Granular File Restore and Ransomware Protection for Micro Focus OES Backups

Catalogic DPX and Micro Focus OES 

Catalogic Software is not one of those data protection vendors that have abandoned Micro Focus Open Enterprise Server (OES). Catalogic DPX® has provided industry-leading backup and recovery for Novell products since 1997, and we even pioneered many data protection features such as OES cluster-support and deep GroupWise integration. And unlike many other backup vendors, we are still committed to the Micro Focus OES, including full support for the upcoming Micro Focus OES 2023 release. 

Unitrends and Micro Focus OES 

For decades, Novell and more recently Micro Focus OES customers have relied on Unitrends for backup and recovery of their OES data. Using its OES agent, Unitrends allowed users to protect all aspects of their OES environment, including files, directories, and web-application management tools like eDirectory, iFolder and iManager. It also offered the ability to granularly restore individual files and folders, which is extremely important for OES customers since applications like eDirectory are responsible for identity-based management, networked storage, and file directories for employees, clients, and/or students. Though recovery of an entire OES server due to corruption or a disaster is necessary at times, the majority of recovery jobs are lost or accidently deleted files from these directories. 

Disappointed and Surprised Unitrends Customers 

Unitrends customers have recently been discovering some upsetting news – oftentimes receiving this surprise after they notice their backup jobs have been failing and have opened a support ticket. Post its acquisition by Kaseya, Unitrends has published a list of unsupported operating system agents, including the agent that supports OES backups. Unitrends is treating OES servers like any other virtual or physical machine. It provides server-level backups and restores but without an agent, it has lost the file and object-level granularity that is needed for OES data protection.  

What this means for legacy Unitrends customers is that when an administrator receives a request from an employee who accidently deleted an important file, they can no longer recover the individual file. Instead, they need to restore the entire virtual machine and then figure out how to migrate or copy the specific OES object like eDirectory to its original location. This is difficult enough for those customer using OES in a virtual environment and it is near impossibility for those who run their OES on physical machines. 

This change in direction by Unitrends is forcing hundreds of customers to either seek alternative backup solutions, or to move away from Micro Focus OES and other operation systems altogether. In fact per their unsupported agent notice: “Unitrends strongly recommends pursuing alternate methods of protecting data residing on these Operating Systems.” 

DPX is That Alternative Backup Solution 

If you are one of those Micro Focus OES or GroupWise customers searching to find that replacement for Unitrends, look no further than Catalogic DPX. DPX has provided industry leading backup and recovery for Novell products since 1997. We have even pioneered many data protection features such as OES cluster-support and deep GroupWise integration. And unlike Unitrends and many other vendors, we have never backed away from our commitment to the Novell family of products, even after the acquisition by Micro Focus. 

Catalogic DPX support for OES includes cluster configuration, GroupWise environments, and backup of standalone and shared volumes, eDirectory, etc. It provides the ability to perform full, incremental, and differential backups, and these backups, unlike with Unitrends, can be at the volume, directory, and even individual file level. Then, more importantly, files can be restored with security, metadata, and file-attributes/trustee rights still intact. For more information on OES cluster and GroupWise support, please see Catalogic DPX is the Smart Choice for Micro Focus OES Customers

DPX even has its own software-defined storage repository called DPX vStor that can act as a flexible and scalable disk directory for your OES backups. Built on open source components, vStor can use any block storage without restrictions, freeing you from expensive Unitrends backup appliances and vendor lock-in. vStor supports data reduction in the form of both deduplication and compression for efficiency and provides point-to-point replication for DR or remote office support. 

Protecting your Backups from Ransomware 

Data Protection is often the last line of defense when it comes to ransomware attacks. DPX delivers a secure data protection solution with instant recoverability to help ensure you can protect your backup data set from ransomware and recover data in an instant when you need it. 

With DPX, you have integrated ransomware protection: 

  • Support for the 3-2-1-1 rule provides a robust data protection solution with verified scheduled recoveries for automated recovery testing.  
  • 3 copies of your data 
  • 2 copies stored on different storage media types 
  • 1 of the copies offsite or in the cloud on immutable media 
  • 1 copy verified as recoverable 
  • Encryption of backup data in transit over the network and at rest via DPX vStor volume encryption 

To learn more, please see Recommendations From FBI Cyber Division on How to Reduce Risk from Ransomware Attacks and watch this free webinar: Protect and Recover Micro Focus OES from Ransomware Attacks

Now is the Time to Make a Change 

Just because Unitrends and others are no longer providing the backup and recovery capabilities that you need, it does not mean OES customers are out of options. Catalogic DPX is a proven, cost-effective and reliable alternative, and Catalogic is committed to providing effective, granular backup and recovery for all aspects of the Micro Focus OES environment. 

