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Zmanda 4.0: Manage Thousands of Backup-Sets Simultaneously

A Faster, More Efficient Way to Configure, Schedule, and Backup Large-Scale Environments

With the latest release, Zmanda revamped the user interface (UI) from the 3.6 release. Zmanda has pushed out the 3.6 UI default styling that included horizontal tab navigation listing policies (When, What, Where, and so on) which were grouped under the Backup tab. While many uses cherished the previous sequential flow of backup configuration facilitated by the 3.6 version, the good news is that this streamlined flow has been retained in ZMC 4.0*

The only pain point was the location of the backup-set that disappointed few users. But not anymore! Because the navigation bar has undergone a drastic makeover!

The blog post walks you through the new features of ZMC 4.0 and covers the use cases on how to utilize those options.

*Note: To create a backup job, go to Backup-set → click on the Configure icon.

Introducing a Fresh, Organized, Look-and-Feel

The new interface of Zmanda 4.0 is beautifully designed with an intuitive navigation menu that features an array of action items arranged orderly within the navigation panel. Since there’s no switching in between the tabs, you can easily locate the “backup-sets” area from the navigation pane for quick selection to get started with. So now, administering a complete backup environment of several thousands of backup-sets directly from the app’s navigation panel is just a few minutes job!

Thanks to the new GUI of ZMC 4.0, and its components that are modeled using the JavaScript library called React JS. So, all you can expect is superior rendering speed for applications!

Take the first look!

Having visibility of the backup infrastructure is extremely crucial especially when the backup task is triggered between the systems on a network. With the refreshed card-based layout of the UI that displays vital information in chunks, the new user interface accomplishes exactly that!

What is a Backup-set?

A backup-set is a combination of several groups of disk locations known as DLE's (Disk List Entries) or sources. A Source specifies what is to be backed up: what clients, and what directories, databases, or applications on each client.

Each DLE consists of several clients along with their partition types: C: Drive or D: Drive in Windows or /var, /root in Linux, applications, file systems, or subdirectories. By default, a prerequisite of creating a backup-set is that you must create a backup server and an end-storage location before creating a backup-set.

Cluster Architecture — Upgrading from ZMC 3.6 to 4.0!

ZMC 4.0 has recently introduced a new feature which is “cluster architecture” that allows linking multiple AE servers to the cluster from ZMC’s single centralized console in the most convenient way.

Since Zmanda supports distributed cluster architecture, the biggest advantage is that you can link 1000s of enterprise backup servers across the globe for managing backups instantaneously! This gives you the flexibility to associate any number of backups with the same schedule plan that you have created. This also eliminates the need to create a customized schedule plan for the backup of individual backup-sets.

The cluster architecture provides a flexible framework to benefit from the fault-tolerant system. Fault tolerance is the ability to prevent disruptions arising out of single-point failure that provides fault recovery mechanisms for mission-critical applications or systems to ensure business continuity.

The cluster architecture setup is packaged in a way that you can avail of two sets of UI binaries and a separate backup server. So you have the option to choose to install the backup server without the UI on any machine that you want.

Cluster Architecture Overview: ZMC 3.6 VS. 4.0

The key architectural differences of the cluster configuration between 3.6 and 4.0 are:

  • In ZMC 3.6, each backup server has its dedicated User Interface that allows you to create any number of backup-sets, but you can access, modify, or take a backup of only one backup-set at a time. Whereas, in ZMC 4.0 multiple backup servers can be added to one single User Interface that controls all the backup servers.
  • In ZMC 3.6, the enterprise server includes packaged dependency which means each user interface is packaged with the backup server that needs to be installed. Whereas, ZMC 4.0 includes the Zmanda enterprise server and shared dependencies for both packages and can be downloaded from the  Zmanda network downloads page.
  • The installation is straightforward in ZMC 3.6. To install the enterprise backup server, the one .Run file is provided. While ZMC 4.0 provides two .run files- one for backup server and another for UI.

