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Backup VNX CIFS share - Whats the best way?

Created: 13 Sep 2012 • Updated: 23 Jun 2014 | 5 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

We are starting to use CIFS file shares off of our VNX SAN.  There appears to be 3 ways to back this up, either by backing up the CIFS share directly, mounting it to a server and backing it up, or using NDMP, which requires an agent.

I just setup NDMP and tested it.  Works very nice, however I see that you cannot redirect a restore to a non NDMP device?? Is there any trick to get this to redirect somewhere else?  I don't understand why this is not possible.   I don't have anything else to redirect to, so if for some reason part of the VNX that makes the CIFS work goes down, my backups will be useless until it is fixed.  I have a Data Domain from EMC as well, but I don't see that I can make it an NDMP device.

CIFS direct or indirect seems to be a pain.  Port 10000 is used for both NDMP and the BE agents, so I actually have not even tested this.  I can't figure out how to turn off NDMP on the VNX yet, and I think that is the problem.  I'd imagine a CIFS backup would be tripping over a lot of open files possibly?

I'd like to do a combination of both.  Maybe a CIFS backup once or twice a month, but have the NDMP be the primary method.

Can anyone offer any input?  The only thing stopping me from going all NDMP is that it seemingly can't be redirected.  If we had another VNX or Celerra, I wouldnt worry, I just like to have a good plan B in place.


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teiva-boy's picture

You've found the Achilles heel of NDMP.  It's proprietary.  An EMC NDMP backup cannot be read by anything else other than NDMP.  A NetApp NDMP backcup cannot be read with anything other than NetApp.  

When you restore, the NDMP backup is restored back to the NAS device, mounted, and the file read so you can restore a single file if needs be.  But you still have to have a like model/OS of NAS to restore to.  

Now if you backup the CIFS mount, you don't have this issue.  However, backups are typically slower.  So it's a toss up....  Faster backups, but proprietary, or slower backups and restore flexibility.

If you still want to disable NDMP, go to for your answer.  

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

Moltron1's picture

UPDATE:   I was able to do a direct CIFS backup by changing adding an entry to the service file in C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc.   Added an entry to change the NDMP port to 11000, and this allowed me to see the shares of my VNX. 

To my surprise, it backed up the whole thing almost as fast as the NDMP backup did, only about 400MB slower, and didn't have a problem on any files that were in there (ie open files).  And I am able to redirect it.

Still looking for input, because I think if I stuck with that, I'd have to make edits to all the backup exec servers with agents out there, and that could get tedius.  I also read that Win 2k8 servers would need a reboot to make this change.  Another negative...

Colin Weaver's picture

Not sure  when we changed the NDMP requirement to have all servers on same NDMP port, However, now  as long as you make sure remote agent publishing is working on all remote servers it is possible to get them all working on different NDMP Control (TCPIP) ports.

If publishing does not work then the remoet agents they do have to be on same port as media server.

revcall's picture

I was instructed (by Symantec) to turn off NDMP on my VNX.  Once I did that, I was able to see the shares and back them up.  I get an 'error' saying that the agent is not installed but I successfully tested a backup and then restored the files without incident.  

My only issue now is that my source and target are in one city but my Backup Exec server is in another.  I wish there was a way to bypass the Exec server versus having to pull then push the data over my WAN. frown

storage_engineer's picture

Hi Guys,

Could anyone please provide a step by step instructions to configure backups of a VNX CIFS server to a DD appliance (backup to disk) using BE2010, for both NDMP and direct CIFS? Are there any additional licenses needed for BE? DD does not have a VTL, nor DDBoost license. I currently have these licenses for BE:

Symantec BackupExec 2010

Agent for Microsoft Exchange Server

Remote Agent for Windows and NetWare servers

Agent for Microsoft SQL server

Active Directory Recovery Agent