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Doing backup for multi-tenant environment.

Created: 27 Apr 2014 | 5 comments
Leed.Engineer's picture

Hello Everyone ,

    I was looking for using Netbackup to backup multi-tenant environment. The environment was build on OVM so there is no agent from NB to support it. I don't have any problem to treat each VM as a client. However , I need to have each environment totally seperated as this is multi-tenant and security purposes.

1- Can I use multiple Master servers with the same EMM server? if I will do that , is it supported ? How the licencing will work in that case?

2- If the first point is not supported. what is the proposed solutions to implement backup for multi-tenant environment and completely seperate them?

Thanks in advance.

Operating Systems:

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Nicolai's picture

1: Shared EMM support has been pulled in 7.6. So not supported.

2: Bunch of VM with a master server inside them. Using the capacity license there is no limit on the amount of master servers you are allowed to deploy. 

That said I think it should be possible to deploy a single master server and ensure data confidentiality is maintained. But it require a more detailed requirement analyze.

Assumption is the mother of all mess ups.

If this post answered your'e qustion -  Please mark as a soloution.

Dan.42's picture

#1 is answered.

On #2, Start with requirements. By stating that you're doing a multi-tenant environment, they obviously already aren't "completely" separated, as they're sharing VMware host infrastructure, probably Internet connections, or something along those lines, etc. If you truly need them "completely" separated, then you're going to be implementing multiple separate NetBackup environments end-to-end. I doubt that though. Clarify what regulatory requirements are relevant and applicable (HIPPA,HITECH, SOX, PCI, etc.) to your solution with your compliance officer(s). Depending on the nature of your data, you'll probably need to take any tape backup processes/procedures especially very seriously and have them well documented. Once you have a framework for regulatory requirements, gather functional requirements - who performs restores, how, RPO/RTO, application granularity, etc. Once you have that, you should have a pretty good idea of what your options look like in terms of infrastructure, but you may have an interface problem, depending on the "who performs restores" bit and a few other variables. There are various third party offerings out there that can help deal with that - basically they're web-based apps that write netbackup commands on the back end. You define who can interact with what server for backups/restores, define backup schedules, etc. 

Once you have your requirements together, let us know with any specific questions. 

Leed.Engineer's picture

Thanks for your answers.

The requirements are basically need to seperate each environment but back them up on the same tape library or the same storage.

The second challenge is : even after having multi master server , how can I manage the licence between all of them. I only have one capacity licence and It is shared between all the environments.

Thanks in Advance

Nicolai's picture


I order to use the same storage device from multiple master, the storage device itself need to support virtualization (e.g. VTL). Sharing physical tape drive between multiple master is a "no-go". Partitioned robot will require you to have at least one tape drive per customer, each tape drive has a  2-7.000 USD price tag. Does that support the business plan ?

I think you need to go back to the drawing board and discuss the requirement and finical impact. Being multi- tenant but with completely separate infrastructure is not really multi-tenant.


Use nbdeployutil on each master server domain and add them up manually

Assumption is the mother of all mess ups.

If this post answered your'e qustion -  Please mark as a soloution.

Dan.42's picture

To me, it sounds like you need to clarify your requirements and come up with a coherent definition of what "separate" means in practice according to whatever requirements you may fall under. It's all a matter of perspective. I'm not being facetious; in a very real way my laptop is connected to Symantec's servers right now in the course of my posting this. They aren't separate in an absolute sense. No technology is separate in such a sense without an air-gap. If you want "separate" in an absolute sense you run it the same way (at least some - that I'm familiar with) jails run their key systems - on an isolated network disconnected from the rest of the network and the outside world. Data in or out needs to be manually transferred with drives. 

For example, suppose someone's operating in a multitenant vmware model whereby the underlying infrastructure (vmware host management, vcenter, netbackup, storage management, etc.) is logically separated (separate ip address space, separate vlans, a firewall between them, etc.) from the tenant/guest servers. Suppose also that the scenario would involve hypervisor-based backups of said guest servers. What's stopping someone from defining netbackup policies on a per-tenant basis, creating different volume pools for the tapes, having separate sets of tape labels (per-tenant), constructing appropriate tape rules to maneuver the tapes into the appropriate destinations, and backing up from there? With suitable documentation, procedures, and policies in such a situation, I would think one would be able to demonstrate that the data is going to the right places and not being mixed inappropriately, without much in the way of practical risk to the tenants data integrity/separation. That's a logical approach though. You may be subject to some regulatory scenario, or technical obstacle, depending on the nature of your data and environment, that makes such an approach impractical. 

Again, ignore the technology. This isn't about NetBackup, VMware, any of it. Start with requirements. If you use the specific name of a product in the conversation you aren't talking about requirements, you're talking about solutions that meet those requirements. 

"I need to use the same tape library across all the backups" - that's a requirement you can use for these purposes. 

"Different customers data needs to end up on different tapes" - that's a useful requirement as well. 

Licensing questions about netbackup aren't requirements though. Those are implementation specifics.