Reduce Worry, Reuse Resources—Dell PowerStore Recycles
Tue, 06 Jun 2023 17:24:02 -0000|
Read Time: 0 minutes
When data loss occurs in an organization, it can be extremely devastating. Revenue loss, employee disruption, reputational damage, legal implications, and business closure are all potential ramifications.
Studies indicate that human error proves to be one of the most common causes of data loss today. With modern technology scaling in complexity and capacity, human error is bound to occur. Human error in an IT ecosystem can come in many forms, including accidental deletion of data, data sprawling (unorganized data), and administrative errors.
Data protection measures such as backups, snapshots, and replication may be used to rectify data loss from accidental deletion. In certain scenarios, using these measures may be time consuming and costly to a business. Users also might not have the resources to take backups or snapshots, or replicate data to another system.
Dell PowerStore Recycle Bin
In PowerStoreOS 3.5, we introduced the Recycle Bin—a guardrail that combats the accidental deletion of block storage resources. This feature is intended to mitigate human error in an IT environment.
For instance, a user might mistakenly delete a mission-critical volume on a PowerStore appliance. The user initially planned on remapping and re-protecting the volume but accidentally deleted it. With the Recycle Bin automatically enabled in PowerStoreOS 3.5, the deleted resource can now be easily retrieved seconds later. The prerequisites for deleting a block storage resource in PowerStoreOS 3.5 remain the same as with previous versions, which means a block storage resource must have no associated host mappings and no protection policies. Figure 1 displays the volume named “Marketing” that fits the criteria for deletion.
Figure 1 – Volumes page
When users delete a block storage resource, they are prompted with a delete resource confirmation window, as shown in Figure 2. Users can elect to skip the Recycle Bin when deleting the block storage resource by selecting the checkbox, causing immediate deletion. By default the checkbox is not selected, and proceeding without selecting this option places the block storage resource into the Recycle Bin.
Figure 2 – Delete Volume Window
The Recycle Bin can be accessed in the PowerStore Manager UI under the Storage tab.
Figure 3 – Storage > Recycle Bin
The Recycle Bin view has sections for Volumes and Volume Groups. Once a resource is placed into the Recycle Bin, a user has the option to Recover or Expire Now, as shown in Figure 4. The Recover option recovers the block storage resource back into the storage section for use, while the Expire Now option triggers expiration to permanently delete the resource.
Figure 4 – Recycle Bin view
Configuration of the Recycle Bin expiration duration applies throughout the whole PowerStore cluster. By default, the expiration duration value is set to 7 days, but it can be set to range anywhere from 0–30 days. Note that resources placed in the Recycle Bin consume storage capacity and count against the PowerStore appliance limits.
Figure 5 – Settings > Cluster > Recycle Bin
Data is the core component of your organization. It’s what makes your business operational, which is why it is imperative to protect it. We’ve all had those difficult days at work, and mistakes can happen. It’s great to have technology that is forgiving when those errors occur. I hope this blog gave you a quick glimpse of Dell PowerStore Recycle Bin’s resilience and how it can benefit your organization.
For more information, check out these resources:
Author: Louie Sasa, Senior Engineering Technologist
Related Blog Posts
What's New in PowerStore OS 3.5?
Fri, 19 May 2023 16:56:13 -0000|
Read Time: 0 minutes
Dell PowerStoreOS 3.5 is the latest software release for the Dell PowerStore platform. In this release, there has been a large focus on data protection and security for PowerStore T as well as File networking, scalability, and more. We’ll cover all of these in this blog!
The following list highlights the major features to expect in this software release followed by additional details for each category.
- Security: On the security side of the house, we’ve implemented support for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for PowerStore Manager and REST API using RSA SecurID. Following the US Federal Security Technical Guide conditions, PowerStore now complies with STIG requirements. Also, users can now import a 3rd party certificate for the VMware VASA provider.
- Data Protection: We’ve added a few different enhancements to our data protection capabilities: the largest feature is a native backup solution that integrates with Dell PowerProtect DD series appliances. Metro Volume has seen some UI enhancements to help guide customers on selecting appropriate host connectivity options. The new secure snapshot setting protects snapshots from being accidentally or maliciously deleted.
- File Enhancements: Through PowerStore Manager and REST, users can now manage file share permissions (ACLs). Fail-Safe Networking (FSN) can be created for NAS server interfaces, a lightweight and switch-agnostic form of link redundancy that complements link aggregation.
- Scaling & Capacity: We’ve improved scalability limits for file systems, volumes, and vVols. We’ve also added a Recycle Bin for retrieving deleted volumes, volume groups, and snapshots within an expiration period.
Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), also known as two-factor authentication, has become a modern-day standard not only in the datacenter, but in our everyday lives. In PowerStoreOS 3.5 and later, users can now enable MFA for PowerStore Manager and REST API. Once configured using your existing RSA Authentication Manager, users have two-factor authentication with LDAP users or PowerStore manager users using their RSA SecurID token.
Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIG compliance)
STIG mode is an optional setting that implements security configuration changes to harden the existing appliance all the way down to PowerStore’s base OS and containers. Having STIG compliance is typically a requirement for US Federal customers and dark sites alike. STIG compliance is also a prerequisite for the Approved Product List (APL) certification which is a standard for Department of Defense (DoD) organizations.
