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Backup and Recovery Solutions for the HP 3000


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Backup and Recovery Solutions for the HP 3000

Typically we think only in terms of backup. We develop backup plans, we monitor backup times and resources used, we use metrics to reduce backup costs and resource usage. We often do not even consider why we are always backing up systems­recovery. In our attempts to be realistic, we focus and gain expertise on backing up systems efficiently or reducing the cost of backup. We focus on making efficient use of backup resources.

As long as we have a means of recovery, we think we are safe. We do not question whether restoring from backup alone can meet our business-critical recovery requirements. We do not realize that we may have inadvertently compromised the ability to recover. We have not investigated methods other than backup that we can use to minimize the business losses incurred when recovery is needed. We have not fully assessed the time needed to get our business-critical applications back up and operational.

Up until five years ago, recovery of a full system from a backup tape provided acceptable recovery times. Systems were still quite small and tape backup and recovery took only one to two hours for full system recovery. Tremendous changes over the last five years have forced us to think differently about recovery and backup.

What Is Your Cost of Downtime?
Thinking differently means thinking in terms of cost of downtime per application. The dollar amount exposes which application sets are important to your business processes and affects important investment decisions regarding both high availability and recovery and backup solutions. The amount includes the cost of unplanned vs. planned downtime, unavailability during peak usage hours vs. off-hours, and the effects on profits when an application is unavailable. Not all downtime is equal. The costs of a system interrupt caused by an OS failure, application abort, or even a planned daily backup are different from those of a longer term outage caused by a disk failure that requires a reload or a disaster that requires a data center to move.

In determining cost of downtime for an application, consider both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs include idle employment and manufacturing expenses, delayed business processes, and direct profit losses and penalties. We are usually good at identifying the direct costs of downtime. We often do not, however, recognize and account for indirect costs, like negative impressions on potential investors/partners/users and damage to branch or agency communication. In a recent survey of 150 HP 3000 users in different industries, 45 percent had no idea of their downtime cost. Of the 55 percent who did estimate their downtime, most had not considered all the direct and indirect costs, with the result that their estimates were low.

Data Storage Trends
For today's IT organizations, server-based storage requirements are growing at a rate of 50 percent or even 100 percent per year. This dramatic change in data storage capacity requirements, and the need to manage storage better, has occurred for several reasons. In terms of size and storage capacity, system capabilities have grown at dramatic rates. Efforts to reduce costs, such as system consolidations and distributed computing environments (in which data storage for many clients is centralized in server systems) have caused the measurement unit of data storage capacity to change from megabytes to gigabytes.

Processing power has increased dramatically, allowing applications to grow in complexity and size. Disk storage is more affordable and provides greater storage capacity per device. Furthermore, incorporation of new storage-intensive data types, such as imaging, voice, and video, within many commercial/business applications over the next few years will cause data storage capacities to increase even more.

The growth in storage capacity requirements results in pressure to find backup/ recovery solutions for large volumes of data. Increasingly, Hewlett-Packard is being asked for backup/recovery solutions for terabytes of data to high-end peripheral devices.

Heterogeneous Environments
The demand for continuous accessibility to huge amounts of data, very often in the terabyte range, is caused by the increased use of the Internet and online services, such as CompuServe and America Online, as well as by the emergence of new applications, such as imaging and multimedia. In the past, mainframes were the primary storage devices and data accessibility was a fairly simple process. The only limitation was disk size. Today, the answers to storage problems cannot be provided simply by installing bigger disks on a central server.

As users reengineer their businesses, many are choosing to migrate off the mainframe through downsizing. Mission-critical applications are moving to client-server computing environments consolidated across LANs and WANs. Huge amounts of company-sensitive data, which used to be located in the data center and under central control, are now distributed and available in the network. Today, in many businesses, the amount of distributed data has surpassed the amount of data in the data center.

Companies must view storage management as integral to their network solutions. In addition to the challenge of managing storage on distributed systems, IT managers must deal with another issue­the amount of data is outstripping the network's capacity to handle it efficiently. For example, a company might need to back up 100 gigabytes of data in an hour. As the storage staff looks for solutions, they see processor performance improving faster than disk performance (I/O), and both disk and processors outstripping the installed network infrastructure (bandwidth). The amount of data being moved from system to system, across a network, or pumped to backup devices is increasing. It is essential to develop new ways of transferring and storing large amounts of data without downtime.

