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InfiniGuard Configuration and Best Practices Guide for Commvault Software

Introduction

This guide seeks to help Infinidat customers who own Infinidat InfiniGuard, and who also use Commvault get the most out of their investment. It is also intended to help Infinidat field sales teams by providing guidance to enhance the installation and integration with Commvault solutions. This guide includes advice and best practices for using Infinidat InfiniGuard Data Deduplication Engines (DDEs) with Commvault software. 

The InfiniGuard is a fully configured storage system with three Data Deduplication Engines (DDE) (2 active, 1 HA standby).  For simplicity this document refers to Data Deduplication Engine as "DDE".   For more information refer to InfiniGuard System.

How to use this guide

This document assumes that the reader has basic expertise with Commvault, as well as basic networking and SAN experience. It also assumes that the reader has an InfiniGuard system installed in a working Commvault environment.

This document is organized according to the various storage target access methods to be employed with Commvault. The InfiniGuard DDE can appear as a Virtual Tape Library (VTL) storage device over Fibre Channel (FC) and as Network Attached Storage device (NAS) over NFS and/or CIFS.

Documentation and reference

Infinidat InfiniGuard 3.0 Documentation Center

InfiniGuard configuration outlined below is detailed in the: InfiniGuard 3.0 User Guide

CommVault Books Online

Summary of Tuning Parameters for Commvault

For backup administrators who are well versed on Commvault and InfiniGuard systems, the following table offers a summary of suggested parameters/values. As with any modifications to a system that impacts performance and/or tuning, your results may vary and are not guaranteed.

Parameter or OptionSetting
Compression

While Commvault supports compression, to obtain effective deduplication rates, you should NOT compress your backup data before sending it to the InfiniGuard DDE.

See this Commvault document about software compression

Encryption

While Commvault supports data encryption, to obtain optimal performance, you should NOT encrypt your backup data before sending it to the InfiniGuard DDE.

See this Commvault document about encryption

DeduplicationTo obtain effective deduplication rates, you should NOT deduplicate your backup data before sending it to the InfiniGuard DDE.
VTL OptionsSettings
VTL sign-on stringUse native InfiniGuard DDE Inquiry (Infinidat IBA B4260 DDE (DXi6900)). Emulated library sign-on strings can mislead support.
Data path properties
  • See the discussion of “Default Chunk Size” in the “Improving Throughput to Storage Media” section of Commvault’s CommCell Performance Tuning document.
  • See the discussion of “Default Block Size” in the “Increasing Block Size” section of Commvault’s CommCell Performance Tuning document. 
Miscellaneous OptionsRecommendations
Server Resources

Set up no more than 1-2 drives per 3.xGHz CPU core. The server should have 2GB RAM, plus 1GB per drive.

If performance per data stream seems low, disable CPU Hyper-threading on the CommServe or MediaAgent, and verify whether this improves your speed per stream. You may need to keep Hyper- threading disabled for best throughput per stream.

Windows OS OptionsRecommendations
ServicesDisable the Removable Storage Manager (RSM) service. [Removable Storage Manager is no longer available as of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.]

Configuring Commvault to work with InfiniGuard

Configuring Commvault with InfiniGuard DDE VTL

Creating a backup image on a virtual tape is no different than creating a backup image on a physical tape. The backup functionality is unchanged.
The InfiniGuard DDE VTL is viewed through Fibre Channel interfaces and appears as a virtual library with virtual drives and cartridges. During backups, the application creates a backup image on the virtual tape cartridges.

VTL Device Path Considerations

One of the key ways to ensure that SAN-connected physical and virtual tape libraries are detected properly by backup servers is serialization. Serialization provides a unique identifier for each device in a physical or virtual tape library to automate device association from multiple backup servers. These identifiers, returned by the VTL devices, are separate from the element address that defines the position of devices in the library. The element address is used by the library's robot or medium changer to manage the tape drives.

Serialization allows the CommServe to coordinate tape drive configuration by aligning the device serial number with the device's element address. This enables Commvault device wizard to align these two addresses, reducing the potential for improper configuration. If the Device Configuration Manager does not serialize the devices listed, do not commit the changes, and be sure to check the VTL online state. The DDE VTL partition must be online for this to function properly.

