Joel Ramirez attended the Data Domain Best Practices for VMware session at EMC World yesterday and got a little inspired. So let's talk backup: (Below are Joel’s thoughts).
DynamicOps provides the ability to retire VMs to archive, or nearline, storage. It is a right-click operation and when you point the nearline target to a Data Domain NFS share, it invokes an automated PowerShell operation that will Storage vMotion the VM to the appliance. Now your VM, which could be a reference architecture or a model of a customer environment, but isn't important or used frequently enough to keep on expensive FC disk, isn't sapping your tier 1 storage. And it is still available should you need it in the future. Not only is it available on lower cost storage, but with a replicating set of Data Domain appliances, you can call back any retired VM at a secondary site for test/dev purposes. You can even Storage vMotion it back to primary storage in production!
With OST, you maximize the investment in your Data Domain appliances. Say you have a limited budget but absolutely have a need to make the move to backup to disk and deduplication technology. You buy a smaller Data Domain appliance and enjoy the magic in a box that simplifies backup and makes it more reliable, in addition to the backup data footprint reduction. Eventually, you'll execute the disaster recovery phase and need another Data Domain appliance for the secondary site, and by then, you will be using it as a backup target for your backup infrastructure, an NFS share for your SQL dumps, and as the aforementioned nearline storage for retired VMs. You want to place a bigger Data Domain for longer retentions and archiving at the secondary site. Because the OST API was jointly developed by Data Domain and Symantec, the backup infrastructure is aware of the secondary Data Domain appliance. You can account for the remote Data Domain within Backup Exec and apply retention policies to keep data longer on the bigger box.
Use the smaller, local Data Domain appliance for 30-45 days retention and leverage the remote Data Domain for 6-12 month or longer retentions. Paired with OST and DynamicOps, this is a comprehensive backup solution for any VMware environment that maximizes protection, availability, and cost-effectiveness. With FC disk at ~$5/GB, Data Domain helps extend the value of that tier 1 storage at 1/10th of the cost. Even SATA is $2-3/GB, so it has an impact on tier 2 storage savings as well! This is a reference architecture with many benefits and an incredible ROI, check it out.