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Welcome to Avamar Fundamentals.

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MR-1WP-AVAM

Copyright 2015 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.

Avamar Fundamentals

This course covers an introduction to EMC Avamar. It includes an overview of Avamar


terminology, features, and components, including Avamar backup and restore functions.
The course reviews Avamar tools for monitoring and maintaining an Avamar system.

Copyright 2015 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.

Avamar Fundamentals

This module focuses on introducing the Avamar solution, its key benefits, and use cases.

Copyright 2015 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.

Avamar Fundamentals

EMC Avamar is a comprehensive, client-server network backup and restore solution. With
its unique global data deduplication technology, Avamar addresses the data protection
challenges in todays IT environments.
The ever-increasing amount of data to backup presents a challenge to organizations facing
the demands of shorter backup windows, quicker restore responses, consistent backups of
remote sites, and regulatory requirements; all with the need to accomplish this with fewer
staff and tighter budgets.
Avamar meets these challenges by re-designing backup and restore as true disk-based
processes. Avamars patented global deduplication technology reduces the amount of
backup data by identifying unique data at the source. Avamar stores only one copy of this
common data across the backup network. This results in a dramatic reduction in the
amount of data that is moved across the network and stored in backup storage. The same
data is backed up as in traditional backup systems, but consumes significantly less network
and backup resources as only unique data is stored. And, by using standard IP network
technologies, dedicated backup networks are not required.
Avamar employs a scalable disk-based, server architecture built of modules that provide a
balance of connectivity, security, processing and disk storage resources. Scheduled backup
and replication functionality enable efficient backup of remote sites and provide disaster
recovery of primary backup sites. Avamar provides a user-friendly interface for central
management of the entire backup system.

Copyright 2015 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.

Avamar Fundamentals

A high percentage of data that is retained on backup media by most backup solutions is
highly redundant. The typical backup process for most organizations consists of a series of
daily incremental backups and weekly full backups.
Daily backups are usually retained for a few weeks and weekly full backups are retained for
several months to several years. Because of this process, multiple copies of identical or
slowly-changing data are retained on backup media, leading to a high level of data
redundancy.
A large number of operating systems, application files and data files are common across
multiple systems in an enterprise. Identical files such as Word documents, PowerPoint
presentations and Excel spreadsheets, are stored by many users across an environment.
Backups of these systems will contain a large number of identical files.
Additionally, many users keep multiple versions of files that they are currently working on.
Many of these files differ only slightly from other versions, but are seen by backup
applications as new data that must be protected.
Backing up redundant data increases the amount of backup storage needed and can
negatively impact network bandwidth. Organizations are running out of backup window time
and facing difficulties meeting recovery objectives due to the need to manage backup
versions and a myriad of backup tapes.

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Avamar Fundamentals

Avamar differs from traditional backup and restore solutions by identifying and storing only
unique, sub-file data objects. Redundant data is identified at the source, drastically
reducing the amount of backup data that travels across the network to be stored and
managed by the backup host. When storing data objects, Avamar takes maximum
advantage of inherent hard-disk characteristics. Avamar also creates and stores trees that
link all data objects from a single backup. These trees are used to re-create files for
restore.

Copyright 2015 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.

Avamar Fundamentals

The Avamar solution includes the following key features.

Global data deduplication ensures that data objects are only backed up once across the
backup environment.
Systematic fault tolerance, using RAID, RAIN, checkpoints and replication, provides data
integrity and disaster recovery protection
Highly reliable, inexpensive disk storage is used for primary backup storage.
Since standard IP network technologies optimize the use of the network for backup,
dedicated backup networks are not required. Daily full backups are possible using existing
networks and infrastructure.
Scalable server architecture provides security and expandability. Additional storage nodes
can be added to an Avamar multi-node server to accommodate increased backup storage
requirements.
Flexible deployment options include Avamar Virtual Edition and Avamar Data Store. Avamar
supports a wide-variety of client operating systems and applications, including: Windows,
Linux, Unix, NDMP, Microsoft SQL, Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint, and Oracle. With its
global deduplication technology, Avamar is an efficient backup choice for VMware and
remote office backup environments.
Centralized management is also provided. Backup and Recovery Manager and Avamar
Administrator interfaces enable remote management and monitoring of Avamar servers
from a centralized location via internet access. Avamar can also integrate with Data
Protection Advisor for further monitoring capabilities.

Copyright 2015 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.

Avamar Fundamentals

An Avamar backup is defined as a point-in-time copy of client data that can be restored as
individual files, selected directories or entire file systems.
Initialization is the process of running a first backup from a client. This backup will usually
take longer to complete because all of the backup data is new to the Avamar server. Thus,
little to no deduplication can take place.
A restore is an operation that retrieves one or more file systems, directories or files from an
existing backup and writes it to a designated location.
Transmission Encryption, or in-flight encryption, provides enhanced security during
client/server data transfers and on the Avamar server. For Avamar client/server
communication, Avamar supports two levels of encryption: Medium and High. The
administrator can also choose to turn off client/server encryption entirely. The exact
method and bit strength used in a given circumstance depends on several factors, including
client OS and Avamar server and client versions. Please refer to the Avamar Product
Security Manual for additional details. In addition to in-flight encryption, an Avamar server
can be configured to encrypt all backup data on disk.
Retention determines the length of time that a backup is available for restore. Avamar
allows you to specify how long a backup is retained; unused chunks from backups that have
expired are deleted from the system.
Replication is the process of storing a logical copy of Avamar server data on another
Avamar server to support future disaster recovery of the source server.

