• Abhishek Shukla

Dell EMC Integrated Data Protection Appliance (IDPA)

Modern IT world is talking about Data and it is important as it allows organisations to determine and visualize the strength of the business. Today, gathering data is vital to know about the customer and so businsess is relatively easy. Now the challenge is to protect the data and comprehensive data protection is not easy. There is more data, more applications, more devices and hence more users. These days the organisations are leveraging the cloud technologies to park the data into the storage and protecting it with modernised solution.

In this article, I will introduce you to Dell EMC's Integrated Data Protection Appliance a.k.a IDPA. IDPA provides a converged solution which includes backup and recovery solution with replication, instant access, search, analystics and reporting with great deduplication and cloud integration. It offers disaster recovery and long-term retention (LTR). Everything is in one box

IDPA is called Intergrated solution for data protection because it combines multiple data protection solutions into a single product like

  1. Dell EMC Avamar (For backups and restore)

  2. Data Domain ( for storage)

  3. VMware vCenter appliance

  4. VMware Esxi (Compute)

  5. IDPA system manager (Control pane and UI to IDPA)

  6. Data Protection Advisor (For Reporting and Analytics)

  7. Data Protection Search (For detailed search functionality

  8. Cloud Disaster Recovery Appliance (CDRA)

  9. Appliance Configuration Manager (ACM) (For installation of IDPA)

  10. Avamar Proxy

IPDA is configured to protect itself from data loss with the backup and storage application included in the system. It is available in various configurations based on platform and storage capacity.

  • DP4400 ( From 8 TB upto 24 TB and From 24 TB upto 96 TB)

  • DP5300 ( From 34 TB up to 130 TB )

  • DP5800 (From 96 TB up to 288 TB)

  • DP8300 (From 192 TB up to 720 TB)

  • DP8800 (From 624 TB to 1 PB)

IDPA DP4400 is a virtualized and hyperconverged solution comes with 2U system that a user can install. It provides the virtual environment with Avamar Virtual Edition (AVE) as the Backup node, Data Domain virtual Edition (DDVE) as the Protection Storage node, Cloud Disaster Recovery Appliance for Cloud based DRs, IDPA System Manager as a centralized system management , an Appliance Configuration Manager(ACM) for simplified configuration and upgrades, Search, Reporting and Analytics, and a compute node that hosts the virtual components and the software.

On the other hand, other models of IDPA (DP5300, DP5800, DP8300, and DP8800) are shipped as a physical unit, with hardware components racked and cabled. The DP5xxx models have a physical Data Domain and Avamar Virtual Edition and The DP8xxx models have a physical Data Domain and Avamar component.

Components of IDPA

1. Appliance Configuration Manager (ACM):

ACM is the component which enables the configuration of IDPA. It provides a web-based interface for configuration, upgrade and monitoring appliance. It also enables you to modify configuration details such as expanding the Data Domain disk capacity, change the common password for the appliance, change LDAP settings, update customer information, and change the values in the General Settings panel.

2. IDPA System Manager:

This component provides the advanced monitoring and management of IDPA activities i.e. backup and recovery, replication, asset management, capacity, health and alerts. It also includes advanced features like search and recover options, comprehnsive reporting and cloud backups. The UI has information about Avamar, Data Domain, Search and Data Protection Advisor components.

3. Dell EMC Avamar

IDPA uses Avamar as backup solution for the workloads. Dell EMC Avamar is proven backup and recovery software that delivers secure data protection for cloud, remote office and data centers. It has tight integration into VMware interfaces which made Avamar a great solution for protecting any workloads running in a VMware environment. Avamar has two flavors i.e. Physical Avamar and Avamar Virtual Edition (AVE). As mentioned above, IPDA uses AVE servers for DP400 and DP5xxx series models and physical Avamar for DP8xxx series models to perform backup operations. You can add an Network Data Management protocol (NDMP) accelerator to enable backup and recovery of NAS systems (NDMP is optional)

4. Data Domain

Data Domain is an inline deduplication storage system which performs target based backups, archives and disaster recovery that utilizes high speed processing. The backups peformed by Avamar systems are stored in Data Domain. Hence data domain is also called as protection storage. Like Avamar, the accelerator performs NDMP processing and sends the data directly to Data Domain Server. Even Data domain has two flavors i.e. physical server and virtual edition.

5. Data Protection Search

The Search feature provides a powerful way to search backup data within the IDPA and then restore the backup data based on the results of the Search. Scheduled collection activities are used to gather and index the metadata (such as keyword, name, type, location, size, and backup server/client, or indexed content) of the backup, which is then stored within the IDPA.

6. Disaster Recovery

Disaster recovery is one of the important aspect and feature of a data protection solution. With IDPA, Cloud Disaster recovery Appliance (CDRA) is a solution, which enables disaster recovery of one or more on-premise virtual machines (VMs) to the cloud. It integrates with the existing on-premise backup software and a Data Domain system to copy the VM backups to the cloud. It can then run a disaster recovery test or a failover, which converts a VM to an AWS EC2 instance, and then runs this instance in the cloud.

7. Reporting and Analytics

The Reporting and Analytics is provided by Data Protection Advisor (DPA) which offers a reporting functionality with dedicated sections for various features. These reports help you retrieve information about the Data Domain (DDVE) and Avamar (AVE). Using these reports, you can identify outages in the environment, diagnose problems, plan to mitigate risks, and forecast future trends.

Note: CDRA components, Search and DPA are optional. Also, if these components are already configured in your environment, then the appliance can be configured to use the central implementation in your environment.

This article was just a short introduction to the product. I hope it was informative to you. I will dive little deeper and write about "how to deploy" in next article. Please leave you comments if in case you want me to modify anything. Till then stay safe and keep reading!


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