How to create a Remote Device Server (RDS)

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Copyright © SEP AG 1999-2019. All rights reserved.

Any form of reproduction of the contents or parts of this manual is allowed only with the express written permission from SEP AG. When compiling and designing user documentation SEP AG uses great diligence and attempts to deliver accurate and correct information. However, SEP AG cannot issue a guarantee for the contents of this manual.

Docs latest icon.png Welcome to the latest SEP sesam documentation version 4.4.2/4.4.3 Beefalo. For previous documentation version(s), check Previous versions.


Overview

SEP sesam Remote Device Server (RDS) is a storage management component that controls the preparation of data, intended for backup on a SEP sesam Client and writes the backup data to the backup media. During a restore it locates the save sets and sends the data to a client.

RDS consists of three components: Sesam Transfer Protocol Server (STPD), Sesam Multiplex Stream Server (SMS), and SEP sesam Client (SBC) including remote access. The control of the tasks is maintained by the SEP sesam Server. It is available for installation as a separate – RDS installation package.

Key features

If your network spans multiple locations, you can administer storage devices across locations using a SEP sesam server (e.g., removed tape libraries or SAN devices.) However, if your infrastructure spans several sites that do not allow for fast data transfer to the central SEP sesam server, you should use a Remote Device Server to backup data to locally attached storage at a remote location. RDS enables efficient data transfer, takes the workload off the primary SEP sesam Server and uses the storage resources available at the site.

Hence, at remote locations RDS acts as a backup server and can either serve as a backup proxy to deliver data to the main backup server or save data to locally attached storage. By using RDS you can easily and and conveniently manage many remote locations from one central console.

License

RDS requires a separate license. The RDS license includes one backup client and updates for 12 months. To learn more about SEP sesam licensing options, see Licensing. For a list of all available licenses, see List of Licenses.

Configuration and Launch of SEP sesam RDS: Basic Scenario

This scenario describes how to set up an RDS on Linux. The configuration assumes two sites with the following situation:

  • Site A (Munich): SEP sesam Server with NAS storage and virtual disk images
  • Site B (Chemnitz): 5 clients are going to be backed up via RDS to NAS storage (virtual disk images) that is connected in Chemnitz

All clients and devices are managed centrally from the site in Munich.

In this scenario, it is assumed that both systems are running on Debian GNU\Linux (Lenny) and that you have already performed all installation-related preparations. If you need help with these requirements, refer to SEP sesam Basis Administrator (SBA).

Installing SEP sesam Server and RDS

In this scenario, you will install the following components at the respective sites:

  • Munich: SEP sesam Server
  • Chemnitz: SEP sesam RDS

Prerequisites

Make sure that the hardware and software requirements are met. For details, see What are the hardware and software requirements for a SEP sesam Server. In addition to these requirements, the following prerequisites must also be fulfilled:

  • Before starting the SEP sesam installation, make sure that you are logged in as a local administrator or domain administrator.
  • To install SEP sesam Server or Remote Device Server on Linux, you will require an installation file which can be downloaded from Linux download (https://download.sep.de/linux/). The installation files are names as sesam_srv-<version> (SEP sesam Server) and sesam_rts-<version> (SEP sesam RDS). Make sure to download the correct file for your processor type.
    To install SEP sesam on Windows, you will require an installation file which can be downloaded from Windows download (https://download.sep.de/windows/). SEP sesam for Windows provides all SEP sesam components in one package. During installation, you have to specify which of the four SEP sesam components you want to install (SEP sesam Server, SEP sesam Remote Device, SEP sesam GUI or SEP sesam Client). You can install GUI together with RDS.
  • GUI requires Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to be installed on the system. For details on the required Java version, see Java Compatibility Matrix. For 64-bit operating systems, a PostgreSQL database must be installed.
  • SEP sesam uses network resolution for server to client communication. Before installing, you should test DNS name resolution. For details, see How to check DNS configuration.
  • Ensure that any used SCSI devices are recognised by the operating system to which you are installing SEP sesam. SEP sesam checks the SCSI bus attached storage devices during the installation and adds its data to the database. SEP sesam can only see devices recognised by the operating system.
  • It is recommended to disable firewall to avoid problems during the SEP sesam installation. Once SEP sesam is installed, you can enable the firewall with exceptions made for the SEP sesam services.
  • On Windows, the .Net Framework 4 is required for server installation and can be deselected for all other SEP sesam components during installation.
  • On Windows, x86 operating systems with more than 3.25 GB RAM must either reduce the amount of RAM to below to 3.25 GB or migrate to an x64 operating system. This is necessary because SEP sesam requires 64 KB blocks for LTO (Linear Tape Open) whereas an x86 system can only write 32 KB blocks to tape drive because the PAE (Physical Address Extension) is automatically activated. Also, a loader cannot be accessed properly by SEP sesam.
Information sign.png Note
On RHEL, the SEP sesam installation changes the permissions of /var/run/postgresql to grant SEP sesam users PostgreSQL access privileges.