Copyright 2015 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.

Avamar Fundamentals

Deduplication is a key feature of the Avamar system. Deduplication ensures that each
unique object is stored only once in the Avamar storage system. Redundant backup data is
eliminated at the client, drastically reducing the amount of data that travels across the
network to be stored and managed by the Avamar backup server. As long as a data object
is stored on the server, it is never re-sent to the server. This dramatically reduces network
traffic and enhances backup storage efficiency, guaranteeing the most effective
deduplication of the data.
Typically, deduplication commonality yields the following results:
The initial file system is approximately 65% redundant data.
The initial database commonality is approximately 35%.
Day-over-day file system backups have a commonality of approximately 99.7%, and
subsequent database backups are approximately 97%.

Copyright 2015 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved.

Avamar Fundamentals

The slide depicts a high level logical process and data flow of an Avamar backup.

During a scheduled backup or restore, the Avamar server generates a work order. The
server then either pages the client agent or the client agent checks in with the server to
pick up the work order.
On the client, the Avamar agent traverses each directory in the backup. For each file, the
agent checks the local file cache to see if the file has been backed up before.
If there is no match in the file cache, the file is divided into variable-sized data objects or
chunks. The chunks are compressed and hashed. The hashes are used to quickly determine
if the chunks have previously been stored. The client compares each hash with the entries
in the local hash cache to see if the chunk has been stored before.
If there is no match in the local hash cache, the client asks the Avamar Server if the hash is
present on the server due to its corresponding chunk having been stored previously by a
different client.
If there is no match on the Avamar server, the hash and the corresponding data are
transferred to the Avamar server and stored. The client cache files are updated accordingly.
This process is repeated for the rest of the files included in the backup.

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Avamar Fundamentals

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There are three levels of deduplication commonly used in the backup industry: File Level,
Fixed Block Level, and Variable Block Level.
With File Level deduplication, a file is backed up to the server as long as it has not
changed. Any repeated backup of an unchanged file does not store any new data. However,
if there is any change to the file, no matter how small, the entire file needs to be backed
up and stored again. Unless the backup client contains mostly static files, this is not a
particularly efficient level of deduplication.
With Fixed Block Level deduplication, each file is first broken into equal length blocks of
data. These individual blocks of data are backed up and stored. The backup server keeps
track of how to reassemble the file in the event that a restore is needed. With this level of
deduplication, only changed blocks of data need to be stored. If there is a change in one
bit of a large file, only the block containing that bit is stored on the backup server - there is
no need to restore the unchanged blocks. As a result, deduplication rates are much higher.
However, Fixed Block Level deduplication does has an inefficiency in the event that data is
inserted into or deleted from a file. Inserting or deleting data causes a shift in all the data
after the point of insertion or deletion. This causes all the blocks after that point to be
different. The data is the same, but the blocks get cut at different points. So a small
insertion of data near the beginning of a file can cause the entire file to be backed up and
stored again.
Variable Block Level deduplication solves this inefficiency. Instead of creating blocks of
fixed length, the file is scanned and blocks are cut whenever the data matches a pattern.
The pattern is determined by a mathematical algorithm that will consistently find the same
boundary points within the data. In the example on the screen, a simplified algorithm is
used: blocks are divided after any vowel letter (A, E, I, O, or U). This way, if any data is
changed, inserted, or deleted, the boundary points do not change. The algorithm will find
the same boundary points. Only the block of data that has changed needs to be backed up
and stored again. This level of deduplication is the most efficient and is the level that is
used by Avamar.
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Avamar Fundamentals

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Hashes are used to store and find data objects. Three types of hashes are created during a
backup: atomic, composite, and root. The hash created directly from a data chunk is
referred to as an atomic hash. Atomic hashes are combined into composites and hashed to
create composite hashes. All the composite hashes are combined and hashed once more to
create a single root hash for the backup.
When data is sent to the Avamar Server during a backup, data object storage is used to
manage the objects on the server. Both the chunk that has gone through the compression
process and its corresponding hash are stored. Part of the number of the hash is used as an
address to identify the location where the corresponding data chunk is stored on backup
disk storage. Because each hash is a random and unique number, data is automatically
evenly distributed across all available storage nodes and disks within an Avamar system.
This type of address is called an object address. It eliminates the need for a separate file
level catalog.
Once an object has been stored, it cannot be deleted until the specified retention period has
expired and it is not used by any current backup. Storing data on disk, rather than on tape,
streamlines the process of searching for stored objects.

