NAKIVO Backup & Replication Components: Transporter

The Transporter is an application that performs all of the data protection and recovery tasks for NAKIVO Backup & Replication. This includes data reading, compression, deduplication, encryption, transfer, writing, verification, granular and full VM recovery, etc.

For the sake of performance, we have designed the Transporter to maximize speed of VM backup, replication, and recovery by using all available resources. In other words, the Transporter is a server application that should be installed on a dedicated physical or virtual machine in order not to interfere with the performance of other applications. This does not mean, however, that the Transporter always uses 100% of the available CPU and RAM; the speed of source datastore, the network, or the target datastore can be a bottleneck (limiting factor) for performance.

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Transporter Installation

Initially, the Transporter, like the Director (another component of NAKIVO Backup & Replication) could only be installed on Windows. Soon after releasing v1, we received a number of requests to support Linux as well. Many customers preferred to use Linux-based OSes because they are free, require less maintenance than Windows servers, and are more secure. Since the core of the product is written in (cross-platform) Java, we were able to add support for Linux within a couple of weeks after releasing v1. NAKIVO Backup & Replication can now be installed on Windows and Linux, or deployed as a pre-configured Virtual Appliance.

For a simple, intuitive initial setup, one instance of the Transporter is automatically installed and configured with the product installation. This enables backup, replication, and recovery right out of the box. After installation, the Transporter runs as a service, and automatically launched if you restart the OS.

Single Transporter

A single Transporter can back up, replicate, and recover multiple VMs from multiple vCenters or standalone ESXi hosts. In other words, you don’t need to install the Transporter on VMs or ESXi hosts you want protected. As long as the Transporter is deployed somewhere in your infrastructure, access to your hosts and backup repositories is possible.

Transporter

One Transporter can simultaneously process multiple (6) VM disks by default, and you can change this number in the configuration. If your jobs contain more VM disks than the Transporter is set to process simultaneously, the disks are put in a queue for processing as soon as the Transporter is freed up up.

Multiple Transporters

To achieve scalability and high availability, multiple Transporters can be deployed in a single site or multiple sites. If you plan on transferring data over WAN without a VPN connection from your source site to the target site, make sure the source and target are included the product configuration. They can be added using external IP addresses or using DNS names that can be properly resolved in WAN (such that they can connect to each other).

If you have more than one Transporter, you must determine which one should be used for reading data from the source host and which one should be used for writing data to the target host. By default, NAKIVO Backup & Replication automatically determines which one should be used based on host proximity (measured with ping round trip time):

Transporter proximity

In the example above, Transporter1 would be selected for reading data from the Source ESXi, and Transporter2 would be selected for writing data to the Target ESXi. The Transporter selection can also be configured manually during job creation.

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Concluding Thoughts

Deploying multiple Transporters also enables network acceleration and AES 256 encryption of traffic between a pair. For example, suppose two VMs are backed up over WAN to an offsite location. The Transporter installed at the source site can compress and encrypt VM data before transferring the data over WAN. The Transporter installed at the Target site can then perform unencryption before writing the data to the Backup Repository:

Data transfer with a pair of Transporters

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