Today EMC is announcing a new version of EMC Avamar software and hardware. With the latest release come a ton of new features, bigger, better, faster hardware, and support for integrating Avamar with Data Domain.
So, without further preamble, let's jump into what is new in Avamar v6.0:
On the hardware side, the new release offers higherdensity nodes with greater performance. Nodes are now offered in 4 different capacities: 1.3 TB, 2.6 TB, 3.9 TB, and 7.8 TB. The standard Utility and Accelerator nodes continue to be available and serve the same function in Avamar v6.0 as they did in previous releases. What is more, is the performance of the node relative to important internal system maintenance and upkeep scales with capacity. The 7.8 TB node offers twice the performance of the 3.9 TB node. For some important tasks like garbage collection and file system checks this means there is no longer any good reason not to use the highest density nodes even for data with exceptionally high change rates.
Even better, prices have declined while capacities have gone up-in some cases the cost per TB has improved by more than 20%. And the power consumption per TB has also dropped considerably-by as much as 65% in the case of the 7.8 TB nodes. All this equals bigger grids which cost less to acquire, less to power and cool in the data centre, and use less of your valuable raised floor square footage to store data.
Under the covers there are lots of significant performance improvements to the new nodes to make sure that things work better than before: EMC has leveraged the Intel multi-core architecture to speed up startup and checking of data stripes. Memory utilization is improved, and overall backup performance increases.
One of the biggest changes that many customers willnotice will be the changes to the networking architecture. The lines between internal and external networks are no longer blurred. There is a network that is clearly an internal management and administration network (which is redundant). And customers will connect an Avamar grid to their external network to provide for backup bandwidth and redundancy if desired. (As an aside, for those of you that want Cisco everywhere in your network, it is now possible to connect your Avamar Data Store nodes directly to your Cisco network. You can maintain the homogeneity of your IP network and continue to manage and support only Cisco devices.)
On the software side, the improvements are every bit as significant:
* Support for EMC Secure Remote Support (ESRS)
* A new installer/updater service for client and server code upgrades and patches that is customer accessible.
* An Avamar client manager that enables management of large groups of clients with a single pane of glass, and allows wizard driven task execution against groups of clients. (Another aside: it also allows moving a client or a group of clients from one Avamar grid to another. For those of you managing large numbers of desktop and laptop clients, or desktop and laptop clients for a globally distributed workforce, this will be a particularly welcome addition that will make administration a lot easier.)
* Overall, there have been a least a dozen significant enhancements (and many minor updates) to the desktop and laptopbackup experience with the Avamar DT/LT client that will make Avamar easier, faster, more flexible, and easier to support for these environments. From an end user perspective, the self-service recovery window has been improved, which is a welcome upgrade. From an administrative point of view, the administration of large numbers of clients has been made easier too.
* Improvements have been made across a wide range of general clients, and specific modules, including the backup of Oracle systems, Oracle RAC systems, NDMP backups, backups for Iomega ix12 systems (a very cool feature which essentially puts an Avamar client on the Iomega storage system for powerful remote backup of these systems), VMware Image Backup enhancements, Windows 2008 server backups, SQL server systems, Exchange backup, and a host of others. I will return to the topic of Windows applications backup and VMware backup in the near future, because there is enough good stuff there to warrant a separate discussion.
And, to leave the best for last: Avamar is now offering integration with Data Domain systems.
With release 6.0 of the Avamar software, EMC will now support Data Domain systems as a backup target. This combines the performance and scale of the Data Domain systems with the ease of use and simplicity of the Avamar software. Now any application, of any size, can be protected with Avamar. And the scale of Avamar grows very significantly-with the addition of up to 285 TB of capacity per Data Domain system (and up to 4 systems supported per Avamar server).
In the initial release, EMC is supporting the backup of Oracle, SQL, Exchange, SharePoint, and VMware Images to Data Domain systemswith Avamar software. The Avamar GUI will manage the backup, restore, and replication of data for these systems, as well as monitoring and reporting on the Data Domain systems that are the backup targets. Avamar clients get an embedded DD BOOST v2.3.1, which is responsible for actually sending the backup data from the client to the target Data Domain system. Now, even very largedatabases and database with very high daily change rates can be easily integrated into Avamar.
With that, I will conclude my overview of Avamar v6.0. As you can see, there is a lot to like here. And a lot more that I simply didn't have the space to go into with this post-so I will be returning to the subject in the near future.