I joined my current company with a view of migrating their backup solution from Legato to Symantec Netbackup. While I looked forward to new challenges and meeting new people, I was not amused to find no “documentation” on “how to” migrate from Legato to Netbackup. I thought I had made a mistake leaving my previous job where I was running Netbackup environment. But I didn’t need worry……
One advantage that I had was that the new system – Netbackup will run off new hardware – servers and library, I could run the two systems in parallel. At least this was a good start. The second and the biggest advantage was Netbackup itself. You don’t realize how cool Netbackup is until you look at another product. I wasted no time in sizing up the environment in preparation for the migration.
Firstly, I took stock of all servers currently being backed up by Legato, what agents where in use, data size, backup window, network throughput and OS types. Then I checked the Netbackup licenses that had been purchased and feeling confident everything was in place I started the install. The desired platform was Windows 2003 Standard Edition running on blade servers and Netbackup version 6.0 MP2. The total clients to be backed up were about 160 mixed windows servers and various flavours of Linux. This number has since increased to about 260 servers! The library was an old ADIC Scalar 100 with six LTO1 drive (now I have a StorageTek SL500 with 8 LT04 drives). I started the master server installation followed by the five media servers and hooray!...everything wasn’t working as expected!
I had not taken into consideration the numerous firewalls between the servers, media servers and the master server. But this turned out to be a walk in the park as vnetd saved the day and left the Firewall Admin full of praise for not only opening very few ports on the firewall but the ports are registered as well. At minimum there are two firewalls between the Master server and the media server and the client. Every media server backs up clients on different networks. I sat with the Firewall admin for two or three days and sorted out the firewall issues.
The harder process was the manual cut over from Legato, on each server legato had to be uninstalled and Netbackup installed. Worse still was waiting for the tapes to expire and hoping no one will ask for restores. Now I have setup LiveUpdate and updating clients is a breeze. Sometimes you wonder how we used to do these things.
After converting most of the servers and backing them every night, I started getting complains from the Network Admins about network timing out at night - Netbackup was really hogging the bandwidth as I had made use of Multi streaming. I later adjusted this parameters to suit everybody thanks to the configuration friendly Netbackup.
Gone are the days of remembering the Son, father and grandfather tapes, tape management is excellent even without the Vault option due to budget constraints, I manage the offsite tapes very well and to date have yet to lose a tape!
And when my troubleshooting skills hit a wall, depending on the severity, I quickly ask my peers at STN forum or open a case, either way the problem quickly gets resolved. My blood pressure has improved dramatically.
As for the reporting, I have a nice NOM console displayed on the wall on one of the many LCD screens at the office and anyone at a glance can see if any backups are running, any failed jobs and the state of the drives. Furthermore, automated NOM emails with custom report details are sent each morning to different managers! I sometimes feel like am cheating my employer out of his money!