Novell Cluster

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Backing up Novell Cluster environments using SEP sesam

The SEP sesam backup recovery solution has been certified by Novell for use on all platforms. The Novell cluster backup arena is a reliable and important part of the backup solution provided to customers and partners. This report is designed to be used by System Administrators and Partners with sufficient Novell understanding and training and is directed at complex IT environments requiring fast, dependable backup.

Basis

A Novell cluster consists of several physical cluster nodes, sharing a common access to the storage device(s) used by the backup server. Services such as iPrint, eDirectory, GroupWise and NSS will be referred to in this paper as ‘Resources’.
Note: For best results and expedited setup a Novell cluster should contain 3+ Nodes. A two-node solution, while functional, will not give optimal performance.

Standard 3node cluster

Standard 3nodecluster.jpg


The configuration of a Novell cluster can be accomplished in several ways. In practice, the two most often utilized methods are the automatic ‘Fail Over’ or a ‘Load’ cluster.

Using the Fail Over method access to a Resource can be either manually specified or automatically assigned (moved) from one cluster node to another. Node failure is the typical reason a Resource is reassigned. In so doing the availability of the desired Resource is not interrupted and is fully accessible by system users. The physical load or main cluster is assigned the task to insure that cluster assets are utilized efficiently. In the event of heavy activity the load cluster divides processes and shares ‘Resources’ among the cluster nodes to provide efficient management of the entire cluster environment. The availability of the required Resources is, therefore, normally assured.


In order to provide a fast, reliable backup of the Novell Resources you must design a concept and configuration for implementing SEP sesam as well as determining the basis for accessing, backing up and restoring data. Connection to a Novell service is normally achieved using the SMS/TSA protocol. An overriding requirement to successfully implement a properly running cluster backup solution with SEP sesam is a technically correct installation of the Novell Cluster TSA’s.


Further information regarding the connection and backup of Novell Services can be found in the SEP – Novell Whitepaper at www.sepusa.com and the SEP Wiki.

http://wiki.sepsoftware.com/wiki/index.php/Sesam_Client_f%C3%BCr_NetWare

Configuration of a LAN Backup

The following example provides a typical backup configuration. The Resources are listed on each node.

The SEP sesam Backup Server can be used on a computer running Novell OES2 and automatically assumes direct communication to the desired Resources. In this example, the Novell Storage Management Data Register (SMDR) is running on the SEP sesam OES2 server and allows the backup of both NetWare and Linux Resources on the Novell OES2 server. On the Novell Cluster access is provided using the Storage Management Services (SMS) architecture, utilizing the Novell TSA’s to access all running Resources. The various SMS Target Service Agents (TSA) all system access to data from Resources including eDirectory, iFolder, GroupWise or Novell Storage Services (NSS) file systems. The SMS architecture allows communication between the cluster resources to provide Failover and Fallback functionality. The installation of various programs on the node or within the Resource is not required, and no change in the cluster environments is needed. Cluster backup using NetWare or OES2 is supported.


Cluster LAN backup

OES-Cluster lan backup.jpg


To test the correct communication path and the accessibility (rights management) you can use the SEP Wiki for additional assistance.

http://wiki.sepsoftware.com/wiki/index.php/Troubleshooting_for_Netware


To complete a backup using SEP sesam will we now define a backup task. Using the SEP sesam GUI allows you to configure a complete backup schema for your environment. Every Resource that is to be backed up will be entered into the GUI and becomes an integral part of the backup.


Cluster Browse en.jpg


In the first example Standard 3node cluster the SEP sesam Backup Server is also the Storage Management Data Requester (SMDR). The SMDR is designated by SEP sesam as the Novell Data Mover. This configuration now serves as both the backup, and in the event of a Node failure or transfer of a Resource to a new node, the restore path. It is also possible to install the Novell SMDR and SMS as standalone services. It should be noted, however, in such an implementation another Novell OES2 server is required to perform as the Data Mover. The SEP sesam Backup Server can be used on Windows, Linux or Unix clustered systems.


Cluster LAN data mover backup

OES-Cluster 2 lan datamover backup.jpg


In this configuration an OES2 Linux Server is installed with the SEP sesam Backup Client software and is designated and used as the Novell Data Mover (Drawing 3). The data stream is then transferred to the appointed Cluster Node and further transferred using the TSA to the SEP sesam Client Server. The further communication and data transfer is completed using the SEP Transfer Protocol (STP). This configuration is suited to both backup and restore of Resource data in the event of failover or transfer of Resources. Another variant that can be utilized is the use of the Novell Cluster Nodes as the Data Mover. This is possible when the Cluster is using Novell OES2 Linux. The nodes will be configured with a SEP sesam backup client and the setup in the SEP sesam GUI as backup clients configured with the Novell Data Mover Functionality. Note: This is a less reliable solution by backup and restore because node is also functioning as the SEP Novell Data Mover.