Business-Critical Applications
Users are demanding that solutions minimize downtime or inaccessibility to critical data. They are looking for high availability features in almost every solution­from networks to backup/recovery solutions. Storage management software needs to provide much greater data availability and reliability in a much more complex environment than in the past. Today, store and restore of data alone often cannot meet business-critical application/data recovery requirements. We need to look for other forms of recovery.

Cost Reductions
IT managers are being asked to reduce costs of operations. Data storage management strategies must be tuned to require minimal operator intervention and make use of less expensive storage devices. For this reason, users are drawn to unattended backup solutions and automated tape libraries. Many IT managers are trying to lower costs by eliminating backup altogether at branch offices and/or remote sites.

Backup Schedules and Plans
Very early in a solution deployment, IT managers must establish a backup/recovery policy that provides the appropriate level of data integrity and availability. The backup/recovery policy must ensure that critical data can be completely and quickly recovered from a backup, even in the event of a disaster.

Backup is the number #1 cause of application planned downtime. Ascertain the length of your backup window. How much planned downtime can your business afford for backup? If you cannot tolerate any planned downtime and have chosen an online backup solution, when are your periods of low application/system usage and how long do they last? Your backup window affects other decisions, such as the speed and number of your backup devices, and configuration policies, such as the number of parallel stores and backup schedules. If application availability allows, the standard full/partial backup schedule is a good one. An alternative may be to rotate full and partial backups of major applications. Each major application is backed up fully on a different day, and other applications are partially backed up in between other applications.

You should have policies to minimize the amount of data in each backup stream. Your current backup probably includes reference or archival data. By removing the reference and archival data from the active data, backup times can be reduced significantly. Put your backup on a diet. Don't back up data that doesn't need to be recovered or will certainly be recovered. For example, system data is recovered with SLT and FOS tape, and STDLIST spoolfiles are unnecessary. You can often recover nonproduction utilities from other systems. Continually monitor and remove files that are no longer needed and archive them on less expensive media. You can free up significant amounts of current online data storage capacity through automated data management, such as file compression, trimming, and purging.

Recovery Plans and Methods
Your recovery plan should include specific detailed recovery strategies and procedures for all scenarios from which you will need to recover, including, but not limited to, system aborts, application aborts, disk faults, power outage, network interruption, system component faults, user and operator errors, and disasters.

The first priority should be to get business-critical applications available with minimal business loss. An application's cost of downtime drives this priority as well as your calculation of the amount of downtime you can tolerate. Ask yourself this question: Do I have the appropriate recovery strategy for each application? If not, look at ways of reducing the risk and minimizing recovery time (for example, Mirrored Disk/iX, Fast/Wide arrays, SharePlex), reducing downtime due to backup (7x24 True-Online Backup), using faster recovery/backup devices (for example, DDS-3 or DLT), optimizing backup/recovery configurations (for example, user volume application sets, massive parallel store/restores, interleaving).

A recovery plan should be tested with the operations staff that will implement the recovery in a real disruption. Perform dry runs of the recovery plan with different scenarios. Test, review, and update your plan regularly. A good recovery plan is only good so long as nothing changes.

Select recovery methods or combinations of methods that will decrease downtime costs enough to warrant the cost of implementing the methods. Several recovery methods are available, providing different levels of high availability: full system recovery, application set recovery from backup, application volume set recovery with disk arrays and mirrored volume sets (Mirrored Disk/iX), and application recovery using shadowing (SharePlex/iX).

Full System Recovery
If you keep all data (system and application) on the system volume set, a disk or system component fault will require recovery of all data--system and application. This involves a full system reload. All applications will be unavailable, and the recovery time is the longest of all methods­four to eight hours. (See Figure 1.) This recovery method is the least costly to implement­if your environment can tolerate this level of downtime.

Application Set Recovery
You can significantly decrease recovery time just by partitioning the disk subsystem into user volume sets. With this strategy, the operator stores all accounts by volume sets. If a drive fails within the volume set, the operator recovers only the files on the affected user volume set--not those on the entire system. Users accessing other volume sets are not affected. Recovery of the entire system is required only if a disk failure occurs on the system volume set. (See Figure 2.)

