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data protection cloud PowerProtect PowerProtect Data Manager AWS

Multi-cloud Protection with PowerProtect Data Manager

Eli Persin

Thu, 14 Apr 2022 20:12:59 -0000

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What I like most about PowerProtect Data Manager is that it supports the rising demand for data protection for all kind of organizations. It’s powerful, efficient, scalable and most importantly: a simple-to-use solution. And what could be simpler than using the same product with the same user interface on any environment, including any supported cloud platform? 

PowerProtect Data Manager is usually used for deploying and protecting on-prem virtual machines running on VMware vSphere environments.

While PowerProtect Data Manager excels in protecting any on-prem machines and different types of technologies, such as Kubernetes, some organizations also have a cloud strategy where some or all their workloads and services are running on the cloud.

 There are also organizations that use multiple cloud platforms to host and manage their workloads, and these resources need to be protected as well, especially in the cloud where there could be additional risk management and security considerations.

The good news is that PowerProtect Data Manager provides cloud and backup admins the same abilities and interface across all the supported cloud platforms: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

AWS users can use the AWS Marketplace to deploy “Dell EMC PowerProtect Data Manager and PowerProtect DD Virtual Edition” which will trigger an automated deployment using the AWS CloudFormation service.

In this deployment method you’re asked to provide all the networking and security details ahead, and then it does everything else for you, including deploying a DDVE instance that will manage the backup copies for you (with deduplication!).

Once the CloudFormation stack is deployed, you can access the PowerProtect Data Manager through any web browser, and then add and protect your cloud resources, just as if it were an on-prem deployment – super intuitive and super easy!!

I think the trickiest part in the deployment is probably to make sure that all of the networking and firewall or other security and policy restrictions allow you to connect to the PowerProtect Data Manager VM and to the DDVE.

Check out this great whitepaper that describes the entire process of deploying PowerProtect Data Manager on AWS.

For Microsoft Azure users, the process here is similar. You can deploy PowerProtect Data Manager using the Azure Marketplace service:

 

This whitepaper will take you through the exact steps required to successfully deploy PowerProtect Data Manager and PowerProtect DDVE on your Azure subscription.

Didn’t I say it’s really easy and works the same way in all the cloud platforms? 

GCP users can use the GCP Marketplace to deploy their PowerProtect Data Manager: 

This whitepaper describes the entire deployment process with detailed screenshots on GCP.

Now you can easily protect your multi-cloud resources with the same powerful protection solution!

Author: Eli Persin




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PowerProtect PowerProtect Data Manager NAS

Conquer Your Challenges with Dell PowerProtect Data Manager Dynamic NAS Protection

Vinod Kumar Kumaresan

Wed, 16 Feb 2022 21:53:53 -0000

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Challenges when protecting NAS

For years, NAS and backup vendors have used Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP) to protect NAS data. But NDMP has its own limitations, such as manual slicing of a NAS share to achieve multi-stream backup, limited parallel streams, and requires periodic full backups. Customers also face challenges to protect their growing amounts of data and to back up that data within their specified backup windows. With NDMP, full image restores are required for a file-level recovery and restore to any NAS device, such as NFS/CIFS, are not supported. These challenges lead to missed data protection and Service Level Agreements (SLAs).

PowerProtect Data Manager Dynamic NAS protection

Dell PowerProtect Data Manager for NAS protection addresses today’s customer challenges of protecting evolving NAS environments. In the PowerProtect Data Manager 19.9 software release, we introduced a new NAS data protection solution called Dynamic NAS protection. Unlike NDMP-based solutions, Dynamic NAS protection is a NAS-vendor-agnostic solution. With Dynamic NAS protection, customers can overcome some of the challenges they faced with NDMP.

Dynamic NAS protection addresses the challenges with the following capabilities:

  • Vendor-agnostic solution for NAS protection
  • Forever incremental backup
  • High number of parallel streams and multiple virtual containers to address scale and performance
  • Index, search, and restore
  • Restore to any NAS device, such as NFS/CIFS

Dynamic NAS protection provides a non-NDMP, crawl- and backup-based solution by leveraging the NAS Protection Engine internally using Filesystem Agents (FSA) file based-backup (FBB) technology.

Dynamic NAS protection uses the NAS Protection Engine for backup and recovery orchestration. This solution is easy to use, providing automatic discovery, orchestration, and management through the Data Manager UI.

