NDMP The Protocol, It's All About The Storage...
By bobp on Dec 06, 2007
Why talk about an industry standard protocol called NDMP (Network Data Management Protocol). I agree by itself it is a low level medium that is a check box item in the world of storage. However it is an important piece of plumbing that enables your "house" to function. Numerous software storage applications, particularly backup software and tape products, utilize this protocol for providing services. While it is analogous to other storage protocols such as iSCSI and FCoE it is "the" protocol when it comes to basic backup. Pretty sophisticated backup software choices are out there all driven by this basic protocol. This includes multiple configuration choices such as local backup, 3-way and DAR.
SUN is a working member of the SNIA community to advance the adoption of industry standards. We will be contributing source code to the SNIA effort to help update the SNIA software from NDMP v3 to NDMP v4.
SUN is fostering its own OpenSolaris Storage Platform community in cooperation with SNIA and other industry standards bodies to implement and enhance storage industry standards.
SUN plans to incorporate the SNIA software being created by the NDMP software TWG into OpenSolaris when it is approved by the SNIA membership.
The storage stack of OpenSolaris keeps getting stronger. While NDMP is a robust service for backup, when it comes to management of massive amounts of data your mileage may vary.
While the above picture shows the NDMP protocol in application it does not speak to the entire pyramid structure on the right. Backup can help you with the performance/cost curve of storage classes, but true storage archive management (SAM) is the one storage application that can automatically manage multiple tiers of storage according to policies crafted by the environment. Policies are usually driven of of the metadata (the data on the data that you store) which allows you to move data between classes of storage (e.g. expensive FC disks, cheaper SATA disks and magnetic tape) based on file size, access frequency, creation date, etc. OpenSolaris has released initial SAM/QFS code sources and will continue to do so until the entire SAM/QFS code base is available to the community. Equally exciting are the OpenSolaris projects ADM and MMS which are bringing storage archive management to the ZFS file system. Couple all these activities together make one extremely busy storage community working with OpenSolaris. Given all the technologies are open source code bases you have the ability to leverage with your own code even if it is proprietary. Fueling the opensource community benefits not only better innovation but more customer choice as well.