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DELL-ScottH

hello ddemlow !

ddemlow

Hi - I'm the Cto at Double-take Software, mainly here to lurk

DELL-ScottH

awesome, welcome, lurk away

DELL-ScottH

waiting for others to join, then we'll kick it off

ddemlow

sounds good... found out about this on Marc Farley's Storage at Work blog

DELL-ScottH

Marc should be here in a minute, hopefully soon since he's co-hosting :-)

Dell_MarcFarley joined.

DELL-ScottH

hey Marc, we were just talking about you

Dell_MarcFarley

Oh good

DELL-ScottH

we'll wait a few minutes to see if we get some traffic

Dell_MarcFarley

I see my old friend D- Demlow is here. How's it going Dave?

ddemlow

pretty good. Keeping the world protected

Dell_MarcFarley

You always wuz a superman!

Dell_MarcFarley

When did Nsi change it's name to Doubletake?

ddemlow

about 3 years ago...everyone knew the product name so it was easy

Dell_MarcFarley

Well, I am really up on things, aren't I?

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DELL-ScottH

hey Darrin !

DELL-ScottH

aka f5team

f5team

howdy Scott

DELL-ScottH

Welcome everyone to this techtuesday chat ..

DELL-ScottH

today we have Marc and Darren joining us to talk about Host Data Protection with Equallogic Ps5000 series

DELL-ScottH

Marc, Darren, please tell us a little about yourselves and roles in the company

Darren-Dell

Well I work in a technical marketing group that is comprised of engineers that focus on specific application integration with Ps Series arrays. Typically we develop best practices and help define the host/application interfacing to Ps series.

Darren-Dell

In a nutshell that is...

Dell_MarcFarley

I'm working in the communities and conversations group. Blogging - talking to people online in their blogs and sometimes forums. My area of expertise is storage - most recently Dell Equallogic storage arrays.

Dell_MarcFarley

In a nutshell - I'm a shucker and jiver

DELL-ScottH

Your blog is here -- http://www.equalogic.com/blog -- correct ?

Dell_MarcFarley

yes, I just finished a new video post before joining this chat. Its on using separate networks for Lans and iscsi Sans. A fireside chat.....

DELL-ScottH

So Darren, why don't you dive into today's topic of Host Data Protection and what that means from a host perspective and from an Equallogic perspective.

Darren-Dell

Absolutely, so Dell Equallogic has what we call the Host Integration Tools and this package is made up of applications and utilities to initialize arrays, install and configure Mpio, and create application consistent copies of host data such as Sql databases or Exchange Storage groups.

Darren-Dell

The Hit kit has 5 apps: the Remote Setup Wizard, Auto-snapshot Manager for Windows, the Dell Equallogic Mpio Dsm, the iscsi Initiator, and the Manual Transfer Utility.

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DELL-ScottH

welcome kim !

DELL-ScottH

are there demos of these apps ?

DELL-ScottH

Kim, click on "action" .. "recent room history" to catch up

DELL-ToddM joined.

kim_rowden

I'm there...

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Darren-Dell

Auto-snapshot Manager includes the Dell Equallogic Vss provider and allows Vss integration with applications that support Vss. Today we support Sql Server and Exchange and we currently do bi-weekly demos of the Sql Server piece.

Darren-Dell

We will include the Exchange demos in a few weeks. The Exchange integration was just recently developed and is currently in beta.

DELL-ScottH

Url for the demos or to sign up for the demos ?

Dell_MarcFarley

http://www.equallogic.com/news/events.aspx?id=642

Dell_MarcFarley

The Url I posted is for the events page on the Dell Equallogic site. You have to scroll through to find the event you want to watch. In this case, there is a demo coming up on Sql Server protection on March 28th. Does that sound right Darren?

Darren-Dell

That's correct.

DELL-ScottH

Darren, or Marc, can you give more details on what makes the Dell Equallogic iscsi solution different than other iscsi solutions ?

DELL-ScottH

and by different, I mean better :-)

Dell_MarcFarley

as far as host protection goes - or in general?

