Newsletter for New Features in Feature Release 11.20

Updated

Features and enhancements that we want to highlight in this feature release are listed here, with a link to full documentation for the feature.

For your convenience, the Newsletter for New Features in Feature Release 20 is also available in PDF format, New Features in Feature Release 20.

For a comprehensive list of all new features, see New Features in Feature Release 20.

Archiving Agents

Recalling Files Backed Up in Extents

Extent-based backups break down a file into small independent extents, to speed up backup operations by using multiple data streams. You can recall the filesthat were backed up in extents.

Extent-based recalls are helpful if the recalled files are large. You can recall the large file in parts and prioritize the recall of parts of that file based on the end-user read request.

Applicable Agents

  • File Archiving for Windows File System

  • File Archiving for UNIX File Systems

More Information

Recalls of Files Backed Up in Extents

Complete Backup and Recovery

Define Client Scope, Instead of Owner, for Smart Server Groups

The association of server groups to an owner is replaced with an association to the client scope. You can select one of the following scopes, depending on your Commvault security permissions:

  • Clients in this CommCell
  • Clients of Domains or Organization
  • Clients of User
  • Clients of User Group

Key Features

  • The scopes that are listed for you to select in the server group properties dialog box, and the servers that are listed in the preview window, are dependent on the Commvault security permissions that are assigned to you.
  • When the client scope is set to CommCell, domain, organization, or user group (and not a user), security permission changes to an associated user (owner or admin of a client computer) do not affect the smart server group. However, when the scope is set to a user, then any security permission changes to the user might cause a change in the smart server group.

Back Up and Restore Data in Alibaba Cloud Object Storage Service and IBM Cloud Object Storage Using the Command Center

You can back up object data in Alibaba Cloud Object Storage Service and IBM Cloud Object Storage. You can restore data from an object storage repository to its original location, to any other object storage repository, or to disk.

Enhancements for the Blackout Window

When you configure a blackout window, the following enhancements are available:

  • You can stop incremental data backup operations from running while continuing to run transaction log backup operations.
  • You can prevent jobs from being created and queued during the blackout window.
  • You can black out specific weeks during the month. For example, you can black out the first and fourth Sunday of a month.

More Information

Automatic Scale Down of Mount Point Size During Bare Metal Recovery for Linux Clients

When you perform a bare metal recovery for Linux clients, if the target disks are smaller in size or less in number than that of the source client, you can choose to scale down the mount point sizes automatically.

Applicable Agents

Linux File System

Configure Network Interface Card (NIC) Bonding During Bare Metal Recovery for Linux Clients

You can configure NIC bonding when you perform a bare metal recovery for Linux clients.

Applicable Agents

Linux File System

Manage Your VM Group Content with Google Cloud Platform Labels

You can manage your VM group content by creating filters and rules that contain Google Cloud Platform (GCP) labels.

A GCP label is a unique identifier consisting of a key and value set. The labels are applied to projects through the GCP Console or GCP Resource Manager API. With labels applied to resources in your environment, you can create rules and filters that contain these GCP labels to manage your VM group content.

You can create filter and rules that contain GCP labels in the Command Center.

More Information

Configuring the NFS ObjectStore Share from the Command Center

You can configure the NFS ObjectStore from the Command Center. Using the NFS ObjectStore, Windows and UNIX users can protect and recover their data by using native NFS, SMB, or CIFS client software.

Key Features

  • Provides native NFS, SMB, and CIFS interfaces for the Commvault ContentStore.
  • No need to install the Commvault data agent packages on the clients.
  • Supports multiple versions of files.
  • Windows client users can back up data to the Commvault ContentStore using the SMBprotocol or theCIFS protocol.
  • UNIX clients can back up and recover data using the NFS protocol.

Improved Performance for NDMP Restore Operations

During an NDMP restore operation, data is found by directly seeking the requested data instead of by reading data from the beginning of a chunk. Unneeded data is not transferred, so the restore operation completes faster. Restore operations that include deduplicated archive files or data that is distributed across multiple chunks will have the most improvement in performance.

