EMC NetWorker 7.6 Virtualization Features

Posted: November 25, 2009 in EMC Networker, VMware

Myself and colleague Preston de Guise recently performed beta testing for the latest build of EMC NetWorker, I can only speak for my self but I was quite surprised by the  lack of regressed bugs I found and overall it’s looking very good.

I was also hoping  NetWorker 7.6 was going to show that product development teams were still expanding on NetWorker’s already existing support for virtualization and also listening to what partners and customers were asking for….Im glad to say that 7.6 has a couple of new features which I think have shown exactly that.

Hypervisor Support

This was first introduced in 7.5 (I wanted to cover this as there have been changes). NetWorker now allows an administrator to configure a single or multiple virtual center servers which allows NetWorker to display a map or table view of the VMware Infrastructure.

7.6 has added a nice feature which now incorporates the VCB Proxy server into the map, below is an example of this from my test lab.

from left to right we have vSphere host, Virtual Machine, NetWorker group showing Virtual Machines within and then to the far right we have the vcb proxy server.

The great thing about this feature is it gives you a detailed map showing which virtual machines are configured in NetWorker groups.

One of the greatest things about virtualization is we no longer talk about days and weeks to provision a new system, now we talk about minutes, especially when deploying from a template. While this has made life a tone easier for us, Ive seen many times situations where people would  create virtual machines willy nilly, put them into production and forget to notify the backup administrator of A. The existence of the virtual machine and B. The backup requirements.

This NetWorker feature makes it very easy for the backup administrator to report on virtual machines not configured in NetWorker groups.

New 7.6 VCB Functionality

Only VCB Image backup required to perform Image based or file based recovery: Now with 7.6 NetWorker can perform file level recoveries of the file system inside the VMDK file from the FULLVM backup (Windows Only) This means we no longer need to have additional groups or client instances with VCB file system savesets configured.

Directive: There is a  new VCB Directive, this when configured against a VCB client instructs networker to skip the backup of the following windows system folders, Windows\System and Windows\System32

VCB Framework Settings: Traditionally all VCB framework settings were configured in the config.js file on the proxy server, now in 7.6 this information is now stored in the proxy servers “Application Information” client resource field. This helps to make as much of the proxy configuration visable within NetWorker as possible.

The following example displays all the possible attribute values used for VCB configuration

VCB_HOST=any.vc-or-esx.com
VCB_BACKUPROOT=G:\mnt
VCB_TRANSPORT_MODE=hotadd
VCB_VM_LOOKUP_METHOD=ipaddr
VCB_PREEXISTING_MOUNTPOINT=delete
VCB_PREEXISTING_SNAPSHOT=delete
VCB_MAX_RETRIES=2
VCB_MAX_BACKOFF_TIME=15

Single Step Recovery: Although not new to 7.6, this was introduced in NetWorker 7.5 and greatly simplifies the process of recoverying a virtual machine. Tradidtionally in prior versions, you would need to recover the FULLVM saveset back to the proxy server and then use VMware Convertor to import the machine back into virtual center. With single step recovery you just populate the fileds as shown in the screenshot below and let NetWorker do all the work. The only prerequaite for this to fuction correctly is VMware Convertor 3.0 or above must be installed on the backup server.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notifications

Ive already mentioned NetWorkers ability to display map and table view’s of your virtual infrastucture to help identify unprotected virtual machines, but as of 7.5 and also included in 7.6 is a new notification which alerts when new virtual machines are created in your environment, but not configured in an active NetWorker group.

Ill be posting some additional information and screenshots from 7.6 testing over the next couple of days so be sure to check back.

 

 

 

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Comments
  1. […] myself away from non-Drobo news, over at Going Virtual, Brian has an excellent overview of NetWorker v7.6 Virtualisation Features. (I’m starting to think that the main reason why I don’t get into VCBs much though is […]

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