When cataloging a tape, Backup Exec reads the header information from the tape and stores it in a file on the hard drive.
The information contained in the catalog includes, but is not limited to:
•Tape number/label/name (something to identify that tape from all others)
•Date and time of the backup
•Type of backup
•What directories/files were backed up
•The catalog file is the record from which restore selections are made.
To Catalog a tape:
1. Click on the tape drive/robotic library
2. Select the tape from the right pane
3. Right-click the tape and select Catalog
This will add the directory structure of the data on the tape to the restore tree. An inventory and catalog must be performed on all tapes to be included in a search.
Catalogs are stored in three places:
1. Target Device
2. Catalogs Folder
3. Backup Exec Database (Only the top level information)
Catalogs folder default location:
X:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\Catalogs.
(Where X is the installation directory of Backup Exec)
How to change catalog folder location:
The catalog folder location can be changed both from the Backup Exec console and also using BEUtility Tool (BEUtility.exe)
Using Backup Exec Console:
In stand-alone Backup Exec Server- http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH29603
In Backup Exec CASO/MMS- http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH44478
Files in Catalogs Folder:
•Catalogs folder and subfolder (if one exists) files will be with extensions .xml and .fh
•After a successful re-catalog operation UpgradeIndexInfo.upg will also be present in the catalogs folder.
How to re-index the missing catalogs:
Launch this “CatRebuildIndex.exe”
Location: X:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\CatRebuildIndex.exe
Open command prompt navigate to X:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\ and type “catrebuildindex -r” (without quotes)
(Where X is the installation directory of Backup Exec)
What does it do?
CatRebuildIndex has two functions.
1. Synchronize the catalog files on disk to those in the Catalog tables in BEDB
2. Drop/Rebuild the Catalog schema in BEDB
The credentials used are those of the user that runs the exe. The user must have SQL credentials that allow for CREATE/DROP privileges to BEDB. So, since an administrator will typically have SQL privileges to the SQL database as well as rights to start/stop the BENGINE service
Few other Catalog settings under Global Options:
In Backup Exec 2010 R3 and prior:
Tools | Options | Catalogs
In Backup Exec 2012:
Backup Exec Main Menu | Configuration and Settings | Backup Exec Settings | Catalog
Question: What is the “Use storage media-based catalogs” option in Backup Exec and what are the effects of clearing this check box?
Answer: The places where the catalogs are written to are referred to as on-disk (hard disk) and storage media (the tape that holds the backup set). If the on-disk catalog is present (the selections already appear on the Restore tab), there is no need to catalog a media. When there is a need to catalog a media, there is an option to Use storage media-based catalogs.
Note: The default location for Catalogs in Backup Exec 11D and above is C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\Catalogs
When the Use storage media-based catalogs check box is selected, Backup Exec is able to read the catalog information that is on the media. This allows the catalog operation to complete much faster as it is not reading each file on the media to build a new catalog. This option reduces the size of the catalogs considerably. After the catalogs have been truncated, the files and directories cannot be restored unless the media is recataloged.
If the Use storage media-based catalogs check box is not selected during a catalog operation, all files on the tape must be read file-by-file to create a new catalog.
Having the Use storage media-based catalogs check box cleared is very useful when cataloging media written by other backup software applications. When running a catalog operation with this check box not selected, it is normal that the procedure will take a long time to complete.
The catalog procedure may take as long or longer than the time it took to record the backup job operation.
If a particular backup job spanned more than one tape, clearing this option also allows you to catalog one of the tapes independently without requiring the other tapes. Backup Exec will catalog the particular tape only.
Note: Having this check box selected or cleared will not affect backup operations in any way. Catalogs are still written to the tape and the hard disk regardless of this setting. This option only applies to Catalog operations.
Question: What is the purpose of the “Truncate Catalogs After ‘x’ days” option in Backup Exec?
Answer: This Option is utilized in Symantec Backup Exec to remove unused catalogs from the hard disk after a Particular amount of time
NOTE: Default Option is set to 60 days after the “truncate catalogs after” option is checked , however after the catalogs have been truncated, the files and directories cannot be restored without re-cataloging the media.
This change is not retroactive. Only catalogs created or accessed after the change is made will be truncated. Backup Exec will not use this rule to manage unaccessed catalogs that are already present at the time the changes are made.
Question: What is the “Request all media in the sequence for catalog operations” option in Backup Exec?
Answer: Catalogs media starting with the lowest known tape number in the tape family. For example, if you don’t have tape one, the catalog job will begin with tape two. If you uncheck this option, the catalog job begins on the tape that you specify.
If you uncheck Request all media in the sequence for catalog operations, then you cannot select the Use storage media-based catalogs check box.
Catdump and Cattools Utility:
Symantec Backup Exec has a utility to export the contents of the Backup Exec Catalog file to a text file.
For Backup Exec 10.0 5520: http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH39091
For Backup Exec 11.x: http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH65904
For Backup Exec 12.x: http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH87173
For Backup Exec 2010 (all revisions): http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH136392
For Backup Exec 2012: http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH198906