Avamar 6 NDMP Improvements

July 6, 2011

With the latest release of Avamar version 6.  We finally get some long needed enhancements to NDMP backups.  Two of the issues I had with previous versions of Avamar and NDMP backups were the confusion and complexity of performing multi-streamed backups (registering up to 4 different accounts for the same device) and the aggravation of having to create separate datasets for each file system on the EMC Celerra. 

Good news is, with the latest release, Multi-volume backup and recovery is now possible.  You can now place multiple volumes or file systems into a single dataset.  Might not sound like a big deal, but I’ve seen EMC Celerra’s with 50 or more volumes and having to create 50 datasets is ridiculous.  Another cool feature is the ability to select the entire file server or data mover and as new volumes are added, they will also be added to the Avamar backup when the workorder is created.

The other major NDMP announcement involves Multi-streaming.  In previous version, up to 4 streams were supported.  Streams had to be balanced between datasets.  This process was slightly confusing and the provided NDMP documentation seemed to lack in-depth detail on how to properly configure datasets, clients, policy groups, etc. 

You now can not only multi-stream at the Dataset level as before, but you can now also multi-stream at the volume level.  The multi-streams can be managed through a new Dataset option called “Maximum parallel streams”, a function that allows you to limit the amount of streams per dataset.

EMC Celerra/VNX support up to 8 streams, while NetApp supports 4.  Of course, to take advantage of the multiple streams, you will need to configure your NDMP accelerator node with additional memory, the requirement being 4GB of RAM per stream. 

*Please check the NDMP documentation for your NetApp and/or Celerra to verify the hard NDMP stream limits that vary based on models. 

**Also keep in mind that the more streams used simultaneously, the more performance hit you’ll take on your Celerra Data mover.

The process for registering your NAS device has not changed, but supporting multi-streams from the same NAS device is now less complex.  You no longer have to register multiple accounts for the same NAS device, however you do still have the ability to register up to 4 different NAS devices per accelerator node.  Trying to load balance your NDMP backups are no longer a guessing game that requires tweaking policy groups, accelerators are now assigned to backups and will dynamically assign it to a stream as needed.   No more idle NDMP streams while others are being overloaded. 

Also worthy to note is the added support for EMC’s VNX/VNXe line with EMC VNX File 7.0 and EMC Celerra DART 6 support. 

NDMP enhancements are just a drop in the bucket, Avamar 6 provides many exciting enhancements that alone proves why EMC’s Avamar continues to separate itself as a leader in the Industry for quick and easy backups.


One comment

  1. Brilliant infos in your blog. I reached here after searching for some avtar problems I seem to be having. Thank you and please keep writing! 🙂

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