The user volume set recovery method reduces recovery time significantly while increasing the fault tolerance of your critical applications. When making this segmentation, be sure to separate reference data in order to avoid conflict with critical application recovery. Also back up reference data only when there are changes. This recovery method is relatively inexpensive to implement and reduces recovery time significantly, generally to 1 or 2 hours.

See the sidebar for tips on application set recovery.

High Availability Disk Arrays
High availability disk arrays tolerate an outright failure of any single disk mechanism within the device without losing data or interrupting the host system. Although redundancy of the I/O channel, cable, and power is not provided with a high availability disk array as it is with Mirrored Disk/iX, disk arrays do reduce the risk that it will be necessary to do a recovery from a backup. We recommend that the system volume set on business-critical systems be protected with disk arrays.

Mission-Critical Environment Using Mirrored Disks
Disk failure of a mirrored disk does not make systems or applications unavailable. With Mirrored Disk/iX, when a disk fault is detected, the mirror of the volume set takes over as though no error occurred. The reactivation of a failed disk can often occur without taking the system down. (See Figure 3.) Mirrored Disks provides full redundancy of the I/O card in the system, data cable, disk drive, and the power into the disk drive but it does not protect against system component failure nor can you mirror the system volume set. The cost to implement this recovery environment includes the purchase of Mirrored Disk/iX (approximately $1,500 to $26,300), plus additional disks for mirroring. The recovery time, however, is minimal, taking only about 40 seconds to activate the mirrored volume.

OLTP­Mission-Critical Environment Using SharePlex/iX
In this high availability segment, applications and data are replicated in real-time on separate servers. In the event of a node failure, another system takes over applications running on the failed node. Recovery is available for any system component or disk failure. Providing full redundancy for protected applications provides the best protection for very important business-critical applications. The cost to implement this solution includes purchase of SharePlex/iX (approximately $14,000 to $125,000, depending on system size and bundle), as well as access to an alternate system. The approximate recovery time for protected applications is five to ten minutes. (See Figure 4.)

If you use multiple recovery methods (like Mirrored Disk/iX and SharePlex/iX), potential recovery using backup is less likely. Bi-weekly/monthly backup of full applications and only DB logs and changed non-DB files daily may be sufficient. This still maintains a recovery path if higher recovery methods fail.

Backup for Recovery and System Availability
Strategies for backing up data range from backup by small shops able to do this at night to enterprise-wide backups of heterogeneous clients and servers. For small shops, there are few problems. However, as companies grow and have more and more data to back up, it becomes increasingly difficult to complete backups in the course of a night. Many companies are forced to adopt night shifts to change tapes. Or they look for other ways to complete backups within an allotted window. One typical way is to break up the store process by running massive parallel stores on separate user volume sets. Additionally, faster, larger capacity devices can be used, such as DDS-3 or DLT. Some companies have had great success using DAT autochangers from third-party vendors. The use of autochangers can help to eliminate tape-changing delays and the need for attended backups. To completely eliminate downtime due to backup, some users have gone to online backup. This allows users and jobs to continue modifying databases and files while the backup occurs. Both TurboSTORE/iX 7x24 True-Online and a utility from ORBiT Software allow this functionality.

To improve your data availability, consider the following environments.

Backup Environments
Using user volume sets decreases downtime for backups. Not all users are restricted from system access during backup. Only the users of the volume set being backed up are affected, and only for a relatively short time. Users accessing data on other volume sets can still access the system during the backup period. (See Figure 5.)

In a mirroring environment, the applications are mission critical, requiring rapid backup and restore functionality. We do not recommend splitting mirrors during a backup since the user would be exposed during this time. Instead, with the use of 24x7 True-Online, users can continue to keep their mirrors and perform backups without any application downtime.

In a SharePlex environment you may need to recover your system from tape media; however, the use of SharePlex does not eliminate the need for backup. In a SharePlex/iX environment, perform a 24x7 backup on the less critical shadow system. This will generally eliminate the overhead associated with online backup.