LANfree Backup using Novell Cluster with SEP sesam

TSA is a network protocol, in the event as a backup is desired, e.g. access to the eDirectory is required, the data from the Resource is directed, depending on definition, to the desired Data Mover and then further on to the designated SEP backup location on the SEP sesam Backup Server (disk, tape, NAS, SAN, etc.) A LANfree backup in a Novell Cluster environment is also possible and provides additional performance advantages. To accomplish this task the Novell Cluster Nodes in the previous examples are provided each with a SEP sesam Backup Client. Next, a location is specified in the SAN to direct the backup data stream to the new device, LANfree. This is performed utilizing the SEP sesam SAN Remote Device module.



SEP sesam Remote Device Server Base

The remote device function (tape or disk) allows the backup of data to a device that is directly attached to the backup client (e.g. Novell Cluster Node). With this extended functionality the diverse remote environments can utilize attached hardware and a highly efficient backup concept can be developed and implemented saving both time and maximizing ROI of current hardware. Further it allows the central management of data of remote data and servers. The complete data transfer happens via the Remote Device Server and only the control and protocol (meta) data are transmitted and stored at the main SEP sesam Backup Server. The SEP sesam Remote Device Server and the SEP sesam Backup Server can be running different operating systems. The Remote Device and Remote Device Server concept is available for implementation in SAN environments for LANfree backup solutions. SEP sesam SAN environments are defined as data stored within the SAN, i.e. stored on drives within the SAN. The data stream flow and the communication paths are shown in the following diagram and show a LANfree backup in a Novell Cluster.

Cluster SAN backup

OES-Cluster 3 SAN backup.jpg

SEP Licensing

There are not special licenses required to backup Novell Cluster Environments, however, each clustered Resource is seen by SEP sesam as a server and therefore requires a SEP sesam Backup Client license. The number of client licenses depends completely on the number of Novell Resources that are to be backed up.


License Example for Drawing 2
The shown LAN backup environment with a 3-node Novell Cluster each with 2 Resources is licensed as follows:

1x SEP-ALI001 – SEP sesam Backup Server Advanced Linux 
1x SEP-BC005 – SEP sesam Backup Client Paket 5
1x SEP-BC001 – SEP sesam Backup Client 

Additional license for the backup devices and online backup modules desired can be added to the SEP sesam Backup Server. In this way the backup of Novell Clusters can be easily incorporated into a comprehensive backup design and architecture. This allows a fast re-creation of the most important components of your environment.


License Example for Drawing 3
The shown LAN backup environment with a 3-node Novell Cluster each with 2 Resources is only slightly different and is licensed as follows:

1x SEP-ALI001 – SEP sesam Backup Server Advanced Linux 
1x SEP-BC005 – SEP sesam Backup Client Paket 5
2x SEP-BC001 – SEP sesam Backup Client 

Additional license for the backup devices and online backup modules desired can be added to the SEP sesam Backup Server. In this way the backup of Novell Clusters can be easily incorporated into a comprehensive backup design and architecture. This allows a fast re-creation of the most important components of your environment.


License Example for Drawing 4
In this example, the licensing for a LANfree backup is described. The pictured Novell Cluster Node acts also as a Novell Data Mover and as a SEP sesam Backup Client. In this case an extension for the backup of the data stream to the SAN is activated and as such, requires a SEP sesam SAN Remote Device for each Novell Cluster node. The pictured LANfree backup environment with a 3-Node Novell Cluster each with 2 Resources is licensed as follows:

1x SEP-ALI001 – SEP sesam Backup Server Advanced Linux – alternative operating systems available
1x SEP-BC005 – SEP sesam Backup Client Paket 5
1x SEP-BC001 – SEP sesam Backup Client 
3x SEP-SRD002 – SEP sesam SAN Remote Device Server 

Further licenses for the Storage Devices in SAN should also be taken into account depending on the desired response times and functionality required. Adding a 2nd Tape Drive, will require two SEP Dynamic Drive Sharing modules (SEP-SDD001). In so doing, you can direct data from desired nodes and/or servers to a specific device. Additional help regarding license can be obtained by contacting SEP.

Additional information regarding SEP sesam and available components as well as SEP sesam concepts and licensing can be found at: http://www.sep.de/us/products/test/

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