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What is the effect on existing VMWare VCB policies after NBU 6.5 to 7.0 upgrade?

Created: 23 Feb 2010 • Updated: 26 Aug 2010 | 4 comments
mlockwood's picture

Has anyone performed the 6.x to 7.x upgrade in an environment that is currently using VCB?  More specifically, we I have the following environment:

Windows 2003 NBU 6.5 Master
Windows 2003 NBU 6.5 Media and VCB proxy
vCenter 2.5
ESX 3.5

If we upgrade from NBU 6.5 to 7, will our existing VCB policies continue to work as they are now?  Will we have to make modifications to them (are there now more options?)?  Will the job switch over to using vStorage or will it continue to use VCB?

I know these are a lot of detailed questions but these are things that aren't in any documentation now so I'd like to see if anyone's gone through this process yet and what they've learned.

Thanks,
Matt

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Stuart Green's picture

My understanding from a webcast last week is that VCB policies and the proxy will work as they are now, when going to NBU 7
The benefits are when you then go to ESX4 and you dont need a Proxy server, however you do need a 'backup host' and this would most likely be your master server although you can use a media server.
The vStorage API is a vSphere entity so until you go to ESX4 you cannot take advantage of the facilities like Change Block tracking which you can leverage with deduplication of your VM's to reduce the redundant data.

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

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

mlockwood's picture

 Any idea if there would be policy changes required post upgrade (6.x to 7.x) in an existing VCB environment or if everything would just function as it did prior to the upgrade?  Also, after the VMWare upgrade to vSphere, is a policy change required to take advantage of the new vStorage features and get away from VCB?

Brian_Smith's picture

I think this post answers your questions.  I've amended it to answer your questions regarding upgrading an existing environment.

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/vmware-announces-end-availability-vmware-consolidated-backup

mlockwood's picture

 Great post Brian with a lot of helpful info.  In your amendment to your post there is a paragraph that reads:

  • "Item #1 is a bit of a surprise.  VCB is deployed, but will no longer be used.  What was called the "VCB Proxy Server" is now a traditional "NetBackup off-host backup server".  The backup host does not use the older, less efficient VCB.  Instead, it uses the new VADP to directly read the snapshot from the ESX server.  (VCB first copied the entire snapshot from ESX to a staging area on the backup host, and then NetBackup would backup the copy.  After the upgrade, you can safely retire the VCB disk-staging area from the backup host!)"

Is this accurate if we are currently using VCB and have our policies set for file level incrementals that I believe require VCB (and the staging area) with ESX3.x.

Thanks again,
Matt