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The InfiniGuard hardware is assembled and pre-wired for optimal configuration in an Infinidat frame. Customers that wish to have an solution installed in their own rack must work with Infinidat Support to ensure supported installation procedures and the highest level of quality is followed to provide successful service delivery in ongoing maintenance and support.

Introduction

This paper provides a technical introduction to the Infinidat system.

Frame assembly

InfiniGuard is delivered in an Infinidat F4000 frame, as depicted below.

The InfiniGuard system is a fully optimized frame assembly for high density and extreme backup performance. InfiniGuard includes four, high density, disk-drive enclosures with 60, 6TB or 12 TB drives in each. It also includes 3 controllers, 2 FC switches, 3 data deduplication engines (DDEs), and supporting ATS and BBUs, conveniently managed via an included customer patch panel. Customers will simply cable up InfiniGuard and begin configuring devices and policies to use the high speed, space efficient, enterprise backup solution.

Deduplication Engines (DDE)

In the Infinidat InfiniGuard, there are deduplication engines that we call DDEs. The DDE is made up of common, off-the-shelf, server technology to deliver the best in class service at the lowest transferrable cost.

The DDEs are pre-installed, pre-wired, fully assembled, pre-configured for turnkey customer operation. DDE Servers are pre-installed in InfiniGuard by Infinidat support personnel only.
The DDE Servers are wired with optimal connectivity pre-configured to the InfiniBox Storage array, with all required volumes mapped and ready to use for DDE metadata and disk-pools for data deduplication for all supported protocols.
The back of the frame includes a convenient patch panel for both the InfiniBox and one for the DDEs in order to simplify and organize port access for client service implementation, as described in InfiniGuard Site Planning Guide (to access this document, see the Documentation section in this document).

Fibre Channel switches

Two enterprise class Infinidat Managed, 24 port Fibre channel switches are installed and configured in each InfiniGuard system to support redundant switch zoning of the DDEs to the Infinidat storage array. Each DDE will consist of 4 x 16GB FC Port connections to each switch fabrics (for a total of 8 connections per controller). These are connected to the back-end InfiniBox by Infinidat personnel and may not be managed by customer admins.
All FC connectivity and Zoning for internal storage access is managed by Infinidat.

The patch panel

The simplified DDE patch panel is provided in the back of InfiniGuard to support all customer managed connectivity to the InfiniGuard frame for external communications and management of InfiniGuard. The customer will run FC Fabric cables for VTL use and/or 1GbE Ethernet cables for DDE management services, as well as 10GbE cables for data ingest & replication.

In the following example, each "active DDE" has 12 active ports, as follows:

  • 4 FC ports
  • 8 Ethernet ports

InfiniGuard Naming Conventions

InfiniGuard model numbers represent the sum of the parts in an InfiniGuard system.

For example, InfiniGuard B4212N model:

  • B   refers to the InfiniGuard B4212N solution (B is for Backup)
  • 42 refers to the x4000 Infinidat storage array
  • 12 refers to using 12TB HDD disks
  • N   refers to high performance DDEs running v3 code

Other models follow the same convention.

InfiniGuard Solution Sizing

Infinidat Pre-Sales personnel work with the customer technical staff to collect sizing data on the planned implementation. When the customer fully understands the details on the environments they plan to backup with space saving benefits from InfiniGuard, we can then begin to accurately size the solution for capacity and performance to meet their backup window demands.

As plans change and/or growth is incurred, coordination between customer technical staff and the site Infinidat Technical Adviser can be navigated to re-work new sizing predications or requirements throughout the life of the product support.

Working with Infinidat personnel we can accurately size a solution that defines the anticipated capacity and/or performance of the entire backup solution across one or multiple sites with or without replication with consideration for the many protocols and applications in the backup window challenge.