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Avamar Fundamentals

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Data is stored using a complex hierarchical hashing file system with an indexing structure
consisting of the data elements, grouped together by multiple levels of hashes, composites
and root hashes. The root hash of each backup links to the data objects and hashes
comprising the backup at the point-in-time when the backup occurred.
Data objects are stored on Avamar disk storage in special files called data stripes. Each
data stripe is created with some pre-allocated space, and is then filled with data. A single
data stripe can hold approximately 30,000 objects.
Composite hashes are stored in separate stripes. Root hashes, as well as information about
the origin of the files (client, domain, etc.), are stored in the accounts stripes. On a RAIN
system, an additional stripe file contains RAIN parity data. This data is used to reconstruct
data for a failed node. These additional stripe files account for the RAIN overhead.

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Avamar Fundamentals

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For restore, Avamar presents a full backup as of a single point-in-time.

Each backup has its own root hash linking to the data objects and hashes which comprise
the specific backup at the point in time when the backup occurred.
For a restore initiated by Avamar Administrator, MCS contacts avagent on the applicable
client. avagent starts avtar and avtar connects to a GSAN on the Avamar server. GSAN
processing locates the chunks necessary to fulfill the restore request and sends the chunks
to the avtar process running on the client. The chunks are collected in the clients memory,
ordered, uncompressed and written to disk on the client.

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Avamar Fundamentals

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Avamar is ideally suited for protecting clients in virtual environments by reducing the
amount of backup data within and across the virtual machines. Both VMware and Hyper-V
are supported. Avamar provides a high level of integration with VMware for backing up
virtual environments. Avamar provides the flexibility of implementing a virtual machine
backup solution in two ways. Avamar agents can be installed in the virtual machines for
guest level backups. Image level backups are also available to create a backup of the virtual
disk files.
VMware backups can be centrally configured, scheduled and managed with Avamar
Administrator. Avamar Administrator also has the ability to browse the virtual machines in
the environment and display information for each machine as shown on the slide.

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Avamar Fundamentals

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Data Domain systems can be used as storage for Avamar backup data. Backup data is sent
directly from the client to the Data Domain system using DD Boost technology. Backup
metadata used to identify files and backup is stored on the Avamar. Backups can then be
managed through the Avamar system. This can provide faster backup and recovery,
especially for large active databases. Data Domain integration is supported for File system
data, NDMP data, Lotus Domino, DB2, Microsoft Exchange VSS, Hyper-V VSS, Microsoft SQL
Server, Microsoft SharePoint VSS, Oracle, SAP with Oracle, Sybase, and VMware image
backup and restore.
Maintenance activities that are performed on the Avamar server are also performed on any
data stored on the Data Domain. This means that a backup that has expired or been
deleted on the Avamar server will be deleted from the Data Domain. Avamar garbage
collection, checkpoints, rollbacks, and HFS checks and replication trigger similar processes
on the Data Domain system. More information on these maintenance activities are
discussed later in this course.

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Avamar Fundamentals

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Backing up NAS data can be a challenge. NAS devices typically store large amounts of files.
They also have native operating systems that do not always allow backup software to be
installed. Network Data Management Protocol was developed to address these concerns.
The Avamar NDMP accelerator provides support for NAS appliances by interfacing between
the appliance and the Avamar server.
The NDMP Accelerator is used to backup and restore EMC Isilon and VNX IP storage
systems, and Network Appliance filers. The NDMP accelerator is a dedicated single node
Avamar client, that when used as part of an Avamar system, provides a complete backup
and recovery solution for supported NAS systems. The NDMP accelerator hosts a special
version of the Avamar client and acts as a pass-throughconduit from the NAS device to the
Avamar server. Data streams through the NDMP accelerator; no user data is stored on the
NDMP accelerator. The accelerator accepts NDMP data from the NAS appliance, performs
data deduplication, then forwards the data to the Avamar server. When performing backups
of remote sites to a primary data center, the recommended backup solution is to place an
NDMP accelerator at each remote site.

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Because Avamar architecture is extremely flexible and scalable, Avamar is an ideal solution
for distributed enterprises. Corporate backup policies can be implemented, enforced, and
managed throughout the organization from a central location. Avamar supports both local
area network and wide area network connections. There is minimal impact to network traffic
and performance as, after initialization, only changes travel over the networks.
Unless recovery time objectives cannot be met, an operational best practice is to backup
clients to a large, active, centralized Avamar server and then replicate data to another
large, passive, centralized Avamar server. As a centralized backup system, Avamar protects
critical branch data without the addition of hardware or specially trained personnel at
branch office sites.
For sites where recovery time objective (RTO) requirements must be satisfied, a local
Avamar system may be employed to backup local data at the site and then automatically
replicate the backup data to a large, centralized Avamar server. The primary advantage of
backing up to a local Avamar backup server is that restores can be done directly from that
server across the local area network to the client.
All backup and replication activity is managed from the central data center using the
Backup and Recovery Manager and Administrator interfaces. Employing Avamar disk-based
backup eliminates the need to manage a complex tape system for backups, restores, and
offsite security.
For more information about backing up clients in remote offices, please see the EMC
Avamar Operational Best Practices document.

