Archive for the ‘Solaris Backup and Archiving’ Category

Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL – Detailed Review by Linux Journal

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Zmanda on Linux Journal Cover

This month’s (September 2008) edition of Linux Journal has an in-depth review of Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL (written by Alolita Sharma a veteran of Open Source). Oh, and we made it on the cover as well! If you are browsing Magazines section of your local bookstore, do look us up..

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.

Oracle: Protected by Zmanda!

Monday, August 4th, 2008

We announced support for Oracle today. Specifically, Amanda Enterprise now protects:

  • Oracle 11g on Windows
  • Oracle 10g and 11g on Linux and Solaris
  • Oracle Enterprise Linux

On Linux and Solaris, we took the approach of integrating Amanda with RMAN. Keeping with Amanda’s philosophy of using native tools as closely as possible, we allow Oracle DBAs to perform recovery right from within Oracle Enterprise Manager. Amanda takes care of restoring all files needed for a DBA to perform recovery specific to their need (e.g. table level recovery or point-in-time recovery).

For Windows, on recommendation from backup experts at Oracle, we integrated with their new VSS writer. This enables us to take quick snapshot of Oracle and basically have no processing overhead on Oracle for bulk of the backup process (i.e. actual movement of data).

We also added Oracle Enterprise Linux as one of the Linux distributions that we support. Now our Linux backup list reads: Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, SUSE, OpenSUSE and Oracle Enterprise Linux.

Oracle DBAs now benefit from open formats (relieving them of costly vendor lock-in) and ease of use of Amanda. Of course, they benefit from huge cost savings offered by Amanda Enterprise – in many cases one-fifth the cost of other solutions. In addition, for the first time, they can backup their databases directly to the Amazon S3 storage, combining backup and disaster recovery in one step.

At Zmanda our strategy is to continue to stretch our umbrella to protect more and more platforms and applications. Supporting Oracle is a major step in this direction.

Open Storage and Open Source Backup – A Perfect Combination

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

Today Sun announced release of X4540 Open Storage server (a.k.a Thor). We were fortunate to get early access to Thor to certify Amanda Enterprise and Zmanda Recovery Manager (ZRM) for MySQL. Both solutions are optimized for backing up to disk, are already certified with Solaris 10, and leverage capabilities of ZFS. So it made perfect sense to certify them on Thor, effectively creating a high-performance and yet relatively inexpensive backup appliance.

The unit we were using is powered by 8 CPUs operating at 2300 MHz and provides 48 SATA drives with total capacity close to 50TB in 4U enclosure. That is good packing; a typical EMC unit with so much capacity will take the whole rack.

The two boot drives configured as a mirror were running UFS. To get capacity for backups, we easily created Zpool with 12 drives and 2 spares in RAIDZ2 configuration. That gave us 7 TB of capacity for backups with very high level of protection against drive failure:

bash-3.00# zfs list
zmanda 203K 7.13T 49.0K /zmanda
zmanda/vtapes 49.0K 7.13T 49.0K /var/lib/amanda/vtapes

While installing ZRM and Amanda Enterprise on Thor, we found that a couple of Solaris packages that we require were missing, and our coverage of dependencies in documentation was not perfect. Luckily, that was the only hiccup. After fixing the dependencies, the rest of installation and configuration went smoothly.

Zmanda Thor backup appliance testing

This screenshot shows part of a summary report about backup of five Solaris clients to Thor over 1 Gb network. Each client had about 100 MB of data. In that test we forced full backup on each run, with each client pushing data at 60 MB/s. That is not bad at all considering that you can get only 20-25 MB/s for a typical LTO-2 tape drive.

The X4540 Open Storage server is an excellent choice for creating your own backup to disk appliance. It provides high performance and very large capacity. One key feature is how easy it is to manage all that capacity with ZFS.

Special thanks to Sun’s Menlo Park and Colorado interoperability teams who helped us to get started and advised on considerations in configuring ZFS for backup to disk.
Dmitri Joukovski

A Snapshot of Snapshots

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Storage Snapshots are excellent tools in arsenal of a system administrator to create quick and consistent backups of their databases and applications. Snapshot is a “picture” of a filesystem at a point-in-time. In most modern snapshot implementations, this “picture” is not a full copy of the data, but rather a set of pointers to the data.