The Infinidat recommended device identification for each InfiniGuard DDE VTL is the native emulation "Infinidat IBA B4260 DDE (DXi6900)". This allows product identification for the service teams at both Commvault and Infinidat. When using the native device emulation, Windows environments will display the device in the Device Manager as an unknown media changer. This is normal and not an error, and does not create a problem for Commvault. If the customer environment has requirements for a specific changer device for compatibility, the InfiniGuard DDE supports emulation of many popular devices to meet those requirements.

Always ensure that the latest drivers and firmware have been installed for the tape drive and HBA. For best performance, use IBM or HP OS drivers for their respective LTO drives.

OEM Tape Drivers and Commvault Hardware Compatibility List

Commvault Hardware Compatibility List


OEM LTO Drivers

International Business Machines– support/fixcentral

      •  Click on the Select product tab in the middle of the page.
      • In the Product Group box, select System Storage.
      • In the Select from System Storage box, select Tape Systems.
      • In the Select from Tape Systems box, select Tape drivers and software.
      • In the Select from Tape drivers and software box, select Tape device drivers.
      • In the Platform box, select your operating system.

Hewlett PackardEnterprise Support Center

Configuring Commvault to work with InfiniGuard VTL

Commvault seamlessly integrates with an InfiniGuard system using the VTL interface. Once installed and configured, Commvault can manage the backups through the InfiniGuard and can take advantage of the InfiniGuard system's capabilities, such as data deduplication and replication.

Configuring the InfiniGuard and Commvault for VTL operation consists of the following steps:

Configure the VTL on InfiniGuard
A virtual tape library (VTL) is a data storage virtualization technology used for backup and recovery. A VTL presents itself as a tape library with tape drives for use with existing backup software. Virtualizing disk storage as tape allows integration of VTLs with existing backup software and existing backup and recovery processes and policies. The benefits of such virtualization include storage consolidation and faster data restores.

In the Remote Management Console, under the Configuration tab, the VTL page allows you to configure a DDE to present its storage capacity as VTL (virtual tape library) partitions that are compatible with standard backup applications. You can add virtual tape drives and storage slots to VTL partitions, and you can create and work with virtual tape cartridges. You can also map partitions to hosts. For more information see VTL Configuration in the InfiniGuard User Guide.

Partitioning lets you divide the DDE virtual tape drives and storage elements into separate partitions, usable by separate host computers. The Partitions page contains a list of assigned tape drives, as well as listing all user-defined partitions that are currently configured on the system. This page also lets you add, edit, and delete partitions.
The Summary page displays the maximum number of partitions, the total number of tape drives, and the number of assigned tape drives. The Summary page also provides a list of configured partitions on the system. Click the link in the Name column to edit the specific partition.

Note

If you are planning to replicate partitions to another DDE system, you must ensure that every partition name and barcode number on the system is unique. You can NOT have duplicate partition names or barcode numbers on a DDE system or on a system receiving a replicated partition.

The Create Media page allows you to create virtual media for a specific partition. Once created, these virtual cartridges are available for backing up data. You can configure the media type, capacity, starting barcode, and initial location on this page.

Configure Commvault with InfiniGuard VTL
As you carry out configurations, keep the following recommended parameter values in mind:

Additional Information

It is possible to oversubscribe space on the InfiniGuard DDE . The sum total of capacity for all media could be more than the physical capacity of the system. See Oversubscription of Space on the DDE later in this document for more information on this subject.

To configure the VTL in Commvault, follow these steps:

  1. Verify that the operating system can see the VTL and all VTDs. For detailed verification process by OS visit Commvault driver configuration document. If applicable install the latest OEM tape drivers during this step.
  2. After the operating system sees all VTLs and VTDs, Detect/Configure Devices from the CommCell Browser, expand to Storage Resources.
  3. Right-click Libraries, and then click Add | Tape Library.

The Add Tape Library dialog box appears.

4. Select the appropriate MediaAgent from the MediaAgent list.

5. Click Scan Hardware.

The tape library that is associated with the selected MediaAgent is detected. It appears in the Add Tape Library dialog box as Not configured.

6. Right-click the detected library, and then click Configure.

A message appears that tells you that the library was configured successfully.

7. Click OK.

The new tape library is now configured.

8. Click OK

The new tape library appears in the CommCell Browser under Storage Resources | Libraries.

9. Run a full scan on the VTL and verify that it completes successfully in the Commvault event viewer. Visually verify that the Commvault CommServe media inventory matches that of the VTL. 

