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sql backup to avamar Expand / Collapse
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Posted Wednesday, August 28, 2013 8:50 AM
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We are using Avamar succesfully in our environment.

We use it to do our Full backups and we backup t-logs with native backups to the file system, then sweep those up with Avamar's Windows File system backup.

Yes, the databases take longer to back up due to the de-duplication I'm guessing, but since that overall saves us on storage I'm for it.

As far as copy-only, yes you can still take your back up with SSMS or script, and use copy-only.

Scheduling:
Our backups are scheduled to start when it makes sense for our business, and they occur somewhere between the start time and the Avamar black out window start time.

*We dont back up dev and test unless our developers request it, and we have a separate data set for those environments.


Customization:
We have separate data groups based on the retention, frequency, and exclusions for the database sets (i.e. SharePoint db servers do not need SQL backups if using the SharePoint plug-in so we exclude those). We also have some servers that need special settings so they are in their own data set.

Apparently (we have not tried this) you can Script your Avamar backup. This gives you total control over over how it executes on your db server, and you can run your integrity checks, etc. prior to the backup, probably along with your performance throttling if you so desire.


Problems:
We have had backups time out due to ghosted Avamar processes (avtar.exe) on the database server because of multi-channel backups, but we catch that with our alerts and SQL policy checks, kill the processes that are ghosted, and re-run the backups.

We would like to see Avamar do a db integrity check before starting the job as part of the built-in options to the backups.

VMDK backups. The snapshot agent available with Avamar freezes the I/O on the vmdk, so to some applications this is problematic and we have had to discontinue automatic scheduling of these snapshots. Instead we use our NetVault snapshot agent and manually schedule maintenance windows to do Avmar vmdk snapshots.
*Note: I would not trust a vmdk snapshot to backup your database, it is not database transactionally aware.

Finally, I would like to know how to sync msdb with the actual backup files in Avamar so it knows when the backup files are gone. If anyone knows how to make this happen I would really appreciate a ping back.

Hope this helps, and if anyone knows how to sync msdb I'd really appreciate your comments!
Post #1489275
Posted Wednesday, August 28, 2013 9:10 AM
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Have to post on this, although my opinion of this product is it is @#$%^. So that said you still have to do backups and if you are mandated to use, it, just be careful. So yes there are plenty of ways to throttle Avamar backups, because it will take over and cause you grief. I have it throttled by CPU to 20%. and that takes care of most issues. I also only use the avamar file backup, not the plugin. after 3 failures on using the plugin, it just was not worth it.

create a Avamar.cmd file and place it in the C:\Program Files\avs\var. i use the --cpu switch to limit CPU. I found it was taking 100% cpu overnight and causing my report server to not service reports.

you can limit what it backs up by file type and location, but be careful.

William
Post #1489287
Posted Wednesday, January 21, 2015 7:20 AM
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I've had a long discussion with EMC about the Avamar backups. They ensured me that there are no DBCC commands and suggested I run this on my own for the data integrity. It may have changed since that discussion back in Sept. 2014.

It seems as though Avamar is making adjustments to the product every time we would have meetings. At one point, we couldn't see the backups in the error log, then we could. Then after asking when a database was restored, they wrote more code to write this into the error log as well.

I feel as though they (Avamar) are making a best effort to make the product work but are making changes along the way. I've since left that company that implemented Avamar on the backups and happily working with someone that isn't using the product.

All I can say, if you are forced to use Avamar, best of luck to you, you'll need it!
Post #1653177
Posted Friday, March 27, 2015 12:57 PM
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Avamar SQL plugins have issue with Transaction Log backup, the smallest time gap between 2 T-Log backup will be an hour--- (EMC confirmed it) -- horrible for us, cause our production RPO is 10 mins.
Post #1672301
Posted Thursday, June 25, 2015 12:34 PM
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We use Avamar 7.1 for our SQL Server Backups. I have implemented Command Line Backups scheduled through our enterprise scheduler. At random times the backups seem to hang or pause requiring someone to kill the avtar.exe and avsql.exe and restart the backup.
Has anyone else experienced this issue?

Thanks
Post #1697848
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