Sample Linux installation

Configuring RDS

To configure a SEP sesam RDS, you have to create a location, used for logical grouping of SEP sesam clients, including RDS. Each client is always created within (and assigned to) a location, which can be defined as a group of clients and further specified as sub-locations. In our example, we will create a new location named Chemnitz and then assign the RDS with the same name Chemnitz to it.

Prerequisites

Embedding the SEP sesam RDS

Create a new location as follows:

  1. In the Main selection -> Components -> Topology, go to the content pane and click New location. Note that the location LOCAL is always created by default.
  2. In the New location window, enter the name Chemnitz.
  3. Click OK. Your new location is displayed in the Topology content pane.

Now add the Chemnitz RDS as a client to your newly created location:

  1. In the Topology content pane, right-click Chemnitz and then click New client. Enter the name of the RDS – Chemnitz. The name has to be resolvable either by DNS or hosts file. If there is a name server (DNS) in the network, SEP sesam automatically selects the TCP/IP address. Otherwise you have to enter it manually in the etc/hosts file.
  2. From the Operating system drop-down list, select the relevant operating system. In our example, this is LINUX.
  3. From the Access mode drop-down list, leave the default SMS_SH (default) access mode.
  4. Click Create. A new dialog box appears, asking whether you want to create a new backup job for this client. Click No. Your new client Chemnitz is displayed in the Topology content pane.
  5. Rds config.PNG


Information sign.png Note
Once your RDS is added as a client, check the access to get a proper identification entry in the sesam database.

Adding storage hardware to RDS

A Remote Device Server can be used with attached disk storage, tape libraries or single tape drives. In case of a disk storage, you can configure a default data store Path or SEP Si3 Deduplication Store. Depending on the type of storage you want to configure, select one of the following:

Backup on the Remote Device Server

Generally speaking, all data of the clients in the Chemnitz location (backed up onto media in the media pool PoolChemnitz) is only moving on the net segment of that particular site. Therefore, no data is transported to the SEP sesam Server over WAN.

To test this, set up a test backup task that will perform a quick self-backup of the SEP sesam RDS (Directory /etc) to the storage mounted on RDS. For details, see Creating a backup task.
Rds bck.jpg
Once you have configured a test backup, start your test backup:

  1. In the Main selection -> Tasks -> By clients, click the test backup task to select it.
  2. In the menu bar -> Activities -> Immediate start, click Backup.
  3. Select the media pool referring to the data store you have previously configured on RDS and click Start.
  4. Rds bck2.jpg
    Note that when choosing the media pool PoolChemnitz, the interface is set to Chemnitz automatically.

  5. After the process ends, you can see if your backup finished successfully.
  6. Rds fin.jpg
    You can also schedule your test backup. For details, see Creating a schedule.

Now your RDS is configured and ready to use.

Information sign.png Note
Make sure that you follow the general recommendations and configure required exclusions with your antivirus product as well as ensure that the antivirus scans are not scheduled during backup operations.