10. Create a storage policy and associate it to the VTL. 

11. After you have completed the configuration, test the configuration by performing a backup job. For this type of test, you may want to select a small folder, and not the entire client.

Monitor the Commvault event viewer for any errors during the test backup. 

Best Practices Guide with InfiniGuard DDE VTL

GridStor Considerations

Commvault provides the ability to perform automated failover and load-balancing type functionality via their GridStor feature. This enables the application to automatically send backup data to alternate devices in the event of a MediaAgent or other failure as well as when all drives are in use or in a simple roundrobin method. An administrator should use care when choosing to use any of these options and recognize the positive and possible negative impacts of each.
With all of these options, Infinidat advises caution when ingesting to multiple DDE's as it can cause unique data to be stored on multiple DDE's which can increase overall storage needs. Sending the same data to the same DDE repeatedly will result in optimal deduplication ratios. In all but critical production down scenarios, on a temporary basis, it is recommended to send the same backups to the same DDE each time.

  • Failover when resources are offline
    The ability to move backups from one MediaAgent to another in the event of a failure is often a critical component to ensuring the highest possible number of successful backups. This option can be used in most environments with multiple MediaAgents to achieve a level of redundancy.
  • Failover when resources are busy
    This option can be used to ensure backup jobs do not remain queued for a long period of time and can decrease the overall backup window, however, in some situations simply adding more virtual tape drives or identifying other bottlenecks in the backup path may be a better solution.

  • Round-robin
    This method can effective when there are multiple, network limited, MediaAgents attached to a single DDE VTL. This can allow an administrator to point backups to a single source and effectively use all MediaAgents with low management needs. This method is not recommended for sending to multiple DDE's.

More information on Copy Properties and Alternate Data Paths Troubleshooting are available on the Commvault web site.

Virtual Tape Drive Device Description and Recommendation

InfiniGuard DDEs support multiple tape drive emulations and allow user-definable capacities of tape cartridges to support the drive type. The drive type selection does not internally impose any throttling of the ingest rate. The host system uses tape device drivers to communicate with the virtual tape drives and the Commvault application.
Infinidat follows Commvault recommendation for using the OEM tape drive drivers for backup. The complete tape drive driver recommendations from Commvault can be located in their hardware compatibility list. Infinidat recommends against using the Windows update function to get the latest tape drive drivers, as it is possible that Windows Update can find unexpected driver matches for a tape drive. These unexpected matches often are not the same as supplied by the tape drive manufacturer and may introduce unexpected incompatibilities. This can result in a change to the device in the Windows Device Manager.

Number of Concurrent Tape Drives in Use

Each InfiniGuard DDE has a maximum number of virtual tape drives that can be configured. Each also has a maximum aggregate throughput rate, which will be divided relatively equally between the virtual tape drives in use. This does not prohibit a single tape drive from using all available bandwidth. The MediaAgents typically determines individual tape drive performance.
It is not a good idea to configure the maximum number of virtual tape drives and perform I/O through all of them concurrently. Better performance can be achieved by using a subset of those virtual tape drives at the same time. Infinidat expects the customer configuration to distribute those virtual tape drives among multiple MediaAgents, to simplify initial installation by providing dedicated resources to each MediaAgent.
Infinidat also recommends that backups be staggered, so that only a subset of drives is in use at one time. During a backup, the data transfer rate is primarily controlled by the MediaAgent, because the InfiniGuard system does not restrict the ingest data rate. This creates the opportunity for one or more MediaAgents to burst data at a higher rate, leaving less bandwidth for the remaining virtual tape drives.
Conversely, it supports the coexistence of fast data streams with slow streams, for maximum use of the available bandwidth.
Keep in mind that increasing the number of concurrently active virtual tape drives does not increase the aggregate InfiniGuard bandwidth. It could also result in a failed backup job due to a timeout from a bandwidth-starved operation.
The recommended maximum number of concurrently active virtual tape drives for various maximum aggregate bandwidths is listed in the table below.

InfiniGuard (includes 2 active DDEs)InfiniGuard System

Max VTDs

1024

Max number of concurrently active VTDs

1024

Max aggregate bandwidth

19,444MB/s (70.0TB/Hr)

Tape Cartridge Capacity Considerations

Space on a given tape cartridge cannot be reused until after all backup data on that cartridge has expired. The greater the capacity of a cartridge, the longer it will typically take for all data on that cartridge to expire. Expired data continues to take up space on the virtual tape cartridge, as well as on the InfiniGuard DDEs, until that cartridge is overwritten, relabeled, or erased. This means that lower cartridge capacities are more desirable, so that tapes will be returned to the default scratch pool for reuse and overwritten sooner.

