Protecting Hybrid vSphere Infrastructures from Public Clouds with Cohesity DataProtect CE on AWS

Just in time for AWS Re: Invent, there is currently a tremendous and undeniable buzz in the industry around hybrid infrastructures and the actual possibilities of enterprise organizations finally being able to adopt public clouds services and begin to transform and expand their infrastructures beyond their walls.

The value of public clouds with hybrid infrastructure and architectures capabilities is undeniable, recognizing those benefits are essential for any growing business to remain competitive in the digital era. With data considered as the new oil, it’s all about information, and there is no transformation without it.

To assist our customers with their enterprise data center transformation towards hybrid architectures, we have been building features and enhancing our DataPlatform that can run and exist on-premise as a physical solution as well in public clouds as a virtual instance.

With DataPlatform CE on AWS, Cohesity makes it possible for customers to use the leading public cloud provider and interoperate with the existing VMware vSphere private infrastructures. DataPlatform Cloud Edition on AWS supports scalable deployments (scale up or scale down) suitable for enterprise vSphere infrastructures. The cloud edition on AWS still features the security, space efficiency, and management simplicity current customers love.

Our Hybrid Cloud Data Fabric will unleash many new possibilities ranging from use cases and integration opportunities that were not available in the past. Here a few use cases:

  • Test/Dev in AWS – Replicate VMs securely, and efficiently from private data centers and recover them in AWS public cloud. This can be cost-effective for test and development. Use your real applications and information for accurate and efficient development and testing.
  • BCDR in AWS – Implement cloud-based BCDR models for testing, compliance, and real disasters. Have the ability to merely fail over and fail back, when it’s suitable.
  • Long-Term Data Retention in AWS – Use low-cost storage resources to satisfy regulatory compliance acts and also archive information for further business analysis.
  • Protect Private infrastructures in AWS – Protect and safely store vSphere infrastructures and other supported platforms, and applications from private data centers directly to AWS public clouds without the need for a local Cohesity cluster.

This is just the beginning there is a lot more to come. I’ll leave you with a demonstration of the fourth use case mentioned above. It’s simple and best of all; it’s now possible.

–    Enjoy

For future updates about Cohesity, Hyperconverged Secondary Storage, Cloud Computing, Networking, and Cloud-Native Applications (CNA), and anything in our wonderful world of technology be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds.

Cohesity’s Space Efficient Target and Source-Side Dedupe Integration for Oracle RMAN

As of lately, I’ve been interfacing with a lot of enterprise customers who are looking for practical ways to overcome the challenges they are currently facing with data protection and recovery strategies of their large and growing Oracle database infrastructures.

Oracle application owners and database admins face tough challenges when it comes to protecting a large number of databases with data volumes continuously expanding due to the growth in database sizes as well as regulatory compliance policies requiring more extended data retention periods. For the most part, some can’t even run protection jobs for specific Oracle databases because of their size and the time that it takes for a protection jobs to complete.

As a result, organizations are forced to look into expensive, complicated and adventurous risky availability solutions to provide some form of data recoverability in the event of failure or corruption. This is a recognized challenge in the data center and one that enterprise organizations are in desperate need to overcome. When it comes to relational database management system, I have said it before, Oracle is by far one of the undeniable leaders in the business, and it’s also one of the most relied upon systems in the enterprise. The challenges organizations face along with their application owners, and database admins are amplified by the exponential data growth and the regulatory compliance demands of our current times requiring more extended data retention periods.

Some technologies can efficiently assist enterprise organizations overcoming the challenges with their expanding Oracle database environments, but it’s the implementation details and capabilities that can determine whether a suitable solution can be achieved. For the most part, the implementation and support of space efficiency features such as compression, deduplication are the main options to tackle these challenges. To set the context for what I want to discuss, let me provide an abbreviated definition to some of the technologies I’ll be referencing.

Compression – compression offers excellent value from a space efficient and size reduction perspective, but its effectiveness and compression ratios are limited to the type of data these functions are being applied. The compression of data can be performed inline or as a post process, all depending on the capabilities of its implementation. Much like everything else, there are pros and cons for the use of compression with Oracle databases but I that discussion is out of the scope of my argument here.

Deduplication – there are two main ways in which deduplication can be performed, and they are source side and target based deduplication. Deduplication techniques can be applied in one of two ways – used on a specific fault domain (single appliance) or globally.