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Avamar Fundamentals

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This module covered Avamar solution, its key benefits, and use cases.

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Avamar Fundamentals

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This module focuses on Avamar architecture, terms, and system components.

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Avamar Fundamentals

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The three major components of an Avamar system are the Avamar server, Avamar backup
clients and the Avamar Administrator.
The Avamar Server stores client backups and provides essential processes and services
required for client access and remote system administration. Avamar Administrator Server
and Avamar Data Server run on the Avamar server.
Avamar Client software runs on each computer or network server that is being backed up.
Avamar provides client software for various computing platforms. Each client consists of a
client agent and one or more plug-ins.
Avamar Administrator is a user management console software application that is used to
remotely administer an Avamar system from a supported Windows or Linux computer.

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Avamar Fundamentals

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There are several terms used when discussing Avamar.

When data is stored on an Avamar, it is first broken up into pieces called objects or
chunks. These chunks are variable sized units of deduplicated data, meaning that identical
chunks will never be stored twice on the Avamar server.
When chunks of data are stored on an Avamar, they are placed onto disk in stripes. Stripes
are units of disk space that stores data chunks and are managed by an Avamar. An
Avamar server will have many stripes containing all the data that is backed up to it.
These stripes are stored on disk on an Avamar node. A node is a self-contained, rackmountable network-addressable computer consisting of both processing power and hard
drive storage. Nodes run Avamar server software on the Linux operating system.
Usually, multiple nodes will work together as one server, although a server can consist of a
single node as well. A server functions as a single managed unit that stores and manages
all backup data across its nodes. A server is also sometimes called an Avamar grid.
An Avamar system is one or more servers that interact with one another, and the clients
that send backup data to them. Systems can be geographically dispersed due to Avamars
IP network architecture.

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Avamar Fundamentals

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If we take a look inside an Avamar server, we see that it contains multiple nodes and switches. All
these components operate together as one server. For this reason, it is called a multi-node server.
There are two main types of nodes: utility and storage.
At the bottom of the rack is one utility node. This node is dedicated to providing internal Avamar
server processes and services, such as the scheduling and management of backups, external
authentication, and web access. The hostname and IP address of the utility node is the identity of the
Avamar server for access and client-server communication.
Above the utility node are multiple storage nodes. Notice that they are larger and have more disks
than the utility node. This is because these nodes are dedicated to providing backup storage and
keeping all the chunks of data organized. When backup data is sent to an Avamar server, it is
distributed across the storage nodes and protected by parity data.
Storage nodes can be added to a server to increase its capacity. An Avamar server can have
anywhere between 3 and 16 active storage nodes. A spare storage node is also often included in a
configuration and can be enabled in the event of a node failure.
An Avamar server is often referred to according to number of active storage nodes. For example, this
is a DS12, meaning it has 12 active storage nodes. If two more storage nodes are added, it would
become a DS14. At the top of the rack, there are two internal switches. These switches provide
communication between all of the nodes in an Avamar server. Each node is connected to both
switches so that a switch failure does not result in lost communication.
Another type of Avamar server is the single-node server. In this configuration, one node performs the
roles of both the utility and the storage nodes. Because data is not distributed across multiple nodes,
as it was in a multi-node server, the failure of a single-node server will result in the unavailability, or
even loss of data. For this reason a single-node server must provide some other means of data
protection. It must either have its data replicated to another Avamar server, backup its checkpoint
data to an integrated Data Domain, or use RAID 6 protection as in the Avamar Business Edition singlenode server.

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Avamar Fundamentals

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The NDMP Accelerator is an optional specialized node that, when used as part of an Avamar
system, provides a complete backup and recovery solution for NAS devices via the Network
Data Management Protocol, or NDMP. Avamar supports EMC Isilon, VNX, and Celerra and
NetApp filers with the NDMP Accelerator.
The Media Access Node is an optional node that can be used as a pass-through device for
sending Avamar backup data to tape for long term storage.

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Avamar Fundamentals

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The two Avamar server editions provide the flexibility to meet different customer
requirements. Avamar can be deployed either as physical hardware or as a virtual machine.
The Avamar server runs on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, or SLES. The Avamar server is
capable of operating on server hardware with multiple processors.
Beginning with Avamar generation 4S hardware, three sizes of storage nodes are
supported: 2.0 TB, 3.9 TB, and 7.8 TB of licensable capacity. Licensable capacity includes
deduplicated data plus RAIN parity protection. All storage nodes within an Avamar server
must be of the same size.

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Avamar Fundamentals

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Avamar Data Store simplifies the purchase and deployment of Avamar by delivering a prepackaged solution consisting of Avamar server software installed onsite on pre-configured
and pre-tested Avamar-certified hardware. Deployment time at customer sites is reduced
since hardware stress tests and initial benchmark tests are performed before the hardware
is shipped. Avamar Data Store is available in several configurations as listed in the slide,
including multi-node and single-node servers. Multi-node servers can be expanded by
adding new nodes. Avamar Data Store is deployed by EMC-trained personnel.