Data Manager for NAS protection solution supports all the Data Manager objectives such as DD Replication, Cloud Tier, progress monitoring, and SLA compliance.

Dynamic NAS protection - Intelligent auto slicer

The NAS file share auto slicer is a new library that is embedded in the Data Manager NAS agent. The slicer splits NAS assets (NAS share, a file system) into multiple sub-assets in preparation for multi-stream data movement to a Dell PowerProtect DD series appliance. Slices are created using parallel threads, and each slice is backed up concurrently using available NAS Protection Engine containers and moved to a PowerProtect DD series appliance.

 

The slicer partitions NAS assets dynamically before each backup. Based on backup history and changes in the content of the NAS asset being sliced, relevant slices are added, removed, or rebalanced. Periodically, unbalanced trees are automatically managed as content changes over time. No manual reconfiguration is required. The default slice size is 200 GB or 1 million files.

For a full backup, a complete share is traversed in parallel to create slices. For an Incremental backup, only modified slices are traversed based on backup history.

Auto distribution of backup streams

Dynamic NAS protection enables automated load balancing of protection engine hosts, and automatic scaling for containers to achieve maximum backup streams and reduce manual management overhead. The NAS protection containers spin up and tear down, depending upon the workload. Each NAS Protection Engine can run multiple containers. Each container is pre-installed with a NAS agent and an FSA agent.

Protecting NAS assets with Data Manager

With the Data Manager 19.9 software release, the Dynamic NAS solution supports protection for Dell PowerStore, Dell Unity, and Dell PowerScale (Isilon) NAS products, and any NFS or CIFS share using generic NAS for vendors such as NetApp, Windows, and Linux file servers.

Data Manager can protect NAS assets in two ways:

  • Appliances: Automatic discovery of shares on supported Dell PowerStore, Dell Unity, and Dell PowerScale (Isilon) products.
  • Shares: Network File System (NFS) and Common Internet File System (CIFS) shares from other NAS platforms.

Restoring the NAS assets with Data Manager

Data Manager provides support to restore a NAS asset to the original location or to an alternate location. Data Manager also supports FLR using the search engine to restore individual files and folders from NAS backups. Once the Search Engine is deployed and NAS protection policy is enabled with indexing, individual files and folders can be restored from one or more NAS backups by using the File Search option.

Data Manager for NAS protection supports the following restore use cases:

  • Share-level restore
  • Restore to any device, NFS or CIFS
  • Restore to original and alternate NAS shares
  • File-Level Recovery (FLR): NAS backups are indexed on the Search Engine for search and restore operations.

With many enhancements across our Dell data protection software offerings, Dell Technologies continues to drive innovation without compromise. We stop at nothing to give you technology innovations that modernize the protection of your NAS infrastructure.

Easily automate and optimize with Dynamic NAS protection available with Data Manager. With its snapshot technology and intelligent slicing, Data Manager protects NAS data efficiently within the required backup window. Dynamic NAS protection offers up to 3x faster backups[1] and up to 2x faster restores[2].

For more details on Data Manager Dynamic NAS protection, see the white paper Dell PowerProtect Data Manager: Dynamic NAS Protection and visit the Dell PowerProtect Data Manager web site.  

Author: Vinod Kumar Kumaresan, Senior Engineering Technologist, Data Protection Division

LinkedIn

 

[1] When comparing PowerProtect Data Manager 19.9 with Dynamic NAS protection backup performance to NDMP backup performance with Avamar. Based on Dell internal testing. August 2021.

[2] When comparing PowerProtect Data Manager 19.9 with Dynamic NAS protection restore performance to NDMP restore performance with Avamar. Based on Dell internal testing. August 2021.




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OpenShift Covered Under the Shield of Dell PowerProtect Data Manager

Charu

Wed, 09 Feb 2022 19:59:36 -0000

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About a decade ago, no one thought there could be hassle free deployment and management of applications without worrying about the OS and infrastructure. When I first started using containerization, I was a little surprised and relaxed because I didn’t need to worry about whether my code/application would run on a different platform/machine or not. 

Container technologies are widely being accepted and used owing to application modernization and DevOps. Kubernetes is an open-source container management platform that unifies a cluster of machines into a single pool of compute resources. OpenShift is a PaaS platform that is built on top of Kubernetes and automates the development to deployment workflow for an application. 