Target deduplication – data is transmitted over a network onto a storage appliance (hardware or software), and then data is deduplicated at
that point. The target appliance approach is often more expensive, but it does provide some performance advantage when dealing with large amounts of data at scale.

Source-side deduplication – eliminates redundant data before transferring to a backup target repository at a server level. Source-side deduplication is implemented as a software component that runs on the server side where data is being protected. This server typically communicates with data protection solution which makes it possible for data to be deduplicated at its current location.

With source-side deduplication data that has been partially transferred or in its entirety is never transferred over the network again. This option reduces the utilization of network bandwidth. This is extremely valuable with respects to relational database management system and databases (Oracle).

For example, when using a file system to store database files, whenever a database is updated with new entries that database file changes and with traditional data protection product that file will be transferred in its entirety regardless of the protection job being flagged to be performed as an incremental protection job. With source-side deduplication, a system can inspect files and identify the changes in bytes and only transfer those changes over the network. This makes the transmission of data more efficient from a data transfers perspective over a network.

Data deduplication is performed at two different levels file-based or block-based. When comparing highest levels of efficiency between the two, file-based is not the most efficient form of deduplication because of the nature of its design to purge duplicated files.

File-based deduplication focuses on performing comparisons on files (data) that are scheduled to be protected or archived against additional replicas of a file that has already been stored. Block-based deduplication is designed to look within files (data) to identify unique values within each block of data. The blocks are divided into multiple chunks of similar fixed length, and their data is processed using either an MD5 or SHA-1 hash algorithm.

During this process, a unique identifier is generated for each chunk and is then stored in an index. At this point when a file is updated, only the changes are saved regardless of the size of the change. Block-based deduplication is more efficient, but it comes at the cost of higher overhead in processing power.

Now why wall all of this rambling? Well because it’s important to understand the value and why’s of what Cohesity’s DataPlatform can do to help enterprise organizations overcome the challenges of data protection and recovery strategies for their Oracle database infrastructures. Also, the fact Cohesity covers all of the technological points I made above with a much better and elegant implementation of the different technologies discussed above.

Cohesity’s hyperconverged data platform that includes a converged data protection solution amongst all of its enterprise storage features and capabilities. It also consists of a converged data protection solution that provides end-to-end data protection that is capable of replacing traditional backup and recovery solutions and simplifying operations.

Cohesity’s DataPlatform and DataProtect provide four different integration capabilities for Oracle databases via the tight integration with Oracle RMAN APIs that enables enterprise organizations to perform application consistent backups and restores combined with risk adverse workflows for safe and efficient operating procedures. From a space efficiency perspective, Cohesity’s DataPlatform provides global space efficiency features from global variable-length dedupe supporting both in-line and post-process dedupe and compression.

Cohesity Offers Four Powerful Oracle Integrations that are capable to meet the Data Protection and Recovery Requirements of the most Demanding Enterprise Oracle Database Environments

Direct mount of Cohesity DataPlatform to Oracle application servers

Cohesity storage abstractions can be presented as NFS volumes, enabling direct mounting to Oracle database servers. No intermediate media servers are required. RMAN automatically leverages Cohesity’s QoS policy for optimal data tiering as well as global deduplication and compression to reduce secondary storage consumption and footprint.

Automated integration with Oracle RMAN
  • Automated and configurable Oracle RMAN based protection jobs.
  • Significantly reduce recovery time by leveraging Oracle RMAN image copy backups and ensure that backup data is fully hydrated.
  • Immutable backup ensures the backups are not comprised to ransomware
  • Policy-based backups for Oracle databases; enables centralized scheduling of all RMAN scripts instead of manually scheduling backups across multiple Oracle servers.
  • Simplifies administration by providing a single pane of glass for managing backup attributes and reports including:
    • Tracking all backup tasks, schedules, alerts from one place
    • Reporting on all backup tasks
  • Ability to clone Oracle Database from backup copies
  • Ability to have DBA registers custom RMAN scripts for data protection
Source-side Deduplication

Cohesity source-side dedupe functionality for Oracle database servers provides backup admins with the following advantages:

  • Faster backups to fit the ever-shrinking backup window
  • More frequent backups that result in lower RPOs
  • Reduced network traffic between host servers and backup target
  • Less load on the backup target to handle parallel ingest streams
  • Simple to use and deploy with existing Oracle instances
  • Ability to write Oracle Backup sets simultaneously to more than one Cohesity Appliance, eliminating the need for asynchronous replication
  • Supports 11g & 12c versions of Oracle DB deployed on Oracle Enterprise Linux and Redhat Linux
  • Supported RMAN backups configurations are Full backups, Incremental backups with or without Oracle change block tracking turned on
Snapshot offload of primary storage arrays

Through integration with primary storage arrays, Cohesity can easily and quickly offload and restore array data & snapshots from and to production environments.