Here is a list of current industry leading snapshot technologies:

  • LVM Snapshots: Snapshot capability built into the Linux Volume Manager (LVM) – the default option on a Linux system.
  • ZFS Snapshots: Snapshot capability built into the ZFS filesystem on Solaris and OpenSolaris
  • NetApp SnapShots: A feature of the WAFL® (Write Anywhere File Layout) filesystem
  • Windows VSS: Volume Shadow Copy Service from Microsoft introduced in Windows Server 2003. VSS is also available with Windows XP, Vista, and 2008 Server.
  • VxFS Snapshots: Snapshot capability built into the Veritas File System
  • EMC SnapView: Snapshot capability on the EMC CLARiiON storage systems
  • IBM FlashCopy: Available in the IBM Storage Subsystems (DS8000, DS6000, ESS 800, SAN VC)
  • EqualLogic Smart Copy: Feature in the Dell EqualLogic PS Series

Our Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL product uses storage snapshots as one of the technologies to do a quick full backup of the MySQL database. We currently support LVM, ZFS, NetApp, VSS and VxFS Snapshots. Rest are coming soon…

Slides from Zmanda keynote today (Online MySQL Backup)

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

Final slides from keynote delivered this morning at the MySQL user conference. Topic was protecting live MySQL databases.

(Slides render well in both OpenOffice and PowerPoint)

Protecting CFD (and making more money as a MySQL DBA)

Monday, April 14th, 2008

No, this is not a blog about Computational Fluid Dynamics – my least favorite subject in college. This is about a more exciting (sorry mechanical engineers!) CFD: Customer Facing Data. This is the data that is typically available on the website of an organization that their customers interact with. CFD can range all the way from profiles of users on a social networking site such as Facebook to the customer information database of an e-commerce company such as Travelocity.

CFD represents today’s data protection challenge. Probably the biggest challenge while planning a backup solution for CFD is that it is very hard to figure out what to plan for. You might be starting with a very small database which might grow much more rapidly than what you think. If the data can be segmented based on users or some other characteristic, then you will find that your databases may scale-out instead of scale-up. Also, rate of change can be very rapid, sometimes with lots of small changes (e.g. tags) or sometimes with big data changes (e.g. addition of user generated media content), very similar to the rather unpredictable viral growth pattern of the Internet.

Many organizations are keen to save and analyze behavior of users as they interact with CFD. This metadata can itself pose a data protection challenge of its own, since it may change very rapidly, while the actual data is not changing (e.g. tracking of customer intelligence metadata about which prospects downloaded which whitepapers from your corporate website, so that you can determine the best marketing & sales approach for these prospects).

MySQL is the DBMS of choice for CFD. Some skeptical press and analysts have said a few times that MySQL is not being deployed at the back-end of the enterprise (financials, billing etc.), but only on the web-tier. The implicit (sometimes explicit) implication being that web-tier applications are less important for the organization. I think this analysis fails to realize the actual importance of the data being stored in web-tier applications. Most of this is CFD, loss of which will cause huge pain and costs in the form of lost revenues, customers and reputation.

From its very inception, Zmanda has been focused on technologies powering CFD (MySQL, LAMP stack, and now increasingly Solaris). We have dug deeper than anyone else in understanding the needs of protecting this crucial part of any organization and very rapidly delivered products to address these needs. We are the data protection company for CFD. While we do protect back-end applications and platforms, our technology and business focus remains CFD.

I will be talking about deploying radically simple backup solutions for CFD on Thursday (April 17th, 10AM) at the MySQL user conference. I am in the unenviable position of making a Backup presentation sound interesting after the Facebook keynote (“A Match Made in Heaven? The Social Graph and the Database”). Well, I guess the point that conference organizers are trying to make is that if you have a radically simple MySQL backup and recovery solution, you will have more time to spend on Facebook!

Speaking of analysts, I recently read an analyst report which indicates that, on average, salaries offered to MySQL DBAs can be up to 40% lower than those offered to Oracle or DB2 DBAs. This ironically is considered one of the barriers for entry of MySQL in some environments. Per this report: higher paid database personnel have vested interest to keep MySQL out. Another claim is that somehow the lower salary to MySQL DBAs reflects the relative importance of the MySQL powered application for the business. Well if you are a MySQL DBA, you will do well to make your management realize that you are the keeper of their Customer Facing Data. Any business deploys its best resources for customer facing activities. Hopefully this will start reflecting on your paycheck soon.

If you would like to talk about your data protection challenges, or your salary as a MySQL DBA, stop by our booth #307 at the MySQL user conference.