Customers should be prepared to communicate the number of servers and platforms they plan to incorporate into InfiniGuard backup solution, as well as describe the Backup Software used for managing backup services and the backup window maximums for each solution backup cycle. It is also recommended that the customer is prepared to disclose the number of ports and types/configurations of networking on each backup server for data ingest from clients as well as data bandwidth to the defined DDE targets. Include the number of full and incremental backups as well as the target retention period for each.
Depending on the backup software used for managing scheduled backups, there are many options available for backup service support for any platform. These choices will impact performance and timing.
Also be prepared to discuss the number of sites to be supported and any backup replication requirements, as this too, will impact performance and timing.

With careful planning the sizing engineers will be able to determine the schedule compliance targets and the number of InfiniGuard required for your enterprise backup plan based on target performance and capacity with your planned retention.

InfiniGuard Licensing

As with all Infinidat products, licensing is all-inclusive. In other words, with the purchase of an Infinidat InfiniGuard, all software associated with functionality is included with the base product. The table below provides details on all included features.
Reviewing the Licensing of pre-installed features:

  • Network Attached Storage (NAS): Option for presenting the DDE Servers to the host.
  • OpenStorage Technology (OST): Option for presenting the DDE Servers to the host. Specific versions of NetBackup are required. For more details, refer to: Configuring InfiniGuard DDEs for OST .
  • Virtual Tape Library (VTL): Option for presenting the DDE Servers to the host when a Fibre Channel card is installed. This license is for 512 virtual tape drives.
  • Deduplication: Enables data deduplication. Replication: Enables replication to other DDE systems.
  • InfiniMetrics integration for InfiniGuard systems.

Licensed features included as a license certificate (these features require enabling for use):

  • Data-in-Flight Encryption: Enables use of AES encryption (128-bit or 256-bit) when sending data to another system. This option refers to DDE encryption as opposed to the Encryption at Rest on the InfiniBox Storage. (Not available in all regions)
  • Data-at-Rest Encryption: This involves the built-in availability for Encryption at Rest for the InfiniBox Storage. (Not available in all regions)
  • Storage Capacity: The default storage capacity of 500 TB or 1PB per active DDE (depending on the model number) is a pre-configured feature; scalable up to 1PB or 2PB for InfiniGuard usable capacity.

With the current release of Veritas NetBackup, Veeam, and Oracle RMAN offer the deepest level and most flexible integration with InfiniGuard. Additionally, customers can use other backup software, such as Commvault, IBM TSM, EMC NetWorker, etc. with backup target types such as VTL, NFS, SMB.

Networking

As InfiniGuard is a pre-wired, fully assembled organization of equipment groups, and the patch panel is provided in the back of the frame for simplifying customer connectivity to the product. The type of patch panel is provided to match whether the customer chose (Copper or Optical) Type connections for 10GbE.

Ethernet

Customers will run either Copper or Optical 10GbE cables (depending on what they ordered for connectivity) to the back of InfiniGuard frame and simply connect the cables to the DDE & InfiniBox ports in accordance with the InfiniGuard User Guide.
Each InfiniGuard will have 4 x 1GbE ports for management (as depicted below) and each of the DDEs will have 12 x 10GbE ports for Ingest & replication that are configured with LACP or as independent Active ports. One example might be to use 8 x 10GbE ports for Ingest and 4 x 10GbE ports for Replication (as shown above), for each DDE. The bottom row of the patch panel is dedicated to the DDE Ethernet connections. Left to Right (node1–red, node2-yellow, node3-green).

If there is no intention to use VTL then the slot reserved for 4 FC ports can be ordered/used for 4 more 10GbE ports instead, expanding the Ethernet based bandwidth capacity to 12 per DDE.

Four 1GbE cables must be run to the upper patch panel for Management Services. 5 IP addresses will be supplied by the customer to support the management services with supporting DNS/NTP/GW/etc..

When the customer chooses an “all TCP/IP” configuration, 36 10GbE cables will be run to the center patch panel for Data Ingest and Replication with a minimum of One IP per bond and a maximum of Ten IPs per bond. Optimal Bond IP configurations should be coordinated with Infinidat Professional Services prior to installation to ensure that the installation team has what it needs to fully configure the customer configurations at the time of install.

