Archive for the ‘Solaris Backup and Archiving’ Category

Amanda Enterprise 3.3.5 Release with Hyper-V and Vaulting Support

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Our objective with Amanda Enterprise is to continue to widen its umbrella to protect most common IT infrastructure elements being deployed in the modern data center. We also seek to support various workflows for secondary and tertiary data as desired by the IT administrators. The new release of Amanda Enterprise (3.3.5) comes with two key features for these objectives.

Hyper-V Support

Hyper-V is a native hypervisor, which is getting increasingly popular especially in Windows server-centric IT shops. Amanda Enterprise now supports image level backup of live VMs running on Hyper-V. We support Hyper-V which is installed as a role either on Windows Server 2012 or Windows Server 2008.

One license for Zmanda Windows Client and Zmanda Client for Microsoft Hyper-V enables you to backup an unlimited number of VMs on one hypervisor. You need to run the Zmanda Windows Client on the hypervisor, and configure backups of VMs via Zmanda Management Console (GUI for Amanda Enterprise). ZMC discovers the VMs running on each hypervisor. You can choose whether you want to backup all or a selected set of VMs on each hypervisor.

A full consistent image of the VM is backed up to media of your choice – disk, cloud storage or tape.

Of course, you can continue to install and run separately licensed Zmanda Clients within your virtual machines (guests) to perform finer granular backups. This enables you to recover from smaller disasters (like accidental deletion of a file) without recovering the whole VM. You can consider having different schedules for your file-level or application-level backups and VM level backups – e.g. file-level backups may be performed daily and VM level backups may be performed each weekend.

Vaulting Support

While many of our customers have already implemented disk-to-disk-to-cloud (d2d2c) or disk-to-disk-to-tape (d2d2t) data flows using our products, we have formally introduced Vaulting as a feature supported via Zmanda Management Console. There are two key use cases supported by this feature:

  • Backup to disk and then Vault to lower cost disk or remote disk (via NFS)
  • Backup to disk and then Vault to cloud or tape for offsite storage

Our implementation allows very flexible media duplication (e.g., you can vault from multiple disk volumes to a smaller number of physical tapes). You can also choose to vault only the latest full backups for off-site archiving purposes. All storage devices supported by Amanda Enterprise can be a source or destination for vaulting (e.g., for one of the backup sets you can vault to a tape library and for another backup set on the same backup server you can vault to cloud storage). The Backup catalog of Amanda Enterprise keeps tracks of various backup copies and will allow for restoration from either the backup media volumes or vaulted volumes.

Note that vaulting is most useful when you want to duplicate your backup images. If you want to have a data flow to periodically move your backups e.g. from disk to cloud, you can simply use the staging area in Amanda Enterprise and treat the storage on staging area as your first backup location.

In addition to above new features, Amanda Enterprise 3.3.5 has several bug fixes and usability improvements. If you are interested in learning more, you can join one of our upcoming webinars (next one scheduled on December 18th):

If you are already on the Amanda Enterprise platform, you can discuss upgrading to 3.3.5 with your Zmanda support representative. If you are interested in evaluating Amanda Enterprise for your organization, please contact us at

Zmanda @ Oracle OpenWorld 2010

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Oracle Open World

If you are coming to this year’s Oracle OpenWorld 2010, please do visit us at Booth #3824.

We will have our backup solution experts at the show to discuss any of your database or infrastructure backup needs.

When it comes to backing up various products offered by Oracle, we have several solutions:

We hope to see you at the show!

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.

Thailand Metropolitan Waterworks Authority Protects Emails Using Zmanda

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Metropolitan Waterworks Authority Logo Metropolitan Water Authority (MWA) is a public water utility providing water supply to residences and businesses in key parts of Thailand including Bangkok. With more than four thousand employees and approximately two million customers, MWA generates a lot of email on a daily basis.

For this challenge, MWA turned to CommuniGate Pro for their email server, and to Amanda Enterprise for protecting the email data. MWA chose Solaris 10 to run the Amanda Server.

Congratulations to Veerachart Charassirikulchai (I just call him Vee!) and his team at SoftDebut for working with MWA and installing Zmanda’s solution in their environment.