There is virtually no relationship between the configured capacity of a virtual tape cartridge and the tape drive emulation that has been configured for the partition:

  • Backup/restore operation will span the number of tapes required, ignoring the configured capacity.
  • Vaulting/duplicating operations performed by the backup application will ignore the virtual capacity when writing to another cartridge, whether virtual or physical.
  • InfiniGuard DDEs can limit the maximum capacity permitted by the tape drive emulation; the minimum is5GB.
  • The capacity utilization is tracked in COMPRESSED GB, and the data is stored in compressed form. That is, 100GB of data that is 2:1 compressible will be reported as occupying 50GB of virtual tape cartridge space.

Infinidat's general guidance is to specify a smaller virtual tape cartridge capacity, such as 50GB to 100GB, for the reasons mentioned above.

Tape Drive LUN Mapping

It is recommended that mapping the device starting with LUN 0 on each port and not skipping any LUNs. A best practice is to zone the VTL devices together with the Commvault MediaAgents to prevent other servers from taking control of the VTL resources. Additionally, it is recommended to configure the HBA driver to use persistent binding to fix the devices to specific addresses. This will keep devices in the same order after a reboot. It is also recommended to set the WWNN = WWPN for InfiniGuard systems. This allows for the HBA to use either WWNN or WWPN.

Considerations for Handling of Expired Media within Commvault

When a tape is expired by Commvault, the event is not directly communicated to the DDE. The result is that a tape may be displayed as empty or SCRATCH to the Commcell console GUI, but the same tape will display in the DDE GUI as containing data. This indicates that the data on the expired tape is still using space on the DDE.
To resolve this, configure Commvault scratch pools to use recycled media first. With this option set the recycled media will get overwritten before new media is introduced, thus managing DDE storage space more efficiently.

Commvault backup history should be analyzed with the  retention rules to know if the backup jobs are complying with the rules. Commvault may be using cycles, days, or a combination of the two for the retention rules. This may cause some tapes to be retained longer than expected if they do not meet the retention rules for expiration. Also confirm Commvault data aging is configured and running successfully on a scheduled basis to return tapes back to the scratch pool.

Configuring Commvault with InfiniGuard NAS

A NAS (Network Attached Storage) unit is essentially a self-contained computer connected to an Ethernet network, with the sole purpose of supplying data storage services to other devices on the network. The InfiniGuard DDEs can present themselves as a NAS appliance for backup purposes. Before you can use an InfiniGuard system as a NAS appliance, you must first configure a NAS share on one of the DDEs.

An InfiniGuard system can serve as a NAS backup system where the following protocols are supported:

CIFS Protocol - The CIFS (Common Internet File System) protocol defines a standard for remote file access using many computers at a time. This protocol allows users with different platforms to share files without installing additional software. This protocol is used with Windows networks.

NFS Protocol - The NFS (Network File System) protocol was originally designed by Sun Microsystems and allows all network users to access shared files stored on computers of different types. NFS provides access to shared files through an interface called the Virtual File System (VFS) that runs on top of TCP/IP. Users can manipulate shared files as if they were stored locally on the user's own hard disk. With NFS, computers connected to a network operate as clients while accessing remote files, and as servers when providing remote users access to local shared files. This protocol is used with UNIX/Linux networks. The Infinidat Network-Attached Storage (NAS) appliance is intended to act as a target for backup applications.

NAS Device Path Considerations

Network segmentation is the process of splitting a single network into several sub-networks or segments. The advantages of a segmented network are improved performance and security. Performance is improved because there are fewer hosts on the segmented network, which in turn minimizes local traffic. Security is improved because the data traffic is contained on this segment and is not visible to the outside network.


Note

If you are using network segmentation and Automated Deployment Services (ADS), you must use the data segment IP information for ADS management, NOT the management segment. ADS uses the Server Message Block (SMB) data protocol to manage the NAS shares on your system, which requires that the management traffic use the data segment.

