Most business-critical applications run on high-performance all-flash storage arrays. The same forces that drive businesses to demand high performance from their applications apply to data protection operations. In fact, the stakes are even higher. 

Denial of service attacks, ransomware, and even cloud service availability drive requirements for data protection to enable business continuity with the least amount of downtime possible. IT professionals need fast data protection before challenges to application availability appear. 

When disaster strikes, business demands that applications return to operation as quickly as possible. Pure Storage® and Veritas have partnered to make it simple to combine the blinding speed of Pure’s FlashArray//C storage appliance with Veritas NetBackup to deliver the most optimal business continuity solution possible.

Faster Is Better

When ransomware strikes, an application disaster occurs, or a hardware failure forces data recovery. Knowing that you have a backup in place provides peace of mind that you can keep your business moving forward. But having to wait hours, days, or—let’s face it—weeks in some cases for a backup to restore can cause significant pain to the operation of the business. Missed orders, dissatisfied customers, delays in manufacturing, or even lost business are the reality when you’re down. With the impact to the business mounting, every second counts.

With FlashArray//C and NetBackup, recovering your data is lightning fast. So how fast is the FlashArray//C and NetBackup solution? In our labs, we’ve seen 80% improvement in restore performance for parallel restores and 40% improvement during backups in our validation of this solution when compared to fast-spinning media. For both backup and recovery operations, NetBackup’s ability to process in parallel and the native block and file storage capabilities of FlashArray//C deliver the performance your business needs.

Simple Architecture, Simple Scale

Pure and Veritas have been partners for years, and we share a commitment to protecting and enabling the most demanding applications. We believe that IT is challenging enough without adding a different point solution for every use case. Instead, we build solutions that help IT professionals benefit from consistent policies and practices. To realize these commitments, the NetBackup Faster//Better solution is designed with enough flexibility that allows it to drop right into common IT practices, but specific enough to ensure that consistently faster results are delivered.

FlashArray//C provides a 100% NVMe all-flash foundation for capacity-oriented applications, user/file shares, test and development workloads, multisite disaster recovery, and data protection. With FlashArray//C, you can scale up to 7.3PB effective storage in three to nine rack units, maximize results and flexibility for high-capacity applications on-premises, and easily connect to the cloud.

Veritas NetBackup offers data protection for every workload, every infrastructure type, and use cases that include hybrid multi-cloud, ransomware resilience, and instant access to protected data. This comprehensive data protection solution includes everything an IT professional needs in the field of data protection—storage lifecycle policies, efficient use of data storage, security, and application portability.

Pure and Veritas have validated NetBackup configured with Pure FlashArray//C. We’ve modeled a simple but powerful configuration to demonstrate how customers can protect their business. The solution has been configured and tested using block protocols and proven successful allocations of storage ensuring that IT professionals quickly benefit from a faster, better data protection solution. While we’ve made it easy, the solution preserves the flexibility of using Fibre Channel or 10GbE Ethernet for the interconnect. A variety of IT practices are easily accommodated, ensuring that data protection fits right into existing IT operations.

FlashArray//C

Figure 1: Veritas NetBackup with Pure Storage FlashArray//C.

Together, NetBackup and FlashArray//C accelerate not only backup operations but also return to option functions, audit, and instant access use cases.

Integrating NetBackup and FlashArray//C

Moving core apps and infrastructure into virtual machines is a common practice to improve portability, scalability, and manageability of business applications. Making sure the virtual machines are backed up and available for restore for data protection is an important component of meeting the 24×7 needs of customers today. NetBackup and FlashArray//C make adding data protection to this solution easy:

  1. Physically connect the volumes to the desired platform, such as an ESXi server.
  2. Create volumes on FlashArray//C and connect to ESXi hosts.
  3. Attach disks to the virtual machines.
  4. Scan the devices on the host’s platform and/or operating system.
  5. Format and mount the devices.
  6. Allocate devices as targets for MSDP for both data and metadata.
  7. Test and validate.

FlashArray//C

Figure 2: NetBackup, FlashArray//C, and VMware architecture.

The performance for a single backup/restore is impressive, but the QLC design integrated with DirectFlash® from Pure Storage enables the solution to scale to the extreme. Adding NetBackup’s capabilities enables throughput that scaled 2.3x as backup streams increased from 1 to 100 while restoration throughput scaled nearly 21x as streams increased from 1 to 60. NetBackup and FlashArray//C get better the more of your workload you enable.

Both NetBackup and FlashArray//C have deduplication and compression enabled by default. Having both enabled does not affect overall storage efficiency of this combined solution. In some scenarios where NetBackup is not able to achieve deduplication, such as fingerprints, for comparison, is not in physical memory of the media server, and if using FlashArray//C as target storage for multiple media servers, then further data reduction may be achieved on the FlashArray™ device.

Ransomware Protection

With Pure FlashBlade® and FlashArray, you can experience a new approach to mitigating and remediating ransomware attacks. SafeMode™, a built-in feature of the Purity operating environment that powers FlashBlade and FlashArray, enables you to create read-only snapshots of backup data and associated metadata catalogs after you’ve performed a full backup with Veritas data protection software.

With SafeMode enabled, snapshots cannot be altered, encrypted, or deleted—whether it’s by accident, by a rogue employee, or through a hacker’s programmatic approach. To manually access or eradicate snapshots, only authorized personnel in conjunction with Pure Support can delete or alter snapshots, providing a virtual air gap that is automated and simple to set up.

If your environment suffers an outage, whether from a ransomware attack or another type of disaster scenario, your authorized administrator needs to contact Pure Customer Support to authenticate access. Once verified, you can recover your snapshots to get your data back online quickly and safely. 

With Veritas NetBackup and FlashArray//C, your business can rest easy knowing you have the right tools in place to deliver the best results to your customers in the event of a ransomware attack or other kind of disaster or outage. No more missed orders, dissatisfied customers, and lost business due to long restore operations.

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