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Avamar Fundamentals

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The EMC Avamar Virtual Edition, or AVE, allows the Avamar solution to be standardized on
virtual infrastructure. AVE is supported on VMware, Hyper-V, and Azure environments. It is
ideal for small, remote offices or small data centers, by lowering the total cost of ownership
through sharing the server and storage infrastructure and reducing the cost of hardware
support and maintenance.
AVE is a single-node non-RAIN Avamar server running as a virtual machine on a
virtualization host server. The licensed capacity sizes include: 0.5 TB, 1.0 TB, 2.0 TB, and
4.0 TB. Each of these capacity versions has a set of requirements for memory, I/O, and
storage. The choice of AVE version to be deployed depends on the type of data in the
environment to be backed up and the expected daily change rate.
The host server is supplied by the customer. Installation of AVE on a virtual machine is
performed by EMC-trained personnel. The AVE benchmark test must be run to ensure that
server hardware and the virtual environment meet expected I/O performance benchmarks.
Also, the benchmark test helps to determine the impact of AVE on other virtual machines
running on the same physical server.

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Avamar Fundamentals

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This module covered Avamar architecture, terms, and system components.

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Avamar Fundamentals

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This module focuses on introducing the features and capabilities of Avamar, including
backup and restore, Desktop/Laptop, and system integrity.

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Avamar backup clients are the machines that contain the data to be backed up to the
Avamar server. They are networked computers or workstations accessing the Avamar
server via a network connection. Avamar clients are usually the file servers and database
servers in an IT environment or employee computers.
Avamar Client software is installed and running on each client. Avamar provides client
software for various computing platforms.
For backing up databases, the Avamar client and a specialized database plug-in are
installed and run on the same machine. Databases supported with Avamar client software
include: Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, Microsoft SQL, SharePoint, DB2, and Oracle.
System State can also be backed with Avamar using a specialized module that is utilized by
the backup client. This captures system settings, software installations, registry, networking
information and shares, and more. The backup of the system state can save time if a bare
metal recovery needs to be performed.

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Avamar provides two backup types: scheduled and on-demand.

Scheduled backups are run automatically according to specifications that can be customized
by the administrator using the Avamar Administrator interface.
On-demand backups can be initiated from the Avamar Administrator interface and the
Management Console command line interface (MCCLI). On-demand backups can also be run
from a client machine using the Avamar Desktop/Laptop interface and with the avtar
command from the command line.

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Avamar uses groups to implement various policies for automating backups and enforcing
consistent rules across a collection of clients. Backups are scheduled to run automatically
by configuring and enabling groups. A group consists of one or more clients that will be
backed up, and a group policy that is used to configure settings for the backup. The group
policy specifies a dataset, schedule, and retention for that group. Once a group is
configured, the Avamar server will automatically perform backups of the clients within the
group according to the schedule that was set for the group. The dataset settings for the
group determine the data from each client is backed up, and the retention settings
determine how long each backup from the group is retained.
Avamar groups should not be confused with Avamar domains. Groups are used to create
automated backups for a set of clients, while domains are used to grant Avamar
administration rights to a set of clients and to organize and manage sets of clients.

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Clients inherit the group policy settings by means of their membership in a specific group.
An Avamar user with Administrator privileges can configure persistent backup selections by
creating, modifying and deleting datasets, schedules and retention policies, assigning them
to a new or existing group, and then assigning clients to the group.
Datasets define the persistent backup selections for the file systems, directories or files to
be included in a backup. You can also narrow the scope by specifying certain content, such
as file types, to exclude or include. Datasets can be created at any domain level and can be
assigned to one or more groups and clients within the assigned domain.

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The Schedule for a group determines when and how often a backup will automatically be
run. Schedules can be created at any domain level and can be assigned to one or more
groups within the assigned domain.
Retention Policies specify how long each backup from the group will be kept. Any backups
older than the specified retention are automatically dropped from the system. Retention
policies can be created at any domain level and can be assigned to one or more groups and
clients within the assigned domain.

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On-demand backups by definition are run manually at the time that the backup request is
initiated. Avamar provides multiple ways for running on-demand backups from either the
client or server side. An administrator can run an on-demand backup using the mccli
command line, run a group backup from Avamar Administrators Policy view, or select items
to backup from Avamar Administrators Backup, Restore and Manage view, as shown on the
slide. An on-demand backup can also be initiated from the client side using the avtar CLI
command or using the Desktop/Laptop interface.

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Desktop/Laptop provides an easy to use graphical user interface to be installed on a


desktop or laptop in use by an end user. This allows the end user to perform on-demand
backups and restores without help desk intervention. Desktop/Laptop is included as an
option in the Avamar client installer. It is available for Windows, Mac and Linux.
End users can initiate an on-demand backup through the Desktop/Laptop interface. This
backs up data using the dataset and retention policies set by the Avamar administrator for
the client. The enduser must ensure that the data to be protected resides within the a
directory within the backup dataset. Desktop/Laptop can optionally be configured to allow
the end user to create their own dataset and apply their own schedule. Backups and
restores over VPN are supported.