More Information

Indexing Version 2 for NDMP Agents

When an NDMP agent is added to the CommCell environment, the agent automatically uses Indexing Version 2.

Key Features

Indexing Version 2 provides the following benefits for NDMP agents:

  • Reduces the data footprint of the index on the storage library.
  • Allows indexing data to be used more efficiently for operations such as browsing and reporting.
  • Improves search performance across backup cycles.
  • Improves support for GridStor.

Create Primary Snapshots on a Remote Site Only

You can use the IntelliSnap Primary Remote Snapshot feature, which creates snapshots or clones on a remote site only. The difference between the replication feature and the Primary Remote Snapshot feature is that replication creates snapshots or clones on both sites of the replication -- the primary site, and the remote site -- whereas the Primary Remote Snapshot feature does not allocate space for snapshots and clones on the primary site.

Key Features

  • Createsite specific snapshots.
  • Reduce the demand for storage space on the primary site.
  • Reduce the time that is needed for snapshot protection because only one site is contacted during the backup operation.

Applicable Agents

  • Windows File System Agent
  • Virtual Server Agents with Windows MediaAgents

Applicable Arrays

Hitachi Vantara: Hitachi ShadowImage CCI engine and Hitachi Thin Image CCI engine

Setup Requirements

In the Array Management entry on the primary site, set the snapshot configuration property Create primary snap at the replication target site (CCI engines).

Minimize the Use of CommServe Resources for SAP HANA Log Backups Using Log Caching

You can back up SAP HANA log to a disk path on the MediaAgent. At user-defined intervals, the scheduler runs a backup job, which commits all the cached log backups to the CommServe. This feature allows log backup to continue when the CommServe is under maintenance and facilitates optimal resource utilization for highly transactional HANA databases.

Applicable Agents

SAP HANA

File Indexing on Virtual Machines

You can index guest files and folders of Windows and Linux virtual machines on the following hypervisors:
  • Amazon Web Services streaming and IntelliSnap snap copy
  • Microsoft Azure Resource Manager streaming and IntelliSnap backup copy
  • Microsoft Hyper-V streaming and IntelliSnap backup copy
  • VMware streaming and IntelliSnap backup copy

Key Features

  • Automatically index metadata for files and folders.
  • Search virtual machine files and folders by file name or file extension.
  • Filter search of VM files and folders by file type.
  • Download and restore from search results.

For Azure Stack Hub VM Backups, Use Commvault 11.20 and Microsoft Azure Stack Hub 2002

To back up, restore, and use Live Sync Replication for your Azure Stack Hub virtual machines, you must upgrade to this release of the Commvault software and Azure Stack Hub 2002. You can use Commvault software with Azure Stack Hub in the Command Center and the CommCell Console.

Key Features

  • Backups (streaming and IntelliSnap) of Azure Stack Hub
  • Restores of Azure Stack Hub
  • Live Sync Replicationof Azure Stack Hub

Applicable Agents

  • Virtual Server Agent

Setup Requirements

To protect your Azure Stack Hub virtual machines, you must upgrade your Commcell environment to this release of Commvault (11.20), and you must upgrade all of your Azure Stack Hub virtual machines to Azure Stack Hub 2002. Note: Using previous versions of Azure Stack Hub with previous versions of the Commvault software is possible. However, with those previous versions, a known Microsoft issue with snapshots of unmanaged VMs can cause data corruption. To avoid data corruption, you must upgrade both your CommCell environment and your Azure Stack Hub environment.

Complete: Enable Service Providers

Define User Security for Scheduled Reports

When scheduling a report, you can use the Send individual emails option to include information only from entities, such as client computers and MediaAgents, that are visible to each user who receives the reports. This option is helpful in MSP environments where tenant administrators want to use one schedule to generate a report for multiple tenant end users. In this case, each report displays different information for each tenant end user, according to the entities they have permission to view.

