Decent Simpana Commvault assistance?

Posted on 2009-04-30
Last Modified: 2013-11-10
We used to be a Backup Exec house and it just ran and did its job - no fuss.
Commvault needs nursed and is frankly an extortionate piece of overcomplex and underused software.
I've so many questions and the company that installed it weren't that good at explainging things.
I've done a Commvalt Admin course, but it didnt really fit my requirements.

Any one know of a decent book on the subject and a forum where I wont be abused for my lack
of knowledge, or is this place thebest there is?

Question by:deesloop
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment


    I am a Technical Consultant that specialises in CommVault. I have implemented it many times in very large environment without any issues. It is complex software but that is only due to the huge amount of features it has. The usability of it one of the easiest compared to NetBackup and TSM. If you have a few straight forward questions please ask however if you need more bespoke training on the product and depending on where you are you could contact GlassHouse Technologies. If you are in the UK they will definitely be able to help however I am not sure if we have any specialists in the US but worth checking.

    Author Comment

    It is way more complex that Backup exec IMHO.
    I could work BE no problem at all. Troubleshooting was a breeze.
    However We have changed from full backups every night to incrementals and auxillary etc etc
    OK. Here goes.
    Commvault marks a tape as bad. It's almost new - written once. Is it worth trying to erase and re-use?
    Or do I chuck it ? If chucked do I lose only the data on the tape or  other stuff from thebackup cycle?

    An aux copy is a secondary copy of a backup yes? Does it contain exactly the same info, just in another location?
    What does Archiver data ret actually mean?
    I have an aux copy to tape as per attached. 30 days 2 cycles.
    Why am I not reusing tapes after 89 days?
    Why do some have a return date of never, and some next year?

    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    There is one predominant reason for CommVault marking a tape bad and that is because it has exceeded its threshold for read/write errors. This is mostly caused by running backups over a LAN to an LTO3 tape library. These libraries need to have data streamed to them at a minimum of 80MB/s or else they start shoe-shining the drives. The only ways of over coming that problem is to either multiplex backups, change to a LAN free backup using the SAN or buy an LTO4 tape library which is capable of stepping its speed down to 40MB/s.
    If a tape is marked bad then mark it as good and put it back in to use. If it marks it bad again then there is an issue with the tape/tape drive/or read/write error thresholds.
    Aux copies:-
    Selective Aux copy is an exact copy of only the Full backup from the primary backup set. So if you are backing up full on Fri and Inc every other day then the Selective Aux copy will just be a copy of your Full backup from Fri. It is an exact copy of all data for that Storage Policy.
    Synchronous Aux copy is an exact copy of all backup data for a Storage Policy so it is a copy of a Full backup and all Inc/Diff backups as well.

    An Archiver data set is when you are using a data Archiver agent. Instead of copying data it moves data to a cheaper form of media (i.e. from expensive RAID 5 FC disk array to a cheap SATA array or tape) it will leave stub files behind so users can recover their archived data if need be. Retention on archive data is only set with days to retain.

    The very first backup you take of data is considered to be your yearly full. That is kept forever according to your retention rules in your screen shot.  Your monthly full backups will be kept for a year this is the first full backup of the month. Then your weekly fulls will be kept for 30 days, the retention criteria for both the days AND the cycles must be met and a data aging job run before your tapes/disk will be available to re-use.

    Youre not reusing tapes after 89 days because a cycle is from one full backup to the end of the next full backup.  Therefore you are keeping two weeks worth of backups for 30 days. So that fortnight of data will only be available for overwrite after 30 days has expired. If you wanted to keep four weeks of data for 30 days you would set it to 30 days / 4 cycles. Keep in mind that the more granular you have your restore capability the more tapes/media you will require.

    Author Comment


    Thanks for the input
    You know I'm sure this makes sense to most people using the software daily. - to me it's just words :(
    I'm obviously just not getting to grips with this at all. Any recommendation on a beginners guide to commvault?
    I'm hoping to change the backup straetgy to include backing up to a remote location, so polcies will change
    and i want to have a full understandin gof them before I make dastic changes.
     I want to have a full backup on both sites. Say 2 full backup, And their associated monthly incrementals.
    Everystart of the month the full backup is written to tape units at each site, and tapes are stored forever/
    Also the full backup is written to the remote location (Site 2 to site 1 and vice versa) plus daily incrementals/differentials written overnight.
    I've attached a screen shot from excel of what I'm after.  I don't think it should be complex to configure but
    before it's done I'd like to understand it.

    LVL 6

    Accepted Solution

    I would not advise running Aux copies of data across sites unless you have a high speed dark fibre link, even then it is not always a good idea. It sounds like you need array based replication or use CommVaults continuous data replication to achieve what you are talking about. That way your magnetic library can be replicated to your secondary site and the MediaAgent in the secondary site can run the auxiliary copies to tape. The only thing apart from training that can help you is that has excellent documentation around all aspects of the software. This book will help you as well

    Be very sure before changing a Storage Policy as it is the backbone of the software and can cause data loss or gaps in protection if you are not careful. I would recommend getting in touch with a consultancy firm like GlassHouse Technologies to get professional help with designing and implementing your requirements.

    I hope this was some-what helpful.

    Author Closing Comment

    Indeed it was.
    We havea 10Mb leased line and hopefully this would be suffient
    Thanks for your help

    Expert Comment

    @squify, all,
    Regarding CommVault aux copy feature, what does it call in Symantec Netbackup 7? Thanks..

    (I noticed about Storage lifecycles policy available in NBU7, but not sure how does it works)

    Featured Post

    Free Trending Threat Insights Every Day

    Enhance your security with threat intelligence from the web. Get trending threat insights on hackers, exploits, and suspicious IP addresses delivered to your inbox with our free Cyber Daily.

    Join & Write a Comment

    Suggested Solutions

    Storage devices are generally used to save the data or sometime transfer the data from one computer system to another system. However, sometimes user accidentally erased their important data from the Storage devices. Users have to know how data reco…
    A Bare Metal Image backup allows for the restore of an entire system to a similar or dissimilar hardware. They are highly useful for migrations and disaster recovery. Bare Metal Image backups support Full and Incremental backups. Differential backup…
    This tutorial will walk an individual through the process of installing the necessary services and then configuring a Windows Server 2012 system as an iSCSI target. To install the necessary roles, go to Server Manager, and select Add Roles and Featu…
    This tutorial will walk an individual through the process of installing of Data Protection Manager on a server running Windows Server 2012 R2, including the prerequisites. Microsoft .Net 3.5 is required. To install this feature, go to Server Manager…

    745 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

    Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

    Join & Ask a Question

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    15 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now