  • Optimal snapshot movement using primary storage array snapshot API
  • No disruption to database servers as all backups are taken directly from primary storage
  • Faster backup and improved RTO & RPO over conventional app server backups
  • Provide application-consistent backups
  • Reduce storage requirements and overhead on production storage by moving older snapshots to secondary storage

From simplicity of management, risk adverse operational workflows to faster data protection and recovery, Cohesity DataPlatform, DataProtect and its integration with Oracle RMAN can address a majority of the challenges enterprise organizations are currently facing with the data protection and recovery strategies of their large and growing Oracle database infrastructures.

To finish up, here is a demonstration showcasing one of Cohesity’s integration points with Oracle RMAN and the source-side deduplication configuration with multiple streams.

You can find another Cohesity and Oracle related article and demo on the link below:

–    Enjoy and don’t forget “The Sky’s the limit.”

For future updates about Cohesity, Hyperconverged Secondary Storage, Cloud Computing, Networking, VMware vSAN, vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVol), vSphere Integrated OpenStack (VIO), and Cloud-Native Applications (CNA), and anything in our wonderful world of technology be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds.

Streamline Enterprise Oracle Databases Protection and Recovery with Cohesity and Oracle RMAN

In today’s era of digital transformation and the uprising of IoT, enterprise organizations are faced with some significant challenges around the management of business-critical data concerning data protection, access, data retention, data recovery, and mobility.
In reality, enterprise organizations can’t expect traditional data management solutions to have the capabilities to accommodate the data growth and business demands of our current times. Partly because of the majority of the available data management solutions were designed to satisfy business requirements from a couple of decades ago.

Some of the challenges enterprise organizations are facing is the lack of modern and advanced technological innovations as well as modernized operational workflows with that are designed to drive simplicity in management. Traditional data protection and recovery solutions depend on complex workflows and processes that require a lot of management efforts to perform some of the most fundamental and core functions. In enterprise scenarios, the manageability of the infrastructure is compromised by complex solutions and operational procedures. Complexity, not only increases the management efforts but it also increases operational costs and even more important, it increases the probability of functional risks which can be extremely costly and detrimental to any business.

Enterprise organizations facing the challenges mentioned above is what keeps everyone from the executive staff all the way down to the infrastructure admins losing sleep concerned about the adequate management and protection of their data. Here is an abbreviated list of those concerns:

  • Protections and recovery windows
  • Recoverability service levels
  • Reduction of risks and exposure to data loss
  • Long-term backup storage
  • Data management complexity
  • Data sovereignty and compliance
  • Budgets and costs

Enterprise organizations have to adopt a modern data management solution that is capable of delivering on the characteristics mentioned above. A majority of the information generated and stored by the business-critical application in enterprise rely on relational database management systems such as Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle to name a few. Oracle is by far one of the undeniable leaders in the relational database management systems domain, and it’s also one of the most relied upon systems in the enterprise. Application owners and database admins face the challenge of protecting a large number of databases with data volumes continuously expanding due to the growth in database sizes as well as compliance and regulatory compliance requiring longer data retention periods.

Because of long term data sovereignty and compliance mandates it has become too expensive and risky to preserve protected data on traditional primary storage system.  At the same time, having an active data protection strategy with fast RTOs and RPOs is paramount, especially for mission-critical applications that can withstand only minimal downtime windows.
Enterprise organizations have to satisfy data management business requirements whilst also adhering to data sovereignty, and compliance regulation acts. A solution is needed that is capable of simplifying and streamlining their data management procedures.

Cohesity’s DataPlatform can help enterprise organization overcome data management challenges and concerns by streamlining their procedures and provide a simple, fast, and cost-effective converged data platform that includes a data protection and recovery solution for growing Oracle database environments. With native integration to Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN) Cohesity provides application-consistent backup and recovery for both Oracle single instance or Real Application Clusters (RAC).

