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Bionic Backup

Data Stream Architecture provides faster data backups, improved usability and higher security.

Guaranteeing that current, reliable data is always available to users is essential for any business. Teradata offers complete end-to-end backup, archive and restore (BAR) solutions that enable organizations to protect their valuable data assets in case of corruption, system failure or disaster.

The newest solution is Teradata® Data Stream Architecture (DSA). Optimized for communication and transfer of data between the Teradata Database and third-party backup applications, Teradata DSA allows fast and secure backup and restore windows. An advanced feature set provides better support of data protection requirements, while a new architectural framework delivers improved scalability, performance and usability. Teradata DSA has been designed as the eventual replacement for the Teradata Archive Utility (ARC) and the Tiered Archive/Restore Architecture (TARA) graphical user interface.

Operating Environment

The Teradata® Data Stream Architecture (DSA) has been certified across a broad range of Teradata hardware platforms, including new platforms that are configured with BYNET® V5. Additionally, the latest advocated tape devices and disk-based appliances have also been certified. The primary system requirements for Teradata DSA are:

  • Teradata Database 14.10 or later version
  • Teradata SLES 10 or 11
  • Teradata Managed Server for backup, archive and restore (BAR) running Teradata SLES 11
  • Symantec NetBackup 7.0 or later version

Teradata DSA can co-exist with Teradata Archive Utility (ARC)-based BAR applications on the same hardware. As shown in the figure on the right, the architecture is enabled by three key components:

  • Data Stream Controller (DSC) controls all operations throughout the BAR environment. It manages a dedicated Teradata Database repository stored on a Teradata Managed Server for BAR. The repository contains all the job metadata and relevant activity logs. DSC is notified of all requested BAR operations and manages resources to ensure optimal system backup and restore performance.
  • DSMain is embedded in the Teradata Database infrastructure and delegates DSA job plans to the database. A job plan includes stream lists, object lists and job details. DSMain also tracks the stream and object progress through the backup and restore process, and it communicates with the DSA Network Client.
  • BAR Network Client controls the data path from DSMain to the BAR storage device and verifies authentication from the Teradata Database. The DSA Network Client opens the connection to the appropriate device or API.

Deduplication Improvements

Efficiency of deduplication devices, such as EMC Data Domain platforms, is enhanced by allowing one data stream per Teradata AMP. The design changes in Teradata DSA let Data Domain’s algorithm more easily recognize data segments that were backed up previously by increasing the data chunk size from 64K to 1MB and making improvements in the consistency of data delivered to the target storage device. This results in improved storage utilization and faster effective stream rates.

Database Compression

With legacy ARC, block-level compression (BLC) data is uncompressed upon backup and then streamed across the network to the backup storage device. BLC rates within the database vary, but are generally 3:1 or higher. Most backup targets will then recompress the data. However, the data compression rate achieved is generally lower, typically 2:1. By contrast, Teradata DSA leaves data compressed via BLC in the same compressed form when it is backed up. This requires less data to be streamed from a Teradata Node, resulting in shorter backup windows.

Teradata Viewpoint Portlets

The most visible change with Teradata DSA relates to the user interface. Rather than a standalone solution, the administration and operations graphical user interface is accessible through Teradata Viewpoint portlets. The Teradata DSA portlets provide a simple and user-friendly Web-based interface for both administration and operation tasks, such as creating a backup job.

Giant Leap Forward

The key features of Teradata DSA were developed from the ground up to deliver a major advance in BAR, including a significant improvement in backup efficiency. The architecture facilitates many valuable benefits:

Fast Data Streams

A streaming protocol design is at the center of Teradata DSA. The architecture optimizes data flow in and out of the Teradata Database by allowing multiple parallel streams with large buffers and very low latency. When using a target that supports high- sustained write performance, the transfer rates for backups have been up to five times faster than ARC-based backups. Full restores to the same Teradata system have demonstrated performance increases greater than two times. These faster data stream rates enable shorter backup and restore windows, reducing the impact of BAR operations on critical database systems.

Incremental Backups

Overall efficiency is upgraded with the introduction of incremental backups. Teradata DSA enables time savings by sending only new or changed data blocks to a backup target instead of the entire object or database. This new feature to Teradata BAR solutions reduces backup windows and increases the number of backups that can be stored on an existing infrastructure. Incremental backups are ideal for improving effective backup performance without expanding existing solutions.

The administration or BAR Setup portlet defines and configures the physical infrastructure, including the Teradata systems to be protected, the media servers to be used and the backup application details. (See figure.) The BAR Operations portlet is the primary day-to-day window into BAR activities. It enables the creation of backup or restore jobs, selection of objects or databases to include in the job, and job status. A command-line option is available for direct editing of scripts, which are now stored as XML files.

Moving to Viewpoint portlets leverages native security mechanisms for granular user control and access. It also allows integration with enterprise authentication protocols to enable user authorization and password security policies.

Advanced Features for Better Protection

Teradata DSA is the most significant BAR software release this decade, delivering new levels of performance and storage utilization. Teradata DSA offers a more advanced feature set to better meet end-user data protection requirements. These features make BAR easier to use while also offering enhanced efficiencies. It’s never been easier to protect your business’s most valuable asset—your data. 

Alex Console is the director for the Client and Platform Engineering Group at Teradata Labs.

Barry Silvester is the director of product management for Platform Infrastructure, which includes the Teradata managed servers and BAR program.


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