As SQL Server continues to introduce new and improved capabilities, companies are increasingly leveraging SQL Server for business critical applications. Microsoft introduced AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AAGs), in SQL Server 2012, which provides an improved level of availability and protection for your databases. AlwaysOn can provide a number of benefits for your environment, including offloading backup I/O to provide more efficient backups. SQL Server 2014's implementation of AAG even includes support for hybrid cloud scenarios. Despite the numerous improvements, software corruption may still replicate to all copies of your data, rendering all copies compromised. A robust data protection solution for SQL Server is required for critical applications.

 

EMC leverages AAGs and the new hybrid cloud capabilities of SQL Server 2014 to provide enhanced data protection. Both EMC Avamar and Networker support protection of SQL Server 2014 in multiple hybrid cloud scenarios:

 

  • On-Premise with Cloud Disaster Recovery (DR) Secondary
  • On-Premise, Remote On-Premise & Cloud DR Secondary
  • Cloud with On-Premise Secondary

 

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Enabling DBAs

Avamar & Networker leverage SQL Server 2014 Hybrid Cloud capabilities and enable the SQL DBA to set the backup policy for the Hybrid cloud. The SQL DBA can set a preference via the backup preferences tab in SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), for on-premise SQL DB secondary copies to enable fast and efficient backup of cloud enabled applications.

 

EMC expands backup and recovery for Microsoft SQL Server beyond the data center and into the public cloud. For hybrid cloud deployment scenarios, SQL DBAs can set AlwaysOn backup policies to backup the on-premise active database or an on-premise secondary database.

 

In addition, Data Domain Boost for Enterprise Applications (DD Boost) integrates seamlessly with SQL Server, allowing DBAs to backup data directly to Data Domain. This provides application owners and database administrators complete control of their own backups, using their native utilities, reducing training time and complexity.

 

Data Growth is Exponential

Companies are rethinking their next generation data protection methods as a result of exponential data growth. Traditional solutions are inefficient because they repeatedly backup duplicate files and sub-file data segments that exist across many databases and servers. When combined with traditional daily, incremental, and weekly full backups, the amount of duplicate data is staggering and often leads to decreased performance and increased cost.

 

De-duplication is the key.

 

EMC’s Avamar de-duplicates data right at the SQL Server to reduce the data moved over the network, reduce backup storage used and reduce backup times by 90%. Avamar starts by dividing data into variable-length sub-file segments. It compresses them and applies a unique hash identifier to each one. Then it can determine if that segment has ever been backed up before or whether it‘s unique and needs to be backed up. If the data has been backed up previously, either from this SQL Server, or any other—physical or virtual—then Avamar will not back it up again. Using this process, Avamar routinely reduces data by up to 99 percent before backing it up. This can have a huge impact.

 

In addition to the capabilities of Avamar, Data Domain de-duplication storage systems de-duplicate data inline, so that backup data winds up on the disk already de-duplicated. Data Domain can easily integrate with Avamar through the use of Data Domain Boost software, which combines the simplicity of Avamar with the performance and scale of Data Domain.  DD Boost also empowers applications owners to backup de-duplicated data with the control they desire and eliminates storage silos for application protection within an enterprise environment.

 

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Policy Driven Data Protection

While backup is essential to any data protection strategy, the potential for data loss is so great today, that additional methods are needed. Appsync allows SQL DBAs to directly manage snapshots and replicas to meet their Service Level Agreements (SLAs) without requiring engagement of the storage team. Leveraging AppSync, application administrators and DBAs can spend less time learning new tools and quickly enable policy driven data protection. Through the use of tiered Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs), AppSync helps to simplify the conversations between IT and business teams. When an application or SQL Server database is assigned to a service plan, the app owner or DBA can simply check the AppSync dashboard to ensure the SLAs, agreed to, are being met.

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With its simple management console, AppSync allows SQL Server DBAs to take charge of their databases directly, instead of replying on storage administrators or other IT staff.

 

Conclusion

SQL Server data protection has many complexities and challenges. EMC provides a full suite of data protection technology, from backup software, target storage, snapshot capabilities, and replication technologies as well as professional services to provide simple solution for your business and technical challenges. EMC enables DBAs and application owners to control their backup and restores while still leveraging an enterprise backup solution. This allows for optimized de-duplication and yields great results in any environment.

 

Engage with your EMC account team today to discuss how we can provide the right protection strategy for you and your SQL Server environment.

 

EMC Data Protection: https://www.emc.com/data-protection/index.htm?nav=1