How to force backups over multiple specific networks interfaces instead of all those available.

Article:TECH37209  |  Created: 2005-01-03  |  Updated: 2013-10-29  |  Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH37209
Article Type
Technical Solution


Environment

Issue



Normal network routing on a host may cause different outbound interfaces to be used when connecting to the same host at different times.  In addition there may be times when it is desired to restrict backup traffic to a specific NIC or subset of NICs.

The REQUIRED_INTERFACE and PREFERRED_NETWORK may seem to work in some configurations but not all.


Environment



Master server has multiple NICs and needs to be able to run backups over at least one, but not all network segment.

NetBackup 3.4 - 7.5


Cause



The hostname set for REQUIRED_INTERFACE can resolve to only one IP address and it may be desired to restrict traffic to more than one of the available interfaces.

REQUIRED_INTERFACE does not affect inbound connections, only outbound connections.  The outbound TCP SYN sent from the host has the source IP of the REQUIRED_INTERFACE.  As a result, it will affect the interface to which packets are returned which may affect the outbound interface used on the remote  host..

REQUIRED_INTERFACE allows the application to hint to the operating system which outbound interface to use, but the O/S can ignore the hint and use a different interface. 

Regardless of the outbound interface used, the source IP will be the IP resolved from the REQUIRED_INTERFACE.  As a result, outbound packets on the outbound connection will leave the host via the O/S selected NIC.  But the return packets for the same connection will be addressed to the REQUIRED_INTERFACE and routed through the network to that NIC.  The differing paths for the outbound vs returned packets is referred to as asymmetrical routing and may fail if both routes do not exist. 

A less than careful analysis of a network trace might correctly note that the backup image is on the expected network segment, but fail to notice that the TCP ACKs and smaller amount of application data flowing in the other direction are on the wrong network segment.  This condition will be much more obvious during a restore operation when the [large] backup image is traversing the wrong network segment and the TCP ACKs and smaller amount of returned application data are on the expected network.

Some security models such as the Windows 2003/2008 stronghost model may drop or reject connections where the IP address appears to be spoofed because it is not on the expected network segment.

The discussion above also applies to the PREFERRED_NETWORK option, both when PROHIBITing a local interface and also when specifying a source interface.
 


Solution



The only way to ensure the correct interfaces are used is to configure NetBackup with appropriate hostnames for the destinations (policy client, storage unit residence, storage server, etc), then ensure those hostnames resolve to the correct IP addresses and that the TCP stack on each host and the network segments between perform appropriate network routing.  It may be necessary to configure IP static host routes on the local host; specifying the the remote hosts and desired outbound network.
 
Example 1 -
If I have a server with four NICs and we need to run backup over two of them 10.1.1.1 and 10.2.2.2
 
Master server
 
NIC 1 10.1.1.1
NIC 2 10.2.2.1
NIC 3 192.168.1.1
NIC 4 172.16.1.1

client 1
Production NIC 192.168.1.2
Backup NIC 10.1.1.2
 
client 2
Production NIC 172.16.1.2
Backup NIC 10.2.2.2.2
 
In the above example, since each client has a NIC on a IP segment shared by the master server, the natural OS routing
should be able to determine the best route because the IP segments are directly attached.
 
Example 2
 
Master server
NIC 1 10.1.1.1
NIC 2 10.2.2.1
NIC 3 192.168.1.1
NIC 4 172.16.1.1
Router 10.1.1.2
Router 10.2.2.2
 
client 1
Production NIC 192.168.1.2
Backup NIC 142.10.1.2
Backup router 142.10.1.1
Production router 192.168.1.1
 
client 2 
Production NIC 172.16.1.2
Backup NIC 131.222.1.2
Backup router 131.222.1.1
Production router 172.16.1.1

In this example since the production NICs and backups NICs are not directly attach, you can use IP route statements
to statically define the best path for traffic.
 
Note: The router IP addresses are defined to show what the next hop address would be.

Routes back to the server's backup NIC could be done by using this type of routing statement-
 
Client1$ route add -n 10.1.1.1 142.10.1.1
Client2$ route add -n 10.2.2.1 131.222.1.1

On the server
route add -n 142.10.1.2 10.1.1.2
route add -n 131.222.1.2 10.2.2.2
 
To view the routing table:  netstat -rn
 
Example from Client 1
$ netstat -rn
Routing tables
Destination Gateway Flags Refcnt Use Interface
127.0.0.1 127.0.0.1 UH 1 132 lo0
192.168.1.0 192.168.1.1 UGHD 1 514 le0
default 192.168.1.1 UG 0 0 le0
10.1.1.1 142.10.1.1 UG 1 4904 le0
 
For hostname resolution you can have more granular results by relying on local host files as opposed to DNS lookups. This way you can resolve the server hostname to whatever IP address you want the client to use for backups. Then in the cases where the client does not have a directly connected IP segment add a host route as seen in the details above would provide the client with the preferred path to the server.

Note: Microsoft has published details of the weakhost and stronghost models here; 
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/magazine/2007.09.cableguy.aspx 


See the Related Articles for details on Preferred Network and weak host backup behavior.
 




Legacy ID



274994


Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH37209


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