Archive for the ‘Paddy Sreenivasan’ Category

ZRM Community Edition 3.0 (Beta) with Parallel Logical Backup Support for MySQL

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

We are pleased to announce the release of Zmanda Recovery Manager (ZRM) Community Edition 3.0 (Beta). This release features support for parallel logical backups as an additional full backup method, which is made possible by integrating with the mydumper open source project.  This backup method represents a faster, scalable way to backup large databases.  The mysqldump (single threaded logical backup) support is still available for backing up stored procedures/routines.  ZRM Community Edition allows you to create multiple backup sets with different backup methods and policies; so, now you can do MySQL database backups with mydumper, as well as mysqldump in the same server.

We have also made many additional improvements and bug fixes since our earlier 2.2 release. We currently plan to release a final version of ZRM Community Edition 3.0 later this quarter, and in the meantime, we look forward to your feedback on the Zmanda forums.

Windows XP -> Cloud -> Windows 7

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

We recently added support for Windows 7 to both Zmanda Cloud Backup and Amanda Enterprise. Zmanda Cloud Backup stores its backup archives on the Amazon S3 Storage Cloud. Amanda Enterprise has the option to do so. Users can backup both the Windows file systems and system state, as well as various Microsoft applications, Oracle and MySQL databases. Now we support all Windows versions supported by Microsoft, including Windows 7.

To upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7, Microsoft recommends users to backup their Windows XP to external hard disk and then install Windows 7. Backup to (and Restore from) Cloud offers another alternative, which we have tested in our labs.

xp to win7 diagram

If you have your backups (either created by ZCB or Amanda Enterprise) in the cloud, you can upgrade to Windows 7 and restore file system after Windows 7 installation. The system state backup includes application state that can be restored to an alternate location and restored selectively to Windows 7. As an added benefit, your data will be preserved in an off-site secure location until the time you are sure your new environment is stable.

StorageTek SL500 and Amanda Enterprise: Modular Approach to Backup

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

One of the challenges that IT managers face is correctly sizing their backup infrastructure.  This is especially the case when deciding on a tape library. Fork-lift upgrades of tape libraries can be particularly expensive and cumbersome.

Amanda Enterprise supports disk, tape changers and cloud as the backup media and allows tapes and cloud as the tertiary media. The backup images can be vaulted to tertiary media for  archival or off site storage for disaster recovery. One of the popular tape libraries used with Amanda Enterprise is the Sun StorageTek SL500. SL500 is a rack mounted, scalable tape library system.  The Sun StorageTek SL500 scales from 30 cartridge slots to 575 slots with a capacity of more than 200 terabytes of uncompressed data. The Sun StorageTek SL500 library accommodates up to 18 tape drives with an uncompressed data throughput of more than 5 terabytes per hour.  A SL500 library connected to Amanda server provides a reliable backup tape library to which Amanda can push multiple backup streams reducing the backup window.

We recently worked with Sun’s integration lab to formally certify SL500 with Amanda Enterprise. We did intensive testing both for stability and scalability. Our work also resulted in an installation and configuration document for Amanda configuration (free registration required to download the paper) with FC connected SL500 tape library.  Amanda Enterprise with Zmanda Management Console makes configuration of SL500 for backup and recovery easy. Amanda Enterprise can use the available throughput to SL500 and perform parallel backups to reduce the backup window.

First Advantage SafeRent is an Amanda Enterprise user who use Storage Tek SL500 tape library backups. Their SL500 tape library has six tape drives with 254 slots connected to Amanda server using a FC switch. First Advantage backs up Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server and other filesystem data to the SL500 library.

We have designed and priced Amanda Enterprise to scale to customers needs. Combination of Amanda Enterprise with the SL500 tape library provides a seamlessly scalable backup solution - from perspectives of both the IT and Finance departments.

Comprehensive Backup and Recovery for ZFS filesystems

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

opensolaris logo

Amanda 2.6.1 release provides Application API and flexibility to configure multiple backup methods for a filesystem or an application. One of the examples of the application API flexibility is backup of ZFS filesystems on OpenSolaris. Amanda performs backups using platform tools to archive a filesystem. In case of ZFS multiple such tools are available to extract data for backup purposes.
Amanda 2.6.1 supports four different methods to backup ZFS filesystem/directories. Each method has pros and cons. They are summarized in the table below:ZFS backup methods
In addition to providing four different backup methods, ZFS snapshot pre-backup plugin is available (regardless of which method the administrator chooses for backup) to backup open files. It provides crash consistent backup of the filesystem/directory. Amanda allows OpenSolaris administrator to configure appropriate backup method for each DLE (disk list entry), which is a unit of Amanda backup configuration.

This work illustrates how availability of open APIs such as Amanda’s Application API fosters development and testing contributions from the Amanda community.

Amanda 2.6.1 released

Monday, January 26th, 2009

Amanda 2.6.1, a major release of Amanda was released today after two beta releases. The beta releases were widely tested by lots of users in various platforms. Binaries for Linux distributions, OpenSolaris and Windows (with Open file backup support) are available in Zmanda downloads page.

