM devices has a direct relationship on the efficiency of the NetBackup environment. When the number of EMM devices and media servers grow beyond acceptable levels, NetBackup resource allocation degrades

Daily number of jobs processed - The number of jobs will eventually affect the overall performance of the system.

Number of processors (Sockets)The physical processor count is critical in job processing, for large NetBackup environments.



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Tags: Backup, Symantec, NetBackup 7.6

Cisco’s UCS Firmware Management: Why All the Excitement?

Posted by Kevin Richards on Thu, Dec 11, 2014

Firmware Management – The Evil Mistress

Firmware management is not traditionally a topic that anyone gets excited about. In fact, it’s typically relegated to the bottom of the IT team’s list of priorities because it’s often painful and time consuming.

From a management perspective, budget spent on firmware management is very difficult to justify and ROI is nearly impossible to measure. But firmware is an evil mistress - if it’s not attended to often enough - out of date firmware can stall an OS upgrade, prevent the introduction of new hardware or worse, cause an unexpected outage of critical equipment in the data center.

We all have stories of servers, switches, storage arrays, etc. that ran fine for years until one day, the system crashed for no reason. We later discovered that there was a critical bug fix quietly released two revisions of firmware prior to the one we were running. Grrrr!


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Tags: Cisco UCS, Firmware Management

Symantec NetBackup v7.6: 8 Tips to Help Manage Storage Lifecycle Policies

Posted by Chris Richley on Wed, Dec 03, 2014

The addition of Storage Lifecycle Policies (SLP’s) in Symantec NetBackup 7.6 has provided backup administrators with a very effective tool for managing backup/snapshot, image, duplication, and replication.

While SLP’s simplify these tasks, careful consideration is required when you’re monitoring and managing the policies and the components utilized in your NetBackup environment.

The SLP administration window we all know and love, shown below, is a great tool for managing SLP’s. But there are other things you should consider to help manage your SLP’s.

To help manage your SLP’s and make sure they’re optimized, please consider these (8) additional configuration tips. 

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Tags: Symantec, NetBackup 7.6, Storage Lifecycle Policies (SLP)

Hypervisor-Based RecoverPoint: A New Twist for Backing Up VM’s

Posted by Jake Roczniak on Mon, Nov 24, 2014

It happens all the time – a customer has a problem that’s tough to solve. I was recently asked how to best protect a virtual environment – stretched between two data centers. The customer wanted all administration through vCenter with instant recovery and the ability to meet stringent RPOs and RTOs. And the catch – they wanted the backed up data to be stored on a different vendor’s array utilizing a different protocol - NFS instead of Fibre Channel (FC) block storage.

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Tags: VMware, data protection, EMC, RecoverPoint, VM Backup

Moving Your Data to the Cloud? - 5 Tips to Ensure It’s Safe and Secure

Posted by Matthew Brady on Tue, Nov 11, 2014

Is that light you see at the end of the proverbial tunnel, or is it the headlight of an oncoming train?

The future of your professional career just might depend on your ability to successfully lead your company to the cloud. So many things to consider…

Yes, the cloud offers many advantages to your business including agility and high levels of fault tolerance, but in and of itself, the cloud does not release you from backing up your data in order to protect yourself from user error, data corruption, or data loss.

Just like provisioning new applications or scaling current applications, you need to consider every angle when protecting your data that lives in cloud.

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Tags: data protection, Cloud Security

Hybrid Cloud Management: Unraveling vRealize

Posted by Michael Chen on Tue, Oct 14, 2014

As VMware is wont to do, it has released a new brand of products that users may already be familiar with. Though I witnessed a number of complaints from users during the small group discussions at VMWorld, the vRealize rebranding really does go beyond simple marketing. Until a couple of days ago, the products that now make up the vRealize Suite came from very different origins, and had been positioned for very different use cases, from simple monitoring to justifying ROI. However, these products were also unique in how they integrate with VMware’s cloud offerings, thus the logic behind the mirrored vRealize Air product line.

vRealize is a culmination of VMware’s strategy to transition their products to the cloud and to show that they continue to deliver value once the user has made that transition.
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Tags: vCloud, Hybrid Cloud, vRealize

4 Cloud Strategies to Secure your Corporate Data

Posted by Michael Chen on Mon, Sep 29, 2014

By now, many of you are probably aware of the most recent cloud breach where a large cache of celebrity nude photos was released on a forum board on 4chan. Though details are still emerging, the prevalent theory is that the hackers managed to gain access to the pictures by accessing the celebrity’s Apple iCloud accounts.

This is but the most recent security breach in a long string of security breaches, affecting major enterprises like; Sony, Twitter, Target, and even the Department of Homeland Security. It’s not your company data necessarily that these data thieves are interested in. Rather, it’s your contact data – the personal data you compile on each contact in your data base such as social security number, credit card number, and email address. This naturally raises the question; just how secure is your corporate data in the cloud? The hard truth is - “it depends”. Fact is, the only surefire way to guarantee your cloud data is 100% secure is to disconnect it from the cloud.
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Tags: Virtualized Environments, Cloud Security, Cloud virtualization

Transitioning To the Virtual Cloud? Choose Wisely

Posted by Matthew Brady on Mon, Sep 22, 2014

Imagine you're sitting in the studio audience, dressed in your best Game of Thrones or Batman costume. Monty Hall walks right up next to you and says, "I've got a deal for you!" Can you picture it?

As he does on every show, Monty points to two doors. They look identical. You can't see what's behind the doors, but the payoff is potentially great. He says, "Your transition to the cloud sits behind either door #1 or door #2. Which door do you choose?

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Tags: cloud computing, vCloud Hybrid Service, Cloud virtualization

Will CloudVolumes Help VMWare Horizon Reach the Promised Land?

Posted by Michael Chen on Mon, Sep 15, 2014

VMware has traditionally struggled in the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) space because while customers may use vSphere to support their VDI environment, the actual brokering software is almost always Citrix instead of VMware View.

This may soon change. During the second day of VMWorld 2014, Sanjay Poonen, VMware’s EVP & GM, End-User Computing, announced some very exciting news about VMware Horizon that could have a big impact on the End-User Computing (EUC) landscape.

Historically, administrators faced a challenge. Either they had to have a small footprint with View Linked Clones AND needed to re-provision applications (sometimes manually) at the end of all recompose operations. Or, they had to give everyone thick persistent desktops, which ate up storage costs and thereby decreased the ROI of VDI significantly. Enter CloudVolumes.

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Tags: CloudVolumes, VMware Horizon, VDI