With Multi-Factor Authentication, Secure Snapshots, and STIG compliance, PowerStore is hardened to accommodate the security requirements of the US Federal Government and Zero Trust security environments.
Native PowerProtect DD Backup Integration
Studies show that using a backup and storage solution from a single vendor can reduce data protection administration costs by up to 22%. Using PowerStore’s native PowerProtect integration, backups in the form of remote snapshots can be initiated directly from PowerStore Manager using a remote connection to the PowerProtect DD appliance (physical or virtual edition). Users can set up cloud or on-prem backup in just 90 seconds natively within PowerStore Manager. PowerStore enables faster backups through tight integration with PowerProtect DD Appliances, enabling the ability to back up to 150TB daily.
Backups can be initiated manually or through a new protection rule called a Remote Backup Rule. Users can create remote backup sessions, retrieve snapshots, recover deleted or corrupted resources, and provide hosts with access to snapshots directly on the PowerProtect appliance. This host access, called Instant Access, provides access to data from a remote PowerProtect appliance in just seven clicks from a single UI.
Native Metro Volume, PowerStore’s synchronous active/active block replication technology introduced in PowerStoreOS 3.0, has been updated to include graphical representation of the host’s connectivity during setup to help users pick the right configuration. These configurations are Local Connectivity (also known as non-uniform), where the host is only connected to the local PowerStore appliance, and Metro Connectivity (known as uniform), where the host has connections to both local and remote PowerStore appliances. When selecting metro connectivity, the UI helps guide the user through the different connectivity options:
The Secure Snapshot setting is an optional setting for volume and volume group snapshots. When the Secure Snapshot setting is enabled, the snapshot is protected from deletion until the retention period expires. The Secure Snapshot option also cannot be disabled on a snapshot after it is enabled. This provides a cost-effective line of defense against ransom attacks and accidental deletion of snapshots, volumes, or volume groups. Secure snapshots can also be created automatically using a Protection Policy containing a Snapshot Rule with the Secure Snapshot option enabled. The Secure Snapshot option within the Snapshot Rule can be enabled or disabled at any time. Changing this setting only affects future snapshot creations.
SMB share permissions (ACLs)
When provisioning a NAS share usingthe SMB protocol, the share permissions are managed from the client within an Access Control List (ACL). With PowerStoreOS 3.5, these permissions within the ACL can be managed directly from PowerStore Manager or REST API. Leveraging this feature, PowerStore users can define and manage existing share permissions without requiring access to the client-side environment.
Fail-Safe Networking (FSN)
Fail-Safe Networking is a well-known feature used in other products across the Dell portfolio, such as Unity XT, which provides a mechanism for switch-level redundancy. You may ask if this is needed since PowerStore already supports Link Aggregation (LA). Fail-Safe Networking provides a high availability solution that is switch agnostic for NAS interfaces. With FSN, users can eliminate single points of failure (ports, cables, switches, and so on) by linking ports together in an active/passive configuration. An FSN can consist of individual ports, Link Aggregations, or a combination of both. When used in conjunction with LA, multiple ports can be used as part of the active or backup part of the FSN.
Scalability and Capacity
File, volume, and vVol limit increase
Across the board, PowerStoreOS 3.5 brings increased limits to the number to file systems, volumes, and vVols that can be provisioned. The amount that the limits have increased for each of these resources depends on the PowerStore model. A few examples: the number of NAS servers for the PowerStore 3200 and higher is increased from 50 to 250 NAS servers per appliance. On a PowerStore 9200, the combined max number of volumes, vVols, and file systems is now 16,600 per appliance. There are also up to 4x the number of .snapshot files and file systems that can be provisioned. For a full list of resource limits on PowerStore, check out the support matrix.
Research indicates that human error proves to be the most common cause of data loss - typically in the form of accidental deletion of data, unorganized data, or administrative errors. In the PowerStoreOS 3.5 release, we’ve introduced a recycle bin feature to combat accidental deletion of block storage resources. If a block resource is deleted, it will enter the recycle bin by default. The recycle bin is located in the Storage > Recycle Bin section of PowerStore Manager. In there, users can view, restore, and permanently expire volumes, volume groups, and their corresponding snapshots. Users can also customize the expiration period from 0-30 days depending on their requirements.
The PowerStoreOS 3.5 release offers a multitude of enhancements across the board for the PowerStore product. In the modern data center, PowerStore continues to deliver on security, data protection, and scalability with the performance of an end-to-end NVMe platform. It’s no wonder that PowerStore is deployed in over 90% of Fortune 500 vertical sectors and rated #1 in customer satisfaction!
