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Mar 21,2018 14:47:24PM
Updating to EMC NetWorker 9.1 from a Previous NetWorker – Changes and Benefits


The Dell EMC NetWorker is a popular enterprise level backup software platform which supports data backup on NAS, DAS and SAN systems as well as physical and virtual servers. It can target backups to a variety of storage destinations including tape drives and libraries, disk arrays, virtual tape libraries and cloud storage as well. It supports a wide variety of operating systems like Windows, Linux/Unix, Mac OS and OpenVMS. With a vast support system and ability to integrate with all major platforms and support tools, EMC NetWorker is well ahead of its competitors and thus probably the most popular data backup software for enterprises. Data Backup is more or less a part of the Data Protection Services because secure storage and backup of data are as much important as protecting it from external attacks. This makes NetWorker a crucial player in this domain.

Change from NetWorker version 9.0 to 9.1

EMC has continuously been working on developing and improving its power product and regular updates are in line always. Besides the patch updates, EMC released its huge update in the form of NetWorker 9.0 SP1 and then after a few months came the NetWorker 9.1. Version 9.0 was a major game-changer with the features like block-based application backups, deep snapshot integration and most importantly the control for REST-based API as well. Version 9.1 came with minor changes but nonetheless has been made more powerful.

NetWorker 9.1 is really the best product in the NetWorker line yet. It has some amazing new features. Each feature is unique in its own way and advantageous. Below are some of the key additions to this software along with their uses which will answer your question of why upgrade to version 9.1.

NetWorker VMware Protection with the vProxy appliance

The NetWorker VMware Protection with the vProxy appliance is also called NVP. NetWorker 9.1 comes with the ability to perform protection and recovery on a virtual machine. In previous versions, an external node was required to manage the vProxy appliances, it removes that need and manages it on its own.

Advantages of using NVP are as follows:

  • It directly manages the vProxy appliance for proxy management and load balancing with the use of an external node.
  • NVP can store the backups of a virtual machine on the Data Domain device in the form of raw VMDKs which reduces overhead.
  • It can clone virtual machine backups also. When you use streaming device like tape, it converts the SSDF (Save Set Directories Format) to CDSF (Common Data Storage Format) while cloning and back to SSDF when it is being transferred to data domain so that it could be recovered further if needed.
  • NVP uses vProxy appliances to backup and restore virtual machines running in a virtualized infrastructure.
  • It provides a simple user interface to perform image-level recovery using the NMC recovery wizard. Alternatively, you can use VM Backup and Recovery plug-in present in the vSphere web client or you can perform file-level recovery by using the EMC Data Protection Restore client and the NMC Recovery wizard.
  • It comes embedded with EBR/VBA functionality which makes it able to handle the data transportation for VMware backups really easy.

Rollback to another location

This feature enables you to do rollback or device array level restore of a snapshot to another device. The device being used for this process should be visible to an alternate host and of same size or larger than that of the source device. You have to pre-select that device before restore process and create the same file systems as were present on the source device.

Centralized snapshot management with SmartSnap

The SmartSnap component gives centralized snapshot management and snapshot support. This feature is useful for operating systems that do not support the old NSM (NetWorker Snapshot Management). When you select SmartSnap option from the accessible apps and tick the snapshot checkbox, the NMC Client Configuration wizard starts supporting the backup component of SmartSnap as it gets activated. It also permits you to backup and restore VMAX devices using a device worldwide name (WWN) and restore at an array device level.

DDHA system support

This is a totally new feature. NetWorker can completely understand and integrate with DDHA platforms known as Data Domain High Availability integration. A new DDHA system can be added by creating a new host in NMC.

Cloud Tier Integration

It has the power to control the migration of data out to the cloud tier by NetWorker’s cloning policies. This is named Cloud Tier Integration.

These all features along with many more is a clear explanation of why it is better to upgrade to version 9.1.

Precautionary measures

You should update NetWorker on a server in a proper manner. Below is the guide that will help you in updating. Before updating there are some important points that you ought to keep in your mind.

The updating should be in the following order:

  1. NetWorker server
  2. NMC server
  3. All NetWorker storage nodes
  4. NetWorker clients

You can directly update a NetWorker server running on version 8.1.x to 9.0.x. To be able to update from other versions, first, update it to version 8.2.x and then to 9.1.x.

Installation of NetWorker requires a minimum of Java version 8u60 64-bit. You have to install that as well before updating it. Also, before updating stop any running NetWorker server instances and set the JAVA_HOME environment variable.

How can NYGCI help you in upgrading NetWorker on your server?

Upgrading is a complex procedure and may involve some problems if not done properly. It has always the risk of system failure and data loss. To avoid such fate, you can take the help of experts. NYGCI is a leader in enterprise level Data Protection Services. We can help you in upgrading your server running NetWorker without much hassle.

NYGCI offers customized upgrade services for the users and clients using Dell EMC NetWorker throughout EMEA who want to upgrade their servers running an old version of NetWorker to version 9.1. We have highly skilled and certified professionals and we have a long experience in handling servers. Contact our technical team and we will be happy to assist you. We provide extensive enterprise level IT services.