Does my Unitrends Appliance support 10G networking?

SUMMARY

Can I add, or does my applaince come equipped, with 10G network support?

ISSUE

As data sets grow larger and environments more complex, faster internal networking is more commonly being deployed.  Unitrends offers several differing options to take advantage of and integrate with some of these networking technologies.  This article describes these options in depth.  

Note that in almost all cases, the ability of the remote protected OS or host system to send data to the Unitrends appliance is the bottleneck.  It will typically require multiple systems backing up in parallel to exceed gigiabit backup link aggregate.  Upgrading from 1gbit to 10gbit will not itself imply a change in any individual system backup performance, but should provide headroom to account for more systems concurrently backing up that a single gig link might restrict at a total aggregate level.  This will be based in the nature of the dataset, application or antivirus overhead of the client, and the IO capabilities of the client.  Unitrends will be unable to back a system up faster than it can copy data across a network on it's own, and this speed will almost always depend on the performance characteristics and load of the machine being protected, not the Unitrends appliance.  VMs host protection will typically back up faster than agent-based protection and is always preferred where supported.   If you are not saturating a gigibit connection, upgrading to a 10G connection alone will not improve backup window times.  

 

RESOLUTION

Virtual Appliances:

Virtual appliances will automatically take advantage of any underlying network technology the host itself supports.  Provision a single virtual adapter for any subnet a UB needs to communicate to and it will use the speed the host is capable of through that virtual adapter. The actual physical architecture is invisible to virtual machines.  When connecting a UB to multiple subnets, add an adapter for each, however, the UB should only be provisioned into multiple subnets if each is non-routable to avoid additional network traffic spanning switches or firewalls.  A unit, virtual or physical, should never have 2 IPs in the same network segment.  If bonding for network fail-over is intended, this must be done at the host level, not the guest level.  

Physical Appliances:

2U and larger current generation units 82XS+ (generation 7 units, purchased after November 2016) include dual onboard 100/1000/10000 RJ45 cards which will be capable to 10G copper speeds when connected to RJ45 copper switch ports supporting same modes.  These adapters will operate at 1G speed on standard 1G ports without issue and 10G where switch-side support for that speed exists.  SFP+ ports are optionally available via add-in card if optical fiber or SFP+ copper cabling is required.  

Desktop and half-rack class units (6XX series or lower) do not support the addition of 10G hardware.  These are limited to 1gbit speeds and do not support the addition of other adapters. 

1U, 2U, and 3U full rack units (Generation 4 and up) support the addition of 10G adapters when purchased through Unitrends or an authorized reseller.  This includes a dual port SFP/SFP+ adapter as well as a 2 port RJ45 copper adapter.  Adapter configuration options and port counts or combinations vary by appliance.  Contact your Unitrends Sales Representative to discuss your networking requirements and which appliance may be necessary to meet your needs if a combination of NICs or additional adapters are required in a single appliance model.  

Bonding notes:  ETH0 cannot be included in a bond so bonding is not possible on units equipped with only 2 onboard ports unless a 4 port 1G dd-in card is also acquired.  

Provisioning Notes: 10G ports, specifically SFP ports, will typically require manual switch provisioning.  Unitrends support will not assist in switch-side configuration of links, please contact your network administrator, MSP, or switch vendor for any such required assistance.  Wherever possible, fixed port provisioning should be used on all adapters.  Auto-negotiate switch-side settings are not recommended as switched may see heavy backup IO loads in varying ways and may degrade port speeds in some cases.  

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