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Avamar supports restoring one or more individual files, directories or file systems from
backups stored on the Avamar server. There are two methods of initiating restores of client
data: from the Avamar server or from the client. Restores can be initiated from the Avamar
server using Avamar Administrator Backup and Restore or the mccli interface. Initiating the
restore from the Avamar client is accomplished by the Desktop/Laptop interface or the
avtar command.

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Using the Avamar Administrator Backup and Restore view, the items to restore for a specific
client can be selected either from a list of all backups for a particular date or of all backups
containing a particular path. Restores can be performed using the Avamar Administrator by
a user with Administrator privileges. Restores can be directed to the original client, or
redirected to a different client.

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If Desktop/Laptop is installed on the client machine, end-users can restore their own data.
Using the Desktop/Laptop GUI, users can search or browse for the desired files and initiate
a restore. Restores can only be performed to the client where the data originated;
redirected restores are not supported with Desktop/Laptop. This user initiated restore is
quicker and easier because no calls to IT need to be made. Also, no additional passwords
are needed. Desktop/Laptop uses LDAP or Active Directory Authentication to ensure that
the user is authorized to access their data.

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To ensure system integrity, Avamar provides systematic fault tolerance at the following
levels:
RAID is a method of protection for disk data corruption or failure. Avamar servers are
protected by either RAID-1 or RAID-6, depending on the configuration. Avamar also has
hot-swap capability with minimum system impact for highest failure-rate components.
RAIN provides failover and fault tolerance across nodes. Data is distributed across each
node and parity data is used to provide protection. RAIN provides uninterrupted
functionality during node failure, replacement and reconstruction. In the unlikely event of a
node failure, new backup data will be written onto the remaining nodes; data for recoveries
is reconstructed using parity. RAIN is used to replace the failed node, reconstruct the data
on the replacement node, and when expanding an Avamar server, rebalance the capacity
across all nodes.
High Availability Uplink and Dual Switches provide high availability in the event of hardware
failure. Each node has the ability to have dual connections to the customer switch. An
Avamar server also has two internal switches in order to provide hardware redundancy.
Checkpoints protect the server in the event of operational failures. They provide
redundancy across time. Checkpoints are a read-only snapshot of the Avamar server taken
to facilitate server rollbacks. They are created using hard-links to all the stripes. Regular
checkpoint validation, including auto-repair capability, is used to ensure data integrity.
Replication protects against data loss in the event of a server loss. Efficient, scheduled
replication (local or remote) ensures availability and redundancy of data if primary server is
lost.

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Avamar Replication is the process of logically copying backup data from one or more source
Avamar servers to a destination or target Avamar server. As with the backup process,
Avamar employs deduplication methodology at the source Avamar server, transferring only
unique data to the target server and encrypting the data during transmission.
Replication can be configured and run with the Avamar Administrator interface. Replication
is most often run on a scheduled basis, but can also be run on-demand.

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Replication can be configured in multiple ways to meet an enterprises unique requirements.


For example, replication can be used to provide disaster recovery protection of data from
multiple single-node servers to a central multi-node server in a remote, branch office to
home office scenario. It can also provide peer-to-peer disaster recovery protection from a
single-node to single-node server and multi-node to multi-node servers.
The two basic kinds of Avamar replication are standard, also referred to as normal, and full
copy or root-to-root replication.
Standard replication copies backup data from one or more source Avamar servers to a
target Avamar server. Replicated data is stored within a special REPLICATE domain on the
target Avamar. With standard replication, an Avamar server can be both a replication
source and a target for replication. Data can be restored from replicated backups directly
from the replication target Avamar server to a client activated on that server.
Full copy or root-to-root replication creates a complete logical copy of an entire source
server on the destination Avamar server. Only a one to one configuration is supported with
full copy replication. Full copy replication is best suited for server migrations and high
availability environments.

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Avamar uses three operational windows to perform various system activities. These
windows can be customized to start and end at times to meet site requirements.
The backup window is when the majority of backups are performed. Backups should be
scheduled to run during this time. No maintenance activities, such as garbage collection or
HFS checks, are performed by the Avamar server during the backup window.
The maintenance window is reserved for maintenance activities, primarily garbage
collection, checkpoint creation, and HFS check. A limited number of backups may be
initiated, but both backup time and maintenance activities will be impacted. By default, the
maintenance window runs during the day from 8 am to 8 pm.
Restores can be performed during any of these windows.

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Daily Avamar server maintenance activities include checkpoints, checkpoint validation and
garbage collection. These server maintenance activities are run automatically.
A checkpoint is a read-only snapshot of the Avamar server taken to enable server rollbacks.
Checkpoints are created using hard-links to all the stripes.
A hash file system, or HFS, check is an operation that validates the integrity of a
checkpoint. Once a checkpoint has passed an HFS check, it can be considered reliable
enough to be used for a system rollback.
Checkpoints are taken twice daily and validated once daily during the maintenance window.
Avamar administrators can also create and validate checkpoints at any time, as well as
delete checkpoints that are not needed in order to reclaim additional server storage
capacity.

