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NetBackup upgrade options - deciding a plan of attack

Created: 03 Dec 2012 • Updated: 19 Dec 2012 | 5 comments
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Hi everyone!

I am planning out the upgrade of NetBackup from 6.5.6 to  I have several options to consider for this upgrade and I wanted to open the floor to the experts (I've been a forum reader/viewer for a couple of years now). 

Here are a few of my current environment details:

Master/Media hybrid server: Windows Server 2003 Enterprise SP2 (32-bit)

Master server is currently physical with 10GB of RAM

Considerations during the upgrade:

- I am considering moving the Master server over to a virtual machine.  My thought on this is that it will separate the current Master/Media hybrid into two entities and free up resources for the Media server, which could be used for piping data to storage targets (currently disk and tape).  I have done some light reading on this topic and it seems very doable, but I wanted to hear from anyone who successfully split an existing Master/Media into two servers.

- I am also considering upgrading the operating system of the Master and/or Media server to 64-bit Windows Server 2008.  I am aware of the increase in addressable memory, but 2003 seems to already be able to see all 10GB of my RAM.  Any other key benefits of upgrading now as opposed to waiting (benefits specific to NetBackup performance, etc.)?

I am getting a bit confused on how my action plan will change if I decide to incorporate one or both of the considerations above.  I have been following the 7.X Upgrade Portal as well as the SORT checklist, but all of the extra options (above) are proving to be more daunting than I expected. 

This is getting to be much "wordier" than I would like, so to summarize my request: I am going to upgrade NetBackup from 6.5.6 to (to get back into Support!!).  While I'm upgrading, I could split the Master server off into its own VM.  I could also upgrade the NetBackup servers from 32-bit OS up to 64-bit OS.  If I decide to do either of these, how will that affect my upgrade?

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revarooo's picture

I don't see any issues with what you have suggested. I'd always advise upgrading the OS from 2003 to 2008 (saves you doing it later if/when 2003 falls out of support).

I would pgrade on the current hardware first then just ensure the VM Master has the same name as the current Master so when you "migrate" it is seamless. I'm sure others have other ways they may do things.

Marianne's picture

Use this TN for the migration to VM:

Note that you have to migrate to same name and same NBU version, so, first install 6.5.6 on your VM, recover catalog, then upgrade to 7.5. Else, upgrade existing Master all the way to, then migrate.
I suggest you use catalog backup to disk for this process. Ensure that this volume can be presented to VM as well.

Good idea to migrate media server to new 64-bit hardware.
Bear in mind that you will need to transfer all media and image ownership to the media server:
bpimage -newserver <name> -oldserver <name>

Consider introducing new media server on new hardware before you migrate master to VM.

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

brandonj's picture

Something that makes this upgrade a bit tricky:

I don't have another server to assume the role as "the new media server".  I will have to get the existing Master/Media server's operating system and version of NetBackup upgraded and then look at migrating the Master to a VM guest.

However, I found out after my original post that my workplace has a test environment that I can use to complete the upgrade and migration efforts, which greatly reduces the amount of stress I had originally.  

Regarding the bpimage command, would I still have to do this if the existing Master/Media server was upgraded (OS and NetBackup) and the Master server was then migrated over to VM?  I would think that the existing Master/Media (now a Media server, in this example) would already have ownership of the media/image ownership.

I will check out the TN for the VM migration - thank you for providing it! 

Marianne's picture

Sure this will require new hardware?
" am also considering upgrading the operating system of the Master and/or Media server to 64-bit Windows Server 2008."

Your VM master will get current Master's hostname. EMM database will not restore to different hostname.
You will need to delete devices from current physical master, remove NBU software, rename the server, then install NBU as media server.
You will need to move image ownership to new media server.

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

brandonj's picture

"Sure this will require new hardware?"

Sorry that my story keeps changing - I'm finding out information piece by piece (just started a new position and I'm trying to understand the culture here).  That being said, here's the latest:

I found out that there may be new server hardware for me to use after all.  The server is an upgrade over my existing Master/Media, so I am planning on doing something like this...

1.) Upgrade NetBackup in place to on the old Master/Media server (after taking a Catalog backup, running consistency checks, etc. based on 7.x upgrade and SORT guidelines).

2.) Install the OS and NetBackup Media Server software on the new server (new-Media1).

3.) Build a VM with server 2008 64-bit on it and give it the same hostname/IP as the existing Master/Media server. Install NetBackup

4.) Take a Catalog backup of the now-current Master/Media server and shut down the old server.  Restore the Catalog backup to the newly created VM, which should already have the same hostname and IP (I realize there are particulars I'm leaving out regarding how to go about having two servers with the same hostname, but I should be able to figure that out with my networking team).

Note that this approach will not require me to upgrade the existing Master/Media to 2008.  I am planning on leaving it as 2003 and upgrading NetBackup instead.  Once that's completed, I can migrate the Media server responsibilities to the new physical media server and the Master server responsibilities to the new VM.

If I can get a blessing and/or technicial considerations for this approach, I should be ready to close out this thread and start executing this in my test environment.  The input received so far has been invaluable and is very much appreciated!