Archive for November, 2009

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.