Cohesity DataPlatform provides two different powerful integration options for Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN):

Cohesity’s Remote Adapter integration with Oracle RMAN – Cohesity Remote Adapter delivers an integrated and centralized approach to
manage Oracle backup jobs. It provides a single location to register and schedule all RMAN scripts across the Oracle environment. Remote Adapter is built-into Cohesity DataPlatform and offers flexible management of scripts running on remote hosts.

This allows the Cohesity cluster to manage data protection processes and schedules as well as provide a consolidated log of all activity. Oracle RMAN scripts are still hosted on the Oracle server with one extra step to register the scripts with the Cohesity cluster. Once registered, the RMAN scripts are remotely triggered and monitored for completion and activity logged on the cluster.

Advantages of the Cohesity Remote Adapter and Oracle RMAN:
Simplifies administration by providing a single-pane-of-glass for managing backup attributes and reports including blackout windows, pause for maintenance, etc.

  • Provides a single location for the customer to register all RMAN scripts
  • Provided central scheduling for all RMAN scripts consolidating data protection scheduling across multiple Oracle servers
  • Report and Track all backup tasks, schedules, and alerts from a single console
  • QoS Policy for workload optimization

Oracle RMAN Writing to Cohesity DataPlatform as a Target – For this option, Cohesity is presented as an NFS volume, enabling direct mounting to Oracle database servers. No intermediate media servers are required. RMAN automatically leverages Cohesity’s QoS policy for optimal data tiering as well as global deduplication and compression to reduce secondary storage consumption and footprint.

Advantages of leveraging RMAN with Cohesity as target storage:

  • No change needed by DBA
  • 
Leverage Cohesity scale out platform
  • QoS Policy for workload optimization

 

 

Cohesity’s DataPlatform also makes it easy for enterprise organizations to assess and validate the reliability of their data protection strategy and requirements from both physical and logical perspectives

  • Physical: Disasters, outages, failures, corruptions
  • Logical: Human errors, application errors, remote replication

Take a look at the demonstration below which showcases Cohesity’s integration with Oracle RMAN.

-Enjoy

For future updates about Cohesity, Hyperconverged Secondary Storage, Cloud Computing, Networking, VMware vSAN, vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVol), vSphere Integrated OpenStack (VIO), and Cloud-Native Applications (CNA), and anything in our wonderful world of technology be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds.

Multi-Site Enterprise Protection and Recovery for VMware Cloud Foundation

One of the many valuable capabilities Cohesity’s converged DataPlatform offers to enterprise organizations is native replication capabilities from a secondary storage platform perspective. Organizations using Cohesity have access to one of the many enterprise and cloud storage features that are included with Cohesity’s DataPlatform. Any data or virtual machine that is stored and protected in a Cohesity cluster can be easily configured for multi-site replication.

In some cases, replication can be used as disaster recovery solution where an organization can enable data replication from a local on-premises cluster to another cluster running at a secondary site or even a public cloud. These procedures can be implemented in the form of a system policy which decreases the infrastructure manageability and introduces safer forms of operations.

Because of my long history and advocacy for VMware, one of my favorite scenario and use cases is to combine Cohesity with VMware Cloud Foundation. Organizations looking to adopt VMware Cloud Foundation as their preferred infrastructure solution for their software-defined datacenter can easily protect and replicated virtual machines and data to a secondary site for disaster recovery.
The same approach can be taken for test and development purposes; and other potential use cases.

In general, organizations looking to modernize and enhance their data centers with modern solutions that are designed with high levels of resiliency and highly available architectures will find those benefits with the adoption of VMware Cloud Foundation and Cohesity combined. Together, VMware Cloud Foundation and Cohesity make implementing, managing and protecting the next generation software-defined datacenter infrastructure simple.

VMware and Cohesity are both focused on providing cloud-like simplicity and also enabling the journey of adopting the cloud, by extending VMware Cloud Foundation and data protection from on-premises to the cloud for disaster recovery while also catering to test and dev and other secondary storage use cases.

Take a look at the demonstration below and see how simple it is to configure and navigate UI and the simplified process to protect, replicate and recover multiple VMs in a multi-site infrastructure.

-Enjoy

For future updates about Cohesity, Hyperconverged Secondary Storage, Cloud Computing, Networking, VMware vSAN, vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVol), vSphere Integrated OpenStack (VIO), and Cloud-Native Applications (CNA), and anything in our wonderful world of technology be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds.

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