Sirius’ top architects and engineers have collaborated to produce a new Sirius white paper that walks you through the process of backup and recovery in the cloud with Nutanix, Commvault, and Amazon Web Services. The Executive Summary follows:
In this world of rapid technological advancement and tremendous data growth, IT organizations are challenged to bring agility and flexibility to their infrastructure deployments without compromising availability guarantees and SLAs. Organizations are looking for solutions that help them deploy infrastructure in a predictable, scalable and granular fashion, enabling better acquisition and operational economics.
As organizations look for opportunities for simplification, scalability and cost reduction in their virtualized infrastructures, the vendor community has responded with converged infrastructures that relieve them of the burdens of design and integration. Nutanix has established itself as one of the visionary leaders in converged infrastructure, providing a scalable architecture that integrates the compute (server) tier and storage tier into a single platform. Their converged, 2U appliance holds up to four nodes, and scales quickly and easily with the addition of nodes or appliances.
Nutanix takes a software-defined approach to IT infrastructure for virtualization, bringing Web-scale technologies—similar to those used by data-driven companies such as Google and Facebook—to enterprise environments. Using the patented Nutanix Distributed Storage Fabric as the underlying foundation for storage, IT organizations can support any type of virtualized workload with high performance, and at massive scale, without any of the complexity of legacy storage. It is one platform for all virtualization workloads ranging from desktops to enterprise applications to big data deployments.
By delivering Web-scale technologies to enterprises, Nutanix provides the following benefits to IT organizations:
Predictable scalability: Deployments built on Nutanix can start small and scale linearly as needs change. This enables organizations to adopt a pay-as-you-go model for their data center infrastructure.
Increased availability: With features such as built-in tunable resiliency, availability domains, and non-disruptive scalability and upgrades, critical workloads and valuable data are always available.
Lower TCO: Nutanix reduces both capital and operational expenses with an easy-to-manage, Web-scale converged solution with ROI typically measured in months.
Nutanix provides a consolidated and agile workload facility with an innovative virtualized storage abstraction. Sirius also integrates the solution through Commvault V11 software, offering full protection for those workloads as fundamental infrastructural components. V11 provides not just the most advanced system for virtualized workload protection, but also data management and information insight to further enable progressive resource optimization.
Commvault V11 offers a fresh approach to data management that complements converged infrastructure models and is optimized for the new challenges of the virtualized and cloud-enabled data centers. Commvault’s approach helps reduce both cost and risk by eliminating the need for multiple point-solutions that require complex integration, delivering a fully integrated solution across the physical, virtual (VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, and Nutanix Acropolis HyperVisor), and cloud-based components of the modern data center. A scalable and adaptable approach enables users to store, relate, classify and search for all data across the enterprise. This results in IT that is more efficient in operations, disaster recovery, litigation, and compliance initiatives. Commvault has been positioned in the “Leaders” quadrant in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Disk-Based Backup/Recovery reports and listed as “Best in Class” by DCIG for Virtual Server Backup Software.
Commvault V11 software is built from the ground up on a single platform and unified code base for integrated data and information management. All functions share the same DNA and back-end technologies to deliver the unparalleled advantages and benefits of a truly holistic approach to protecting, managing and accessing data. Commvault V11 software is application-, operating system-, virtual platform- and disk-aware, to efficiently generate copies that are highly available for rapid recovery through the use of integrated, array-based snapshot and replication technologies. Retention copies are efficiently deduplicated and moved to appropriate tiers of disk, tape or cloud storage. Data can be seamlessly retrieved from any tier for multiple uses, including disaster recovery, data mining, legal discovery, compliance or regulatory requirements. The convergence of these key technologies that integrate and span the entire data center and the various tiers of data make up a truly unique and modern approach to data management.
Commvault V11 software not only addresses the data protection and information management challenges arising from limitations in legacy data center environments, but more importantly, accelerates the shift into virtualized and cloud-enabled data centers. With V11 software, businesses can start to realize tangible benefits from day one of deployment, as they transition from traditional environments to the modern data center. For example, by using new techniques that access data once and then reuse it for multiple protection operations, enterprises can bypass many of the pitfalls that arise from trying to force-fit legacy techniques or point solutions. With Commvault V11 software you can:
- Securely and easily protect very large VMware environments with thousands of virtual machines.
- Automate discovery and protection of new virtual machines for guaranteed protection with minimal administrator intervention.
- Rapidly create and efficiently move secondary copies of data for retention and disaster recovery using embedded source-side deduplication.
- Create 100% application consistent protection copies.
- Use granular protection to provide restores at the VM, volume, and file or application object level.
- Manage virtual machine life cycles and reduce VM sprawl.
- Duplicate backup data to the cloud and potentially eliminate the need for tape.
- Restore those backups in the cloud as an alternate DR strategy that avoids the cost of expensive hardware that may never be used.
With Nutanix providing your virtualization infrastructure, and Commvault providing a data management and protection solution, you have a hypervisor-agnostic, scalable and high-performance solution to deploy your most challenging workloads.
Recently, Sirius was engaged to demonstrate data and cloud management in a VMware 5.5 environment with Commvault V11 running on a Nutanix infrastructure.
The Nutanix solution is elegant in how it exposes storage to VMware ESXi as an NFS datastore, thus preserving all existing workflows for the virtualization admin. These projects confirmed Nutanix compatibility as “just another hardware platform” from a VMware ESX perspective. We were able to capitalize on the VMware VAAI and VADP interfaces for backup and recovery. In this paper, we will document our various tests of the backup options available through Commvault and VMware.
This paper is not intended to detail a complete best practice for a Commvault installation, as there are many appropriate options that will be dictated by individual environmental and data requirements around retention, replicas, frequency, throughput, restore, and other custom requirements. We will highlight assumptions that we made and specific recommendations that apply to the Nutanix environment. We used a very simple set of Commvault policies that created weekly full—and daily incremental—backups. Commvault and Nutanix both have the ability to exploit AWS and Azure as cloud service providers, and both service providers can support the DR scenario. We opted to use AWS for this initial demonstration but there is no reason that Azure would not work equally well.