Veritas Data Protection Solutions
In this blog
Through recent Veritas data protection solutions testing in our Advanced Technology Center (ATC), we were able to:
- Reproduce customer environments within our datacenter.
- Test common and unique scenarios based on customer requirements.
- Develop content on how to perform tested processes and procedures.
- Provide feedback to Veritas to assist in the improvement of their products.
Once testing has completed, the results are provided to the customer so that they can make a more informed decision on protecting their assets. The next sections will go into detail about the testing procedure and results that was performed with Veritas.
At the ATC, we have a state-of-the-art datacenter that houses a multitude of equipment from various vendors. Our partnership with Veritas has allowed us to house their Veritas Flex appliances for the use of testing solutions at a rapid pace. We deployed the systems into our racks and worked directly with the ATC networking team to ensure remote connectivity was available. Once that was established and documented, the appliances were configured so that we could begin our testing.
Below is a diagram of how the environment was designed:
Through discussions with Veritas, we opted for a single primary, two media servers and a write once read many (WORM) server. This environment allows us to test basic implementation as well as load balancing. For backup and restore testing, we built a dedicated vCenter with enough resources to house multiple hosts spanning different operating systems.
|Veritas Flex Appliance
|Proliant DL380 Gen 9
|Oracle Database Server
|Microsoft SQL Database
|Windows Server and Home Editions
|RedHat Linux Server
Once the environment was configured and network connectivity was established, the testing was conducted. The goal was to test functionality of backup and restore of different products (i.e. Linux, Windows, SQL, Oracle, NAS), while also creating documentation on how to perform the configuration steps. Veritas and their experts were readily available to assist with any queries or training that was needed to complete the tests. There were no major issues experienced while creating the documents, which made completing the testing easier.
Database backup and restores
For the database backups, the host side configuration consisted of creating a user with access to the database and installing the Veritas agent. It was simple to create the user and we were able to download the Veritas agent from the support portal. For Windows, the agent created a subset of services with NetBackup in the name. For Linux, the agent was installed using an rpm file which created a process for communicating to the appliances.
On the Veritas Flex primary server's console, we added the host systems to allow communication to and from the Flex Appliance and the host. Once the connection to the agent was established, Veritas auto discovered the underlying databases that the user has access to. This process made it much easier to configure backups for the databases without having to manually add them.
Once the host was added, a protection policy needed to be created. The protection policy consists of the frequency, retention and backup schedule for the databases. For this scenario, we configured full backups for Saturday, daily incremental and log backups occurring every 30 minutes. A manual backup was triggered to validate backup completion.
To facilitate restores, several tests were performed. We tested scenarios including:
- Instant restore – overwrite original database to a specific point in time.
- Restore to a new database.
- Restore to original location (after database has been deleted).
Each scenario was very easy to perform and could be performed using the same recovery point. For validation, screenshots of the databases (files or management studio) were taken before and after the restore.
VM backup and restore
Veritas offers multiple backup and restore strategies for virtual machines. Some of these strategies include instant restore, export to a new system, export disk and file level restore. We tested each scenario to ensure functionality. To begin the tests, we had to add the vCenter so that Veritas could auto discover the VMs contained within. The discovery didn't take much time so while that was running, we created a protection plan to configure automatic backups. By the time the protection plan was done, the discovery had completed and imported all of the VMs on the vCenter. As new VMs were created, they were automatically discovered and added to the default protection plan.
We manually backed up a VM to perform the rest of the tests. The 200GB backup completed in 4 minutes and 20 seconds.
This allowed a restore point to be made available to continue with the tests. The restore process was very straightforward and easy to navigate. For validation, screenshots of the vSphere GUI were taken before and after the restore.
We documented the configuration steps taken during the testing phase to include screenshots of the desired results. We added some caveats and advice in the documentation to help customers when configuring their environment.
When building documents, we partner with experts both internal to the ATC and external (Veritas) to develop the content.
Here is a sample of the detailed steps we develop for our documentation:
The documentation contains host side configurations related to Veritas Data Protection.
After each step and at the end of the document, we include screenshots of what successful results should look like as a guide to identify if/where an issue occurs in a customer deployment.
Additionally, for restores, we show the host side configuration as validation of successful completion. We outlined the time it takes for our testing to complete, but this can vary depending on customer environment.
Inside our ATC, we partnered with Veritas to validate their offerings within the data protection space. We ensure that the testing environment meets most customer's ecosystems, but we also considered unique configurations, as well. We do this to empower customers to make more informed decisions when choosing a method to protect their assets.
As a result of this testing segment, Veritas is an ATC validated Data Protection Provider and should be considered when evaluating data protection solutions.