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Garbage collection is the process of deleting unused chunks from backups that have
expired. This frees up capacity on the Avamar server.
Garbage collection runs once daily starting at the beginning of the Maintenance window.
Beginning with Avamar 7.0, backups can run during garbage collection. However, doing so
should be avoided since it will negatively impact the performance of both the garbage
collection and backup processes.

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For added data security, Avamar provides data encryption both in-flight and at-rest.

In-flight encryption occurs during a backup or restore. During backup, data is encrypted by
the client before it is sent over the network. This protects any data from being
compromised as it is sent over a network. Encryption strength can be set to medium, or
high, or disabled altogether. It is recommended to always use encryption, especially if
performing a backup over a wide area network.
Encryption at-rest occurs when data is written to the Avamar disk. If encryption at rest is
enabled, all data is stored in an encrypted format, so that even if data on disk was
compromised, it would be unreadable. Encryption at-rest provides a high level of security
for backed-up data.

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This module covered Avamar backup and restore, Desktop/Laptop, and system integrity.

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This module focuses on various Avamar management and monitoring tools including,
Avamar Administrator, Backup and Recovery Manager, and Data Protection Advisor.

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Avamar administration tools provide central administrative access to the Avamar system.

The Avamar Administrator is a graphical user interface (GUI) used to configure, monitor
and manage an Avamar system from one or more Windows or Linux clients.
The Management Console Command Line Interface, or MCCLI, is a Java application
providing command line access to the features and functions that are available via the GUI.
REST API provides a way to develop applications and tools that interact with Avamar
systems. For example, a developer may create a web interface to allow end users to initiate
backups.
Backup and Recovery Manager is a separate tool that can be used to monitor Avamar,
NetWorker, and Data Domain systems. It allows backup administrators to monitor and
manage all Avamar servers in a distributed environment. Client Manager is a tool within
Backup and Recovery Manager used to add and update backup clients to the Avamar
system.

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When managing an Avamar, administrators log in under an Avamar domain.

Domains are distinct zones within Avamar that are used to organize and manage backup
clients. They are used to manage administration access to groups of clients. By nesting
domains within domains to create a tree structure, you can create a hierarchy for managing
organizations and the clients in those organizations. The highest level domain is the root
domain, represented by the Avamar server in the hierarchy. When an Avamar client is
added to the Avamar server, it is assigned to a specific domain within the domain hierarchy.
The real power of domains is that they provide the ability to add specific users to specific
levels on the client tree.

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Security within the Avamar system is implemented through the use of user accounts. Users
can be created at the root, domain, and client levels in the domain hierarchy. The level at
which a user account is added to the Avamar system and the role assigned to the user
determine the access and privileges accorded to that user. Actions performed by users are
tracked and maintained in an audit log. The slide lists the roles that can be assigned to
users at the following levels in the domain hierarchy.
Root users are created at the root domain. Root users can perform tasks for all domains in
the hierarchy and the clients within the domains.
Domain users are created at the Avamar domain level. Users at the domain level can
perform tasks for that domain, the clients assigned to the domain, and any domain/client
beneath the domain in the domain hierarchy.
Client users are created for an individual Avamar client. The tasks that a client user can
perform are limited to that specific client.

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You can manage backups from the Avamar Administrator Backup, Restore and Manage
view. You can list the backups run for a particular client by first selecting the client in the
tree and then choosing to list by date, date range or retention type. Options available from
the Actions menu include changing the backup expiration date, changing the retention tag,
deleting a backup, viewing completed backup statistics, and validating a backup. Validating
a backup initiates a virtual restore of all files in the backup but does not actually restore any
files to the client file system. Deleting a backup permanently deletes the backup from the
system. Note that data referred to by other backups will not be candidates for deletion.

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Avamar provides several ways to monitor backup activity while backups are in progress and
to report on backup status.
The Avamar Administrator Activity view provides a central facility to monitor backup and
restore progress and status. With the Activity Monitor, you can see a listing of all activity for
the last 72 hours, up to a maximum of 5,000 rows. You can also bring up activity logs and
cancel an activity in progress. Options from the Actions menu include filtering the activity
results display and viewing statistics for a selected activity.
Status information is also available on a Windows client with the Avamar Progress bar and
Work Order Status.

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Client Manager is a graphical user interface accessible from within Backup and Recovery
Manager which provides many functions for managing large amounts of clients. It provides
the ability to move multiple clients between domains or servers, and to retire or delete
multiple clients and to change backup groups of clients. It is especially useful in large
environments as clients can be found easily through the use of search filters. Client
Manager can also be used to update client software and analyze backup statistics.
Activation of multiple clients can be achieved through this interface. Clients can be
discovered through the use of a directory service such as Active Directory and then
activated.

