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sql backup to avamar Expand / Collapse
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Posted Thursday, December 11, 2008 12:07 PM
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Is anyone using avamar backups to do live backups of sql server? are there any issues, are there problems?

AW



Post #618161
Posted Wednesday, March 16, 2011 3:40 PM
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Avamar is real crap for SQL backups it is very slow probably more slower than native backups. It is like the good old days when you were trying to backup to tapes directly. Any backup utility from companies like Redgate,Idera or quest is a good alternative even for SQL2008. The native compressed backup on SQL 2008 does the compression after the backup is complete unlike Redgate or other companies.

We use Avamar because the management brought it since it used to run for ever for large db's which are on a separate server we only use it for servers that host smaller databases.



Post #1079345
Posted Friday, April 8, 2011 6:54 AM
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What?!? Couldn't disagree more... must be something with the setup at your organization.

I'm seeing great speed and great "compression" (for lack of a better word) with their de-duplication technology. So far I love it. This is going to massively streamline the way we do backup/restore/DR at my organization.
Post #1090574
Posted Thursday, May 19, 2011 10:31 AM
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Stogie_Maru (4/8/2011)
What?!? Couldn't disagree more... must be something with the setup at your organization.

I'm seeing great speed and great "compression" (for lack of a better word) with their de-duplication technology. So far I love it. This is going to massively streamline the way we do backup/restore/DR at my organization.


I'm very interested to ask if anyone has had any experience with Avamar in conjunction with VMWare and only doing VMDK backups and not doing any SQL backups. The theory from the storage and backup admin is that we can reach into the VMDK backup and grab the .mdf and .ldf files and restore them to a server and then just do an 'Attach' and let the logs replay. Any thoughts around that? I scares me to think that we are basing our entire backup/restore strategy on being able to 'Attach' a data and log file from a point in time backup of the VMWare image file that was running live when we took it.
Post #1111861
Posted Wednesday, June 1, 2011 9:30 AM
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That product is crap.. it has limitations.. or I dont know much about it. This is what I have found so far


1) you can not execute multipal backups at same time, backup must wait in que -- now considier u need to backup transation log file .. you are stuck cuz another backup is running..

2) Can not execute backups based on % log full. -- if you do you will end up with same problem as above.

3) extremly slow.

4) no gurantee backup will start as scheduled. it may be late cuz it is running on other servers.. or pervious backup is still exeucting.




Post #1118119
Posted Thursday, June 2, 2011 7:13 AM
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Avamar was pitched to us, and after finding out our environment they backed out and told us that it's not a good match - in the environment we have very high data churn (most of the db gets replaced weekly). Avamar's advertised strength is reducing the backup via dedup, and with this pattern, the dedup does very little good.
Regardless if it's backing up the BAK, DIF, TRN, or MDF/LDF, the dedup only becomes worthwhile when the data doesn't change a lot. Since the dedup doesn't add much, they told us to stay with a straight backup (Use Quest to backup BAK & DIF compressed to disk, then a 2nd backup to offsite).
Post #1118706
Posted Thursday, June 2, 2011 7:33 AM
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SQLJocky (5/19/2011)

I'm very interested to ask if anyone has had any experience with Avamar in conjunction with VMWare and only doing VMDK backups and not doing any SQL backups. The theory from the storage and backup admin is that we can reach into the VMDK backup and grab the .mdf and .ldf files and restore them to a server and then just do an 'Attach' and let the logs replay. Any thoughts around that? I scares me to think that we are basing our entire backup/restore strategy on being able to 'Attach' a data and log file from a point in time backup of the VMWare image file that was running live when we took it.


We're running quite a few of our dev & test SQL instances (and a few prod ones, too) in VMWare, and we've already decided to back off from the VMDK approach. Scares me, too... I like to know what I'm working with!

One of my favorite "bugs" so far is the limitation on being able to restore a multi-file (3+ files) database onto a different host. Granted, we can dump the files to the OS and do an old-fashioned TSQL restore, but losing out on the ease of the console is a bit disappointing. Supposedly fixed in the latest version that we're supposed to be upgrading to in the next month or so.

Otherwise, the performance has stayed pretty true to what was advertised as we continue loading the system up, and the amount of data backed up (vs. amount scanned) averages about 3%. Granted, these are less volatile dev & test instances, so it will be interesting to see how that ratio changes as we start adding production environments to the mix.
Post #1118732
Posted Friday, January 20, 2012 9:21 AM
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My current employer has an avamar grid and has been doing the vmdk backups... All db's in simple mode and no "real" sql backups occur. Some of the larger systems have backup exec installed still but we have to get off of it. So we're working through how it would work to do avamar sql plugin or if we need something else. I have litespeed licenses for the largest db's but we'd really like to have all the backups in one spot if we can.

I'm going to do some testing of the avamar sql plugin because the vmdk backup strategy leaves you in a "crash consistent" state. Transactions in flight could roll forward or backwards when the logs replay, and if for some reason there was some sort of corruption introduced at the point of snapshot, it could be failrly unpredictable is my take on it.

The real question to ask to answer whether you need an agent or to make native backups or compressed backups or whatever you are thinking of is this:

What are my RPO, RTO and SLA on the system in question? Can the product I'm evaluating meet these requirements? Do some testing to make sure. Maybe you make a compromise and you backup the largest ones with a redgate or litespeed and then back those files up with avamar or whatever other backup system you are using. Maybe you use full avamar sql backups (if you have the network bandwidth and grid size to handle all your stuff). Maybe you use native sql and back those files up.

The answer is fully dependant on your environment's configuration, but I've found with a little testing and knowledge of the RPO/RTO/SLA objectives you'll find success.

Post #1239578
Posted Tuesday, July 16, 2013 8:30 AM
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Don't ever trust this Avamar crap to backing up a MSCS cluster with the SQL plug in. first day i had it installed just for testing, it took down the 2008 r2 cluster (failed the cluster over and over and over till the nostart policy i had configured stopped the process), took several hours to fix it. Next having thought i went thru every sql server to make sure it was removed, missed the Biztalk cluster. it corrupted several databases on my Biztalk cluster , including master and MSDB. what a mess, and totally pissed me off.
Post #1474155
Posted Thursday, July 18, 2013 6:52 PM


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I've just been hit with this at work. They're wanting to implement Avamar with the SQL plugin even after it took over a day to backup a test server.

As a DBA, my number one priority is to ensure the data is safe and that I can recover from any sort of system failure. First problem is that I just dont trust this system.

Can I do RESTORE VERIFYONLY, HEADERONLY, FILELISTONLY? What if I need to get a copy of the db for test, can I use COPY_ONLY? Do I need to do my own backup then restore to test seperately? Will I have the necessary access to the Avamar system in this highly bureaucratic organisation? Will I need to install the agent just to do a restore on a new server? How much time will that add in an emergency situation? Will we have licencing limits to contend with?
Can I control how fast a backup occurs thereby limiting the effect on production systems, ie. setting BUFFERCOUNT and BLOCKSIZE?
Can I control when the backup occurs? Does this product take into account transaction log management? Does it mark the log as backed up so SQL can reuse the VLFs?

I dont know how to explain any of this to people who think SQL is just another app that stores data in files.

Also some of you talking about vmdk backups with no SQL backups..
Post #1475244
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