NetBackup appliance clustering for media servers
I know there have been discussions regarding clustering of the NetBackup appliances in the use case of a master server. I would like to suggest that this also be considered for media servers to meet HA needs for the Advanced disk/dedupe disk pools.
VCS is often used to provide HA for services such as NFS. I would like to suggest that N+1 clusters be used for NetBackup appliance media servers. The 2 primary advantages I see with this are:
1) Protection for appliance HW failure - while rare, it does occur. If the disk/disk array is SAN attached and uses RAID, any member of the cluster can access that same disk. The media server is configured against the virtual name, so the disk storage essentially stays on the same media server.
2) Adding capacity to your backup environment. We currently use a vendor supplied dedupe disk array. The biggest reason to do so is for capacity.The current appliances cannot approach the disk vendor's capacity. Adding capacity by simply adding another "appliance node" is an easy way to add capacity - while still keeping performance acceptable too.
Adding media server clustering in an N+1 configuration would give your customers a highly available option that the NetBackup/dedupe disk vendor option cannot provide. This would also give Symantec an option to linearly increase its dedupe capacity.via the appliance option.