1.0 Introduction and overview
Many customers are confronting the confusing number of options and configurations when it comes to backing up and restoring their network attached storage (NAS) servers. Most NAS vendors and data protection providers (such as Symantec) have multiple options for protecting your NAS environment. This paper will help you make sense of the numerous options available to you for NAS backup and restore. You may be asking yourself questions such as:
- What is the best way to protect my particular NAS environment?
- What is NDMP and how does it help protect my NAS environment
- What are the options for improving NDMP backup speeds?
- I currently back up my NAS over CIFS or NFS. Is this safe?
- What is needed to recover individual files and directories at a granular level with my NAS backups?
- What about backups to tape, VTL or disk?
- Can NetBackup™ client and NAS backups share the same devices?This paper addresses these questions by describing the best practices for protecting and recovering NAS devices utilizing the NDMP (Network Data Management Protocol) from vendors such as NetApp, EMC, and IBM as well as discussing the challenges associated with protecting NAS appliances and multiple strategies that can be used to address them. This paper does not discuss other NAS protection options from NetBackup such as Snapshot Client and SnapVault™, to name a few. These are covered in the NetBackup Snapshot Client Administration Guide.
1.1 NetBackup and NDMP
NetBackup provides a comprehensive data protection solution that supports a wide range of platforms and applications found in today’s data centers. It includes centralized administration and reporting, media management, automated policy-based backups, and restores. The NetBackup NDMP option extends the capabilities of NetBackup to include native backup and restore of NAS appliances. Supported versions of software for these vendors’ NAS appliances are listed on the NetBackup NDMP Hardware Compatibility List (HCL). This allows you to create backups of data on an NAS without interrupting client access to the data. NetBackup incorporates the protection of NDMP-enabled NAS into a single solution by enabling tape/VTL library sharing, drive sharing, direct access recovery, and auto configuration.
The following is an overview of the feature set provided by the NetBackup for NDMP option:
- Full, differential incremental, cumulative incremental, and snapshot backups (Enterprise Client is required for snapshot backups of application data)
- Alternate NDMP client and path restore
- NDMP direct copy
- Auto configuration
- Direct Access Recovery (DAR), which provides individual file level restore
- Advanced database integration
- Broad platform and protocol support
- Dynamic tape drive sharing (Shared Storage Option)
The following terms are used throughout this document:
- Network Data Management Protocol or NDMP—An industry standard protocol created to ease the process ofintegrating backup and restore for network attached storage (NAS) with data protection software such as NetBackup. NDMP is the data transfer protocol and one piece of the overall data protection solution. For more information about the NDMP protocol and the NDMP standards group visit http://www.ndmp.org/info/faq.shtml.
- Network Attached Storage or NAS—A self-contained computer commonly referred to as an appliance that is connected to a network or SAN, with the sole purpose of supplying file-based data storage services to other devices on the network.
- Storage Area Network or SAN—A network created for the main purpose of sharing disk and/or tape storage to other devices. SAN is most commonly a Fibre Channel (FC) topology with a switch to manage the connections between devices. One benefit of SAN is the ability to make disk and/or tape look as locally attached devices to the serveroperating systems.
- Direct Access Restores or DAR—A feature of NDMP that Provides faster recovery of directories, an individual file, orselection of files. When files are backed up, the location is recorded. At restore time, this information can be used toposition the exact location of the file on the media rather than reading sequentially through the whole backup. Thisfeature is inherent to all NDMP backup methods, but may not be supported by all vendors.
- Storage Unit—A logical target to which NetBackup writes backup data. Storage Units may map to either disk or tapestorage. The precise nature of the mapping depends on the type of storage unit.
- Disk Storage Unit or DSU—Disk storage utilized by NetBackup to store backup data. NetBackup supports severaldifferent types of DSU, all of which can be used as targets for NDMP backup.
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