It has now been Six months since the NetBackup 8.0 release and now is a great time to look back at the journey so far. Whilst many customers adopt new major NetBackup releases after several patches, it is been clear that many did not follow this strategy with version 8.0. Consider this – was the short support cycle of the 7.6 branch (which ended its support life in February) the primary driver? Highly likely, support cycles drive upgrades but with many support options such as Business Critical Support (BCS) it is just one of the reasons and not necessarily the main one. Conversely, the NetBackup version 8.0 release amassed a critical set of new and enhanced features as well as platform support proliferation, to mention just a few:
- VMware 6.5 support
- Microsoft 2016 on-premises stack support and integration with Azure:
- Windows Server 2016 including Hyper-V 2016
- Exchange 2016
- Share Point 2016
- Microsoft SQL 2016
- Cloud connector for Azure, supporting both cool and hot storage containers
- Support for SuSE 12 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.x
- Enterprise Vault 11 and 12 support
- New cloud connectors: SoftLayer, Google, HDS, Oracle and many more
Although release currency with major applications is a great thing, the reality of large IT environments usually dictates a lag between release and adoption, which is the way in which legacy NetBackup upgrades were typically approached. So, looking under the hood we can see why the 8.0 release is a such a big deal – it is not about quantity but about quality.
First of all, many of the new or enhanced features are well-thought out and comprehensive, let’s take Hyper-V 2016, for example. While many backup products on the market declare support for the Microsoft 2016 stack, NetBackup takes it further with a completely new WMI-based back-end architecture for Hyper-V that allows not only reliable backup and recovery for virtual machines, but also introduces block-level incremental backups with NetBackup Accelerator for Hyper-V to further reduce the backup time by several orders of magnitude for the time it takes to make a full backup. Result? 10x-100x reduction in backup time.
Support and integration with newer storage capabilities such as SMB 3.0 file systems (popular in hyper-converged solution like Nutanix), NetBackup’s new Hyper-V features will be compelling enough for enterprises with a significant Hyper-V footprint.
Prefer VMware to Hyper-V? NetBackup 8.0 adds support for backing up encrypted and fault-tolerant virtual machines, individual VMDK restores as well as SAN multi-path backup on Linux backup hosts which further improves backup speeds. Both VMware and Hyper-V will also benefit from the new GRT architecture that makes single file and item indexing approximately 25% faster.
Security is a major area that was improved in NetBackup 8.0 release. Starting from small but long overdue features like AD-integrated single sign-on for the Java console, to significant architectural changes in end-to-end communication verification based on x.509 certificates between NetBackup clients, media and master servers, the security stack reflects the importance of data protection at all levels of the backup path. Other improvements such as new AES-based encryption for MSDP, new password protection of NBDB and enforced HTTPS in OpsCenter set new standards for NetBackup back-end components.
Do you have a distributed NetBackup environment with multiple “domains” and data protection silo’s? Multiple master servers and no way of managing and understanding that data that is being protected. Enter InfoMap for overwatch and simple reporting on what resides where.
The Big Eight release is a significant step forward and improves data protection significantly by bringing data protection into 360 data management for a diverse set of workloads and associated environments. On-premises, hybrid or cloud.
With underlying infrastructure projects, upgrades, or migrations driving the business forward there are now compelling reasons to adopt and leverage the “Big Eight”
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Lee is responsible for the Information Management and Security practice at Insentra comprising of highly skilled and accredited Data Protection and High Availability consultant. He has worked in the Information Management and Security space for over 20 years and specialises in Storage Foundation HA, VCS, CFS, CVM, VBS, VRA, VELOCITY, DRaaS, ITRaS VOM, Information Map, Information Fabric, Data Insight, NetBackup, NetBackup Appliances, Storage Management, Storage Architecture, Disaster Recovery Advisor and more.