NDMP Backup

In response to requests from our enteprise customers, Unitrends provides deep storage integration for EMC and NetApp Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices to include Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP) support. This is in addition to our broad support of other NAS devices using file-level methods, providing users with supported arrays with the option to leverage tighter integration with the storage vendor to simplify backup management, improve performance, and maintain access control lists (ACLs) on recovered files.

Unitrends NDMP backup provides the following advantages:
  • Simpler access to the NAS storage stack.
  • Much faster backups in certain circumstances, particularly where the NAS contains millions of small files.
  • Support for incremental backups, yielding more recovery points and less network impact.
  • Persistence of access control lists (ACLs) and other file attributes after recovery.
Unitrends NDMP backup is an optional add-on license to your Recovery-Series appliance or Unitrends Enterprise Backup virtual appliance.

NDMP NAS Protection FAQs For Recovery-Series and Unitrends Enterprise Backup (UEB)
1. What is NDMP?
Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP) is an open protocol that can be used to access data directly from the storage device for backup and recovery purposes. For Unitrends, NDMP is specifically used to access data on Network-Attached Storage (NAS) devices, or filers.

2. What does Unitrends protect with NDMP?
There are several NAS vendors that support the NDMP protocol for backup and recovery of their devices. The specific ones that Unitrends supports with our enterprise-class backup products are:
EMC Celerra
NetApp FASxxxx
Note 1: EMC Isilon devices are not supported in the 8.0 release. We expect to include additional vendors in the future.
Note 2: NetApp ONTAP versions 7.x and 8.x are supported. Backing up an 8.x NetApp ONTAP Cluster is not certified. We are currently setting up and testing this configuration and hope to have a KB in the near future documenting a solution.

3. What Unitrends products support NDMP protection?
NDMP is supported with release 8.0 and above for our enterprise-class backup software and appliances. This specifically includes:
Unitrends Enterprise Backup 8.0 and above.
All rackmount Recovery-Series models that are 1U and above (i.e. 712 and above), are 64-bit, and are running software release 8.0 and above.
Note: Due to resource requirements, we will not support NDMP for Recovery-Series desktop models or any model that uses a 32-bit architecture.

4. Is NDMP the only way Unitrends can protect NAS devices?
No. Users can protect any NAS vendor using file-level backups via CIFS or NFS mount points on the device. This helps customers protect other NAS devices, and also provides a method that deduplicates very well for NAS backup and replication.  

5. Is NDMP ALWAYS the best way to protect NAS devices?
No. There is a tradeoff to using NDMP to protect NAS devices.  
The benefits of NDMP are:
Simpler access to the NAS storage stack.
Much faster backups in certain circumstances, particularly where the NAS contains millions of small files.
Support for incremental backups, yielding more recovery points and less network impact.
Persistence of access control lists (ACLs) and other file attributes after recovery.
The possible drawbacks of using NDMP are:
There is limited deduplication and compression benefit (larger storage footprint).
Although Unitrends supports the most common and popular storage vendors and models with NDMP, there are some third party vendors that Unitrends does not support. See the previous question “What does Unitrends protect?” for the full list. 
Note that there is an additional licensing fee for Unitrends NDMP protection.
As an alternative to NDMP, users may instead use the file-level approach via CIFS or NFS mount points in order to improve deduplication and compression (storage capacity and replication bandwidth) or protect storage vendors that are unsupported by Unitrends for NDMP.    

6. Will NDMP ALWAYS work on existing Recovery-Series appliances?
Not always. Because NDMP has different retention and compute requirements, it is important to ensure a sizing effort is completed prior to adding NDMP to an existing appliance. Please contact your Unitrends sales representative to assist with appliance sizing for NDMP.  

7. How is NDMP licensed and priced?
NDMP is licensed per individual NAS device. If a customer has two (2) EMC VNX NAS devices, they must purchase two (2) NDMP licenses.    

8. What are the rules related to renewals for NDMP?
NDMP renewals must be in place and kept current for as long as the NDMP license is included in the customer’s feature set AND the customer is currently on active support for their Unitrends enterprise-class appliance (Recovery-Series or UEB).
If a customer wishes to cancel their NDMP support—BUT ALSO wishes to keep active support for the Unitrends appliance—the NDMP license must be removed from the software.  

9. Can NDMP be offered on an annual and monthly recurring basis?
Yes. Annual and monthly options are available with an annual or monthly Recovery-Series solution. Please contact your Unitrends Sales Rep or sales@unitrends.com to discuss these options.
For Unitrends Enterprise Backup, all on-premise licensing is perpetual and should use the standard NDMP purchase option.  
Service Provider licensing is also available for the NDMP option.  

10. Can NDMP backups be recovered in the Unitrends Cloud as part of DRaaS?
No. At this time, only files can be recovered from NDMP backups in the Unitrends Cloud back to the customer’s on-premise appliance.  

11. NDMP has multiple versions of the protocol. What versions are supported by Unitrends?
Currently, Unitrends supports version 4 of the NDMP protocol.
12. Can NDMP data be restored across NAS vendors (i.e. from EMC to NetApp)?
No. Cross-vendor recovery is not supported.  
Generally, NDMP data can only be restored to the same vendor and device (i.e. EMC VNX to EMC VNX).