Archive for January, 2007

Backup vendors ignore Vista

Wednesday, January 31st, 2007

The major release of Windows that has been anticipated for many years is finally here. Actually, Microsoft released the enterprise version of Vista about a month ago; the launch yesterday was targeted at consumers.

Being in the backup business for a long time, I kind of knew what to expect, but out of curiosity I decided to check the software compatibility guides for major vendors.

Specifically, I verified that the most known backup vendors such as:

  • Backup Exec by Symantec
  • NetBackup by Symantec
  • NetWorker by Legato/EMC
  • Tivoli Storage Manager by IBM
  • Galaxy by CommVault

Do not provide support Vista as of today, Jan 31st.

Interestingly, HP makes the most noise about Vista, so I expected that at least Data Protector would provide support, but I was wrong. HP backup solution does not support Vista either.

So, what did we learn here? Here are the possible explanations:

  • Backup vendors are slow in supporting new versions of operating systems, even the major releases of Windows.
  • Backup vendors don’t expect Vista to take off for a long time.
  • Considering that Vista provides improved backup functionality, Microsoft decided not to push backup vendors as hard as last time.
  • Microsoft gets more isolated from its own ecosystem, e.g. Symantec is not very happy with Microsoft moving into antivirus business and it has an impact on Backup Exec.

I don’t know which factors are in play here, but for you, a backup administrator, the end result is the same. If you add a Vista machine to your backup environment and you ran into a trouble, you are on your own. Don’t count on backup vendors to support your Vista just yet.

Amanda backs up Windows via Samba. There were earlier problems communicating with Vista via Samba, but the community was able to find work-around and now you can use Amanda to backup your latest and greatest Microsoft toy.
Dmitri Joukovski

ZRM for MySQL 1.1.4 released

Tuesday, January 30th, 2007
Version 1.1.4 of Zmanda Recovery Manager (ZRM) for MySQL, a robust and
intelligent solution for backup and recovery of MySQL databases is available
for download at Zmanda downloads page.
Changes since 1.1.3 release:
* Support for aborting backup runs
* Support for character sets and stored routines
* Bug fixes
Take a look at ZRM for MySQL user documentation for more information on how to install and configure it.
Find bugs and report them at bugzilla ( Feel free to contribute to ZRM for MySQL wiki and forums.

Open Source Software……in your CAR?

Thursday, January 25th, 2007

So recently my wife and I bought a new ‘used’ car ….

The car came with the OEM CD changer. While the cd changer did the job it was not sufficient for me…..6 disc cd changers are so 90’s aren’t they???

So I started to research other options to replace the cd changer.

I wanted something simple that would be scaleable and most importantly, whatever I chose needed to Integrate into my current soundsystem which includes an on board GPS system. It also had to be relatively low cost.

So with these requirements, I set off to search for a replacement for my 6 disc CD changer…

I stumbled onto a Digital Music System. Which consists of either a 40 gb hard drive or can be upgraded to 80 gb or 120 gb.
I chose the 40 gb version. This hard drive can be connected to my PC at home and I can load 1/3
of my music collection onto this drive before filling it up. This system met all my other requirements as well. It was simple to
install, and plugged into my car in place of the cd changer.

My car saw this device as a CD Changer, and it integrated into my existing car stereo without any modifications.

Through my research I found that this system was built on Linux. The manufacturer of this system chose Linux, for 2 main reasons (according to their website)

1) reliability
2) cost….no licensing fees!

My wife and I can now cruise around and listen to all the music we want. (although she’s not as excited about this as I am)

I can sleep better at night knowing I paid HALF of what I would have paid, had I bought a proprietary MP3 Player from the Automobile Manufacturer.

Similarly, Amanda Enterprise running on Linux can fulfill your requirements for a simple and cost effective backup solution, and help you sleep better at night knowing that your data is not being held hostage in proprietary data formats.

Along with Amanda Enterprise edition ZRM can protect your MySQL databases, and integrate into your current network backup solution.

