Backup Exec Deduplication Assessment Tool

If your a Symantec partner, you have access to the Backup Exec Deduplication Assessment Tool. The Backup Exec Deduplication Assessment Tool (BEDAT) can be run to show your customers the benefits of the deduplication option in Backup Exec 2012.

BEDAT is available for partners to download at the Symantec PartnerNet site. If you are an end user interested in seeing how deduplication can be of benefit to your environment, please contact a local Symantec partner.

BEDAT is a stand alone executable that will install a temporary deduplication agent to any servers selected in the assessment process.

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To select servers to include in the deduplication assessment, click on “Add Server”, this will open a Add Server window box.

You can also tick the “Include this local Server for deduplication assessment” if you want to include the local server (Obviously).

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When adding a server, you can either type in the server name or IP address, or browse the network and add your servers that way. Once you has selected your server, you will need to provide the logon credentials for that server so it can access and install the temporary deduplication agent on this server.

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Once you have added the servers you want to run the tool on, click next to continue

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When selecting your resources, you can select all resources or specify which drives on which servers you want to analyse.

You will also need to make sure that you have at least 1GB of free disk space for every 1TB of data you’re scanning. You can browse or type in a new folder path for the storage of the deduplication temporary data.

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Depending on how much data you need to analyse, the assessment progress can take anything from several minutes to several hours.

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Once complete, you can specify the storage information, the backup strategy is either Weekly Full with Daily incremental or Daily Full Backups. The data retention period can be set to weeks, months or years.

You can also fill in your partner information, which will be included in the report.

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On this final screen, you can enlarge the view of the report, print or save it. The file is saved as an XPS file

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The report is broken down into 4 sections, Overall Storage Savings, Storage Savings by Resources, Storage Savings by Servers and Deduplication Failures by Servers.

As you can see by the report, this assessment shows that I can save 68.8% or 27GB of savings on storage. The backup data size can be reduced from 39 GB down to 12 GB with deduplication. It also shows the deduplication ratio which is 3.2:1 in this case.

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The next 3 sections shows a more detailed breakdown of the overall savings, including the deduplication rate per server.

There is was deduplication failures in this assessment.

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The very last section of the report is a list of the Backup Exec Deduplication Option requirements.

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If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let me know by leaving a message or hitting me up on twitter.

@PCVirus_AU
Titan Solutions

Things I’ve Learnt from Implementing Backup Exec 2012 Deduplication

This week I’ve been working on changing the backup solution for a client from Symantec System Recovery + Backup Exec 2012 to Backup Exec 2012 with Deduplication.

While this sounds like it would be a simple process of installing the BE agents and disabling the SSR backups, it turns out that there is still some ticks you can employ. I’m going to go through what I have learnt during the week and hopefully it will assist others with any of these issues in the future.

Backing Up the Media Server

If you are going to backup the media server, there is a couple of things you are going to need to consider first.

  • Do NOT backup the deduplication volume
  • Do NOT backup the system state

To exclude the dedup volume, its as simple as editing the backup selection options for the server and de-select that volume.

Media Server 001

To exclude the system state, edit the backup selection options, expand Shadow Copy Components, User Data, and de-select Backup Exec Deduplication Storage. If this is the only option under Shadow Copy Components, you can de-select it at that level.

Media Server 002

After you do all of this and complete a deduplication you will receive a warning that you have backed up to a local deduplication storage device, this is only a warning, and you can ignore it as you should duplicate to tape for off site backup anyway.

Media Server Backup Warning

Backing Up Physical Servers

When backing up the physical Windows servers I have found I get the best results from configuring the snapshot to use the Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Server (Windows 2003 and later), and then selecting to use the System snapshot provider. I also disabled the checkpoint restart.

Physical Backup - Advanced File Open

 

Virtual Servers

Unfortunately virtual servers weren’t on the schedule this time round, but that should be coming up sometime in the future and I’ll post my tips here when that happens.

In the meantime I suggest that if you are having problems with deduplication and virtual machines I suggest reaching out to the Backup Exec guys at:

@BackupExec on Twitter or #BackupExec
Symantec on Google+
Symantec Connect Fourms

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let me know by leaving a message or hitting me up on twitter.

@PCVirus_AU
Titan Solutions

Backup Exec 2012 Deduplication VS Windows Server 2012 Deduplication

Please note that Backup Exec 2012 is currently UNSUPPORTED on Windows Server 2012

I was curious about how the Backup Exec 2012 deduplication functionality would work under Windows Server 2012, so I setup a couple of servers to test this out.

 

The Configuration

On my Backup server, I created 2 drives and configured Backup Exec disk storage for both of them, 1 with standard disk storage, and the other with Deduplicaiton disk storage.

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I then installed the Backup Exec 2012 remote agent for Windows on a Windows Server 2012 server and configured two jobs. One going to Disk storage 0001, and one going to Deduplication disk storage 0001.

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The files that I will be backing up total to 13.9 GB, the files are purposely duplicated otherwise this would all be pointless.

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The Backup Exec Results

Once both backup jobs had completed I compared the amount of space used in each folder, first by the folder properties in Windows and then with the backup job properties.

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Here we can see the duplication ratio of 1.8:1 or 55.6% (I used this site to convert to a percentage)

The Windows 2012 Deduplication Results

On the server that I have been backing up, I created a new drive and configured it for Windows 2012 deduplication. I then copied all the files over to this drive, and let the deduplication run its course.

Coming back the next day, I checked the progress on the drive and found that the dedup stats where in!

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As you can see, the SavingsRate is 55% and the OptimizedFilesSavingsRate is 56%. I’d say that the 55.6% of Backup Exec Deduplication sits comfortably in the middle of the savings rates in Windows.

While obviously you would these 2 deduplication options in different circumstances, its good to know that the savings being afforded to you are extremely close. I think this is also a good example of how good the deduplication technology in Backup Exec 2012 really is.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let me know by leaving a message or hitting me up on twitter.

@PCVirus_AU
Titan Solutions