Monitor Usage on the Licensing Server Using the License Server Usage Summary Report

The License Server Usage Summary Report displays the current license usage for all CommServe computers in a multi-CommCell environment that has a licensing server. This report includes each type of license, the number of purchased licenses, the number of used licenses, and the percentage of licenses consumed. You can use this report to track license requirements and usage for all CommCell environments in your organization.

Complete: Manage New Workloads

Reduce the RPO to Minutes with Streamlined Log Backups Using Disk Caching for SQL Server Databases

You can streamline database log backup operations to run on an automatic schedule that supports log backup frequencies of under 1 hour. Streamlined log backups using caching to a disk library reduce the RPO for database instances that have a high transaction rate. The log backups are written directly to disk mount paths that are managed by the MediaAgent, removing the need for storing the backups on production servers. The database client and the MediaAgent automatically run the log backups, independent from the CommServe server, which increases the availability of the database client and MediaAgent pair while also reducing the load on the CommServe application. A second operation commits and registers the logs periodically to support copy operations. Log backups will continue even if the CommServe server is unavailable because of maintenance, network disruptions, or other issues.

Applicable Agents

SQL Server

IBM i 1-Touch Backup and Recovery Using Commvault VTL

You can perform an IBM i DR backup by using the Commvault Virtual Tape Library (VTL), and recover a failed IBM i computer from the primary or the secondary backup copies.

Export File System Backups as CIFS, SMB, and NFS Shares

You can export file system backups as CIFS, SMB, and NFS shares.

Create SQL Availability Group Instances from the Command Center

You can create SQL availability group (AG) instances from the Command Center. When you create an AG instance, a pseudoclient is automatically created for the AGs that are associated with the primary replica.

Export Mailboxes, Folders, or Messages

With the Export feature, users can view the exports or export sets that were created and also download the exported PST or CAB file directly to their browser window.

Key Features

You can export mailbox items, folders, or messages to an export set and change the format of the items. Exporting automatically creates an export set.

Back Up and Restore Sybase

You can back up and restore either the entire Sybase server or individual databases in Command Center.

Key Features

You can perform the following tasks:
  • Radically simplified instance creation (reduction of parameter needed)
  • Back up Sybase instances and individual databases immediately or on a schedule
  • Restore Sybase instances and individual databases, to the most recent time, or to a point in time
  • Auto-discovery of databases
  • Perform IntelliSnap backup and restore operations

More Information

Reduce the RPO to Minutes with Streamlined Log Backups Using Disk Caching for Oracle Databases

You can streamline database log backup operations to run on an automatic schedule that supports log backup frequencies of under 1 hour. Streamlined log backups using caching to a disk library reduce the RPO for database instances that have a high transaction rate. The log backups are written directly to disk mount paths that are managed by the MediaAgent, removing the need for storing the backups on production servers. The database client and the MediaAgent automatically run the log backups, independent from the CommServe server, which increases the availability of the database client and MediaAgent pair while also reducing the load on the CommServe application. A second operation commits and registers the logs periodically to support copy operations. Log backups will continue even if the CommServe server is unavailable because of maintenance, network disruptions, or other issues.

Applicable Agents

Oracle agent

Back Up and Restore DB2 Databases from the Command Center

You can back up and restore single-node DB2 databases from the Command Center. You can run in-place and out-of-place restore operations for the databases.

Key Features

  • DB2 instances and databases are automatically discovered.
  • You can run backup and restore operations using either the streaming or IntelliSnap method.

Applicable Agents

DB2 agent

More Information

Complete: Protect Virtual Environments

Live Mount Available for Microsoft Hyper-V

With Live Mount, you can run a virtual machine directly from a stored backup for that VM. You can use this feature for the following:
  • Validate that backups are usable for disaster recovery.
  • Validate the content of the backup.
  • Access data from the virtual machine directly instead of restoring guest files.
  • Offload operations, like running analytics and antivirus scans, from the source machine.
Live Mount is supported with streaming backups and IntelliSnap backup copies. You can configure Live Mount for Hyper-V in the Command Center.