InfiniGuard systems allow you to configure your network for separate segment types. The three primary segments are defined by the type of network traffic that can be used on that segment. The three types of network traffic are:

  • Replication traffic - This segment is used exclusively for replication data movement.
  • Management traffic - This segment is used exclusively for InfiniGuard remote management (from InfiniGuard log in).
  • Data traffic - This segment is used exclusively for NAS data movement.

Each network segment has its own network interface (IP address, network mask, and default gateway). In this way, the segment is separated from other network segment traffic.

Note

If you are using the Round Robin (Mode 0) option, and you have either a Dell or CISCO switch, the ports that connect to the InfiniGuard must be bonded.

Commvault seamlessly integrates with a InfiniGuard disk backup system using the NAS (CIFS or NFS) interface. Once installed and configured, Commvault can manage backups through the InfiniGuard and take advantage of the system's capabilities, such as data deduplication and replication.

Installing and configuring the InfiniGuard and Commvault for NAS operation consists of the following major steps, which are discussed below:

  • Configure the InfiniGuard for NAS
  • Configure Commvault with InfiniGuard NAS

Configure the InfiniGuard for NAS

The InfiniGuard system allows you to configure it to present its storage capacity as NAS shares that are compatible with Commvault. You can create NAS shares for use with Windows or Unix networks. You can also join the InfiniGuard to a Windows domain or workgroup and manage users.
In the InfiniGuard Remote Management Console (the GUI) the Configuration page allows you to configure many of the features of the InfiniGuard, including storage presentation. Configuring the InfiniGuard for NAS lets you choose which network protocol will be used as the transport method to the InfiniGuard. CIFS (Windows) and NFS (UNIX/Linux) are available on the NAS > Summary tab. After NAS Shares have been configured on the InfiniGuard, Commvault can be configured to use these shares as storage resources. For additional detail, see the User Guide: NAS Configuration .

Configure Commvault with InfiniGuard NAS

  • Verify that the Commvault MediaAgent has access to the InfiniGuard NAS share through the network. For Unix you will need to mount the NFS share into the Unix file system. For Windows just verify the MediaAgent can network browse the CIFS share.
  • Configure the NAS share as a Disk Library in the Commvault MediaAgent.
  • Configure a storage policy for the newly added Disk Library.
  • After you have completed the configuration, test the configuration by performing a backup job. For this type of test you may want to select a small folder and not the entire client. Monitor the Commvault event viewer for any errors during the test backup.


Note

When creating the storage policy for a Disk Library select "No" for enabling deduplication and encryption on the client or in Commvault. Using software deduplication with a hardware deduplication appliance can negatively impact hardware deduplication and performance.

Configuration example

The following is an example of how to create and configure a DDE NAS share as backup target for a Commvault storage policy.  

1. Create the CIFS Share on the InfiniGuard. For more information refer to the User Guide: NAS Configuration



Refer to the User Guide: Share Access for details on configuring and authenticating workgroup shares.


On the Commvault CommCell create a Disk Library that mounts the DDE CIFS share with workgroup credentials.

  1. In the CommCell Browser right-click Library and select Add Disk Library
    Browse or enter the shared folder using the workgroup credentials defined in the DDE.

Create a new Storage Policy for this device

2. Right-Click Storage Policy in the CommCell Browser and click New Storage Policy

3. Select Storage Policy Type

4. Do not use a global deduplication policy.

5. Select the disk library to use for primary copy.

6. Set the retention criteria

7. Do not enable Software Encryption

8. Do not enable Commvault deduplication. InfiniGuard DDEs will provide data deduplication and compression.

9. Confirm your selections and click finish

Create a Policy to backup to the Disk Library you created with the InfiniGuard DDE Share

10. Create a new Backup Set and Add Clients to the Policy

Test the Backup

11. Create a small subclient and associate it to the new Storage Policy

12. Righ-click on the new subclient and select Backup and monitor progress.

Best Practices Guide with InfiniGuard NAS

Number of Shares Considerations

Infinidat InfiniGuard systems support both CIFS (Windows-based) and NFS shares. Each system can support multiple NAS shares, with a maximum of 256 shares per InfiniGuard systems (128 Shares per DDE). It is recommended that users create only the required number of shares for each MediaAgent. InfiniGuard systems can support concurrent NFS and CIFS shares, and can support Fibre Channel VTLs concurrently with those NFS and CIFS shares.
When using NAS shares on InfiniGuard systems, it is recommended to create at least one share for each MediaAgent to use. MediaAgents should not share the NAS shares during normal backup operations. Root access to an NFS share is not allowed, and the access rights will be changed to nfsnobody as a security precaution. This does not impact the access to the share from the backup application.