There has also been a continued emphasis on distributed data intensive applications that leverage both traditional relational (SQL) and non-relational (NoSQL) databases for data persistence. Databases deployed on OpenShift can be used in conjunction with both Container Storage Interface (CSI) and VMware Cloud Native Storage variants. With containers deployed in distributed environments, it becomes more important to protect these workloads and to ensure availability in case of a disaster recovery situation. Here comes Dell PowerProtect Data Manager to the rescue. 

PowerProtect Data Manager! Saving the day!

PowerProtect Data Manager ensures that data is easy to back up and restore, and remains available, consistent, and durable in a Kubernetes workload. PowerProtect DD Series appliances are the preferred target for PowerProtect Data Manager, which brings the benefit of deduplication, performance, efficiency, and security. PowerProtect Data Manager provides a centralized management UI where protection policies can be defined to manage clusters, namespaces, and other OpenShift components.

Protecting OpenShift workloads with PowerProtect Data Manager

OpenShift adds several additional components on top of standard Kubernetes meta data components including Build, BuildConfig, ImageStream, ImageStreamTag, DeploymentConfig. These additional components allow a supporting source-to-image and image-to-deployment workflow that takes an existing source code repository and converts an associated container to Docker images. These components are required to be protected when restoring OpenShift namespaces.

An OpenShift Kubernetes cluster can be registered with PowerProtect Data Manager by adding the details of the cluster in the PowerProtect Data Manager portal. Once you add the cluster, associated namespaces are available to be protected. Policies can be created to schedule and run the backup and you can also replicate and restore the protected assets.

 

Figure 1.  Adding OpenShift Kubernetes cluster as an asset source

The powerprotect and velero-ppdm namespaces are created automatically once the cluster is integrated with PowerProtect Data Manager. During the discovery process, when OpenShift cluster is detected in PowerProtect Data Manager, the OpenShift Application Data Protection (OADP) operator is automatically installed, which further deploys velero and required plugins. During backups and restores, the OpenShift plugin will be leveraged to back up the associated OpenShift components. This process is transparent to the user in terms of policy creation and during restores. 

Figure 2.  PowerProtect Data Manager Controller with OADP 

PowerProtect Controller is the component that is installed on the Kubernetes cluster when PowerProtect Data Manager discovers the cluster. The backup and restore controllers manage BackupJob Custom Resource (CR) and RestoreJob CR definitions and are responsible for the backup and restore of Persistent Volumes.

The stateless containerized proxy (cProxy) gets installed on Kubernetes cluster when the backup and restore process initiates and gets deleted when those processes are completed. It is responsible for managing Persistent Volume snapshots (snap copies) and mounting snapshots and for moving the data to the target storage. It is also responsible for restoring data into Persistent Volumes from target storage and making the data available for attaching to Pods. It also acts as an agent plug-in orchestrator for application aware backups.

PowerProtect Data Manager can easily integrate with OpenShift Kubernetes cluster, ensuring that data on the cluster is easy to back up and restore, always available, consistent, and durable. 

For more details on how to protect OpenShift Kubernetes cluster, see the white paper PowerProtect Data Manager Protecting OpenShift Workloads.

Author: Charu

LinkedIn


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Dell PowerProtect Hadoop Data Protection – a Modern and Cost-effective Solution for Big Data Apache Hadoop

Sonali Dwivedi

Thu, 27 Jan 2022 19:10:36 -0000

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Big Data is no longer a buzzword. Over the past decade, big data and analytics have become the most reliable source of insight for businesses as they harness collective data to align strategy, help teams collaborate, uncover new opportunities, and compete in the global marketplace. The market size for business data analytics (BDA) was USD 206.95 billion in 2020 and USD 231.43 billion in 2021, according to Fortune Business Insights™ in its report, titled, “Big Data Analytics Market, 2021-2028”.

With big data analytics on the course to become the most mission critical enterprise application, enterprises are demanding a robust level of backup, recovery, and disaster recovery solutions for their big data environment, in particular Apache Hadoop®. Apache Hadoop is a clustered distributed system that is used to process massive amounts of data. It provides software and a framework for distributed storage and processing of big data, using various distributed processing models.

Some common mistakes that make data protection challenging in Apache Hadoop:

  • Because Apache Hadoop has 3X replication by default, many administrators do not plan to back up the data again.
  • A very common misconception is that Apache Hadoop is just a repository for data that resides in existing data warehouses or transactional systems, so the data can be reloaded. 
  • Data is unstructured and often huge in size and it takes a very long time for backups to complete.
  • Administrators mistakenly believe that Apache Hadoop is missing built-in technologies such as replication and mirroring with Apache Falcon, distcp, HBase, and Hive Replication.