Network Backup
Although many HP 3000 users have initiated projects to develop an enterprise-wide backup/recovery strategy, the single greatest limiting factor to a totally centralized backup architecture is network bandwidth. With large volumes of distributed data, totally centralized backup architectures are unfeasible. Additionally, full volume restores resulting, for example, from a disk head crash, can require significant time and tie up the network during business hours. Most users end up with a multitiered architecture with local tape and limited centralized backup. These circumstances favor backup/recovery vendors supporting heterogeneous systems.

With 100VGI, and in the future Fibre Channel, large backups have become more feasible. We are seeing requests today from users who want to perform networked, rather than local, backups. Higher speeds make it possible for backup data from the clients on the network to be moved to a single server which then stores the data to local tape drives.

Selecting Appropriate Software Solutions
Software products from Hewlett-Packard include Store/iX, TurboSTORE/iX, and TurboSTORE/iX 7x24 True-Online. (See Figure 6.) Third-party software solutions include ORBiT's Backup/3000, Unison's RoadRunner, and Legato's Networker.

Store/iX. STORE is an excellent choice for small shops that do not require online backup or for environments in which delays cannot be afforded. STORE, included with the OS, offers basic functionality, but is limited in its file selection capabilities. In most cases, users must use other tools to generate precise file lists at the cost of backup time. In addition, STORE is unable to specify more global parameters (for example, full database but partial files). Neither STORE nor TurboSTORE offer optional tape Librarian utilities to track which file ended up on which tape. Sophisticated media managers are also not available.

TurboSTORE/iX. TurboSTORE/iX products provide high-performance backup solutions, including powerful parallel backup and recovery, data interleaving, data compression, and online backup capabilities.

To take full advantage of TurboSTORE/iX products, review the tips in the sidebar.

TurboSTORE/iX 7x24 True-Online. As businesses move closer toward continuous operations, IT managers find a growing need for solutions that can meet the demands of a 7 days per week, 24 hours per day environment. TurboSTORE/iX 7x24 True-Online Backup was specifically designed for 7x24 environments by providing backup of selected data without requiring application downtime or user logoff. In addition True-Online provides the same powerful backup capabilities of previous versions of TurboSTORE/iX.

Selecting the Appropriate Hardware Configuration
Selecting the appropriate hardware configuration involves more than merely selecting the appropriate backup device. With MPE/iX 5.0 and greater, you can have up to 32 backup devices on your system. By using multiple devices in parallel, you can increase your data throughput. To get the maximum throughput:

Spread disk devices and backup devices across multiple device adapter cards for maximum backup performance, especially if total backup speeds of over 12 GB/hour are needed. For maximum backup performance, the system configuration should contain no more than four disks per card.
SCSI cards cannot sustain more than 10 GB/hour data transfer across the bus. Backup devices can share the SCSI bus, up to a total of 10 GB/hour. Therefore, for maximum performance, make sure no more than two DDS-3, two DLT, four 7980S, or two 7980SX share a SCSI bus.
Where TurboSTORE is used to compress data, use the INTERleave option.
You can avoid the impact of reel switch by using TurboSTORE/iX Sequential device or Sequential device pool functionality.
Use the INTERleave feature when storing data from more than three disks.
Industry Offerings
The numerous new tape technologies in the marketplace can be grouped into three categories: low end, midrange, and high end.

At the low end are DDS and 8 mm devices. These were developed as spin-offs of consumer/entertainment applications and have had great success penetrating the computer data markets. However, larger users are becoming impatient with their inherent problems with reliability, throughput, and capacity.
The midrange includes DLT-4000 and Mammoth. Mammoth is a future technology from Exabyte based on 8-mm technology. As development schedules have continued to slip, it appears that the market has moved to DLT and the opportunity for Mammoth has sharply diminished. DLT-4000 is one of a portfolio of products developed specifically for computer data storage. It offers high reliability and solid throughput and capacity.
DLT-4000 also penetrates high-end tape technologies. Also in this category are the StorageTek Silo technologies.
See Figure 7.

