Category: vProtect

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

Enabling Effective Data Management in Your Organization

The time has finally come. You’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into your most recent content piece, and it’s ready to be packaged up and sent to the client to be pushed live. After a few final checks and only…

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08/28/2020 0 Comments

Open VM Socket-Based Pricing vs Per-VM Pricing: vProtect

To further elaborate, Veeam’s licensing structure is now formulated around multiple different parameters of your environment, while limiting the socket-based pricing to just on-premise VMware  ESXi  and Microsoft Hyper-V.  vProtect  from Catalogic Software does not limit you based on your open virtualization platform or based on the details of your existing environment.

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08/14/2020 0 Comments

Protect VMs in Nutanix Acropolis and other Hypervisors Without a Need to “Rip and Replace”

The time has finally come. You’ve poured your blood, sweat, and tears into your most recent content piece, and it’s ready to be packaged up and sent to the client to be pushed live. After a few final checks and only…

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01/06/2020 0 Comments

Latest vProtect Release Adds OpenStack support, Updates for RHV/oVirt and Oracle VMs, plus more!

The latest update of vProtect brings new features to the Nebula release, first announced in April of this year. The new code drop, v 3.8.1, is available immediately and has a lot of nice additions.

The big-ticket item is the first vProtect support for OpenStack. It comes with both full and incremental backup support, plus file-level restores. This release works with KVM virtual machines using QCOW2 disks.

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11/03/2019 0 Comments

Protecting Kubernetes Containers Using vProtect

In an earlier blog post, I discussed the transformation that is occurring in the virtualization industry.  That article went on to describe the increased adoption of various open-source hypervisor platforms and how the virtualization market continues to grow at a remarkable rate.  Along with that growth and increased adoption comes evolution and new ideas. One of those ideas that have sprouted out of virtualization is the development of containers.

Unlike VMs that stand alone and do not interact with each other, containers share resources with other containers on the host system, including the operating system kernel and libraries. By sitting on top of a physical server or a VM and its host OS, containers are much easier to manage than VMs. VMs each have their own OS that needs to be taken care of (bug fixes, upgrades, patch fixes).  With containers, you will only have to manage the OS for the single host server instead of each and every container. Containers are also more lightweight and require far less time to boot up than VMs. This makes it possible to pack a greater number of applications into one server (hundreds or thousands of containers can run on a single server, while it is impossible to host this many VMs on the same hardware).  Another benefit of using containers is their portability. Containers can move between cloud environments or even back onto an on-premise datacenter.

Now maybe you’re thinking, container technology is the “new shiny toy” for developers. “They really aren’t being used in production environments,” or “not enough people are using them for us to trust them.”  These assumptions would be more incorrect by the day. In fact, the projected market for application container technologies at the end of 2019 will be more than $2.1 billion and expected to more than double, to $4.3 billion, by 2022.  In a survey done by Portworx and Aqua Security, a whopping 87 percent of respondents said that they are now running container technologies. This is up from 55 percent in 2017. But some of the most obvious signs that containers have entered the mainstream are the following:

Nine out of ten companies that use container technology are doing so in production.

In 2018, only 17% of IT operations teams were driving container adoption, but in 2019 that number is up to 35%.

Long story short, containers are not just a fad being used by developers in test environments. IT teams as a whole are adopting container usage and ownership, dedicating large budgets to container-driven projects, and are using container technology in production environments.

As more and more IT teams are using container technology in production, especially Kubernetes and OpenShift containers, it is becoming increasingly important to make sure that this production data is being protected with some sort of backup solution. That is where vProtect comes in.

Developed by Storware Inc., vProtect provides an agentless, crash-consistent backup of deployments running in Kubernetes and OpenShift environments and stored on persistent volumes, and provides the ability to store these backups in a wide range of backup destinations, including mounted file systems, enterprise-level backup solutions (IBM Spectrum Protect, DellEMC NetWorker, Veritas NetBackup), cloud storage (Amazon S3, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure), and many others.

During a backup job, vProtect automatically pauses the running deployments to ensure backups are crash consistent. It collects the information stored on persistent volumes, as well as the configuration meta-data, and exports these to the backup destination.  During a restore, vProtect recreates the application from the backed-up metadata stored in the backup destination.

As previously mentioned, vProtect collects information during a backup job from the data stored on persistent volumes.  A persistent volume is one of two storage abstracts available for Kubernetes. The other is referred to simply as a volume.  A Kubernetes volume exists only while the containing pod exists, meaning once the pod is deleted the associated volume is also deleted. A persistent volume remains available outside of the pod lifecycle.  The persistent volume will remain even after the pod is deleted. It can then be claimed by another pod if required, and the data living on that volume is retained. Long story short, if the data stored in the pods is temporary data and does not need to be retained regardless of the pods lifecycle, a Kubernetes volume may be fine, but if the data needs to be retained even after the pod has been deleted, a persistent volume is needed.