Regarding ransomware protection, if your backup solution is not hardened against recent vulnerabilities with all the required patches and updates (remember log4j?), or if it does not provide you with immutable backups with granular recovery, now is the time to make a change. 

If you would like to learn more about Catalogic DPX, you can request a live demo or even get a 30-day trial copy to try it for yourself. We’ll be happy to provide a review of your data protection environment and help you set up a proof of concept. 

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06/29/2022 0 Comments

Catalogic DPX is the Smart Choice for Micro Focus OES Customers in Education

In 2014, Micro Focus acquired Novell, in a move that extended the mainframe software provider’s reach into Linux. This acquisition included Novell’s Open Enterprise Server (OES). Micro Focus OES is a server operating system that provides a virtual computing environment and shared network resources, giving it the functionality of an enterprise-scale server operating system. OES consists of multiple modules and components around files, storage, directory, and web application management which are essential for shared files, print networks, driver deployment, identity-based management, and network connectivity for Windows, Mac, and Linux client devices.

Protecting Micro Focus OES Data in an Education Environment

All these things make OES a very useful tool for school districts, universities, and colleges around the world. Having the ability to provide shared network resources to faculty and staff, as well as to students, provides benefits for school administrators. Due to the reliance on these shared resources, protecting the shared files is extremely important.

For a specific school district and an art university, having the need to recover lost or deleted files became an everyday occurrence. For years, they had relied on Unitrends to provide them with granular backup and recovery of their OES data. However, for both organizations, the administrators arrived to work one day and realized that their scheduled backup jobs had failed. As they usually would in these instances, they opened a support ticket with Unitrends. But this time, they were told that OES-specific backups are no longer supported.

Replacing Unitrends with Catalogic DPX for Micro Focus OES

Given Unitrends no longer supports their OES backup agent, these customers would have to instead utilize Unitrends virtual machine snapshots to protect their OES data. With this workaround, they would lose the ability to perform single-file recovery of an OES resource, something they previously did on a regular basis.

Luckily for them, Catalogic DPX provides a replacement for Unitrends that is fully committed to supporting Micro Focus OES. DPX has provided industry leading protection and recovery for Novell products since 1997, and we are committed to continuing that. We have even pioneered many data protection features such as OES cluster-support and deep GroupWise integration. And unlike Unitrends and other data protection vendors, Catalogic has never backed away from our commitment to the Novell family of products, even after the acquisition by Micro Focus. DPX customers will be able to continue to perform granular backup and restores of their Micro Focus OES data.

DPX Cluster-level and GroupWise Support for OES

In Figure 1, the virtual node is labeled as “cluster.” The item “V1” represents the shared resource. Objects oes-lx-c1, oes-lx-C2, and oes-lx-C3 are the server nodes in the cluster.DPX provides intelligent data protection for OES, which begins with being cluster-aware. This means that by using a virtual node concept, where all individual server nodes are represented together as a single entity, DPX is able to ensure that data is not backed up twice (from two different nodes in the cluster), and if a cluster node fails during backup of a shared resource, DPX continues to execute the backup by switching the task through the failover node. This ensures that critical infrastructure information is always protected.

Then, when it comes to recovery, restore of OES data is simplified. The user needs only to select the virtual node object and DPX is smart enough to restore the correct volume. The operator does not need to know the source of the data, or which node performed the backup. This avoids confusion and ensures a quicker, trouble-free recovery process.

DPX support for Open Enterprise Server includes cluster configuration, GroupWise environments, and backup of standalone and shared volumes, eDirectory, etc. It provides the ability to perform full, incremental, and differential backups, and these backups, unlike with Unitrends, can be targeted at the volume, directory, and even individual file level. Then, more importantly, files can be restored with security, metadata, and file-attributes/trustee rights still intact.

Figure 1. DPX OES Cluster

Figure 2. DPX GroupWise Environment

DPX-GroupWise-Environment-1

In Figure 2, you can see the layout for DPX GroupWise environment:

  • (Po) shows Post Office resources
  • (Dom) shows Domain Objects
  • (DMS) Document Management Systems Library
  • Other objects can include Binary Large Objects (Blb), and even (TMP) which are any other directories referenced by /HOME flags

DPX even has its own software-defined storage repository called vStor that can act as a disk directory for your OES backups. vStor will then perform deduplication and com-pression so that your storage is maximized.

