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Netbackup Migration/Refresh Recommendations?

Created: 27 Mar 2014 • Updated: 02 Jun 2014 | 12 comments
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Sanity check - appreciate any suggestions, advice, gotchas and confirmation before marching down this road ....

Existing environment - Netbackup v7.1.0.3 - running on Windows Server 2003 SP3.   Netbackup Masters are running in a 2-node MS Cluster.   Thirteen NB Media servers in three locations.  All NB servers are joined to Active Directory domain "X"

Requirement 1 - Hardware server refresh and migration to Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system.   

Requirement 2 - Migrated NB Environment from Active Directory domain "X" to Active Directory domain "Y".

Requirement 3 - Maintain existing NB version during migration to new hardware and AD Domain.  After migration is complete - ugrade NB to the v 7.6.


Current Plan:

The NB Media servers seem to be fairly straight-forward - fresh install of OS / Netbackup on new hardware joined to AD domain "Y".  After moving jobs from existing NB Media servers to the new NB Media servers - retire the existing NB Media servers.

The Master Cluster is a different beast.  The first thought is to retain the virtual Cluster name - in the new W2K8 R2 Cluster in AD domain "Y".   Current idea would be to take the existing Master Cluster offline - build a new W2K8 R2 Cluster using new hardware and using the the existing virtual Cluster name - and pointing to the existing shared cluster LUNs.  After confirmation that everything is ok with the new cluster - retire the existing NB cluster.  Still chasing down differences between clustering with W2K3 and W2K8 R2 at the moment.  

Thanks ...

Operating Systems:

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SymTerry's picture


For requiremetns on hardware and the steps needed to upgrade, use the Symantec sort tool. It will give you a outline of what actions need to be taken, and provide links to the software and upgrade steps.

For requirement 2, that will be the gotcha you were looking for. You will not be able to move NetBackup to another domian with out the help of a Symantec Consulting Partner. You can contact a NetBackup Sales Representative for assistance in engaging a certified Symantec consultant or Consulting Partner.  

Flyinraptr's picture

Thanks - SymTerry 

On requirement 2 -  i was afraid of that -  assuming it is because the FQDN of the Masters will change.

Wondering if it might be cleaner to build a whole new NB environment in Domain "Y" and then import the contents of the NB DB from the existing NB environment in Domain "X"?   In which case - i could save a step by building the new NB Environment with NB v.7.6.

SymTerry's picture

Without having to contact consulting, the only way to move the images over is to do a phase 1 phase 2 import. If you have a lot of images, this could take a while. 

Flyinraptr's picture

SymTerry - thanks for the replies.  Yes - import would take a while but in the long run - might be safer.  The advantages as i see it - building a separate NB environment in the new domain - gives you a fallback position (existing NB environment) if for some reason the new NB servers go belly up - as well as allows you to build the new Master cluster - without having to take the existing one down (assuming using a different cluster name.  Whereas - with the other approach - i assume it involves manipulating the existing NB datasbases to change the Master server FQDN etc. and possibly requires a significant outage window.  I guess a question with building a separate NB environment would be the ability to connect to the storage devices (Quantum library, Data Domain, etc) temporarily with both NB environments?

SymTerry's picture

I believe thats what they do with the database yes. 

Also you can actually have a library with 2 NetBackup environments. Some robot vendors let you partition libraries. But the library just needs to be partitioned and zoned properly. One partitioned view of the robotic library includes one set of drives, while the other view has a different set of drives in the library. Partitions let two robotic control daemons on different control hosts manage the robotic library.

Flyinraptr's picture

Yep - the logistics of that is probably toughest part - we would need to bring up the new NB environment - configure storage devices, policies, jobs, etc -  while the existing NB was still handling daily duties and at some point switch over to the new system for the daily jobs as well as run an import in the background.

SymTerry's picture

If you have the time and the hardware, maybe you could just create a whole new NetBackup environment and run the systems parallel till retentions run out on the old system.