When the customer chooses a mixed configuration of FC & Ethernet, Four 16GbE FC ports and Twenty-four 10GbE cables will be run to the center patch panel for Data Ingest and Replication. FC ports with be zoned as single initiator – single target zones (single path)  with a minimum of One IP per Ethernet bond and a maximum of Ten IPs per bond. Optimal FC Zoning & Bonded IP configurations should be coordinated with Infinidat Professional Services prior to installation to ensure that the installation team has what it needs to fully configure the customer configurations at the time of install.

Fibre Channel

Each DDE can support 16GbFC ports for external connectivity for NDMP and VTL solutions. These are optional, and if the customer chooses not to support NDMP and VTL these FC ports can be replaced (before shipping) with 10GbE ports to expand the TCP/IP based protocol bandwidth capabilities. The InfiniGuard includes 2 x internal enterprise class 24 Port Fibre Switches for supporting 3 DDE devices with internal Zoning to InfiniGuard. Customer managed Zoning for external FC ports is managed by the customer team and configured as Single port zoning to each FC port on all three controllers. FC Zoning to VTLs and NDMP devices is single path, as multi-path zoning to the VTL devices is not supported. All zoning changes should be communicated and coordinated through Infinidat support.

When the customer chooses a mixed configuration of FC & Ethernet, Four 16GbE FC ports and Twenty-four 10GbE cables will be run to the center patch panel for Data Ingest and Replication. FC ports with be zoned as single initiator – single target zones (single path)  with a minimum of One IP per Ethernet bond and a maximum of Ten IPs per bond. Optimal FC Zoning & Bonded IP configurations should be coordinated with Infinidat Professional Services prior to installation to ensure that the installation team has what it needs to fully configure the customer configurations at the time of install.

Back-end storage configuration

As InfiniGuard is a pre-configured and 100% dedicated to Backup Services and the scale of two active deduplication engines, the internal InfiniBox storage provisioning to the DDE’s is locked down and invisible to customer administrators. Integration with InfiniMetrics will be provided and accounts can be configured as needed. This work will be accomplished by Infinidat support on behalf of the customer.

Basic operation

Following the InfiniGuard installation:

  1. Upon completion of InfiniGuard installation by Infinidat Support, each DDEs GUI will be accessible via the IP address configured on Install. Once control is passed to the customer team Infinidat encourages the customer team to change the access passwords for normal use.
  2. Change the Administrator password and the access settings for other accounts by logging in to the Remote Management Console and navigating to InfiniGuard> Settings > Users. Refer to the InfiniGuard User’s Guide.

Note

Customers will only have access to the InfiniGuard storage system (internal InfiniBox to DDE networking is not managed by the customer).

InfiniGuard works with Veritas NetBackup directly with or without OST integration to provide targets for deduplicated backup. With OST NetBoost enabled, deduplication can be optimized on the media server increasing performance and reducing network demand.  Alternatively, customers may choose to integrate InfiniGuard without OST integration for use with other various protocols including, VTL, NFS, CIFS (SMB). Most other backup software vendors also support using InfiniGuard for backup to VTL, NFS, CIFS (SMB) as well. This allows the backup software to control backup index and tasks, and yet data that is streamed to the backup targets get deduplicated, compressed and or encrypted on InfiniGuard. This provides excellent backup and restore speed from disk-based tools, while reducing the footprint and burden of back-end storage.


InfiniGuard Configuration

The following is a high-level view of how the InfiniGuard DDE user interface is organized relative to specific functions.  

Network Configuration

Go to Configuration > System > Network. Consult your network administrator before changing any of this information. (see User Guide>System Configuration>Network)

Configure VTL

Go to Configuration > VTL. Cartridge creation can vary, depending on the backup application and settings used. However, as a general rule, make sure that there is sufficient media to hold the amount of backup data for the required retention period, and use smaller-sized media for speedy expiration of VTL Media (see Users Guide>VTL Configuration).