More Information

Virtual Server Agent Supports vCloud Director 10.0

For VMware or vCloud Director hypervisors, you can back up and restore virtual machines that run in vCloud Director 10.0.

This support is available in the Command Center and in the CommCell Console, for Service Pack 16 and more recent service packs and feature releases.

Applicable Agents

Virtual Server Agent

Disaster Recovery

Use NetApp Open Replication to Orchestrate Disaster Recovery for Virtual Machines

If a disaster occurs, or for testing, you can quickly create and power on VMware VMs from mirror copies that are created using NetApp Open Replication. Using an array replication failover group, you can failover VMs to a disaster recovery (DR) site (also called destination site or secondary site). Array replication is usually faster and more scalable than live sync replication.

Key Features

  • Test failover operations for disaster recovery.
  • Perform planned, unplanned, and emergency failover operations.
  • Undo failover and test failover operations.

Applicable Agents

Virtual Server Agent

Use the Replication Wizard to Configure Replication for VMware VMs

You can configure replication for VMware VMs using a replication wizard that simplifies and streamlines the configuration process. The replication wizard guides you through the process of setting up source and destination sites for disaster recovery (DR), helping you manage storage, network settings, data transport, and secondary copies. After you set up replication, you can use the Replication Monitor to manage replication:
  • Monitor replication status and performance to ensure that you meet recovery objectives.
  • Manage DR orchestration operations such as failover and failback.
  • Validate replicated VMs at the destination site.

Applicable Agents

Virtual Server Agent for VMware

Journey to the Cloud

Automatically Scale Amazon Access Nodes

You can use the automatic scaling feature to launch access nodes in Amazon only when you need to back up VMs, and then decommission the access nodes soon after you use them. This feature reduces the amount of time that you use Amazon access nodes for backup, and can also reduce the cost of using them.

Key Features

  • Automatically create up to 100 access nodes to back up VMs.
  • Automatically decomission access nodes after they are idle for 30 minutes using the Power Management feature.

Migrating Oracle Database Application and SQL Database Application to a Microsoft Azure Instance

You can use the Commvault database migration feature to migrate the Oracle or SQL database application to an Azure Resource Manager instance. The migration operation is primarily used to perform a full migration of the Oracle or SQL database application, which includes creating an Azure Virtual Machine and copying the Oracle or SQL data.

Key Features

  • The migration operation is performed from the backups, and therefore there is no load or downtime on the source database. Also, this feature does not require any network configuration changes on the source database.
  • The Azure Virtual Machine client is created automatically before starting the actual data migration.

Backup and Recovery for Azure Active Directory

You can perform granular backups and restores of individual Azure AD objects, such as user, group, enterprise application, and app registration.

More Information

Protect Instances in AWS Outposts

Use Commvault to protect instances running in AWS Outposts.

Outposts is an on-premises deployment of AWS services, infrastructure, and operations that provides hybrid cloud capabilities.

To protect EC2 instances that run on AWS Outposts, add the instances as content for a VM group (VSA subclient) for an Amazon hypervisor (virtualization client).

Support for AWS Outposts was certified in Feature Release 19, and is available from Service Pack 17 and more recent service packs and feature releases. You can protect EC2 instances running in AWS Outposts from an Amazon hypervisor that is configured in the Command Center or from an Amazon virtualization client that is configured in the CommCell Console.

Key Features

You can use Commvault to perform the following operations for EC2 instances that run in Outposts:

  • Streaming backups of EC2 instances
  • IntelliSnap backups of EC2 instances
  • Backups of EC2 instances using an in-guest agent
  • Restores of full instances from all supported backup types
  • Restore a volume and attach the volume to a new EC2 instance
  • Replicating snapshots

Applicable Agents

Virtual Server Agent

More Information

For Azure, Back Up and Restore Generation 2 VMs

You can back up and restore Azure Generation 2 virtual machines.

Azure supports Generation 2 VMs. Generation 2 VMs use Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI or EFI) boot architecture, whereas Generation 1 VMs use BIOS boot architecture.