That is why vProtect performs data protection of Kubernetes containers by backing up data stored on those persistent volumes. This gives the end user the ability to restore that data, and recreate applications, even if the original pod no longer exists.

Due to the exponential growth of container-technology, and the adoption of containers in production environments, do not be surprised if you hear your developers or your IT operations team considering this option.  Many organizations, including large enterprise companies, are deciding to transition to container-based deployments and are reaping the benefits of improved efficiency, even in production environments. Now, the important next step, especially in production deployments, is making sure that the data stored in those containers is protected.  Let vProtect do this for you.

If you would like to learn more about vProtect, 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.

We also have a pre-recorded demo available on our website if you would like to see the product in action on your own time.

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10/23/2019 0 Comments

How and Why vProtect Displaced Bacula for Protecting Red Hat Virtualization / oVirt

After years of almost exponential growth, with many businesses virtualizing over 80% of their workloads, the virtualization industry has hit a tipping point. Now more than ever, organizations are questioning the value proposition of the “Big Two,” VMware and Hyper-V, and looking at alternative hypervisors. And this means looking at backup eco-system alternatives as well.

This doesn’t mean that organizations aren’t continuing to invest in virtualization. The hypervisor market continues to grow at a solid rate. What it means is that the market is seeing a shift in how organizations are virtualizing their infrastructure.

Over the last ten years, the Big Two have dominated the market. But as organizations continue to virtualize more and more of their workloads, the increased cost of the Big Two has begun to be too much to handle for a lot of companies. In the wake of this, we are beginning to see the creation and growth of alternative open-source or niche hypervisors like Red Hat Virtualization, Citrix Hypervisor, Oracle VM, etc.

The issue organizations are dealing with is the following: we cannot afford to continue to expand the VMware or Hyper-V environment, but it’s hard to trust these new, open-source hypervisors, especially when our existing backup solution is unable to protect the virtual machines.

That is where vProtect comes in. vProtect is a modern, enterprise-level backup solution designed specifically to protect these open VM environments. This includes support for Nutanix Acropolis, Citrix Hypervisor (XenServer), RedHat Virtualization, KVM, and many more. vProtect enables agentless VM-level protection and can function as a standalone solution or integrate with your existing enterprise backup software.

As you can imagine, as the open-source hypervisor market is beginning to expand, vProtect is not the only solution out in the market for these types of environments. Another such product is Bacula. Bacula, like vProtect, focuses attention on the niche market of open-sourced hypervisors. A quote straight from Bacula’s website claims to feature “the most advanced backup and recovery for RedHat Virtualization on the planet.” Now, is this really the case? How does Bacula compare to vProtect in this RHEV/oVirt (Red Hat Virtualization) space? And how does it measure up in terms of support for all the other open-sourced hypervisor options that are out there? Does it support containers? How about AWS EC2 machines? Does it support cloud offload?

According to end-users that we have been in touch with, Bacula (for the most part) is successful in protecting the VMs. It does what it says it does. However, some have complaints about backup speeds and flexibility when it comes to allowing different ways to transfer the VM data. Bacula really only offers one transport method, and that is image-based transfers.

vProtect, on the other hand, offers multiple backup methods:

  • Image-based transfers
  • Disk attachment method
  • Changed block tracking for incremental backups
  • A new transfer method that moves VM data via SSH.

These options allow end-users more flexibility when it comes to architecture and networking.

Another specific complaint that we have heard directly from a Fortune 100 organization and one of the largest technology companies in the world (a former Bacula user who has since purchased vProtect), is that for any oVirt users, integration requires an oVirt image-io Proxy which causes bottlenecks when running simultaneous backup jobs. This prevented them from being able to run more than a couple of backup jobs at the same time. With vProtect, using a disk-attachment method to transfer the VM data, this customer has cut backup and recovery times in half.

Another area where vProtect is impressing former Bacula users is its modern, easy-to-use web UI. According to several end-users, Bacula’s UI is cumbersome and far from intuitive. We like to say a user interface is like a joke – if you have to explain it, then it’s not a good one. Because of this, most Bacula admins perform their tasks using Linux command line. However, this may be daunting for someone who is not comfortable using Linux, or knowledgeable about Bacula infrastructure.

There appears to be a steep learning curve when it comes to configuration and administration, which may be difficult to overcome for new users if, for example, your Bacula admin leaves the company or is simply on vacation. The UI for vProtect is intuitive and clean. Most of our customers request a license, install, configure, and run the product with no need for assistance from us. It’s that easy.