OpenSolaris is a big step forward if you want to step back in time

Friday, December 12th, 2008

This week Zmanda was invited to participate in the launch of OpenSolaris 2008.11. In his interview Chander Kant, CEO of Zmanda, explained why OpenSolaris is a big step forward from backup and recovery perspective both as a data source for backup and as a repository for backup images.

OpenSolarisThe advanced snapshot capabilities of ZFS enables fast and scalable backups for today’s most demanding workloads for servers and easy to use data protection for workstations. For example, the new Time Slider feature in OpenSolaris provides an automatic way to backup your data on the local disk with intuitive browsing and recovering of files from snapshots using the GNOME file manager. That is great, but what if you loose your local disk? Considering that Time Slider does not support network attached disk yet, you might be in danger of loosing your data. By integrating Amanda Enterprise with Time Slider, we will provide advanced media management for backing up to disk, tape and storage cloud, and centralized administration of snapshots for multiple workstations running Time Slider.

One the server side, OpenSolaris provides an excellent platform for backup to disk. One of the biggest challenges of backup to disk is capacity management. It doesn’t matter how much capacity you have when you start backing up to disk. Sooner or later you will run out of it. Ease of provisioning of ZFS volumes is welcome by backup practitioners because you can add more disk capacity while your backups are running!

The combination of Zmanda backup solutions with Sun’s innovative OpenSolaris operating system, including the advanced ZFS file system, creates one of the most advanced backup-to-disk offerings available on the market today. The best part is you can build such a solution at the price point that will not break your budget. We are also working on getting Amanda and ZRM into OpenSolaris repositories.

Data Protection for Today’s Economy: Amber Road and Zmanda

Monday, November 10th, 2008

Today Sun announced the new 7000 line (aka Amber Road) of open storage appliances. Amber Road runs OpenSolaris and ZFS on industry-standard x86 hardware and includes innovative management software developed by Sun’s FISHworks (Fully Integrated Software and Hardware) group.

Our engineers worked along with Sun’s technologists on Amber Road in Sun’s labs for past few weeks, and today we are announcing support for Amber Road with both of our products Amanda Enterprise and Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL.

Amber Road is another example of innovation and value created by combination of open source and open systems. Combine  Amber Road with Zmanda’s open source backup products and you can deploy an extremely scalable and blazing fast backup solution at 1/5th the cost of products from proprietary vendors. We are also offering a free 60 days trial to all Sun Storage Systems customers (please contact your Sun or Zmanda sales rep for this).

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.

Simplify storage provisioning for backup to disk with Amanda using Solaris ZFS

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

First, the announcement. On September 21st at 11:30am our VP of engineering Paddy Sreenivasan will talk at OpenSolaris Storage Summit in Santa Clara about Open Source backup software Amanda for OpenSolaris.

Now the news. Sun just published Sun Fire x4540 as Backup Server for Amanda Enterprise backup software quick-start guide on BigAdmin system administration portal. The guide provides an introduction to configuring the Sun Fire X4540 server as a backup server for backup to disk. The specific examples for configuring the zpool and ZFS file systems on the Solaris 10 illustrate how easy it is to provision high-capacity storage for backup to disk. The Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL quick-start guide for X4540 is going through a review and will be published soon as well.

Almost 75% of Fortune 1000 use backup to disk, which requires a lot of capacity. According to the latest ’08 survey by TheInfoPro of storage administrators working for Fortune 1000 firms, the provisioning continues to be the most time consuming activity, see the figure below:Time spending by storage administrators

Ease of provisioning of ZFS volumes with Sun Fire x4540 will be very welcome by many practitioners of backup to disk. For example, right now we are implementing backup to disk for our customer who is the world’s largest supplier of innovative flash memory products. The provisioning of storage for backup is a challenge for their 48 TB of EDA data kept on Solaris servers.

The storage administrators who invest in an easy to use, affordable and scalable (both in capacity and network bandwidth) backup appliance utilizing Amanda Enterprise on x4540, will spend almost no time provisioning storage. I am sure they will find creative ways to spend their free time!
Dmitri Joukovski