Key Features

You can use Azure Generation 2 VMs with the following features:

  • Backups (streaming and IntelliSnap)
    • Changed Block Tracking
  • Restores(streaming and IntelliSnap)
    • ​Full restore
    • Guest files and folders
    • Replication/conversions
      • Replication from Azure to Azure in the Command Center
      • Replication from non-Azure to Azurein the Command Center
      • Conversion from Azure to Azurein the CommCell Console
      • Conversion from non-Azure to Azure in the CommCell Console

Back Up and Restore Amazon Aurora Database Engine, Amazon RDS MariaDB, and Azure Database MariaDB

  • You can back up and restore an Amazon Aurora database engine that is comptabile with MySQL and PostgreSQL.
  • You can back up and restore an Amazon RDS MariaDB and an Azure Database MariaDB.

Back Up and Recover Kubernetes Applications and Persistent Data

Commvault provides a container native enterprise-grade data management solution for backing up, restoring, and migrating applications and data for Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) certified Kubernetes distributions, hosted service providers, and PaaS/container service providers. Data management provides a vendor- and cluster-agnostic approach to managing hybrid container application landscapes. Native Kubernetes integration and Container Storage Interface (CSI) integration provide a software-defined approach to persistent data management across on-premises and cloud locations. Supported on-premises distributions: Supported hosted distributions: Supported PaaS/container services Commvault integrates with the Kubernetes API and, therefore, supports any CNCF-certified Kubernetes offering.

Key Features

  • Backup, restore, and migrate cloud-native (Kubernetes) applications and data across any Kubernetes-certified distribution (on-premises, hosted, or PaaS)
  • Protect Kubernetes-persistent data via native API integration with Kubernetes and CSI for consistent data management across on-premise and cloud locations.
  • Recover a complete application to a previous point in time, including auto-deployment to a new application or a new cluster.
  • Migrate applications between Kubernetes clusters (on-premise, cloud, and PaaS). Migrate applications between or to cloud Kubernetes services (such as AKS, EKS, and GKE).

Applicable Agents

  • Virtual Server Agent for Kubernetes

Applicable Arrays

  • Any storage solution (hardware or software) that has a plugin that is compliant with the CSI v1.13 or a more recent version.
  • All supported CSI pluginsv1.0 and v1.1.

Setup Requirements

  • To perform backup orchestration, indexing, and data persistence, you must havea Windows or Linux access node outside the Kubernetes cluster.
  • To back up the cluster, you must have one of the following:
    • A Service Access Token,user name, and password
    • A Kubeconfig YAML file with authentication credentials

More Information

Changed Block Tracking (CBT) Backups for AWS EC2 Instances and EBS Volumes

Changed Block Tracking (CBT) enhances the backup performance for AWS Elastic Block Storage (EBS) volumes by leveraging the newly-announced Amazon EBS direct APIs. With CBT, AWS Amazon EBS direct APIs detect the allocated blocks (for full backups) and changed blocks (for incremental backups) by comparing two Amazon Machine Image (AMI) snapshots. This enhancement provides improved Recovery Point Objective (RPO), backup acceleration, and reduced cost of backup operations.

Key Features

Change Block Tracking (CBT) for EBS volumes provides the following key features:
  • The ability to request all allocated blocks for fullbackups (ListSnapshotBlocks) to accelerate the full backup time.
  • The ability to request all new or updated blocks between two EBS snapshots (ListChangedBlocks) to accelerate the incremental backup time.

Applicable Agents

  • Virtual Server Agent (VSA) for Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Setup Requirements

  • AWS VSA credentials must have ebs:ListSnapshotBlocks and ebs:ListChangedBlocks permissions.
  • CBT is enabled on all new AWS VSA VM groups (subclients) from 11.20 onwards.
  • For AWS VSA VM groups (subclients) created prior to 11.20, CBT can be enabled on a per VM-group (or per-subclient)basis.

More Information

Exchange Mailbox Agent Supports Modern Authentication

Microsoft is deprecating basic authentication in October 2020. The Office 365 Exchange Mailbox Agent now supports both basic and modern authentication.