Why do we need a dedicated Data Protection solution in Apache Hadoop aside from replication and in-built snapshots?

  • Apache Hadoop infrastructure with 3x replication is a costly solution and long-time retention is not possible for huge volumes of data, so we need a cost-effective solution that can save multiple copies of important data.
  • Social media data, ML models, logs, third-party feeds, open APIs, IoT data, banking transactions, and other sources of data may not be reloadable, easily available, or in the enterprise at all. So, this is critical single-source data that must be backed up and stored forever for meeting internal or legal compliance requirements for RPO and RTO.
  • Synchronously replicating data will negatively impact application performance. Synchronous replication will also intercept all writes to the file system. This can destabilize the production system and requires extensive testing prior to putting it into production. 
  • Some natural disaster that takes out an entire data center, an extended power outage that makes the Apache Hadoop platform unavailable, a DBA accidentally dropping an entire database, an application bug corrupting data stored on HDFS, or worse: a cyberattack such as ransomware. 

Overview of Dell PowerProtect Hadoop Data Protection 

Dell Technologies has developed a Hadoop File System driver for PowerProtect DD series appliances that allows Hadoop data management functions to transparently use DD series appliances for the efficient storage and retrieval of data. This driver is called DD Hadoop Compatible File System (DDHCFS).

DDHCFS is the Hadoop-compatible file system that is used by DD series appliances. It provides versioned backups and recoveries of the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) by using DD snapshots. It provides source-level deduplication and direct backups to DD series appliances. DDHCFS can also distribute backup-and-restore streams across all HDFS DataNodes, making backups and restores faster. It can also be integrated with Kerberos and Hadoop local credentials.

 

PowerProtect Hadoop Data Protection requires minimal configuration and installs only on the one node of the Hadoop Cluster. It is tightly integrated into the Hadoop file system, and leverages Hadoop’s scale-out distributed processing architecture to parallelize data transfer from Hadoop to the PowerProtect DD series appliance. DD Boost provides a network-efficient data transfer with client-side deduplication, while PowerProtect DD provides storage efficiency through deduplication and compression. Together this makes it the most efficient method of moving large amounts of data from a Hadoop cluster to a PowerProtect DD series appliance. Internally standard Hadoop constructs like Distributed File Copy & HDFS/HBase snapshots are leveraged to accomplish backup tasks.

Some highlights of the PowerProtect Hadoop Data protection solution for Hadoop environments are: 

  • True point-in-time backup and recovery of HDFS data to the PowerProtect DD series appliance
  • Full backups at the low cost of incremental (synthetic full) – incremental forever
  • Flexible Licensing (included in the PowerProtect and DP Suite license)
  • Bandwidth efficiency of DD Boost sends only unique data over the network
  • Capacity savings of up to 70% by means of global deduplication and compression on DD series appliances
  • Source level deduplication and load balancing via DDBoost interface group
  • HDFS integration transparently works through the three way storage redundancy to back up one consistent copy of the data
  • Uses standard Hadoop constructs (such as MapReduce and distcp) to spawn distributed DD Boost agents to parallelize data transfer to PowerProtect DD series appliances
  • Self-service, script-based backup, restores, and listing. Every Hadoop administrator can readily use these commands and incorporate them into other workflows
  • Backup operations can be further scheduled and automated by Oozie
  • Audit log of configuration changes and backup monitoring

Conclusion

PowerProtect Hadoop Data Protection, which is part of the Dell Data Protection Suite Family, provides complete Hadoop data protection. Apache Hadoop customers further benefit from PowerProtect DD series appliances when using the power of DD Boost, with strong backup performance, reduced bandwidth requirements, and improved load balancing and reliability. 

The PowerProtect DD series appliances’s Data Invulnerability Architecture provides outstanding data protection, ensuring that data from your Hadoop cluster can be recovered when needed and the data can be trusted. It provides storage efficiency through variable-length deduplication and compression, typically reducing storage requirements by 10-30x[1].

Throughput with DD Boost technology can scale from 7TB/hr on the DD3300 to 94TB/hr on the DD9900. What makes DD Boost special is the deduplication taking place at the source client: only unique data is sent through the network to the PowerProtect DD systems. According to IDC, PowerProtect DD is the #1 product in the Purpose Built Backup Appliance (PBBA) market[2]

If you are already using PowerProtect DD series appliances for other data protection needs, you can leverage the same processes and expertise to protect your big data Hadoop environment.