When it comes time to restore an image from the old system, just refer to the old systems catalog to find out which tapes would be used, phase 1 phase 2 import those tapes to the new system, and then perform the restore as a redirected restore.

Flyinraptr's picture

I came up with something similar when migrating from 6.5 to 7.1 and new hardware a few years ago.  Built a new NB environment with new storage devices etc. - but were faced with the proposition of having to import 10 years of backup info from the 6.5 NB Environment.  Also wanted the new NB environment to have as little old baggage as possible.  We couldn't leave the NB 6.5 up and running - had to retire the storage devices.  So basically took the NB 6.5 environment down except for the Master server - essentially turned it into a read-only Catalog lookup.  If a request to restore an old backup comes in - the system admins - look up the tape# from the NB 6.5 master and then perform an import of that specific tape into the NB 7.1 environment for the actual restore.

Flyinraptr's picture

The difference this time around is we are only replacing the server hardware.  I need to re-use the existing storage devices.

Marianne's picture

Please double-check current NBU config - what does 'nbemmcmd -listhosts -verbose' show for master server vritual hostname?

shortname or FQDN?
If shortname, you can migrate to new hardware and new domain without the need for consulting.
If FQDN - sorry. You need consulting or go through lengthy import of all images.
(I am a trained Catalog Manipulation Consultant.)

Oh wait! Since you are still on NBU 7.1, there is another DIY method that is perfectly supported: Recovery without Import.

With this method, all images are copied between master servers, all Assigned media in original environment need to be write-protected and moved to a new, non-backup pool (e.g. RESTORE) on new master to prevent these tapes from being overwritten.

Best to install new environment with same NBU 7.1 version and only upgrade to 7.5 or 7.6 after images have been copied across.

Run 'Tape Summary' report with 'Verbose' option on old master to see when all assigned tapes will expire. As and when they expire, remove write-protect and move to Scratch or backup pool.

Recovery with Import is explained in this White Paper: 

(There are newer versions of this doc, but the above doc is all you need.)

Supporting Storage Foundation and VCS on Unix and Windows as well as NetBackup on Unix and Windows
Handy NBU Links

Flyinraptr's picture

Hi Marriane -

That is very interesting ... thanks for the input!

On the nbemmcmd -listhosts -verbose  command  - the virtual master cluster - shows short name - under it is listed "MachineName = shortname"  and FQName = FQDN. 

I took a look at the Recovery Without Import document -  one of the restrictions listed seem limiting such as:   "None of the tapes being used will be used for backups at the Recovery site"

Also - under Caveats - it mentions that if you want to permanently move tapes/images - you are looking at a Master Merge - which is a service offered by Consulting Services.

......  After chewing on this for a few days now - and gathering a little more info - such as the size of our  Catalog DB (1TB - I remember the days where our entire organization backup was less than that) - I'm leaning towards building a "Net new" Netbackup environment and just keeping one of the old Master servers around for Tape lookup.  The main reason is due to the fact we have MS Clustered Master servers - and complications/effort in migrating from a W2K3 Cluster to a W2K8 R2 Cluster - in order to keep the original Master virtual name - we would likely have to build the cluster and migrate in one step.  The other way we can have the new Master Cluster up and running at our discretion.   Still weighing the options though.

Marianne's picture

"None of the tapes being used will be used for backups at the Recovery site"

Correct - this is why I posted the steps to move Assigned media to non-backup pool and keep an eye on Tape Summary report when images on media expire, after which tapes can be used for backups again.
In the meantime you will need enough unassigned tapes to perform backups to until previously assigned tapes become available.


nbemmcmd output that shows master server name as shortname says to me that you do not need a consultant to perform a full catalog recovery. The FQDN will automatically be updated.
The only other requirements are that new master must also be clustered using the same virtual hostname and that exact same mount points / drive letters / installation path be used as on old environment.


Supporting Storage Foundation and VCS on Unix and Windows as well as NetBackup on Unix and Windows
Handy NBU Links