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Reaching Avamar Zen or as EMC likes to call it “Steady State”

August 16, 2009

Now that you have implemented your Avamar System, you may become easily restless by the rapidly upsurge in storage used during the 1st to 2nd week.  Do not worry, this is common for an Avamar System as it initially goes through the process of backing up new clients during each client’s “initialization” phase where nearly every client contains high amounts of unique data.  Once clients have been backed up at least one time, you will begin to leverage the commonality feature that Avamar has to offer. 

You will begin to notice that your Avamar Server will back up less and and less unique data as the weeks pass by and the new data written to your Avamar Server will begin to plateau.  EMC refers to this as reaching a “steady state” of capacity utilization which I refer to as Avamar Zen.  You can expect for this to occur sometime after the longest retention period of your first initial backups are met.  The goal of successfully managing your Avamar Server is to achieve this Avamar Zen (steady-state) where the rate at which new data chunks added to your server are equal to or less than the rate of data chunks removed from the server during the Garbage Collection cron job that occurs for up to 2hrs during the daily maintenance schedule.

So you may be wondering, how do I tell if I have reached Avamar Zen, well not to worry, I have included two different methods for receiving this information.

  • You can issue the following command /usr/local/avamar/bin/capacity.sh to ascertain whether the system is running in steady-state.  The information reported back includes amount of new data added to your Avamar System, amount of data removed, net change and clients with the highest change rate.

Example below:

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*As you can see, the Microsoft Exchange Server listed above has the highest change rate at 84%

 

  • The other option is running the DPN Summary Report from inside the Avamar Administrator.  The report will provide information about data stored in the Avamar server as well as statistical data on the individual Avamar clients. 

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As you can see, the DPN Summary Report will include statistics such as daily change rate, high change rate clients, amount of data/# of clients being protected, etc.  This information can be useful in determining abnormal client behavior as well as comparisons to previous backup strategies such as tape backup.

Come back soon and we will discuss factors affecting capacity utilization and monitoring Avamar Checkpoint Overhead.

Thanks for stopping by!!!

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