Author: Sonali Dwivedi  LinkedIn 

 

[2] Based on IDC WW Purpose-Built Backup Appliance Systems Tracker, 1Q21 (revenue), June 2021.

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PowerProtect Data Manager – Protecting AWS EKS (Elastic Kubernetes Service)

Eli Persin

Thu, 06 Jan 2022 15:32:25 -0000

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Recently I had the chance to deploy PowerProtect Data Manager 19.9 on AWS with a PowerProtect DD Virtual Edition and I wanted to test the AWS EKS (Elastic Kubernetes Service) protection feature to see the differences between any other Kubernetes deployments.

The PowerProtect Data Manager deployment itself was super easy. Initiated from the AWS marketplace, it created a CloudFormation stack that deployed all of the needed services after asking for network and other settings. What I especially liked about it was that it deployed the PowerProtect DD as well, so I didn’t have to deploy it separately.

Deploying and configuring the EKS cluster and its Node-Group was easy, but the installation of AWS EBS CSI drivers was a bit challenging, so I decided to share the procedure and my thoughts so others could do it just as easily.

Before you begin, you should make sure that you have kubectl and AWS CLI installed on your computer.

I started by deploying the EKS cluster using the AWS management console and used the 1.21 version (which was also the default one). I then created a Node-Group just as described in the AWS documentation. (This step involved attaching a role, but other than that it’s very intuitive and you could manage on your own without the documentation).

It’s highly recommended to read all of the relevant documentation to understand the following steps. I’ll summarize what I did.

I know it has a lot of steps and it looks scary, but this would probably make your life so much easier and will get you protecting EKS namespaces in no time!

1. Configure kubectl to allow you to connect to the EKS cluster:

aws eks --region <region-code> update-kubeconfig --name <eks-cluster-name

2. Create a secret.yaml file on your computer, which will be used to configure the AWS EBS CSI drivers. 

Add your credentials to the file itself. The required permissions are described here:

https://docs.aws.amazon.com/eks/latest/userguide/ebs-csi.html).

The yaml structure and more details are available at the AWS EBS CSI driver git page here:

aws-ebs-csi-driver/secret.yaml at master · kubernetes-sigs/aws-ebs-csi-driver · GitHub

 3. Apply the secret:

kubectl apply -f secret.yaml

4. Install the EBS CSI driver:

kubectl apply -k "github.com/kubernetes-sigs/aws-ebs-csi-driver/deploy/kubernetes/overlays/stable/?ref=release-1.2"  

5. The default storage class on EKS is gp2. Because PowerProtect Data Manager does not support it, it needs to be changed to EBS-SC which works with the EBS CSI driver.

Install the EBS Storage Class.

kubectl apply -f ebs-sc.yaml 

6. Apply all of these: 

kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kubernetes-csi/external-snapshotter/master/client/config/crd/snapshot.storage.k8s.io_volumesnapshotclasses.yaml

kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kubernetes-csi/external-snapshotter/master/client/config/crd/snapshot.storage.k8s.io_volumesnapshotcontents.yaml

kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kubernetes-csi/external-snapshotter/master/client/config/crd/snapshot.storage.k8s.io_volumesnapshots.yaml

kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kubernetes-sigs/aws-ebs-csi-driver/master/examples/kubernetes/snapshot/specs/classes/snapshotclass.yaml

kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kubernetes-csi/external-snapshotter/master/deploy/kubernetes/snapshot-controller/rbac-snapshot-controller.yaml

kubectl apply -f https://raw.githubusercontent.com/kubernetes-csi/external-snapshotter/master/deploy/kubernetes/snapshot-controller/setup-snapshot-controller.yaml

7. Change the default Storage Class to EBS:

kubectl patch storageclass gp2 -p "{\"metadata\": {\"annotations\":{\"storageclass.kubernetes.io/is-default-class\":\"false\"}}}" 

kubectl patch storageclass ebs-sc -p "{\"metadata\": {\"annotations\":{\"storageclass.kubernetes.io/is-default-class\":\"true\"}}}" 

8. Create a service account on the EKS cluster in order to connect to the PowerProtect Data Manager server and allow the EKS cluster discovery:

kubectl apply -f ppdm-discovery.yaml 

9. Create another one for the protection itself:

kubectl apply -f ppdm-rbac.yaml

Both of the previous yaml files can be found on any PowerProtect Data Manager at the following path: /usr/local/brs/lib/cndm/misc/rbac.tar.gz

At this point you should already have, or should create, a new namespace on your EKS cluster and have an application that you want to protect running on it.