Network Share Access Control Considerations

In Windows Active Directory environments, the share acts as the target for Commvault. The share is not intended as primary storage or drag-and-drop storage. A best practice is to create a new account and workgroup, as opposed to joining the domain, to limit access and prevent accidental file deletion by another user. It is recommended that you DO NOT reconfigure or delete NAS shares while data is being written. There is no mechanism to detect the I/O and provide a warning to the user.

Network Considerations

Some network considerations include:

  • Use a dedicated network for backup data or use QoS features that guarantee network bandwidth. Another option would be to use virtual networks (VLANs) to segregate backup from production network traffic.
  • Configure network interface cards (NICs) in the server and clients and set routers to full duplex.
  • Use only CAT5e or CAT6 cables for 1Gb/s networks and SFP+ Optical or TwinAx for 10GbE networks.
  • If you are using a DNS server, verify that the DNS server configuration settings are correct by using nslookup on the host name, as well as the IP address.
  • Use multiple InfiniGuard ports when connecting to the network. The more InfiniGuard ports used, the better the performance capability will be across the ports.
  • Install and configure multiple network ports on the MediaAgents. Dedicate multiple ports for the transfer of data to and from the InfiniGuard.
  • Also, Dedicate multiple ports for the transfer of data from Backup Clients to the MediaAgents.
  • Setup multiple networks and segregate traffic from the Backup Clients to MediaAgent such that the client traffic does not interfere with the MediaAgents to InfiniGuard traffic.
  • Leverage Commvault's ability to set up Alternate Data Paths. This can help ensure the success of data protection if using multiple Ethernet ports between MediaAgent and InfiniGuard.
  • Leverage the InfiniGuard's ability to set up multiple networks. The InfiniGuard network configuration allows for integration into nearly any networked environment.
  • For redundancy, connect at least two InfiniGuard ports to an Ethernet switch.
  • Set each switch port used by the InfiniGuard to auto-negotiate/auto-sensing. The InfiniGuard network interface cards are preset to auto/auto and cannot be changed.

Commvault Storage Settings and Tuning Considerations

When using an InfiniGuard as NAS target for Commvault, consider the following when you create a Disk Library:

  • If using NAS as an NFS mount, set the client NFS mount time-out to 1200
  • If the Windows server is using SMB file sharing:

Check the box in the GUI at: Configuration ► Advanced Setting and click Apply.

Common Operational Considerations for Commvault

Data Deduplication Considerations

Deduplication results can be negatively impacted by compression, encryption, software based deduplication, and multiplexing. These functions all change the data stream in a way that obscures patterns in the data content. They will reduce the performance and deduplication from any downstream appliance, including the InfiniGuard DDEs. To obtain effective deduplication rates, you should NOT encrypt, deduplicate, compress, or multiplex your backup data before sending it to an InfiniGuard DDEs.

The use of multiplexing was intended for slow source data, and for the minimum transfer rate required by physical tape drives. Multiplexing backup streams was intended to provide more efficient use of a limited number of physical tape drives. Since virtual drives are not susceptible to back hitching, multiplexing can be turned off.  To account for multiplexing being turned off, additional streams have to be run in parallel to meet wall clock demands.  To accomplish this, additional virtual drives are added to the configuration.

It is not necessary to use multiplexing with the InfiniGuard systems. Additionally, multiplexing adds additional header information to the data and reduces the deduplication ratio.

  • Good Candidates for Data Deduplication 
    Data deduplication can work well with virtual machines, large databases, and unstructured data such as Microsoft Office documents (PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, and Excel spreadsheets), with SQL, Oracle, and Exchange databases, and with source code.
  • Not So Good Candidates for Data Deduplication
    Data deduplication does NOT work well with encrypted data, in-line compressed data, SQL with LiteSpeed (in-line compression), Oracle with multi-channel RMAN (in-line multiplex), Exchange 2010, and compressed video, compressed audio, and compressed JPG images.


Replication Considerations

For first-time replication setups, it is important to manually replicate the name space once the target system is configured and is online. This facilitates the first replication following the first backup to that share/partition.

  • The replication is only available to NAS shares with deduplication enabled.
  • The InfiniGuard supports 256-bit AES encryption for replication.
  • Data is only encrypted while in transit between the replication source and replication target.
  • Data is unencrypted upon arrival at the replication target.
  • Encryption may affect replication performance. You should disable encryption if your WAN is already secured.