HP 3000 Solutions
When selecting a hardware device, keep in mind that HP solutions are based on user requirements for amount of data to be stored and time available in which to store it. For users with small datasets and longer backup windows, DDS may be a very appropriate solution. At the midrange and high end, DLT-4000 mechanisms provide backup for users with large amounts of data and limited backup windows. Throughput and capacity allow multiple DLT-4000 mechanisms to meet the needs of users with large volumes of data and aggressive backup windows.

HP offers the latest DDS-3 tape drives. The new DDS-3 format has a native mode capacity of 12 GB. With data compression, users can typically store 24 GB on a single tape. DDS DAT is an industry-standard high capacity device. Its compact media is easily stored in a fireproof safe.

The HP 3000 servers support automated digital linear tape (DLT) mechanisms. DLT/4000 provides greater native cartridge capacity (20 GB) than DDS (12 GB), enabling fast, unattended backup of large quantities of data within the brief windows available in today's high-end, mission-critical environments. DLT native transfer rate (5.4 GB/hour) is three times faster than DDS-2 DAT (1.8 GB/hour). Furthermore, large-capacity DLT boasts superior drive head longevity.

See Figure 8.

Future Requirements for Massive Backup/Restore
As HP designs and implements solutions for the different environments we have discussed, we can't lose sight of some important trends in the storage environment of our users. Faster network capabilities will make centralized networks more feasible. As HP 3000 systems coexist with heterogeneous systems, users will want to back up multiple heterogeneous clients and servers to a single centralized server. Fibre Channel will become the dominant peripheral interface over the next three to five years, providing fast interconnect as well as the availability of faster disks, arrays, and tapes. Data capacity requirements will continue to grow, requiring solutions to back up and restore terabytes of data. Cost pressures continue to emphasize solutions that support operatorless environments. More and more users will want storage management functionality that allows online backups and simple, sophisticated media management. Of user requirements, the highest priority is given high availability solutions. Users will continue to demand solutions that minimize, if not eliminate, inaccessibility to critical data. Storage management solutions need to provide much greater availability and reliability and a much more complex environment.

Tips for Application Set Recovery
Tips for the System Volume Set

To ensure maximum fault tolerance as well as to reduce recovery and backup times, make the system volume set as small as possible. It is very important not to allow permanent user data on the system volume set. With all user data restricted from the system volume set, full backups of the system volume set need be done only when new software, configuration changes, etc., are added to the system. If the system volume set is small, make a combined SLT storeset of the system volume set using SYSGEN. For a larger system volume set, back up the volume set with multiple storesets for faster recovery.

Tips for the User Volume Set
Minimize the number of applications per volume set. If practical, aim for one application per volume set. Create a general user volume set for all nonapplication-specific user files and don't put them on the system volume set. For your business-critical applications, use mirrored disks within a High Availability Storage System (HASS) enclosure. Do not split the mirrored volumes during backup, but instead use 24x7 True-Online. Rotate full backups of the user volume sets and use the DIRECTORY option when doing volume set backups. When identifying application sets, use the following guidelines:

System code that is recovered with a system load tape (SLT) created at install/update time.
Other system utilities and third-party tools that have not been modified.
Major applications (which are the reason the system is needed). Some may be critical to your business processes, but some may not.
Extraneous data that does not require recovery.
Development data (source, tests, etc.).
Client system data (client data storage, client backups). 2

TurboSTORE/iX Tips
Use multiple parallel storesets to gain throughput and performance of backup. You also gain better performance during recovery.
Use MAXTAPEBUF for larger I/O blocks; this improves performance when using fast backup devices.
Use device hardware compression, when available, to minimize CPU overhead.
Use software compression if hardware compression is not available for the device.
If reading from more than three disks, use the INTERleave option.
Use the DIRECTORY option on all major backups.
Use an integrated database backup so the database and other nondatabase application set data can be backed up together online.
Store backup media in a safe place (a data vault or fireproof safe). Do not leave your business-critical recovery data lying around the office!
Verify your backup. This can be done easily on another system (with MPE 5.0 or later) to reduce overhead on your main system.
When performing online backup, chose a time with the lowest activity on the system to minimize CPU overhead during busy system use.






























Backup and Recovery Solutions for the HP 3000

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Backup and Recovery Solutions for the HP 3000

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Backup and Recovery Solutions for the HP 3000

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