10. List the secrets in the powerprotect namespace that was created by running the previous yaml file:

kubectl get secret -n powerprotect  

11. Get the relevant secret from the list that you got from the previous command (the name will change in every deployment, but should be in the following format):

kubectl describe secret ppdm-discovery-serviceaccount-token-45abc -n powerprotect

This will output a string with the secret that you need in order to register the EKS cluster in PowerProtect Data Manager. 

12. Get the FQDN to register the EKS cluster (You’re looking for the Kubernetes control plane, and must remove the “https://”):

kubectl cluster-info 

13. Get the EKS Cluster Certificate authority from the AWS EKS cluster UI, and convert it from BASE64. Use this website for example: https://www.base64decode.org/.

14. SSH to the PowerProtect Data Manager server, then create a new eks-root.pem file with the decoded BASE64 result (including the BEGIN and END CERTIFICATE lines).

15. Run the following command:

keytool -importcert -alias <your-eks-cluster-name> -keystore /etc/ssl/certificates/extserver/extserver.truststore -storepass extserver -file eks-root.pem

16. Connect to the PowerProtect Data Manager UI, and add a new Kubernetes Asset Source.

Use the FQDN from Step 12 (again, without the https://) and create new credentials with the Service Account Token that you got in Step 11. 

After the EKS cluster is added as an Asset Source, you can protect the namespaces in your EKS cluster by creating a new Protection Policy. For more info, check out the interactive demos at the Dell Technologies Demo Center.

Author: Eli Persin   

LinkedIn

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Protect your SUSE Rancher managed RKE downstream Kubernetes workloads with Dell EMC PowerProtect Data Manager

Vinod Kumaresan

Thu, 09 Dec 2021 15:43:41 -0000

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Together, We Stop at Nothing!

We have been continuously working to extend the level of support for Kubernetes with Dell EMC PowerProtect Data Manager, to protect Kubernetes workloads on different platforms.

With this continued services path, we now protect SUSE Rancher managed Kubernetes workloads with PowerProtect Data Manager by taking advantage of a partnership with SUSE Rancher.

Kubernetes cluster and containers have become a popular option for deploying enterprise applications in the cloud and in on-premise environments. SUSE Rancher is a Kubernetes management platform that simplifies cluster installation and operations, whether they are on-premises, in the cloud, or at the edge, giving the freedom to build and run containerized applications. PowerProtect Data Manager protects SUSE Rancher managed Kubernetes workloads and ensures high availability and consistent, reliable backup and restore for Kubernetes workloads during normal operations or during a disaster recovery situation.

Protect SUSE Rancher managed Rancher Kubernetes Engine (RKE) downstream workloads with PowerProtect Data Manager

PowerProtect Data Manager enables customers to protect, manage, and recover data for on-premises, virtualized, or cloud deployments. Using PowerProtect Data Manager, customers can discover, protect, and restore workloads in a SUSE Rancher managed Kubernetes environment to ensure that the data is easy to backup and restore.

PowerProtect Data Manager enhances the protection by sending the data directly to the Dell EMC PowerProtect DD series appliance to gain benefits from unmatched efficiency, deduplication, performance, and scalability. See the solution brief and this technical white paper for more details.

About SUSE Rancher and RKE

SUSE Rancher is an enterprise computing platform for running Kubernetes for on-premises, cloud, and edge environments. With Rancher, you can form your own Kubernetes-as-a-Service by creating, upgrading, and managing Kubernetes clusters. Rancher can set up clusters by itself or work with a hosted Kubernetes provider. It addresses the operational and security challenges of managing multiple Kubernetes clusters anywhere. SUSE Rancher also provides IT operators and development teams with integrated tools for building, deploying, and running cloud-native workloads.

SUSE Rancher supports the management of CNCF-Certified Kubernetes distributions, such as Rancher Kubernetes Engine (RKE). RKE is a certified Kubernetes distribution for both bare-metal and virtualized servers.

