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November 06, 2008


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Chuck Hollis


I've tried hard for a while to come up with a visceral example of just how much better Avamar can be in a VMware environment, even compared to more primitive client-side dedupe like PureDisk.

I think you win the prize -- thanks!

-- Chuck


Let me start by saying that we use Avamar in our VMware environment (guest based backups) and love it.

However I can't really agree with your assessment. I think it's pretty typical for most companies to do backups overnight and I think for most companies this is a time when ESX resources usage is already at it's lowest point. From what I hear, most people don't run into resource issues during their backup windows.

Therefore while I like Avamare, I don't think that for most environments using Avamar for backup will do much for reducing usage of CPU or Network resources during periods of high resource utilization.

Scott Waterhouse

Rod... I think the issue is that with "traditional" backup, meaning a standard backup agent in every guest OS VM, you are likely to get contention for CPU and IP resources during the backup window. Of course, that is not guaranteed, but we see a lot of people that experience this. Ultimately it depends on how much data you have per VM, how many VMs per ESX server, and what kind of data/what change rate.

Mostly I wanted to highlight the very different load of Avamar vs normal backup. I think there is an assumption that because the deduplication is done at the source, this has to be more burdensome than standard backup. And that turns out to be just not the case at all.


In what way is Avamar free?
I can't seem to download it from EMC.

Scott Waterhouse

Avamar is "free" in the sense that the savings you can achieve from greater consolidation pay for the cost of the Avamar software and infrastructure.

If you know who your EMC technical or sales representative is, they can provide you with a link and a temporary key to download and try Avamar Virtual Edition (basically an Avamar server in a VM). That is the easiest way to work with the software and get a feel for it. If you don't know who your EMC rep is, feel free to send me a private email and I will find the right resource for your geography to get in touch with you directly.

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