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Question about how backups should be configured

Created: 04 Sep 2013 • Updated: 09 Sep 2013 | 7 comments
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I have a question about how I should configure our backups and i'm hoping someone here can answer my question.

Just so you are aware of the setup, we have a Netapp FAS3040 connected directly to a tape drive via fiber. We have the NDMP license and backup serveral volumes from the Netapp to tape via NDMP on a weekly schedule. We also have several B2D volumes on the same Netapp device, and I need to be able to duplicate the data on these B2D volumes to tape.

Sounds easy enough, but if I configure the standard option of "Backup to Disk then Duplicate to Tape", when it tries to write to tape I get an overwhelming speed of 14mb/min. I'm not really sure why it's THAT slow, maybe someone could offer some insight as to why.

But my main question is whether I can configure it slightly differently, so that I still have my Backup to Disk jobs, and then when I run the NDMP job at the weekend, I can just include those B2D volumes and back them up that way. This would give me my normal 4500mb/min backup speed, but would this provide a valid restore path? In the event of a restore I guess I would need to restore the data back from tape back to the Netapp, and then catalog those B2D files, and restore the actual data from them?

Thanks

Lee

Operating Systems:

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Kunal.Mudliyar's picture

Hello Lee

The data going from Netapp to the tape library is NDMP data hence it is fast.

The data which go from the B2D folder is non NDMP hence it needs to be converted to NDMP before it is sent to the tape drive connected to Netapp hence this process is slow

Its not a good idea to backup your backup to disk folder as at the time of restore you have to do a lot of work like you have to restore the B2D folder then associate to the BE and then catalog the B2D files and restore from those files not a good restore path.

Duplicate job which duplicates from B2D to tape is the best way to duplicate

In order to make this faster I would suggest connecting a tape drive to the media server and duplicate the B2D data there.

Check this technote

http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH71379 It does not talk about your scenario but it shows how non NDMP data affects the backup performance.

 

Technical Support

Symantec

SOLUTION
Lee_flir's picture

Hi Kunal,

Thanks for the quick reply. That explains why the duplicate to tape is so slow.

So just to make sure I understand you correctly, you are suggesting connecting the tape drive to the media server via SCSI? Or via fiber? In either scenario though, we wouldn't be able to use NDMP for the Backup to Disk and then Duplicate to Tape backups, correct?

The current media server is a virtual server so connecting it directly to this is a bit more difficult, but I can always setup a new physical box and re-install BE.

Thanks,

Lee

Kunal.Mudliyar's picture

Yes Lee I m suggesting the tape drive to be directly connected to the Media server.

I understand that if you are on ESX 5.0 and later due to Vmware limitation this can`t be done.

If you are okay with dedicating a physical server to Backup exec nothing like it.

 

Technical Support

Symantec

CraigV's picture

...fibre is much faster, but more expensive (although I have seen some VERY expensive SCSI tape libraries). For speed, fibre is the way to go.

Symantec does not support a virtual server running BE and backing up to tape (actually doesn't support a virtual media server at all). Your best bet is to go to a physical server as you have already mentioned.

Don't need to reinstall BE, but you can move it as per the TN below:

Check the TNs below:

BE as a virtual media server:

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH130609

BE & NDMP:

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH48957

Migrating BE and preserving your settings:

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH67768

Thanks!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

SOLUTION
Lee_flir's picture

Thanks for the technotes on moving BE over, that will come in handy!

My only concern with that is whether we will run into issues with the speed of backups. We'd need to write approx 10tb's or so of data to tape each weekend.

So with a physical BE server, we'd be running B2D jobs from source servers onto our Netapp FAS3040, and then configure the Duplicate to Tape option for the Full backups at the weekend. The tape library would be connected directly to the BE server (via SCSI or fibre). The source servers are connected on 1gb ethernet and the Netapp FAS 3040 is on 4x 1gb ethernet connections. The tape library is LTO4.

Am i likely to run into performance issues here with this setup? I don't think I would, but I'd hate to set this up only to find the backup job takes days and days to complete because of something I haven't thought about!

Thanks,

Lee

CraigV's picture

...with a single drive, I'd say yes you will end up with performance issues.

With multiple drives, maybe not. There isn't a Symantec tool to estimate how fast backups will be, but ideally try configuring your media server to be as optimal as possible in terms of network speed.

Thanks!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

Lee_flir's picture

Hmm, another hardware limitation with what we have in place then! Our library only supports the one drive. I guess I won't know for sure until I test it.

I suppose my other option would be to use something like Robocopy to copy the data from the source servers over to the Netapp device and then continue to use NDMP to copy to tape. Would like to avoid using Robocopy really though.

Thankyou both for your help, i'll mark this thread as being resolved.