DPX is Committed to Micro Focus OES Support

This school district and this art university are just two examples of the many Micro Focus OES customers who have been surprised by Unitrends dropping support for OES. By no longer supporting granular backup and recovery for OES, school administrators would have to resort to full VM restores, to recover a single lost or deleted file. This is simply inefficient and a waste of their time and resources. DPX, on the other hand, is committed to continuing to provide enterprise-level data protection, including the granularity needed for these school districts, universities, and colleges using Micro Focus OES.

If you are like many others and have been left out in the cold with no OES support by your backup vendor, give DPX a try. If you would like to learn more about DPX, you can request a live demo or even get a 30-day trial copy to try it for yourself. We’ll be happy to help you with the trial and provide our expertise to assess your backup environment for ransomware recovery.

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05/11/2022 0 Comments

Catalogic DPX is Not Backing off from Commitment to Micro Focus OES 2018

History of Novell Open Enterprise Server

In early 2005, Novell, since then acquired by Micro Focus, made a splash in the Linux pool with their Open Enterprise Server (OES) product. Based initially on Netware and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) and later just on SLES, Micro Focus OES is an enterprise-scale server operating system that provides essential shared services, including networked storage, file and print services, identity management, and network connectivity for Windows, Mac, and Linux client devices.

Protecting Micro Focus OES Environments

Now, as you would expect, where Micro Focus OES is a large part of an organization’s shared network services and computing environment, it is a critical part of IT infrastructure. So much so that if services were to go off-line for whatever reason, your users would be out of commission. With that in mind, it is crucial that the data stored in your OES environment be protected.

Over the years, a wide variety of data protection vendors have provided adequate Micro Focus OES backup and recovery. OES users had some options when it came to choosing a backup provider. However, as time has gone on, those same vendors have slowly moved on from the Novell family of products, leaving many OES customers with no way to protect their data.

Catalogic DPX and Micro Focus Partnership

Catalogic Software is not one of those data protection vendors that have abandoned OES. Catalogic DPX has provided industry-leading Novell OES backup and recovery for Novell products since 1997, and we even pioneered many data protection features such as OES cluster-support and deep GroupWise integration. Unlike many other vendors, we have never backed away from our commitment to the Novell family of products, even after the acquisition by Micro Focus.

DPX Cluster-level support for OES

DPX provides intelligent data protection for OES, which begins with being cluster-aware. This means that by using a virtual node concept, where all individual server nodes are represented together as a single entity, DPX can ensure that data is not backed up twice (from two different nodes in the cluster). Suppose a cluster node fails during the backup of a shared resource. In that case, DPX continues to execute the backup by switching the task to the failover node, ensuring that critical infrastructure information is always protected.

In Figure 1, the virtual node is labeled as a “cluster.” The item “V1” represents the shared resource. Objects oes-lx-c1, oes-lx-C2, and oes-lx-C3 are the server nodes in the cluster.

When it comes to recovery, the restoration of OES data is simplified. The user needs only to select the virtual server object, and DPX is smart enough to restore the correct volume. The operator doesn’t need to know the data source or which node performed the backup; this avoids confusion and ensures a quicker, trouble-free recovery process.

Figure 1

DPX support for Linux and NSS File System, eDirectory, and More

DPX supports full, incremental, and differential backups, which can be targeted at the volume, directory, or individual file level. Files can be restored with security and metadata and file-attributes / trustee rights still intact.

DPX Supports the following for OES backup:

  1. Cluster configuration OES
  2. GroupWise environments
  3. Backup of standalone and shared NSS volumes,
  4. Backup of eDirectory, etc.

In Figure 2, you can see the layout for the DPX GroupWise environment:

  1. (Po) shows Post Office resources
  2. (Dom) shows Domain Objects
  3. (DMS) Document Management Systems Library
  4. Other objects can include Binary Large Objects (blb) and even (TMP), which are any other directories referenced by /HOME flags

DPX has its software-defined storage repository called vStor that can act as a disk directory for your OES backups. DPX vStor performs deduplication and compression so that your storage is maximized, as well as replication to another backup node for redundancy and disaster recovery. Backup data can be archived to cloud or tape for long-term retention.

Figure 2

Conclusion

As you can see, the backup and recovery of your Micro Focus OES 2018 infrastructure are fully supported by Catalogic. If the recovery is as severe as a massive hardware failure, or a server failure in a multi-server OES cluster, or something less critical like post office corruption, individual email messages lost, or a user account deleted, having the ability to quickly and easily recover that information is incredibly important.