Who needs sleeping pills, when you have Zmanda on your side…..:)

Knoppix and Amanda

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

Knoppix is one of the popular live distributions that can be used in a bare metal recovery situation. Extensive hardware detection support in Knoppix allows for recovery of variety of Windows and Linux systems. Knoppix has complete graphical environment (KDE) and very good networking support.

Knoppix includes system repair tools to partition disks, create filesystems and restore data from backup. Amanda client on the Knoppix CD makes it easy to browse and restore the data files from the system backup. Amanda tool – amrestore allows users to recover files if the Amanda indexes are no longer available.

Latest version of Knoppix (5.1) CD and DVD includes Amanda 2.5.1p1 server and client. The Knoppix CD with latest version of Amanda makes it convenient to recover Windows or Linux system completely.

Personal comments about recently published results of Amanda usage survey

Monday, January 22nd, 2007

We just published the results of Amanda usage survey and I want to share my personal observations.One of the most inspiring findings is that 95% of respondents would recommend Amanda to a friend. The Loyalty expert Fred Reichheld would be very impressed with such a result. The overall satisfaction with Amanda is also highlighted by the fact that 70% of respondents have been using Amanda for more than 2 years. People use software for such a long time only if it does the job well. Many users reported that Amanda was up to the task recovering files in most critical situations.

I think it is just great that more than 60% of users provided suggestions for new functionality.

Here are the surprises:

  • I expected that ‘old’ Amanda users (with more that 2 years of usage) might have a higher ratio of old, pre-2.4.5 version of Amanda. However, there was no significant difference between ‘all’ and ‘old’ users, who are up to speed with Amanda progress.
  • I knew that we would have many users running MySQL, but I did not expect the number to be so high. 64% of respondents reported they have MySQL in production.
  • I did not expect that so many people (62%) use Amanda to backup Linux e-mail.
  • My guess was that users with more clients and more data would recover files relatively more often. However, the observed positive correlation of 0.32 between the amount of data and number of restores per month is actually not that strong.
  • 10% reported using VMware or Xen. I expected more people taking advantage of virtualization. Maybe virtualization is more common in the Windows world . . .

Overall, the results of the survey prove that Amanda does the job very well. For example, one user reported 6 TB of data per backup client, which illustrates how Amanda scales up. Another user reported more than 120 clients per Amanda server and that shows how Amanda scales out. One University reported having 13 different types of architecture protected by Amanda including the relatively new Mac OS-X on Intel and Solaris 10 on AMD workstations.

In the future we will continue to conduct in-depth usage surveys every 12 to 18 months and we plan to supplement full surveys with occasional quick polls.
Dmitri Joukovski

Webinar on Backing up your MySQL server remotely over the internet

Thursday, January 18th, 2007

Next week, backup experts from Zmanda, will present a webinar on how you can use ZRM for MySQL to backup your MySQL server remotely over the internet. If you are a ISP or host your own site, you would want to attend this webinar. For that matter, the infromation will be useful for any MySQL dba. This is a technical seminar where we will go through step by step of actually implementing the solution. We already published a detailed white paper on this topic. You can get to that white paper by registering with Zmanda Network.

Hope to see you at the Webinar.

Event Information

Topic: Backing up your MySQL server over the internet using Zmanda Recovery Manager for MySQL
Date and Time: Thursday, January 25, 2007 10:30 am
Pacific Daylight Time (GMT -08:00, San Francisco)
Panelist(s) Info: Shailen Patel – Professional Services Engineer,
Pavel Pragin – Technical Support Engineer,
Ram “TK” Krishnamurthy – Director of Services and Support
Duration: 1 hour
Description: Join backup experts from Zmanda as they walk you through, step by step, on how to best protect your remote MySQL server over the Internet using Zmanda Recovery Manager [ZRM] for MySQL.

ZRM for MySQL users manual Updated

Monday, January 8th, 2007

ZRM for MySQL users manual has been rewritten based on user feedback. It is available at ZRM for MySQL wiki

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback. User contributions to the manual are welcome.