Protecting data by integrating SUSE Rancher managed RKE downstream Kubernetes clusters with PowerProtect Data Manager

You can integrate PowerProtect Data Manager with SUSE Rancher managed Kubernetes clusters through Kubernetes APIs to discover namespaces and associated persistent resources PersistentVolumeClaims (PVCs). PowerProtect Data Manager discovers the Kubernetes clusters using the IP address or fully qualified domain name (FQDN). PowerProtect Data Manager uses the discovery service account and the token kubeconfig file to integrate with kube-apiserver.

PowerProtect Data Manager integrates with SUSE Rancher managed Kubernetes clusters for data protection in the following ways:

  • Directly connecting to the RKE downstream single node with controlplane and etcd roles.
  • Through an external load balancer, when there are multiple RKE nodes for high availability with controlplane and etcd roles in an RKE downstream cluster.

SUSE Rancher managed RKE downstream Kubernetes clusters integration with PowerProtect Data Manager

Adding the RKE downstream Kubernetes cluster with PowerProtect Data Manager as an asset source

Once the Kubernetes cluster is added as an asset source in PowerProtect Data Manager and the discovery is complete, the associated namespaces are available as assets for protection. PowerProtect Data Manager protects two types of Kubernetes cluster assets: Namespaces and PVCs. Note that PPDM also protects the associated metadata for namespaces and cluster resources that include secrets, ConfigMaps, custom resources, RoleBindings, and so on. 

During the discovery process, PowerProtect Data Manager creates the following namespaces in the cluster:

  • Velero-ppdm: This namespace contains a Velero pod to back up metadata and stage to target storage in bare-metal environments. It performs PVC snapshot and metadata backup for VMware cloud native storage.
  • PowerProtect: This namespace contains a PowerProtect controller pod to drive persistent volume claim snapshot and backup, and to send the backups to the target storage using dynamically deployed cProxy pods.

Kubernetes uses persistent volumes to store persisted application data. Persistent volumes are created on external storage and then attached to a particular pod using PVCs. PVCs are included along with other namespaces in PowerProtect Data Manager backup and recovery operations. Dell EMC PowerStore, PowerMax, XtremIO, and PowerFlex storage platforms all come with CSI plugins to support containerized workloads running on Kubernetes. 

With this easy integration for data protection with PowerProtect Data Manager, Dell Technologies empowers Kubernetes admins to perform backup/recovery operations and ensure that SUSE Rancher managed Kubernetes cluster workloads are available, consistent, durable, and recoverable.

For more details, see the white paper SUSE Rancher and RKE Kubernetes cluster using CSI Driver on DELL EMC PowerFlex about how to protect SUSE Rancher managed Kubernetes workloads with PowerProtect Data Manager.

Author: Vinod Kumaresan


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Cloud DR - Deployments over a Private Network

Eli Persin

Thu, 14 Oct 2021 12:15:16 -0000

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Dell EMC launched Cloud Disaster Recovery (Cloud DR) in 2017, to help customers expand their DR to the cloud and meet their compliance demands, and to give them peace of mind about running their workloads in the cloud in case of a disaster scenario. 

The initial phase was to support the most used cloud platforms back then, AWS and Azure, and focus on simplicity and automation, all while leveraging existing data protection technologies that customers already have, such as Avamar and Data Domain. 

From its first release, Cloud DR supported automated deployment. This process created everything the solution needed on the customer’s cloud account, and was initiated from the on-prem component (the Cloud DR Add-on (CDRA))  over the internet -- the most common way to connect small or medium size organizations to the cloud.

Over time, more and more organizations reached a level of maturity of cloud usage: in the way they worked with it, protected their resources running on the cloud, and in how they planned to combine that with their on-prem resources. All of this resulted in larger organizations requiring more advanced and up-to-date features that Cloud DR already offered.

To support those new and larger organizations, Cloud DR’s core functionality was integrated into additional data protection technologies, such as RecoverPoint for VMs, PowerProtect Data Manager, and PowerProtect DP (what used to be called IDPA), so organizations who were already working and using these solutions would also be able to benefit from Cloud DR features and to protect and recover their VMs to, and on, the cloud.

 

Naturally, larger organizations are more complex. They usually combine their cloud and on-prem resources, connecting the environments with VPN. Some also use a dedicated network (such as Direct Connect in AWS or ExpressRoute in Azure).

These customers wanted to leverage their private connections for the deployment and usage, but since Cloud DR's core ability was to deploy over the public internet and create its AWS or Azure resources with an auto generated public IP (because it was the original design that fit almost all of the customers, and because some customers had strict security rules preventing any public IP creation), there was naturally a rising demand to add support for VPN connections, without creating or using any public IP. 