DELL-ScottH

in general, and on the host protection topic as well

Darren-Dell

The Equallogic solution combines the protection capabilities of the arrays like snapshots, clones, and group replication and extends them to server hosts.

Dell_MarcFarley

Darren, I'll address the general architecture if you want to talk about the data protection capabilities - Ok?

Darren-Dell

Sure, so now application administrators can protect their data without having to call in the storage admins. By using Smart Copies admins can recover application data much quicker and more efficiently then having to rely on traditional tape or D2d backups.

Dell_MarcFarley

I think we should stay on this topic right now

DELL-ScottH

so how do Smart Copies work ?

Dell_MarcFarley

Darren, how does an application administrator access Dell Equallogic storage to perform a recovery?

Darren-Dell

By installing Auto-snapshot Manager and the Vss provider admins can authenticat to the Ps Series group through Chap credentials. Once the connection has been made Auto-snapshot Manager will then recognize any Ps Series volume that is connected to the host and be able to protect it. Through Vss and the various Vss writers we tie into the applications and enable protection of the app data.

Darren-Dell

Smart Copies are basically volume shadow copies of data sets that can be either Ps Series snapshots, clones, or replicas. They can then be used to recover application and volume data or used to offload additional operations such as data mining or reporting in the case of databases.

Darren-Dell

Smart Copies make it very easy to hand off copies of datasets for additional operations such as test or development as well.

Dell_MarcFarley

What are the basic system and software requirements for Smart Copy functionality?

Darren-Dell

Auto-snapshot Manager supports Windows Server 2003 Sp1 at a minimum and Ps Series firmware v3.2.1.

Darren-Dell

Perhaps this is a good time to go into some of the data protection capabilities of a Ps Series San that enable Smart Copies to work.

Darren-Dell

Marc want to drive this one?

Dell_MarcFarley

Ps series storage arrays provide block based snapshots of data. They support up to 512 snapshots per volume, so there is a lot of flexibility there for customers that want to have different snapshot frequencies for diffrent types of data. For instance, a file share could be snapped twice a day, whereas a database could be snapped every hour (or more frequently)

Dell_MarcFarley

I should have said a volume with a file share on it and a volume with a database on it.

f5team

Darren -- Darin with F5 here. Can I ask you a question?

Darren-Dell

absolutely

f5team

Darren, does the Host Integration Tool apply when you are turning the Equalogic Ps product into a Nas for Cifs and Nfs?

Dell_MarcFarley

Tying up my previous loose end, provisioning storage on a Dell Equallogic array is very simple, which means its fairly simple for an admin to create multiple volumes and map their applications by protection-type to those volumes. In other words, frequently snapped applications could be located in different volumes than infrequently snapped volumes.

Darren-Dell

Auto-snapshot Manager will not recognize Nas volumes due to Nas provisioning avoiding the Scsi stack that is needed for Asm to communicate with the volumes properly.

Darren-Dell

I can put it in for an enhancement request though!

Dell_MarcFarley

Just to clarify - Dell Equallogic doesn't have a Nas offering per se, although you can certainly "front" an array with a file server

DELL-ScottH

we're coming up on the end of the hour, other questions ? ... Darren, Marc, what Urls can customers point to for further information ?

Darren-Dell

That's absolutely the case but some of the host tools such as Auto-snapshot Manager do not have the intelligence built in to deal with Nas yet.

Dell_MarcFarley

Agreed! Other host integration tool functions like Mpio work as advertised.

f5team

thanks guys

Darren-Dell

I would suggest that partners go to www.Equallogic.com and create themselves a partner login account. There are a ton of best practice and technical reports out there to put you all to sleep at night! Also you'll have access to software downloads and reference materials.

DELL-ScottH

thanks again to everyone for joining this week, special thanks to guests hosts Marc and Darren, if you're reading this transcript and have further questions, please start a discussion thread on this page --> http://www.delltechcenter.com/page/equallogic

DELL-ScottH

next weeks topic is on management of Powerconnect switches. see you next week.

Dell_MarcFarley

Thanks Scott

Darren-Dell

Thanks everyone!

kim_rowden

Thanks guys...

Dell-RogerF

Thanks Guys.