Configure NAS

Go to Configuration > NAS. (see User Guide>NAS Configuration)

Configure OST

Go to Configuration > OST. (see User Guide> OST Configuration)

Configure Oracle RMAN

Go to Configuration > NAS. Use the Application Specific protocol setting for configuring a NAS share with the Oracle RMAN NetBoost Plugin. (see User Guide>NAS)

For information about Installing and configuring the Oracle RMAN Plugin see InfiniGuard 3.0 Oracle Recovery Manager Installation and Configuration Guide

Configuring Replication

Go to Configuration > Replication. (see User Guide>Replication Operations)

Note

OST replication (optimized duplication) requires a different setup than replication for NAS shares and VTL partitions). See Users Guide>OST Configuration for OST replication details)

During replication, data is sent from one system (the source) to another system (the target), usually in another location. Sources send replicated data, consisting of unique blocks not already present at the target, to the target system , and the metadata for the entire backup set.
Infinidat recommends that you schedule replication to run after backups are complete. In addition, always replicate a new share or partition immediately after creating it. This establishes the initial data structure on the target system and greatly increases the speed of the first replication. Note: With trigger based (scheduled) replications snapshots of the “point-in-time” reference of each replication will be stored on the target system in accordance to the Maximum Snapshots to keep defined in the Target replication relationship panel (the Default is set to 10). These snapshots can accumulate capacity, therefor most customers may choose to reduce the number of snapshots to keep to a value less than ten. The maximum snapshots to keep is 32 (this is a per share value associated with Schedule based replication only).

System specifications

The InfiniGuard system specifications are available on the InfiniGuard data sheet.

Troubleshooting, help and support

Our focus is to make it better, faster, easier, while reducing cost and complexity. Our success will be measured by our clients.

Self Help

Before reaching out to Infinidat Storage Support the following should be understood by administrators and considered before calling.

How can I free up disk space on my DDE?

There are multiple ways you can remove data from your DDE:

  • Delete data from your NAS share or VTL partition. 
  • Erase or re-label tapes from your backup application. 
  • Delete the virtual media altogether.
  • If the DDE is a replication target system, delete replicated snapshots.

After you take one or more of the previous actions, and after space reclamation completes, space consumed will be returned to the system.

When should I schedule replication for best performance?

Optimize your performance by scheduling your backups, and replication to run at different times throughout the day.

How can I increase my deduplication ratio?

Optimize your deduplication ratio by disabling software compression, encryption, and multiplexing in the backup application. Space reduction rates are a combination of deduplication and compression and a direct result of the number of redundant backups of data over the life cycle of defined retention. Therefore, client that run more full backups with higher retention values tend to see greater reduction rates than clients that run frequent incremental backups with shorter retention rates.

What should I do when my backups fail?

Backup jobs may fail for some of these reasons:

  1. The DDE ran out of space during the backup window. 
  2. Your backup host lost network connectivity to the DDE.
  3. Your backup application may have crashed. Try re-running the backup
  4. Your client in backup or the data mover managing backup traffic is over-whelmed and unable to process the work at hand.
  5. A backup policy or resource configuration access is misconfigured.

Documentation

The complete InfiniGuard documentation set is available here: https://support.infinidat.com/hc/en-us/categories/115000877369-InfiniGuard

Scope of Support

Support Services shall be provided 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. As part of the Support Services, Infinidat shall provide Installation Services, Updates, Telephone Support, Online Support, Remote Support (if applicable), and Onsite Support (if applicable), solely with respect to a Supported Release of the Product.

Service Levels

Infinidat shall provide Telephone Support, Online Support and Error Correction services in accordance with the chart below, as long as access to the Product is granted to Infinidat.

Response time for acknowledgement by Infinidat

  • Infinidat will provide you with an acknowledgement of the Support Request within the following time periods:
    • Priority A - 1 hour
    • Priority B - 4 hours
    • Priority C - next business day Onsite Support Availability
  • Onsite support will be provided within the following time periods, after Infinidat deems Onsite Support is necessary:
    • Priority A - 4 hour
    • Priority B - next business day
    • Priority C - to be scheduled with you

Contacting Infinidat

See instructions here: https://support.infinidat.com/hc/en-us/articles/360000308858-Best-Practice-for-contacting-INFINIDAT-Support


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