Whether you are just starting your search for a Micro Focus or Novell OES backup vendor or if your existing backup vendor is no longer supporting OES 2018 backups, Catalogic is an excellent and cost-effective alternative. We have been committed to our partnership with Micro Focus since the beginning, and we will continue to be there to protect your data for the long term.

If you would like to learn more about Catalogic DPX, you can request a live demo or even get a 30-day trial copy to try it for yourself. We’ll be happy to help you set things up.

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11/01/2021 0 Comments

Backup Your Open Virtual Machines and Clouds with vProtect 4.2

As we near the summer months, when most development teams take the foot off the gas and coast through the vacation season, Storware just keeps pumping out new releases for vProtect.

vProtect is a backup and recovery solution for modern workloads that provides agentless data protection services for Open VM environments, virtual environments built on VMware and Hyper V, containers like Kubernetes, storage providers (Ceph RBD, Nutanix Files, file system), and applications running on-prem and in the cloud. vProtect can function as a standalone solution or integrate with enterprise backup software.

Hot on the heels of its previous release that included support for the protection of storage providers, like Ceph RBD, vProtect 4.2 adds a synthetic backup provider based on XFS, allowing incremental-forever backups and significantly faster restores. This release also introduces granular RBAC system-level roles that allow administrators more control over vProtect security.  By defining user groups and roles, RBAC enables administrators to specify which actions and views are accessible to users by using pre-defined, built-in roles or customizing their own.

For oVirt/Red Hat Virtualization/Oracle Linux Virtualization Manager distributions, two new transfer optimizations have been added: BZIP2 compression when using SSH transfer method and direct transfers to/from hypervisors in Disk Image transfer method.  Both of these improvements result in even faster backups. Additionally, for these environments vProtect received the option to easily configure metadata DB backups directly from the hypervisor manager’s section.

vProtect version 4.2 also added snapshot-management for Ceph RBD Storage Provider and SMB support for Nutanix Files. Finally, to improve system performance visibility, the management interface received additional notifications related to VDO space occupancy, transfer rate charts, and inventory synchronization statuses.

vProtect 4.2 key highlights at a glance:

  • Synthetic file system backup provider using XFS
  • RBAC – system-level roles and user groups
  • Storage Providers – Nutanix Files – SMB shares support
  • Web UI – transfer rate charts
  • Hyper-V multithreaded import during a restore

Did you miss our live webinar? –  Add Modern Data Protection for Open Virtual Machines & Clouds to your Enterprise Backup – Pawel Maczka, CTO at Storware and Brian Sietsma, Solutions Architect at Catalogic Software, discussed the new updates in the latest version release of vProtect 4.2. Watch it on-demand!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. To view more vProtect features, check our website. We would be happy to answer any of your questions and provide you with more information.

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05/27/2021 0 Comments

New vProtect Features and Enhancements – 4.1 Update

vProtect enables VM-level protection and can function as a standalone solution or integrate with enterprise backup software. vProtect also provides data protection for Kubernetes deployments.

In the last update, vProtect 4.0 updated/re-organized Web UI, added incremental backup support for ProxMox – the first tool to have this feature, and added CBT backup strategy for RHEV/AHV will improve incremental backup for these hypervisors.

In this recent 4.1 update, vProtect provides the new ability to backup storage providers –backup, restore, mount file systems, RBD volumes, and Nutanix files.

Let’s take a look at the vProtect 4.1 new highlights:

Storage provider – Ceph RBD – support for backup/restore/mount of RBD volumes

  • Backup of Ceph RBD volumes (separate from OpenStack/OpenShift/KVM environments) are now supported. Dedicated policies can protect Ceph RBD volumes directly with option for full and incremental backup.
  • OpenStack Ceph configurations can be protected at the Ceph cluster level for each AZ.

Storage provider – file system – support for backup/restore/mount of plain file systems mounted on the nodes

  • File Systems on the vProtect node can now be protected. This means that anything that you mount on the node can be protected using backup schedules for regular file-based backups in both full and incremental format.

Storage provider – Nutanix Files (AFS) – technical preview of support for backup/ restore/mount of Nutanix Files

  • File-level protection for NFS shares from Nutanix Files.  This allows for incremental backups using CFT API.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us. We would be happy to answer any of your questions and provide you with more information.

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02/16/2021 0 Comments

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