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Thursday, May 19, 2011
Guest post by Phil Curran
The CommVault Team is prepping for Citrix Synergy coming up May 24 through 27. We've pulled together a demo that shows our capabilities for protecting data within a XenServer context. Please come by and see us at booth #618.
In advance of the show, I thought I would take a moment to highlight some of the cool and compelling elements of the CommVault Simpana 9 approach.
How It Works: The CommVault Approach: Integrated, Deduplicated XenServer Backups
Rather than a long detailed description of how we run XenServer backups, I figured the more exciting way would be to actually show how the process works. Click on the demo below to see:
From an operational perspective: When a backup job kicks off, Simpana software will make a call into XenServer to quiesce the VMs to be backed up. Once quiesced, the VMs are snapped in place and attached to the proxy. The VM snapshot is then mounted on to the proxy as a volume. Once mounted, the proxy then backs up the VM to the designated target.
On restores: Simpana 9 delivers a number of restore options for VMs and data within a XenServer context including:
From a deployment perspective: Conceptually, Figure 1 here gives you an idea for our current approach in Simpana 9. We deploy our Virtual Server Agent (VSA) inside a designated virtual machine installed on each physical host. We also deploy a VM proxy with the CommVault Media Agent (MA) installed. The VM proxy typically resides on a separate physical machine in order to minimize the impact on front end operations. As an alternate configuration, when using shared storage, a single MA and VSA combination may be deployed in a single VM within the XenServer environment to protect all VMs across multiple physical hosts. Backup targets are flexible and our media agent can write to disk, tape or cloud targets for backups.
Figure 1: Citrix XenServer Protection
Simpana 9 in Action
The CommVault team recently touched based with Schiavello of Australia on how they are using Simpana 9. Here's what they had to say:
"We have 8TB of data situated on four physical servers and 45 virtualized servers using Citrix XenServer," said Carl Dittloff, Network & Support Engineer, Schiavello. "We currently backup up onto disk and then tape, doing nightly incrementals and weekend fulls, with the fulls going to tape every week."
Dittloff said he's expecting "exponential growth" in his XenServer environment over the next 12 months and, in order to support that growth, needed a data protection platform that could scale with Schiavello's Citrix environment.
"We purchased the CommVault Virtual Server Agent (VSA) license so we would have the ability to fully protect our VM images and the power to quickly restore them. With CommVault we have the power to restore a VM in its entirety, which is far less time consuming than other alternatives," Dittloff said.
Citrix Take on Simpana 9
Finally, our technical team has been working with the folks at Citrix on some benchmark testing*. Here's what Craig had to say – thanks for the shout out Craig!
Look forward to seeing everyone in San Francisco!
*Note: The folks at Citrix have tested certain deployments not officially supported by CommVault. CommVault currently supports the Citrix XenServer environment. For all official support configurations, visit CommVault Books Online.
Questions on CommVault's XenServer protection capabilities? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Phil Curran is a Senior Product Marketing Manager with CommVault.
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