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Veritas Backup Questions

Posted on 2009-04-02
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Hello everyone,

I have a couple of generic questions about using Veritas Backup Exec. The questions are related to backing up data from several servers using two media servers, both on the same LAN.

1) When backing up from a remote server does the data that's being backed up actually pass through the Veritas media server or does the media server simply initiate the 'copying' of the data from the network location to say a tape library or a NAS.

2) If the data does not pass through the Veritas media server, what would then be the benefit of having directly attached storage devices to the media server? If it does, could one benefit from having the server that has attached storage also being the media server.

3) Let's say I have a NAS with two large disk arrays, one containing a file share and the other the backup storage space. So the data being backed up is basically going from one array to another array on the same server. Would it then be beneficial to have an additional media server installed on this server to handle this particular backup job?

4) When backing up to disk devices the media server continues to create new media on the disk until the disk is full instead of overwriting older media that is no longer protected. How do I configured the disk backup not to consume all the available disk space on the server?

Thanks

/L
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Question by:lithargoel
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SysAdminWVU earned 250 total points
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I'll try taking these in pieces.

1) Data from the remote agents passes through the media server before being passed onto the final destination. While in the case of backing up to NAS it may not be quite as evident, but when you think about it, it makes sense for tape backups. The media must be passed through the media server in order for it to access the USB/SCSI cables that connect to the tape drives.

2) The data does pass through the media server so this question isn't applicable.

3) The answer to this one as I understand it is a bit odd. When working with the Symantec engineers (above L2 support) to resolve one issue they actually told me that even for local backups data still passes through the network and that the ports used by BE still need to be open. For this reason, I don't think using the additional local media server would be very beneficial, at least from an efficiency standpoint. It could be beneficial from a redundancy standpoint however in the case that the other media server goes down this server would still be getting backed up.

4) How many days do you want to be backed up at a time? My solution for what you're doing in the past has been to setup individual jobs. Say I'm doing a 14-day backup rotation, I could set them to overwrite the backup folder with 14 different backup jobs. This might be a bit too micro managed for you however.

The other option is to set how much backup space is available to be used. For instance, you can set it up to have 7 backups with a max of 20gbs of data used for each for a total of 140gb.




Hope this helps!
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by:honmapog
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Some other clarifications:

For question 2 - you ask if data does pass through the media server, would it be benificial to install a Backup Exec media server on the server that has the storage locally attached. The answer would be Yes - as long as that server also has you backup destination (tape or disk) locally attached.

For question 3, again a local media server would be benificial. While SysAdminWVU is correct in his answer that ports still need to be open (because different processes in Backup Exec use the network stack to communicate), that does not mean the data is actually put on the network wire (layer 1 or layer 2 of the network stack). So there is a benifit.

There's one caveat for the above answers. I suppose your questions are all related to backup performance - i.e. you hope to get better backup performance. While moving the media server locally theoretically should give you improved performance, it really depends on where the performance bottleneck is. If the bottleneck is reading data from the source drives for example, then a local media server may not bring you performance improvements. If you have loads of small files to back up, then reading from the source drive often is the bottleneck.


The answer to question 4 would be to check Tools/Options/Media Management in the BE GUI. Make sure that you have "Overwrite media in the targeted media set, before overwriting scratch media" selected.
One other reason why Backup Exec may fill up a B2D disk even if overwritable media is available is when you have Backup Exec 11d and you're doing GRT backups. Then the IMG folders associated with GRT backups will be kept on disk until the disk fills up. That's by design in BE11d. If you're experiencing this then you should upgrade to 12.5 where this behaviour has been changed.
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by:MrMintanet
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by:lithargoel
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Thank you for your answers, very helpful information.

As honmapog correctly assumed, I am asking this in relation to increasing the performance of our backup jobs. We recently received a very large and very fast disk storage array that we have connected via fiber-channel to a server. On this disk storage array we have placed our largest file share which is the single largest backup job in in our current media server. The configuration would look like this.

[Server]
-- [Fiber channel attached storage array]
---- [Raid array one: contains file share]
---- [Raid array two: contains backup to disk folders]

Considering this configuration I was wondering about the benefits of having the media server installed on the server that has the storage array attached and if it would then be able to do faster backup / restore jobs and use less network bandwidth. At the very least what I gather from your answer is that there would be a benefit both with regards to saving bandwidth and having some added redundancy and depending on the capability of the disks maybe also a performance lift. Will have to do the math on that then.

Again thank you for your answers.

/L

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