Backing up remote sites can be a challenge. Distance, WAN limitations, and ease of access can make ensuring remote data is properly backed up and retained a challenge. The most common issue I see is slow network speeds between a company’s main center of operations and their remote facilities. Aspects such as diverse service providers and an area’s networking infrastructure can make the transmission of data lengthy and unpredictable.
One advantage to Avamar’s host based deduplication technology is that a minimal amount of data needs to be sent from a backup client to Avamar Server. Despite this, in low latency environments, level 0 backups will take some time to replicate as it coordinates common data chunks. Level 1 backups with high change rates will also take longer. This delay will also impact remote environments tasked with high RTO objectives when trying to restore through a small pipe. To alleviate these concerns Avamar offers several smaller deployment options to manage remote sites.
Avamar Single Node systems are a single server unit that can come with up to 7.8 TB of capacity. A single node offers all the features of a traditional Avamar 1+N grid with the footprint of a single physical server.
Remote sites with a solid VMware environment can be backed up with AVE, Avamar Virtual Edition. AVE is the Avamar software running on a VM and can be configured to support up to 2 TB of backup space. This virtual format is best suited for backing up smaller environments such as local users.
Both offerings use utilize the same deduplication technology and management software making for an easy to use environment. However, a single node system does not have the same RAIN (Redundant Array of Independent Nodes) protect to assist in event of a large hardware failure. An AVE environment is also highly dependent on the stability of the storage supporting the underlying VM infrastructure.
To ensure complete protection of your data Avamar Servers offer easy replication from one environment to another. This allows for multiple single node or AVE servers to replicate to a larger, traditional Avamar server at a central location. Replication between servers operates much like a client-to-server relationship, only sending unique data to the target destination.
Environments with a lot of systems requiring backup may find difficulty staggering these processes to avoid performance limitations or user impacts. Another benefit to an Avamar satellite topology is the scheduled backup window can take place during times that may not align with the maintenance and backup windows of a central Avamar server.
To learn more about best practices when backing up with Avamar, check out our previous post "Understanding Variable Length Deduplication".