An example of cluster architecture looks something like this (shown in the screenshot below):

A Step-By-Step Guide to Backup Your Resources

Not sure how to go with the steps?

Understanding these nine steps involved in running backups of your resources will serve as a detailed how-to guide for backing up easily and quickly in accord with your requirements.

ZMC 4.0

  1. To add the Server to the Cluster:
    Go to Settings> From the drop-down, click on cluster> Click on Add server> Enter server name, region, IP address, Server Port Number>Click on Save. Once the server is added, you will get a tick mark.

  2. To create a Storage Endpoint:
    Add storage>Specify the storage type where you want to backup the data (Cloud/Legacy/Disk/Tape)> Name the server> Enter the storage type> Specify the server in which you want to backup>Name the storage>Click on save. An entry will be created.

  3. To create a Backup-set:
    Go to backup-set>Click on add backup set>Select the device type>Select the end storage location>Select a backup schedule>Name the backup set>Click on save.

  4. To associate Sources to Backup-set:
    Go to sources>Click on add source>Select the source type (Filesystems /Databases/Applications /Hypervisor) >Under add a new source, name the source type, hostname, and directory path>Associate the source to the backup-set>Click on save.

  5. To backup the Sources created:
    Go to backup-sets>Click on configure button> You will see the backup-set details (Backup What/Backup Where/Backup Staging/Backup How/Backup When/Backup Now)

  6. To create the Schedule Plan:
    Add schedule> Enter the schedule Name, Date, Time>Specify the backup schedule (daily/weekly/monthly)>Schedule time>Click on save.

  7. To associate multiple Backup-sets to the Schedule plan:
    Go to backup sets> Edit the backup set that you have created>On the right column, select the schedule>Click on save. This will display the updated status of the backup-set. The backup is activated and displayed in green color.

  8. To start the Backup:
    Click the green icon under immediate backup>Access the backup operations status from the Monitor tab. Once the backup is done, it will show success.

  9. To view Reports,
    Select the date from the calendar picker>Click on the “Fetch report”> Backup-sets statistics along with storage consumption details is displayed.

The Bigger Picture — Administrative Benefits

ZMC 4.0 is built upon a proven architecture that supports a cluster set up to link and manage multiple backup servers and database clusters using a unified multi-site cluster architecture. Such cluster level backups enable configuring and scheduling consistent backups of multiple servers using only one installation of the ZMC 4.0 user interface. Multiple servers and storage tiers can be configured and added to the cluster using the ZMC interface.

Not to miss out are some of the excellent perks of the improved backup settings that the advanced 4.0 console offers:

  • High scalability as you can add as many server instances to the cluster as possible to meet the demand.
  • Load balancing support that can be achieved just in case one server breaks down, the group of servers handles the request (e.g., web application) within negligible downtime.
  • Perform large-scale backups since cluster architecture can scale to larger limits when you add the backup systems to the cluster sets.
  • User-defined custom backups let you schedule thousands of backup-sets.
  • Increased performance and efficiency as the workload is intelligently shared by the clusters run parallel programs among the connected nodes maximizing the overall system performance.
  • Time and cost savings with accelerated data backup taking the least amount of time.
  • Improved security with encrypted backups/restores right from in-transit to at rest.

Final Thought

It’s a no-brainer that developing a solid backup strategy for your organization entails a huge investment of time, money, and effort. But the cost and time are far less when you are relieved from the burdensome task of configuring backup, either manually or at specified intervals. By offering an open-source backup solution, Zmanda 4.0’s intuitive web-based management console not only impacts the ease of use but also allows you to control your backup operations in minutes!

With the enhanced setup of 4.0, the key benefit of faster setting up and scheduling backups easily is a clear technical advantage that can save hours of essential resources and also facilitate reduced RTOs.

It’s a long way to go before we are finished with many more futuristic features in our pipeline. Are you ready to upgrade to Zmanda 4.0? Do take a demo of Zmanda 4.0 or request a free trial to learn the pace of our new release.