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Backup Exec Format for Best Recovery?

Created: 22 Jun 2011 • Updated: 23 Nov 2012 | 15 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

I am currently backing up a single server (200 gigabytes) to external harddrives (using the Backup-to-Disk option) which are swapped out daily.  I have a script scheduled to stop and restart all BE services before the scheduled backup time to ensure that the disks are recognized correctly - this seems to be working pretty well.

I am using BE10.d, which I understand stores information in "Windows Backup" format.  What is the best configuration to optimize data restoration from those ".bkf" files (lets assume my office burns down and I have access to neither my server nor the the BE install media)?

Current options:
1. Compression Type: Hardware
2. Password Protection: Enabled
3. Maximum File Size: 1 gigabyte

I realize 10.d is getting a little old, but it serves our purpose.  Would I gain in recoverability by upgrading?

Thank you!

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teiva-boy's picture

You ideally would have the installation perhaps copied to all the USB HDD's already...

You would also make sure you are protecting the DATA and CATALOG folders within the BackupExec installation directory.

 

From there, you can install BE off one of the HDD's, restore the catalog info and Db, and start restoring...

There is an online portal, save yourself the long hold times. Create ticket online, then call in with ticket # in hand :-) http://mysupport.symantec.com "We backup data to restore, we don't backup data just to back it up."

LS.Younger's picture

If I include those directories in the backup, won't they be compressed/split/password-protected with everything else?

pkh's picture

The Catalog directory is where your catalogs are kept and the Data directory contains your job logs along with the BEDB.  You save these directories by copying them as you would some normal directories.  During your restoring process, after you have installed BE, you simply replace the existing Data and Catalog directories with your saved copies.  This saves you the trouble of cataloging your backups before you can restore them.  If you had included them as part of your backup, then you need to catalog the media that contains these directories, restore them and proceed with the rest of the restoration.

Upgrading to at least BE 2010 R2 does ease rotation of external harddisk.  See my article below

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/articles/how-rotate-external-harddisks

When you say you have hardware compression, I think you mean specifying hardware compression in your job.  Since you are saving to B2D folders, this option will not give you any hardware compression because a  harddisk does not have a compression mechanism.  Hardware compression in a backup job is more for tape backups where the tape drive can compress data.

LS.Younger's picture

I really like the idea of being able to install BE directly from the backup harddisks, but I'm a little confused about the process.  You indicated that I should "save these directories by copying them as you would some normal directories."  Is this a manual 'copy-paste' operation or part of the automated backup routine?  If not part of the automated routine, there is a HUGE risk that it just won't happen (I'm not always at the office).

Thanks for the clarification on hardware compression and the pointer to the article - looks like upgrading is a good idea.

pkh's picture

It is a manual operation.  If you want to include them as part of the backup, then during the restore process you got to catalog the media that they are backed up to, before you can restore them.

SOLUTION
LS.Younger's picture

I've tried two methods for copying the files:

1. Manually
Copy -> Paste

2. Batch File
xcopy "C:\Program FIles\VERITAS\Backup Exec\NT\Catalogs\" "E:\Backup Exec\Catalogs\" /C /S /D /Y
xcopy "C:\Program FIles\VERITAS\Backup Exec\NT\Data\" "E:\Backup Exec\Data\" /C /S /D /Y

Both methods lock up when they get to "...\Data\bedb_dat.mdf" (the database) and fail to copy the rest of the files in the Data folder.  I could add lines to stop (before copy) and start (after copy) the SQL instance, but I don't like the idea of messing with SQL in production and would like to keep things as simple as possible.

Any suggestions?

Ken Putnam's picture

Yeah

That is an active SQL Express database.  Change your script to exclude this. 

You do want to grab the BEDB.BAK file tho.  This is automatically created every day (at 0400 by default) and can be used to re-load your configuration using BEUTIL after the re-install

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LS.Younger's picture

I updated my script to stop the BE services and then use Robocopy to back up the Catalogs and Data directories (excluding those in-use files).  After ejecting the drive and plugging in the new one, I run a second script to restart the BE services.  This seems to be working successfully.  I'm sure an upgrade would simplify things (by removing the need to stop and restart the BE services), but I don't mind the hands-on approach if I can instruct someone else how to do it.

New Batch File #1 (before external drive swap):
net stop "Backup Exec Job Engine" /y
net stop "Backup Exec Server" /y
net stop "Backup Exec Device & Media Service" /y
robocopy "C:\Program Files\VERITAS\Backup Exec\NT\Catalogs\\" "E:\Backup Exec\Catalogs\\" /MIR
robocopy "C:\Program Files\VERITAS\Backup Exec\NT\Data\\" "E:\Backup Exec\Data\\" /MIR /XF *.mdf *.ldf
PAUSE

New Batch File #2 (after external drive swap):
net start "Backup Exec Device & Media Service"
net start "Backup Exec Server"
net start "Backup Exec Job Engine"
PAUSE

The pause is probably unecessary, but it allows me to review the results before the command window closes.

Thanks for all your help!

Ken Putnam's picture

If you are going to stop the BE Services, then you do not need to exclude the mdf & ldf file. 

Should have clarified  that BEDB is the SQL Express database that Backup Exec uses

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LS.Younger's picture

My previous attempts to backup up were after stopping the services.  Neither xcopy nor robocopy could complete the operation because the database files were still in use (maybe I have an unusual SQL setting).

Ken Putnam's picture

Hmm

That is strange,since the only process using the BEDB should be BackupExec.  FYI, for somthing like this,  I generally just stop ALL BE services rather than selecting them.

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LS.Younger's picture

I don't know how I missed the other services when I wrote the original batch file - thanks for the catch!

Is there a single command I can put into a the batch file to stop (or restart) all the services?  Or should I just replace the lines in my files with the commands from the "bestop" and "bestart" batch files?

Ken Putnam's picture

You can either call the BESTOP and BESTART cmd files or just copy the commands into your script.  either way should work

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LS.Younger's picture

Stopping all the services didn't keep the mdf & ldf copy from failing, but the bak copied just fine.  I'll just continue to exclude the files and let it do its thing.

Ken Putnam's picture

To Close out this query, please mark the post that helped you most as the solution and give any others that also helped a "thumbs up"

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