Release Notes for Boomerang v1.1.0

SUMMARY

Release Notes for Boomerang v1.1.0

DESCRIPTION

v1.1.0 has the following major updates and completely revamped deployment:

Launch Instance Ordering

Migrating from your VMware environment to Amazon Web Service can be tricky, especially if you have dependencies between Virtual Machines you would like to migrate. Virtual machines in the upper tier require machines in the lower tier to be running before they can operate properly, while machines within the same tier can run in parallel without any dependency on each other.

Previously, you would have had to create three separate deployment tasks to guarantee a launch ordering satisfying such a dependency. The first deployment would have been for the virtual machines that handle your database. After that first deployment has finished, the second deployment for the second tier would be able to begin, and finally, the third deployment would be able to start after the second is done. In Boomerang 1.1.0, you can specify the launch order of your deployed instances, so a single deployment is now sufficient.

Specifying launch order for Protection Group deployment

You have access to this functionality through deployment tab of each Protection Group that has been replicated.

Tick “Launch instances in a defined order” option to begin. This reveals an interface for specifying the launch order for your virtual machines.

Select any virtual machine to be deployed from a snapshot and it will become available in the left hand column. Specify the launch order by dragging and dropping the virtual machine’s name to the Launch Group bucket on the right hand column. In example above, fedora20 is guaranteed to appear in EC2 before centos-7.0, while ubuntu-14.04 and ubuntu-10.04 can appear at any time before, after, or between Launch Groups. By default, virtual machines are not assigned to a Launch Group.

Faster Recovery Time

Amazon has optimized their support for migrating virtual machines to their cloud service. As a partner to Amazon Web Services, we have incorporated their improvements in our Protection Group Deployment process allowing us to lower your recovery time (RTO). Boomerang gives you access to this functionality with a couple of simple clicks from your Protection Group deployment tab rather than needing to use the Amazon command line tools.

Here are some benchmark results:

RTO comparison between Boomerang 1.1.0 and previous version of Boomerang

The graph above provides a rough comparison between deployment times for Boomerang 1.1.0 and 1.0.10. Deployment time is measured from the start of deployment task to when the Virtual Machine is up and running as an instance in Amazon EC2 Service. For each case we deployed the same Virtual Machine for both Boomerang versions. This is a Virtual Machine with one disk, 50% of disk data is sparsely populated. Here are some observations:

  1. A 500 GB instance would take approximately 3 hours 10 minutes with Boomerang 1.1.0, while in the previous version, it would take 11 hours 16 minutes.
  2. A 1 TB Virtual Machine would take approximately 5 hours 25 minutes with Boomerang 1.1.0, while with previous version, it would take almost 22 hours.
  3. For small Virtual Machines with less than 10 GB in size, there is a small degradation in RTO where previous version of Boomerang was performing slightly better at 55 minutes compare to 50 minutes for 1.1.0. This is expected because the VM Import system preparations have a fixed amount of overhead.
  4. Significant improvements can be seen for deployments of 50 GB and larger. As a deployment size doubles, the RTO grows in linear fashion. In previous versions of Boomerang, the RTO would skyrocket almost exponentially.

The data above is a rough estimation and may differ from your actual deployment time depending on the number of disks in your virtual machines, size of each disk, and the amount of data stored in each disk.

Email Notifications

We realize that backup and disaster recovery tasks may take a while to complete and that you have better things to do than waiting for your backup which is why we have added email notifications to Boomerang. Whenever any Protection Group has completed a Replication, Deployment, Copyback or Restore task, notification email summarizing the actions carried out is sent to a list of email recipients to better keep you informed on the status of your Protection Group.
There are several steps required for this functionality to work:

  1. Enable email notification via Settings page.
    Scroll down in Settings page to Email Notification Settings and tick notify on success and/or notify on error.
  2. Configure your email sender.
    The highlighted fields are mandatory fields. Regardless of your SMTP server, Username and Password are usually required.
    • Send From: This is the sender email address that will be visible for your notification emails.
    • SMTP Server Address: This is your SMTP server to be used to send the email notification.
    • Username: This is your login name to your specified SMTP server.
    • Password: This is your password to access your specified SMTP server.
    • Port: This is the custom port number from which your SMTP server sends notification email. This field is optional. If left empty, Boomerang will automatically assign a default port number depending on communication protocol used. If no encryption is selected port 25 is automatically assigned; if SSL is selected, port 465 is assigned; and if STARTTLS is used, port 587 is assigned.
    • SSL/STARTTLS: This is the communication protocol used to send your email notifications.
  3. Make sure you can send and receive email.
  • Put a valid email address under Test Email field, if all required fields are valid the Send Test button should become orange in color and be enabled.
  • Click on the button to send a test email to your specified address. This process can take a few minutes depending on your SMTP Server.
  • If successful, you should receive an email from Boomerang confirming your Email Configuration is correct.
  • IMPORTANT: Clicking the Send Test button does not actually save your Email Configuration.
  1. Last and final step: save your changes.
    • Scrolling down the page and click Save Settings.

You can assign multiple people as recipients for email notifications. This is done for each of your Protection Groups in case you want only a select group of people to get notification for a specific Protection Group, but not any other Protection Groups that you might have.

You can assign email recipients from two places:

  1. Set email recipient during step 2 of the Protection Group creation process.
  2. Viewing Protection Group detail in Overview tab under Email Notification Recipients section.

Note that multiple emails are separated by commas, not newlines.

Custom Replication Schedules

Previously you would set a replication schedule for your Protection Groups from a drop-down list of rather fixed scheduling options. While in most cases having daily or hourly scheduled task starting from midnight is sufficient, we realize this would not meet everyone’s needs. Hence you can now express your own schedule by specifying your own cron expression. You can do this during Protection Group creation process or in the Protection Group detail page when you update the Replication Schedule.

Boomerang uses Quartz for its implementation of cron scheduling. You can find out more about how to use Quartz here.

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