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Avamar activities and operational status are reported as events to the administrator server.
Examples of events include client registration and activation, and backup completion and
restore activity. The Avamar Administrator Event Monitor displays the most recent 5,000
system events during the past 24 hours. The listing can be filtered by event code, category,
type, severity, and domain. The report can be exported to a CSV file.

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The Avamar Administrator Server view is a primary system status monitoring tool. With the
functions within the Server view, you can suspend or resume server activity, check server
capacity, review the health of nodes and disks, and manage checkpoints and hash file
system checks. The Server Monitor presents a summarized view of CPU, network and hard
drive performance statistics for each node.

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New bytes are added to the Avamar server through the backup process. Old bytes are
removed from the server through garbage collection of unused chunks from expired or
deleted backups. The goal of managing the capacity of the Avamar server is to achieve a
steady-state server capacity utilization where the rate that new data chunks are added to
the server is equal to or less than the rate that expired data chunks are removed from the
server.
Factors affecting capacity utilization include the amount of primary storage being protected,
the initial and day-over-day backup commonality, and the length of time backups are
retained.
Capacity management is an important task for the Avamar administrator to ensure that the
Avamar system continues to have the capacity to store the required backup information.
Avamar provides many tools and reports to assist the administrator with this task.
For daily monitoring, the Avamar Administrator Dashboard, shown on the slide, provides
capacity management information, including server capacity, forecasts, and warnings.
Avamar automatically issues warnings when server utilization exceeds 80% of user capacity
and, at 100%, will go into read-only mode. EMC Technical Support is available to work with
the administrator on all capacity management issues. If more capacity is needed, multinode Avamar servers can be expanded with the addition of new nodes.

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Avamar maintains logs of client and server activities. Logs are especially useful for
investigating issues and troubleshooting error conditions. The slide shows an excerpt from a
client log detailing an on-demand backup operation.

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Many standard reports are available with the Avamar Administrator Activity Report and
Manage All Reports features. Shown here is an example of one of the activity reports. You
can also create reports using the read-only views of the Avamar Administrator server
database.
Backend Capacity Reports can be generated to show how much capacity is used by a client
or a group of clients after deduplication.

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Avamar provides a plug-in for the VMware vSphere Web Client. This adds a very basic
Avamar interface into the existing vSphere web interface. With this interface, vSphere users
can initiate image backups and restores of virtual machines in their environment. Limited
monitoring of backup activity is also available.
The purpose of the Avamar Plug-in for vSphere is to give VMware vSphere administrators
the ability to perform basic backup and recovery tasks without requiring extensive Avamar
knowledge. For this reason, many configuration tasks cannot be performed through this
interface and must be performed through Avamar Administrator instead. The vSphere
interface is primarily for monitoring scheduled backups, initiating on-demand backups, and
performing restores.
In addition to the vSphere interface, the plug-in also enables end-users to perform file-level
restores from image level backups. Users who are logged into a virtual machine can use a
web interface to select individual files from a previous backup.

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VMware vCloud environments consist of very large numbers of vApps each consisting of
multiple virtual machines. vApps and VMs are constantly being created and deleted in a
typical vCloud environment. Additionally, vClouds can be extremely large, many times with
hundreds of thousands of virtual machines.
If a large vCloud is going to be backed up by Avamar, multiple servers are required.
However, managing multiple Avamar servers is difficult. Administrators have to track which
portions of the vCloud are backing up to which Avamar servers. Avamar servers cannot
share policy definitions, so many times policies would have to be created and managed
multiple times on each Avamar.
The Avamar plug-in for vCloud moves Avamar management to the vCloud Director
interface. Instead of managing individual Avamar servers, an administrator views the cloud
resources, such as vApps and Organizations, and directs them to use backup resources.
Backup policies can be configured and shared across the entire cloud, even if multiple
Avamar servers are used. As a result, managing a large vCloud is much easier.

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Data Protection Advisor is a customizable backup reporting, alerting, monitoring, and


correlation analysis software tool for EMC and third-party backup software products.
Without Data Protection Advisor, administrators must rely on a mix of reporting and
analysis tools to manage the backup environment and provide a complete picture of the
infrastructure.
Reports with Data Protection Advisor can be customized extensively to suit the demands of
any business.
DPA can be used in Avamar environments to provide increased monitoring abilities. DPA
provides the ability to monitor the entire backup environment in addition to Avamar
servers. It is able to predict future trends in order to prevent problems before they occur.
DPA provides a single view of the entire infrastructure through data discovery, analysis, and
reporting that leverages this data for key backup management functions. DPA incorporates
backup solutions, replication technologies, virtual environments, tape/VTL storage, SAN and
NAS systems, and the business applications protected by the infrastructure.

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This module covered various Avamar management and monitoring tools including, Avamar
Administrator, Backup and Recovery Manager, and Data Protection Advisor.

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This course covered an introduction to EMC Avamar. It includes an overview of Avamar


terminology, features, and components, including Avamar backup and restore functions.
The course reviews Avamar tools for monitoring and maintaining an Avamar system.

This concludes the training. Proceed to the course assessment on the next slide.

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