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NetBackup 7 for VMware making full backups instead of incremental

Created: 13 May 2010 | 9 comments

I just recently upgraded from NetBackup 6.5.4 to NetBackup 7 on Windows Server 2008. I have daily incremental backups  scheduled but NetBackup makes full backups instead. The details of my infrastructure are as follows:

Virtual Environment:
vCenter 4
ESX4i Update 1
IBM DS4700 FC SAN
All virtual machines are version 7
The virtual machines being backed up are all Windows Server 2003 or 2008.
There are no RDMs and all virtual disks are think provisioned.

I am using the vStorage API and not VCB for the backups.

The policy settings are:
Policy type - Flashbackup-Windows
Perform Block Level Incremental backups - Checked
Perform Snapshot Backups - Checked (But greyed out)
Perform Off-Host Backups - Checked

Snapshot options:
Client Name Selection - VM Display Name
Virtual Machine Backup - Mapped Full VM
Transfer Type - San
Virtual Machine Quiesce - Enabled
Exclude Empty and Deleted Blocks - Enabled
Existing Snapshot Handling - Remove NBU
Monolithic Export (VCB Only) - Disabled
Snapshot Mount Point (VCB Only) - Empty

Backup Selections:
ALL_LOCAL_DRIVES

I am backing up to disk then duplicating to tape.

I created new policies and tried both Cumulative and Differential but I always get full backups.
I also checked the virtual machines and "Changed Block Tracking" is enabled.

Thats all I can think of. Any ideas?

Comments 9 CommentsJump to latest comment

Stuart Green's picture

See these TN

VMware vStorage Changed Block Tracking based features do not work on NetBackup 7

Are you getting any errors? Or are you seeing the same size backup images for Cum and Diff Inc backups compared with Fulls.

Tip: Get overview/document your NBU environment. Run 'nbsu' and review the output.

• If this provides help, please vote or mark appropriate solution.

Devnull42's picture

No I am not getting any errors.  The cumulative and differential backups take just as long and are just as large in size as the fulls.  Since the virtual machines are in use they actually grow.

Will Restore's picture

VMware vStorage Changed Block Tracking based features do not work on NetBackup 7
http://seer.entsupport.symantec.com/docs/352043.htm

Will Restore -- where there is a Will there is a way

Will Restore's picture

you must do a Full Backup on new policy or Cumulative and Differential will behave just as you describe until a successful Full Backup

Will Restore -- where there is a Will there is a way

Devnull42's picture

I ran a full backup on the jobs after the policies were created.  The incrementals show fewer files backed up during the job, but the job size is the same as the full and the time to run the backup is the same.

rnosal's picture

For incremental backups, make sure the VMware backup host is correctly configured. Otherwise, NetBackup performs only full backups.

From the Netbackup Admin Guide for VMware
Incremental backups must be based on timestamps
Incremental backups of virtual machines must be based on timestamps, not on archive bit. You must configure the NetBackup client on the VMware backup host as described in this section.
To configure the client on the VMware backup host for incremental backups
1 Start the NetBackup Backup, Archive, and Restore interface from the NetBackup client that is installed on the VMware backup host.
2 Click File > NetBackup Client Properties.
3 On the General tab, make sure Perform incrementals based on archive bit is clear (unchecked).

Marianne's picture

I've stumbled upon this post while searching for something else....

Did you manage to get this resolved?

I noticed that you mention "policies"...
Does this mean that Full and Incremental schedules are in different policies? They MUST be in the same policy to work correctly.

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