Finally, vProtect has the advantage in its wide range of virtual environments and backup destinations that it supports. According to its website, among open VM environments Bacula has hypervisor support for RedHat, KVM, and ProxMox. vProtect, on the other hand, includes support for each of these hypervisors, but also several others. These include: Nutanix AHV, Oracle VM, Xen, Citrix Hypervisor (XenServer), OpenStack, Amazon Web Services, and also Kubernetes and OpenShift containers.

vProtect also offers multiple options for backup destinations. This includes local file system or NFS, existing NAS devices, DataDomain appliances, cloud locations, etc. But most importantly, vProtect is able to integrate directly with a customer’s existing enterprise backup solution like IBM Spectrum Protect, DellEMC NetWorker, Catalogic Software vStor, and Veritas NetBackup.

In conclusion, don’t get stuck spending incredible amounts of money on your VMware or Hyper-V environment just because you don’t know there are other viable options out there. Many organizations, including large enterprise companies, are deciding to make the switch to alternative, open-sourced virtualization platforms, and turning to products like vProtect to make sure that data is protected. Check out the Open Virtualization Pro blog for loads of information on open hypervisors.

If you would like to learn more about vProtect, 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.

We also have a pre-recorded demo available on our website if you would like to see the product in action.

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08/05/2019 0 Comments

New vProtect Release Adds EC2 support, Loads of Proxmox Updates, and More Goodies

The developers at Storware never rest on their laurels. The latest release of vProtect – v 3.8, code named Nebula — comes chock-full of cool new features and updates. vProtect is a backup and snapshot-management tool for open VMs/containers that works stand-alone or integrated with legacy backup software. If you’re not familiar with vProtect, check out our three-minute video.

A big new addition to vProtect is support for Amazon EC2. The 3.8 release provides full backup with disk-exclusion support for any EC2-based VMs. You also get file-level restore and EC2 snapshot management.

Proxmox users are in for a treat as Nebula really beefs up the Proxmox feature set. Among the new capabilities for Proxmox environments:

  • File-level restores with mountable backups
  • Proxmox snapshot management (scheduling and retention for hypervisor snapshots)
  • Disk-exclusion on backups
  • Pre- and post-snapshot remote command execution

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) users now have the option to choose sparse or pre-allocated formats during VM restores. File restores are made easier with direct file browse and restore in the software UI. Google Cloud is now supported as a backup tier. And there’s a lot more!

Visit our vProtect product page for more details on vProtect software. Also, if you’re attending Red Hat Summit 2019 be sure to visit us in Booth #1135, where we’ll have live demos to show you.

The best way to check out vProtect is to try it for yourself. We’ve got a free 30-day trial copy you can download. Or, if you prefer a more detailed look before you test it, sign up for an on-line demo with one of our technical experts.

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04/30/2019 0 Comments

Meet our New Technology Partner, ProLion

Today Catalogic announced that we’ve entered a strategic partnership with ProLion, an Austrian software company specializing in tools for NetApp environments. This is a perfect fit for us, considering Catalogic’s long (over 20 year) history of working with NetApp technology and NetApp partners.

The ProLion tools take on key challenges for NetApp file administrators around ransomware, file indexing and reporting. Here’s a quick summary of each product, with links to more information.

  • CryptoSpike provides ransomware detection and prevention for NetApp file environments. Using a combination of technologies, CryptoSpike protects file shares from ransomware, and allows administrators to easily recover data held at a ransom by integrating with NetApp snapshots for simple, push-button recovery. Ransomware is the number one security concern at many organizations, and this tool is very timely.
  • RestoreManager is a scalable file index that enables easy file search and restore for NetApp file data. With RestoreManager, the IT department has an easy answer to the user who asks, “Where did my file go?” Featuring a range of different search and filtering options, RestoreManager lets you quickly recover files from any indexed snapshot, SnapVault or SnapMirror copy.
  • DataAnalyzer provides high performance data analysis for NetApp file environments. Intuitive reports offer insights into file data, such as storage consumption by file type, age and owner. A key benefit of DataAnalyzer is that it lets you identify old, stale and no longer needed data that you can either delete or archive off into tape or cloud (we can help with that too). Some users have recovered as much as 80% of their file storage space! We can’t guarantee that kind of outcome, of course, but many organizations are surprised at just how much of their file storage is consumed by outdated data.

Licensing for all these products is simple. They are licensed per-controller, with no limits on number of files, amount of storage space, etc. Can’t get easier than that.

We’ll have further blogs coming up going into details about each of these solutions. Meanwhile, we’d be happy to set up a demo for you, or even get you a 30-day trial copy of any or all of these products.

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03/12/2019 0 Comments

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