Oversubscription of Space on the InfiniGuard

Deduplication will reduce the amount of space used on the physical system by the virtual tapes. Users are advised to monitor for Low Space conditions on the InfiniGuard and free up virtual media before reaching this threshold.  See, Considerations for Handling of Expired Media within Commvault.

The Disk Usage overview on the Home page of the InfiniGuard Management GUI displays the following information about disk usage on the system (Note: Values are displayed as an amount and as a percentage of the total capacity in the system):

  • Disk Capacity - The total usable disk capacity of the InfiniGuard.
  • Available Disk Space - The disk space available for data storage (free space).
  • I/O Write Low Threshold State (Yellow) - Free disk space is equal to or less than 500GB + [10GB * (Total system capacity in TB)]
  • Stop Write State (Red) - Free disk space is equal to or less than 250GB.
  • Stop I/O State (Red) - Free disk space is equal to or less than 10GB.


Note

  • For optimal system performance, Infinidat recommends keeping the amount of Available Disk Space (free space) at 20% or more.
  • When disk capacity is low, target replication to the system is paused. In addition, space reclamation is automatically started to free up disk space.


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

Appendix A

Integration of InfiniGuard with Commvault Continuous Data Replication (CDR)

The following section discusses InfiniGuard integration with Commvault Disk Library Replication, also referred to as Continuous Data Replication (CDR), to replicate data from a Remote office to a Data Center where it provides redundancy for rapid recovery and where tapes can be created for offsite compliance, archive and DR purposes. This scenario is commonly referred to as Edge-to-Core with tape creation.

  • Solution overview

This solution leverages InfiniGuard Directory and File Replication combined with Commvault CDR to provide application awareness of the replica data set so that the Remote location can be recovered from the Data Center copy. In this solution the CommCell manages both Remote and Data Center MediaAgents and is aware of replication between locations, but which is actually executed by InfiniGuard Directory and File Replication. The storage policy defined for the Remote site is replicated to the Data Center so both locations have the same storage policy. When AUX Copy is used to create tapes, a new storage policy will be defined which allows for independent expiration and location tracking. In the case of a disaster recovery, the Remote site can be restored from either Data Center InfiniGuard or from tape.


  • Key elements and requirements of solution

  • Commvault 9 or higher with latest Service Packs installed
  • Continuous Data Replicator enabled (Deduplication turned off / CDR replication turned off which invokes 3rd party replication)
  • Global Index defined using a Network Shared Folder
  • Intermediate Index defined for the Remote MediaAgent using a local disk folder or network shared folder
  • InfiniGuard defined as a Magnetic Tape Library
  • Multiple InfiniGuard using InfiniGuard Directory and File replication as supported in Galaxy version 2.x and above
  • Scalar Library configured with the Data Center MediaAgent for tape creation.
  • Commvault will not create the index on the Data Center InfiniGuard until tapes are created or recovery from the InfiniGuard is initiated unless Global Index Sharing is configured
  • The Remote and Data Center InfiniGuard share the same storage policy so data expiration is the same for both locations
  • When data is removed from the Remote InfiniGuard a manual sync from the GUI is required to remove data from the Data Center InfiniGuard
  • The following Commvault licenses are required:
    • MediaAgent
    • Continuous Data Replication (CDR)
    • Disk Libraries
    • AUX Copy
  • Implementation

Once the above requirements are configured, the administrator can configure the storage policies to manage the duplicate backup images known as "Precedence copies" which includes the replication image of the primary backup and tape duplicate images known as "Auxiliary copies."

The primary backup to the remote device is known as "Precedence 1" and the Auxiliary copy is known as "Precedence 2." The replicated image creates a second copy of Precedence 1 at the core InfiniGuard so that when a browse and re- cover is performed there are three copies available as an aggregate but only 2 Precedence's displayed. Each Precedence (1 and 2) can have a different retention policy applied.

In order to eliminate the need to import an index at the core site for tape creation, CDR enables the use of a network shared folder to create a Global Index. The Global Index is defined at the core site and an Intermediate Index is defined at each remote site. The core MediaAgent is now able to restore and move data to tape with both replicated images and core images using the Global Index and the remote MediaAgent is able to use the Intermediate Index to restore locally.



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