In this blog post, I will show how easy it is to upgrade a PowerProtect Virtual Instance running within VMware. If you have ever administered Avamar before, you know just how painful it can be to upgrade.
In a previous blog post, I stated how to deploy DellEMC PowerProtect. However, once PowerProtect is deployed you must add a workload in order to start protecting data. In this blog post, I will show you the steps required in order to protect VM workloads within VMware.
PowerProtect is a Software defined data management software from DellEMC. It comes in two different variants, a hardware appliance with storage and a Virtual edition. The Virtual Edition must be pointed to a Data Domain. This software has been written from the ground up, and mainly competes against Rubrik and Cohesity. PowerProtect uses protection policies to protect assets. This software has been written from the ground up, and appears to have address a lot of the shortcomings that newer backup vendors poke DellEMC for. Personally (my open unofficial opinion), I believe this solution will eventually replace traditional Avamar/Data Domain/IDPA.
How to upgrade your Data Domain OS (DDOS)
Recently I was hit with an email indicating that my Data Domain had experienced a file system panic. The end result was a file system reboot during during backups.
Id Post Time Clear Time Severity Class Object Message
—- ———————— ———————— ——– ———- —— ————————————————————————-
m0-5 Tue Mar 13 18:29:28 2018 Tue Mar 13 18:29:48 2018 ERROR Filesystem EVT-FILESYS-00008: Filesystem has encountered an error and is restarting.
—- ———————— ———————— ——– ———- —— ————————————————————————-
There is 1 historic alert.
After working with support, it was determined that the issue was due to an issue with memory allocation. I was given the below KB regarding my issue.
“DataDomain FS process (ddfs) may crash with memory allocation failures, but available memory still exists: https://support.emc.com/kb/489444”
“Space is running low in /ddvar. Please clear space or core dump capability will be disabled.”
Today I stumbled upon an interesting issue while prepping for a Data Domain upgrade. The first step taken to prepare for a Data Domain OS upgrade is to reboot the appliance beforehand. This ensures no issues are present before upgrading. If issues are present, they will most likely be brought to light before the upgrade. This is especially important if your system has been up for an extended period of time!
In my opinion, one of the best features within the 6.5 vCenter Server Appliance is the ability to perform backups from the appliance itself (natively). No agents, snapshots or scripts required. It really is quite simple, and I’m glad VMware added this additional feature. How many times have you heard someone explain the importance of backups?
Finalizing this month’s series on data protection, I wanted to follow up last week’s blog post on installing Avamar Virtual Edition with this one, which is installing Data Domain Virtual Edition. The two are often married together in Data Protection deployments. Simply put, Avamar is the front end backup engine that has all of backup software, and DataDomain is the landing spot for the backup data. DataDomain is Dell EMC’s appliance based deduplication device. It is the market leader in purpose-built backup appliances. Various workloads can be ingested, including data from Avamar, VEEAM, Networker, etc. Like the Avamar VE, DataDomain VE allows you fully take advantage of virtualization in one easy to manage package. The virtual edition is geared towards small-to-medium size environments and/or EDGE locations (ROBO). With that said, let’s get started!
Be sure to check out the system requirements before you proceed.
Dell EMC easily allows anyone to give DataDomain VE a try. To get started, first download the trial copy by heading over to Dell EMC’s website.
In the upper right hand corner, select download for the VMware 0.5TB Try and Buy.
The download file should start downloading
On yesterday’s blog, I was able to deploy Avamar Virtual Edition. One of the goals once deployed was to test integration with vCenter 6.5; however, when I attempted to add my test 6.5 vCenter server, I received an error. The error states “Failed to communicate to vCenter. Unable to find a valid certification path to the vCenter”.
This is caused since I don’t have a certificate installed on my test vCenter server. So, with that said, here’s what I did to resolve the issue.
Using WinSCP, connect to your Avamar node and navigate to the following directory.
/usr/local/avamar/var/mc/server_data/prefs then double click mcserver.xml
Locate vmware within the XML file. Within the entry keys, locate “ignore_vc_cert value=false”
Change the value from “false” to“true”. This resolves the issue by telling Avamar to ignore the requirement for a certificate.
Once the change has been made, click save in the upper left hand corner of WinSCP. Now we need to start/stop the MCS in order for the changes to take.
To do this, putty into the Avamar node as admin and run dpnctl stop mcs
Once the MCS is shutdown, start the MCS by running dpnctl start mcs
Now that the MCS has restarted successfully, you can login back into the Avamar GUI to add the vCenter server as a client.
In order to complete this, click on the Administration tab, then click the Account Management tab. Next, locate the top level domain, right click and select new client.
Enter the vCenter server credentials and click “OK“.
Once authenticated, the vCenter server is now seen as a client. You can now add VMs for backups.
Dell EMC has provided a Virtual Edition of their flagship backup product Avamar for some time now. Avamar is an enterprise backup software that allows you to back just about anything, which includes full image based backups of VMs within VMware, physical Windows, Linux, Unix, Hyper-V, and application consistent backups (Exchange and SQL). I’ve known about Avamar Virtual Edition for a few years now, but i’ve just now had a chance go try it out! The Virtual Edition allows users to quickly provision a Virtual Edition of Avamar instead of utilizing physical hardware. The Virtual Edition comes in 0.5TB, 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB capacities. This is intended for smaller workloads, remote branch offices, or Metadata only nodes. If you need something larger than this, look at getting one of their larger physical appliances. The virtual edition installs quickly, and in my opinion, is easier to maintain long term since you have a virtualized VM, which gives you all the benefits of virtualization. No longer do you have to worry about managing a physical appliance that has component failures and takes up power/cooling; rather, now you have a VM that can be migrated, backed up, and even deployed in the cloud! The download and install took me less than 1 hour, which is pretty quick considering how powerful a product Avamar is. First the requirements. According to Dell EMC’s website, here are the requirements for AVE.