Key Features

With this feature, Office 365 Exchange solutions can use modern authentication to protect Exchange data.

More Information

Self-Service Backup and Restore for vCloud Director Tenants

For vCloud Director, MSPs can set up tenant organization hypervisors to enable tenants to manage their own environments. With Self-Service Backup and Restore, the tenants can manage their own virtual machines and VM Groups, as well as the scheduling of their backup and restore operations all from the Command Center. To have tenants manage their own environments, the MSP admin must set up a vCloud Director tenant organization hypervisor. This hypervisor is associated with the tenant's organization entity in vCloud Director and the company entity in the Commvault software. With this, tenant users can view and manage only the virtual machines corresponding to their vCloud organization.

Modern Infrastructures

Monitor the Commvault HyperScale Platform Using the HyperScale Dashboard

In the Command Center, the HyperScale dashboard displays critical information about the status and performance of the Commvault HyperScale data protection platform. Many of the tiles on the HyperScale dashboard link to more detailed reports that you can use to analyze the collected data.

Key Features

  • View jobs and entities that are flagged for anomalous behavior
  • Track memory and CPU usage for all appliances
  • Monitor hardware components, such as hard disk, cache disk, power supply, fan, and NIC
  • Check the amount of available space in storage pools

Evaluate CommCell Security by Viewing the Security Assessment Report

The Security Assessment Report can help you strengthen security in the CommCell environment. View the report to see a list of settings for user access, auditing, backup encryption, and other types of security-related features that you can configure in the Commvault software. Many of the settings that are listed include links to reports with more detailed information about the settings or to documentation about how to configure the settings.

You can access this report in the Health Report from the Security Assessment tile.

More Information

VMware Backups Use Enhanced HotAdd Dispatch Method for VMs in a vSAN Stretched Cluster

For VMs that are part of a vSAN stretched cluster, VMware backups that use the HotAdd transport mode can use a new VM dispatch method. When you back up a VM, the coordinator node tries to assign the backup to an access node (also called VSA proxy) that is part of the same fault domain as the source VM. This dispatch method is used when there is no access node available that runs on the same host as the source VM.

This approach enables the access node to read data locally instead of sending data across the cluster network.

This VM dispatch method is available for vSAN stretched clusters on vSphere 6.5 and 6.7.

Applicable Agents

Virtual Server Agent

Setup Requirements

Deploy an access node within each fault domain for a vSAN stretched cluster.

Access Nodes (VSA Proxies) and File Recovery Enablers for Linux Can Be Deployed on CentOS 8 and RHEL 8 Machines

You can install the Virtual Server Agent on machines that run CentOS 8 or RHEL 8, for all hypervisors that support access nodes (VSA proxies) that run on Linux machines. You can also use machines that run CentOS 8 or RHEL 8 as File Recovery Enablers for Linux (FRELs), to enable file recovery from Linux virtual machines (instances).

Applicable Agents

Virtual Server Agent

Understand and Activate Data

File Ownership Management and Advanced Filtering Options for Entitlement Manager

The following new features are available for the Entitlement Manager:
  • You can add a new user, and allow or deny permissions for the new user.
  • You can use filters to search and view permissions of files and folders with specific criteria. The criteria include owners, users, or sensitive tags such as Social Security numbers (SSN) and other personally identifiable information (PII) data. When you apply a filter for a user, all Active Directory (AD) groups that the user belongs to are included in the results.
  • You can change the owner of a specific set of files or folders to another user.

Install the Index Store Package on a Linux Computer

A Linux Index Server is supported when you use the File Storage Optimization solution.

Reviewing Data on the Activate Dashboard

Use the Activate Dashboard for an overview of the following Activate applications: Sensitive Data Governance, Request Manager, File Storage Optimization, and Case Manager.

More Information

Use a Stand-Alone Index Server with Case Manager

You can use a stand-alone Index Server when you set up Case Manager in Command Center. Support for the stand-alone Index Server is in addition to support for a single node Index Server cloud, so you can use either type of Index Server for Case Manager.