To address that concern, a solution was introduced for CDRA users to switch the way the CDRA communicates with the Cloud DR Server (CDRS), changing its default deployment from using a public IP to using its private IP, but this was relevant only for CDRA and only for specific Cloud DR releases (19.5 - 19.8).

In Cloud DR 19.9 (which is also included in PowerProtect Data Manager 19.9), released in September 2021, this requirement is further simplified. Cloud DR allows you to deploy over your existing private connection. In the web UI, you can also easily select whether you want to deploy through the internet and create a public IP, or deploy through your private network. 

While the Cloud DR interface makes it easy and intuitive to select the connection mode, it’s important that you configure the networks properly to support private connectivity. (The most common cause for failed deployments is related to misconfigured networks, routing, and firewalls.) 

This new feature should work as-is for well configured environments. You need to make sure your on-prem CDRA or PowerProtect Data Manager can reach and send its protected data to the cloud object storage (AWS S3 bucket / Azure Storage Account) over VPN. That’s because by default the object storage is reachable through the internet. Of course, you can also keep and use that default behavior and make sure that the CDRA or PowerProtect Data Manager can also send files through the internet, and connect to the CDRS through your VPN connection.

With Cloud DR and PowerProtect Data Manager you can protect your workloads with an easy deployment to your cloud account, and now also with a simplified deployment over your VPN.

Be sure to check out our Cloud DR best practices white paper, demos, and interactive demos:

Cloud DR Best practices whitepaper

Demos:

Interactive Demos:

Author: Eli Persin

 

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VMware Oracle data protection PowerProtect PowerProtect Data Manager

A Quick Update on how PowerProtect Data Manager Discovers Oracle Databases

Frank Gagnon

Wed, 29 Sep 2021 13:47:43 -0000

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There’s a new Oracle database discovery method introduced in PowerProtect Data Manager version 19.9!

Dell EMC PowerProtect Data Manager provides software defined data protection, automated discovery, deduplication, operational agility, self-service, and IT governance for physical, virtual, and cloud environments. PowerProtect Data Manager helps you to:

  • Orchestrate protection directly through an intuitive interface or empower data owners to perform self-service backup and restore operations from their native applications
  • Enjoy unique VMware protection: Protect VMware VMs without business disruption
  • Ensure compliance and meet even the strictest service level objectives
  • Leverage your existing Dell EMC PowerProtect appliances

PowerProtect Data Manager gives you valuable insight into protected on-premises and in-cloud workloads, applications, file systems, and virtual machines. Designed with operational simplicity and agility in mind, PowerProtect Data Manager enables protecting traditional workloads, such as Oracle, Exchange, SQL, SAP HANA, and file systems, as well as Kubernetes containers and virtual environments.

PowerProtect Data Manager supports discovering Oracle databases through either the traditional /etc/oratab file located on the Oracle server or starting in PPDM 19.9, by using Oracle PMON (Process MONitor) processes. Let’s review these two methods.

Method 1:

PowerProtect Data Manager uses the /etc/oratab file to discover Oracle databases. Note that since the appearance of Oracle release 12.2, Oracle no longer updates the /etc/oratab file with information such as ORACLE_HOME and ORACLE_SID automatically. Administrators can still update the /etc/oratab file manually to continue using this discovery method.

Here’s an example of an /etc/oratab file with entries for a database called “oradb105”.

Method 2:

PowerProtect Data Manager 19.9 introduces a new mechanism for discovering Oracle databases. This method uses information contained in the Oracle PMON processes and doesn’t have dependencies on /etc/oratab entries.  PMON is an Oracle background process created when a database instance is started.

Here’s an example of a PMON process for the same database mentioned earlier:  

The PMON process contains the name of the database. The PowerProtect Data Manager discovery job will look for those PMON processes and add the database to the asset list (as in the following figure).

In conclusion, PowerProtect Data Manager no longer requires entries in the /etc/oratab to discover Oracle databases. Those entries will continue to have the highest precedence, but it will also look for Oracle PMON processes to gather the full list of assets.

I urge you to check out this interactive demo of PowerProtect Data Manager 19.9.

For more information, see the whitepaper PowerProtect Data Manager: Oracle® RMAN Agent Backup and Recovery that provides details about the Oracle RMAN agent architecture and the backup and restore workflow. 

Author: Frank Gagnon


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