For additional information about the features above, along with other information about the PowerStoreOS 3.5 release, consult the whitepaper and solution documents found below:
- Data Protection for PowerStore with PowerProtect DD Series Appliances
- Dell PowerStore Native Integration with Dell PowerProtect DD Series Appliances for DP in Oracle Environments
- Time to Rethink your SQL Backup Strategy – Part 2
- Dell PowerStore: Snapshots and Thin Clones
- Dell PowerStore: Cybersecurity
- Dell PowerStore: File Capabilities
- Dell PowerStore: Persistent Data Availability
- Dell PowerStore: Metro Volume
- Dell PowerStore: Microsoft SQL Server Best Practices
- Dell PowerStore: Oracle Best Practices
- Dell PowerStore: Microsoft Hyper-V Best Practices
- Dell PowerStore: MongoDB Solution Guide
- Dell PowerStore: VMware vSphere Best Practices
- Dell PowerStore: VMware vSphere with Tanzu and TKG Clusters
- Dell VxRail and Dell PowerStore: Better Together Through Dynamic AppsON
- What’s New In PowerStoreOS 3.2?
- PowerStore Simple Support Matrix
- PowerStore: Info Hub - Product Documentation & Videos
- Dell Technologies PowerStore Info Hub
Authors: Ryan Meyer and Ryan Poulin
 Based on Dell analysis in January 2022 comparing among Top 3 storage providers globally, using double-blinded, competitive benchmark Net Promoter Score (NPS) data gathered by third-party commissioned by Dell for 2H FY22.
Dell PowerStore Native Integration with Dell PowerProtect DD Series Appliances for DP in Oracle Environments
Wed, 10 May 2023 13:29:40 -0000|
Read Time: 0 minutes
Having many years of production database experience, I know DBAs will be eager to give this new capability a try.
PowerStoreOS 3.5 has just been released and with it comes more data protection capabilities. This translates into a more robust arsenal of tools and capabilities for the DBA’s tool kit. The feature provides a way to quickly backup, restore, and thinly provision database clones for different environments from a remote data source!
There are several data protection enhancements added to PowerStoreOS 3.5. One that excites me is a native backup solution that integrates with remote data storage appliances: Dell PowerProtect DD series appliances.
Integration with PowerProtect DD series appliances
The native integration from PowerStore to PowerProtect DD series appliances allows DBAs to create a crash consistent backup image of a database in the form of a remote snapshot. Administrators can initiate this remote snapshot directly from PowerStore Manager with a remote connection to a PowerProtect DD appliance. Because the snapshot is created directly on the PowerProtect DD appliance, no additional storage is consumed on PowerStore, making this backup strategy storage efficient. This close integration significantly streamlines the process of transmitting backups to the remote PowerProtect DD Series appliance by eliminating the need for a dedicated backup host, and reduces time and complexity.
This removes the worries of having to work with other types of remote storage, including tape, for your Oracle crash consistent images!
Remote Backup Rules
New to PowerStoreOS 3.5 is a new protection rule called a Remote Backup Rule, which sets a schedule by which remote snapshots are taken. The rule allows users to create remote crash consistent Oracle database snapshots on a PowerProtect DD Series appliance.
A Remote Backup Rule can be scheduled for any day of the week with a frequency of every 6, 12, or 24 hours, or at a specific time of day. The default retention period for the remote snapshots is 7 days but can be configured up to 70 years!
After a Remote Backup Rule is created, it can be added to a protection Policy. In the following figure, remote backup rule ORA-ASM-DB2 has been added to the ORA-ASM-DB2 protection policy.
After the remote backup rule is added to a protection policy, the protection policy can be assigned to the storage resource used by the Oracle database, such as a volume group with write-order consistency enabled. The following figure shows that the PowerStore volume group ORA-ASM-DB2 is assigned the ORA-ASM-DB2 protection policy.
Remote snapshots will now be automatically generated, based on the defined schedule in the remote backup rule ORA-ASM-DB2.
Creating remote snapshots
Creating remote snapshots are just clicks away! To create a remote snapshot manually, select Protection, then Remote Backup. Click BACKUP SESSIONS, select the desired backup session, then click BACKUP. That’s all that’s needed to create the snapshot on the remote PowerProtect DD appliance.
Effortless retrieval of remote backups of Oracle databases
The PowerStoreOS 3.5 retrieve option has several use cases. Here I’ll mention two. One is to retrieve a remote snapshot for a currently existing PowerStore resource and restore it. Another is to create a thin clone of the PowerStore resource from the retrieved remote snapshot. For Oracle databases, the PowerStore resource is the PowerStore Volume Group that contains the volumes that are hosting the Oracle database.
To retrieve a remote snapshot for a volume group, it’s as simple as six mouse clicks from the Remote Backup feature!:
RESOURCES --> select the PowerStore resource --> MANAGE SNAPSHOTS:
Select the remote snapshot --> RETRIEVE --> RETRIEVE:
When the PowerStore storage resources have been recovered by the snapshot, simply start the Oracle database and Oracle does the rest with crash recovery.
PowerStoreOS 3.5 provides enhanced data protection features that simplify the DBA’s tasks of taking backups, recoveries, restores, and cloning databases with a few mouse clicks. DBAs will find this feature a great tool for their toolkit.
PowerStoreOS 3.5 is truly a game changer! This new data protection capability is just one of the numerous features introduced in PowerStoreOS 3.5. Be sure to keep an eye out for additional blog posts that showcase these valuable features.
Author: Mark Tomczik