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Staging Location for GRT backup job is set to C:\

Created: 04 Mar 2014 • Updated: 10 Mar 2014 | 14 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

Dear All,

I was aware that in order to have single item recovery using GRT a temporary space is required to stage the DB for example for exchange and then from there we can pull individual item. This is case when restoring from a tape.

Today I noticed that in backup exec 2012 under config settings > storage there is staging location also set to C:\ and this is for backup jobs. Before I never noticed this item and now I want to know that does backup exec also requires same huge amount of space when running GRT based backup jobs to tape ?

See attached picture with red outlined portion. Since, it doesn't make sense to me to assign another big partition to Bexec server for GRT backup jobs so for this I need to understand how much space it requires in staging area.

Kind Regards,

Operating Systems:

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sidd3009's picture

Hi,

Here's the detail of the GRT option during backups(from the help option associated to Backup Exec 2012): 
1. Designates a location where Backup Exec can stage temporary data during GRT-enabled backup jobs.
 
2. Ensure that the location is an NTFS volume and that it is not a system volume. If the default path of C:\TEMP does not meet these requirements, type a different path on the Backup Exec server where Backup Exec can stage temporary data.
 
3. Backup Exec deletes the data when the backup job is completed.
 
4. At least 1 GB of disk space is required.

Here's how the GRT option works during tape based backups(just to give you an idea about it): 

1. GRT backup requests backup data from Exchange server
 
2. Data is sent from Exchange server to BE Media Server (unless local)
 
3. BE job engine writes Exchange data to tape in same IMG folder format used to disk
 
4. Media Server also requests current ESE.dll version from Exchange Server and writes this to the IMG folder on tape
 
5. MAPI is initialized on the Exchange server by RAWS to gather granular restore data
 
6. Granular restore data gathered from MAPI session on the Exchange server is written to catalog
 
7. Granular Catalog data is retained on disk and written to tape
 
8. Backup reports successful (or failed if error conditions are encountered)

Please refer to this for more info on it: http://www.backupexecfaq.com/understanding-grt-backup-and-restore-functionality-in-symantec-backup-exec/

Regards,

Siddhant Saini
Advanced Technical Support Engineer, Symantec Corporation 
www.symantec.com

lmosla's picture

In addition see the Backup Exec 2012 Administrators Guide page 482 about Configuring the default settings for GRT.   http://www.symantec.com/docs/DOC5211

Sejeltech's picture

Hello Sid3009,

thanks for your reply, I already read that before posting here, but I wanted to clarify for example my Exchange DB is 100GB in size, then in order to re-store single item from it ,yes I need staging directory of 80GB but when considering case of GRT backup of this 100GB DB to tape, this also requires space of 80GB also ?

The description you posted says atleast 1gb. Currently my default path is c:\ set for GRT backup job and space free on C:\ is 90GB

For restore I've changed the default path to D:\

pkh's picture

If I am not mistaken, you need 100GB of staging area for both the backup and restore. The space on the tape may be smaller if you are using compression

sidd3009's picture

1 GB is the least that you need for staging. The space required for staging would depend on the total size of the database being backed up. In your case, as PKH mentioned, you'd need 100GB. 

Regards,

Siddhant Saini
Advanced Technical Support Engineer, Symantec Corporation 
www.symantec.com

sidd3009's picture

I'm further clarifying the requirements for GRT based on the BE 2012 Admin Guide: 

Symantec recommends that you select a disk storage device for any backups that are enabled for Granular Recovery Technology(GRT). The disk storage device should be on a volume that does NOT have file size limitations. An NTFS drive is an example of a volume without file size limitations. Some examples of volumes that have file size limitations include FAT and FAT32 volumes. 

If you must use a disk storage device on a volume with file size limitations, Backup Exec requires a staging location. Backup Exec temporarily stores a small amount of metadata in the staging location during the backup job. It deletes the data from the staging location when the backup is finished. The staging location is not necessary, however, if you use a disk storage device on a  volume without file size limitations as the destinations(this is in case of disk storages. In terms of a Tape Based backup, we cannot predict the total amount of space required by the METADATA. It varies on the type of application that you are backing up. Example, for Exchange backups it would be different, for SQL it'd be different and so on. One thing is certain that the space required by the metadata won't cross the total size of your database).

Again the minimum requirements: 

1. It is local to the Backup Exec server. 
2. It does not have any file size limitations. 
Additionally, Symantec recommends the following to avoid disk space problems: 
1. It should not be a system volume. 
2. It should have atleast 1GB of available space. 

Regards,

Siddhant Saini
Advanced Technical Support Engineer, Symantec Corporation 
www.symantec.com

Sejeltech's picture

Hello Phk,

I didn't noticed this thing before that backup also needs space for GRT backup jobs because till now I didn't faced problem with my full backups with GRT. But still I am not convinced on this because customers using a server only for installing BE media server will buy it with normal capacity HDD and not with consideration of staging space required for backup GRT jobs. Like us we bought a normal physical server for serving role of BE server only, it doesn't have to be a machine with huge storage.

So, I opened up a discussion here to know the ideas

CraigV's picture

Yep, this is in the Admin Guide, and this caught me out too. Not everyone checks the Admin Guide before purchasing hardware...

I had to change the default location to a drive with enough space. I also got around problems during the automated staging (it would sometimes stop, meaning I'd need to rerun the restore multiple times) by staging to disk manually which worked well.

Thanks!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

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

Sejeltech's picture

Hello CraigV,

I had a chat with symantec support, I asked him clearlly that equation for 'restore of GRT' is 

- if exchange store is 100GB , you need to have 100GB temporary space for staging (case of restore)

But for 'GRT based backup job' , according to symantec support the data is coming from remote server to BE server and passed to tape so here equation is not 100GB = 100GB, this is what he told me (case of backup)

Any one have any other thoughts?

pkh's picture

It does not matter how much staging space is used during backup.  Even if backups use 50GB of staging space, you need to have at least 100GB of free space on your media server for the restore staging, unless you are planning on not doing any restores.  I say "at least" because as your information store grows you would need the corresponding amount of free space.  This free space can be use to stage both your backups and restores.

Sejeltech's picture

Hello Phk,

I was having concern for staging space used during backup because my location is set as C:\temp and for backup jobs purpose I don't want to change it, so wanted to know if it behaves same way as restore space requirements.

CraigV's picture

I've never understood why the temporary staging location is required for backups as snapshots happened on the VMs themselves (didn't do VMware backups!). At the same time, I've never received a proper explanation of this either.

I used to change the default location of the staging folder all the time as our OS volumes used to either be 11GB (Server 2003) or 50GB (Server 2008 R2) and never saw any errors doing Exchange backups as a result of this.

Thanks!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

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

pkh's picture

What is the problem of changing it to another drive if you are willing to change the restore staging location to another drive?

Sejeltech's picture

Hello Phk,

This discussion just for understanding of space requirement. Yes, there is no problem of changing it to another drive. 

Now I am clear after having chat with Symantec L2 support that space requirement for GRT backup job is not like required for restores.

So thats it... clear

SOLUTION