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Netbackup 6.5.4 Catalog Archive question.

Created: 18 Jan 2011 | 8 comments

Greetings,

I need to do an archive of our catalog, ~1.1TB in size.  In the manual it recommends doing this in an inactive state.  In our environment this is not possible.  We have backups that run through out the day from our Business apps.

So my question is can I still run the archiving process while backups are running?  Is this going to cause any issues?

Thanks,

Todd

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Andy Welburn's picture

Every document I've come across so far states the same thing:

"Catalog archiving operations must be performed when NetBackup is in an inactive state (no jobs are running)."

- the word "must" there seems a little stronger than a recommendation!

One old T/N expands that to:

"Perform catalog archiving operations when NetBackup is in a quiet state. It is unknown what would happen to an active backup if bpcatlist | bpcatarc | bpcatrm  was running during an active backup."

The catalog archiving is obviously changing the catalog at the same time as backups would be doing the same - maybe you should put a request in for some "maintenance time".

Would be good if you could get input from someone out there who has archived a 1Tb+ catalog to give an idea of timescales?

ToddMalek's picture

There's no "must" mentioned in the 6.5 manual regarding this process.  Just a "Recommendation".  Same recommendations include a seperate media pool from other backups and a special retension level for the archives.

Definitely no "must" or "absolute".  I wouldn't of posted the question if it was a "must".

Most likely for performance reasons.

 

*Edited:  FYI, placed a support call to Symantic with the same question.  I will provide the details when I get the answer.

Andy Welburn's picture

"...
The following section describes the steps to archive a catalog. Catalog archiving operations must be performed when NetBackup is in an inactive state (no jobs are running).
..."

Taken from:

Page 311:
Veritas NetBackup (tm) 6.5 Administrator's Guide for Windows, Volume 1: Provides information on performing most common configuration and administration tasks with NetBackup 6.5 including: - Managing media, storage units, unit groups, catalogs and lifecycle policies - Firewall Configuration - Firewall ports used for communication
http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?pag...

Page 318:
Veritas NetBackup (tm) 6.5 Administrator's Guide for UNIX and Linux, Volume 1: Provides information on performing most common configuration and administration tasks with NetBackup 6.5 including: - Managing media, storage units, unit groups, catalogs and lifecycle policies - Firewall Configuration - Firewall ports used for communication
http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?pag...

ToddMalek's picture

Here's the reponse from Symantec Engineer:

"Yes you can do this. Think of it this way, your taking everything from 06 back and archiving it. Any new backups running are from 11, they will not conflict in any way. Your not trying to archive backups from today so your good to go."

As I thought.

I suggested maybe an amendment to the manuals to explain a little better as to why the recommendation.

Thanks.

Andy Welburn's picture

Documentation is vague to say the least - maybe they're scared that we'd archive stuff as we were writing it & therefore put the "must" in!

Glad you got it clarified Todd & glad you seemed to get a quick response to your support call too!

***EDIT***

Maybe put forward the documentation update as an Idea?

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/backup-and...

Let me know if you do, it'll get my vote....

ToddMalek's picture

Here's the reason for the recommendation and I quote:

"The reason is performance related. It's a lot of work to archive the catalog."

The real Alex Davies's picture

Sorry to burst the bubble here but when I saw this thread yesterday I raised it with the lead engineer on the catalog team.

Her take on it is that there is currently no locking mechanism to prevent the catalog archiving process latching onto in progress images so the tech note Andy originally referred to (TN 274027) is correct when it states:

"It is unknown what would happen to an active backup if bpcatlist | bpcatarc | bpcatrm  was running during an active backup."

That said I believe it is very unlikely that you would encounter a problem of this type.  There have been improvements to the way in which the catalog archiving process updates the catalog information since this tech note was originally written and this is the only remaining risk area.

Provided you you use appropriate -before qualifier on bpcatlist I don't believe you will have any issues.

On a related point we do have plans to significantly enhance the catalog archiving process in a future release and at that time this risk will be removed (and the documentation will be updated).