Release focus was creation of new APIs and strengthening current APIs. APIs allow developers to extend Amanda in various dimensions, creating a data protection platform. API to create new application backups (Application API), support for post and pre backup processing (Script API), support for media changers (Changer API) and support for data transfer methods (Xfer API) are available.  Amanda wiki provides the complete list of changes in this release.

Thanks to all users and developers who contributed to this release.

ZRM 2.1: Storage snapshots as backups

Tuesday, December 9th, 2008

We released  ZRM for MySQL 2.1 Community Edition today.  ZRM 2.1 includes the ability to treat snapshots as backup images. ZRM has supported backup of MySQL databases using storage snapshots using a plugin interface. LVM (Logical Volume Manager) and Solaris ZFS snapshots are supported plugins in the ZRM Community Edition.
MySQL administrator can perform regular backups (backup images are stored in the ZRM server) or quick backups (snapshots acting as backup images). Quick backups have smaller backup windows and do not consume network bandwidth. When MySQL database is stored on one or more ZFS filesystems, users can do multiple quick backups in a day (even once every hour) and convert one quick backup image to a regular backup image. This schedule provides better recoverability and also reduces the resource consumption.

ZRM for MySQL source packages and binary packages for Linux and Solaris are available here. A whitepaper that describes how to quickly install and configure ZRM 2.1 is available at Zmanda network (free registration).

ftp support for BackupPC

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

We are happy to announce the beta release of BackupPC Community Edition version 3.1.0+ftp.

This release contains backup and recovery using ftp protocol and other changes to improve testability and maintainability on top of 3.1.0 release.  Zmanda engineers have been working on these changes for last few months.

We provide rpm packages for RedHat Enterprise 4 and 5, Suse Linux Enterprise 9 and 10. We will be adding BackupPC packages for other platforms in the near future.

Please provide feedback on the beta release. We would be happy to hear from you about feature suggestions as well as any questions. is a good place to start.

Amanda and Grandfather-Father-Son (GFS) backup tape rotation

Tuesday, November 4th, 2008

The GFS tape rotation scheme is a popular method of maintaining backups on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. The primary purpose of the GFS scheme is to suggest a minimum standard and consistent interval at which to rotate and retire the media.

In general, GFS backup schemes are based on a seven-day weekly schedule beginning any day. A full backup is performed at least once a week. On all other days, full, partial, or no backups are performed. The daily backups are the Sons. One full backup in the week (the weekly backup) is the Father. One full backup of the month (the monthly backup) is the Grandfather. GFS rotation schemes allow you to back up your servers for an entire year using a minimum number of media.

Amanda can be used to implement GFS tape rotation schedule. User can implement three backup sets for daily, weekly, monthly schedule. An example for 5 day GFS tape rotation is explained below.

Daily full/incremental backup on Mon-Thu, weekly full backup on Fridays and monthly full backup on first Friday of the month.

  1. Daily backup set is scheduled to run weekdays (M-Thu). The Amanda strategy is set to “inconly” and a tape rotation cycle of 4.
  2. Weekly backup set is scheduled to do backup on all Fridays except first one in the month. The Amanda strategy is set to “noinc” and a tape rotation cycle of 5.
  3. Monthly backup set is scheduled to to backup on first Friday of the month. The Amanda strategy is set to “noinc” and a tape rotation cycle of 13.

Amanda enterprise management console allows the administrator to identify the media volume that was used for the backup, media volume that will be used next and also information about client, media backup failures.

Users can move tapes from daily backup set to weekly backup set and from weekly backup set to monthly backup set to reduce the wear/tear on the media.

OpenSolaris, ZFS and Amanda

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

I attended OpenSolaris Storage Summit last weekend.  There are lot of efforts going on to make OpenSolaris into a feature rich storage operating system. Some of the projects that are relevant to backup are NDMP, Storage de-duplication, Virus scanning, Disk encryption and ZFS hybrid storage pools.

I talked about Amanda network backup and recovery and how well it fits with OpenSolaris and ZFS plans. Amanda can backup ZFS filesystems taking advantage of ZFS snapshots. ZFS snapshots provides the ability to backup open files in Open Solaris. Amanda 2.6.1alpha OpenSolaris packages that are available for download takes advantage of this feature.  Amanda can also take advantage of ZFS send/recv functionality to do block level backups. Amanda provides users flexibility of backing up ZFS filesystems at file level  as well as block level using ZFS send/recv feature.

ZFS storage is an excellent target for Amanda backups. ZFS’s ease of administration, robustness and scalability makes it an ideal target for disk based backups.

Joe Little of Stanford University has written a blog on how to backup ZFS filesytems using Amanda to Amazon S3.

BTW, ZRM of MySQL already supports Open Solaris and takes advantage of ZFS snapshots for backing up MySQL.

Amanda packages for Open Solaris

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Solaris 10 server and client packages for recent release of Amanda, 2.6.0p2 is available for download at  Zmanda downloads page.
The packages also support Open Solaris 2008.05 community edition.  Documentation is available at Amanda wiki.