Highly Scalable MySQL Backups using Snapshots (ZFS or NetApp)

Friday, April 11th, 2008

We have been focusing on providing the best possible backup solution for following scenario: 100 GB+ of data stored in MySQL database, Transaction intensive workload (i.e. rapid rate of change of data), with a business requirement to be able to perform point-in-time restoration of the MySQL database. Oh, the solution also needs to take into account that the database can grow to 1TB or more very quickly.

For such a scenario, we believe that the best possible solution today is a combination of:

  1. Storage level snapshots – a capability built into ZFS (Solaris), NetApp, LVM (Linux), VxFS, and VSS (Windows)
  2. Transaction logs generated by MySQL
  3. Point-and-click restore capability provided by Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL

Two reports came out today which go into nitty-gritty of above. First is a joint report written by NetApp and Zmanda engineers, titled “MySQL Backup and Restore Using Zmanda Recovery Manager and NetApp Snapshot Technology“. This report describes how NetApp Snapshot and Zmanda Recovery Manager can be used to back up and restore a MySQL database for NetApp storage systems. Specifically, this report covers the following topics:

  • Infrastructure required to deploy Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL with a NetApp storage system
  • Backing up a MySQL database using Zmanda Recovery Manager using NetApp Snapshot plug-in
  • Restoring a MySQL database using Zmanda Recovery Manager

Second one is a how-to blog written by Paddy on O’Reilly Databases: MySQL backups using ZFS snapshot. A key observation is sub-second time spent holding the read lock on the database while the snapshot was being taken.

While performing point-in-time recovery of their MySQL databases, DBAs don’t have to search for specific snapshots and manually combine them with database transaction logs. Zmanda Recovery Manager takes care of that behind the covers. DBAs simply key-in (or point-and-click) the timestamp to which they want to recover to.

Amanda 2.6.0 Community Edition Released

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

Today, Amanda community released Amanda 2.6.0. (And no, it is not a April fools joke!). Amanda 2.6.0 represents a huge step forward in Amanda’s evolution – improving ease of installation and configuration, security, scalability and robustness. I am particularly excited about the steps this release is taking to make Amanda a development platform for building advanced backup and archiving applications. First signs of which are Amanda’s support for backing up to Amazon S3, using the new Device API.

Amanda 2.6.0 is available for download both in source and binary form here.

Congratulations to Amanda developers and testers.

Zmanda Recovery Manager 2.1 – Keep those MySQL Databases Zipping

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

Today we announced a significant enhancement to our Zmanda Recovery Manager (ZRM) for MySQL product. Here are major highlights of this new version (2.1):

End-to-end support for Solaris: We have had increasing number of requests from customers for supporting Solaris. While we always protected MySQL databases running on Solaris, we needed customers to run the ZRM core engine on a Linux box. Now we are able to run the ZRM core engine on Solaris itself. So a pure Solaris shop can use ZRM without getting a Linux server. The coinciding of this support with MySQL’s acquisition by Sun was not a planned thing 🙂

mysql snapshotEnhanced Snapshot support: One of the coolest features of ZRM is to be able to take advantage of underlying storage infrastructure whenever possible. Since version 1.0 of ZRM we have provided support for backing up MySQL using LVM on Linux. Now we are adding support for four major snapshot options: Windows Volume Shadow Services (VSS) snapshot, Network Appliance SnapManager, Veritas VxFS and Solaris ZFS. If your storage infrastructure supports any of these snapshot options, this will be the fastest way to backup your MySQL database – with zero impact on the application using the database. In fact, on Windows platform, ZRM 2.1 enables for the first time the capability of taking a fast raw backup of MySQL (using VSS). BTW, a crucial feature here is how ZRM uses snapshots for Restore. When a DBA requests a point-in-time restore, ZRM is intelligent enough to collate snapshot-based full backups with log-based incremental backups, to deliver the MySQL database in the precise state at requested point-in-time.

Global Management of MySQL databases: One key behavior we observe about MySQL databases is that they tend to propagate rapidly within organizations. Here at Zmanda, I can easily count close to 10 production MySQL databases, both inside and outside our firewall. Maintaining backups of multiple MySQL databases at a single repository tremendously reduces the complexity for DBAs. While we always had some form of remote backup capability, with ZRM 2.1 we now support centralized backup across all storage engines and across all operating systems. Our web based Zmanda Management Console allows this centralized management from anywhere, including from an iPhone!

Our goal is to make backup of live MySQL databases radically simple – enabling you to focus on your business applications.