In this article we’ll review NetBackup Enterprise Server and all the components involved in the backup process. This includes some licensing, installation and configuration concepts. I will only cover 3 TIER NetBackup Configurations.
NetBackup supports most popular operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, Unix, and Linux. For a complete list of support operating systems supported for the NetBackup Servers and NetBackup Clients refer to http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH76648. As not all servers are physical these days there is also integration with Virtualization software platforms, VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V. Refer to http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH127089 for details on virtualization).
In addition to all these operating systems NetBackup also supports the Applications and Databases residing on them. Custom Application and Database Agents allow the creation of consistent, online, and in certain cases granular, backups. For a complete list of support Applications and Databases refer to http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH126904.
Then finally, backup is not possible without backup destinations, or backup storage mediums. NetBackup supports a multitude of Storage Devices as backup targets. These include disk, tape, deduplication, and even cloud storage devices that are available from many vendors. For the full list of supported devices refer to http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH76495.
The NetBackup Domain
NetBackup lets you backup, archive, and restore files, folders, and even complete systems that reside in your Datacenter. As mentioned in the previous section, NetBackup includes the Server, Client, Agent components:
The Master Server
The Master Server manages backups, archives, and restores operations. The configuration on the master server determine the following important criteria
The configuration mentioned above is contained in the NetBackup Catalog. The Catalog consists of the following components.
An Enterprise Server License is required for the Master Server
The (Traditional) Media Server
The Media Server is responsible for receiving client data and placing it onto the backup storage media. Depending on the configuration that could be storage that is directly or indirectly available to the media server. (Indirectly implies that the data received is passed to storage server that would place it onto the storage media.)
A media server can perform backups of it and other clients where as a SAN media server can only perform backups of itself. These days the term SAN Media Server has been replaced by Enterprise Client although Enterprise Client is also a licensed feature, which includes more features than purely the ability to backup directly to a storage medium.
You can have the Media Server role or function enabled on your Master Server if you choose to. This is common in smaller configurations.
An Enterprise Server License is required for the Media Server
The FT Media Server
Performs the same role as the (Traditional) Media Server but receives the data from the Clients via the SAN instead of the LAN. Clients that send their data to an FT Media Server across the SAN are referred to as SAN Clients.
Only Solaris, and certain Linux Operating Systems are supported as FT Media Servers.
To enable the FT media server to receive data across the SAN it is required to change the fibre channel ports on the installed HBA’s to TARGET mode. Only certain HBA’s are supported for this configuration. Refer to the Operating System and Hardware compatibility guides in the previous section for more details.
A Media Server can act as both traditional and FT media server by receiving data via both the LAN and SAN.
An Enterprise Server License is required for the Media Server
The SAN Media Server / Enterprise Client
As explained earlier, a SAN media server can only perform backups of itself. This configuration is typically used for clients with larger data sets.
By converting the client to a SAN media server it could get access to the storage devices (tape / disk) directly and avoid sending its data across the LAN. The conversion would however require the installation of the Server software instead of the client software.
[I’ve listed the SAN Media Server / Enterprise Client under the Server Components because it runs Server software.]
An Enterprise Client License is required for the Media Server
The OpsCenter Server
The OpsCenter Server provides backup management, alerting, monitoring, and reporting capabilities for one or many NetBackup domains. According to the NetBackup 7.6. Licensing Guide
“There are two packages of OpsCenter: Standard and Analytics. The Standard OpsCenter functionality and reports are included with all NetBackup licensing. The customer is able to deploy OpsCenter within their environment as needed.
The base OpsCenter product and applicable support is available for customers who have a valid NetBackup license and corresponding support contract. No support will be provided customer without a valid NetBackup license.
OpsCenter Analytics Option builds on the OpsCenter standard features. OpsCenter Analytics enables advanced reporting capabilities such as a custom report builder and the ability to write custom SQL queries on the OpsCenter database. Furthermore, OpsCenter Analytics enables customer to access the entire history of their backup information. The base OpsCenter product limits customers to a 60-day window into their backup history.”
The (Standard) Client
The (Standard) Client is deployed on physical and virtual servers that are to be protected in the environment. In certain scenarios it is required to have the client software installed on a virtual guest even if it is being protected by a VMware of Hyper-V type policy, more on that later.
An Standard Client License is required for the Standard Client
The SAN Client
The SAN Client uses the same software as a (Standard) Client but is configured to send its data across the SAN to the FT Media Server. The features requires a valid Enterprise Client License, a configured FT media server, and some zoning configuration to work.
An Enterprise Client License is required for the SAN Client
NetBackup can store data in a multitude of storage devices. Below are the most common options.
OpenStorage (OST) Devices
As seen in the section about the NetBackup Domain, there are many different server and client configuration option which influence how data is transferred from source to destination. In the explanation below we focus more on the path from the source up to the media server. We'll not focus on the subsequent transfer to the storage device as that would relate more to the type of device used.
Standard Client and (Traditional) Media Server
Client >>> LAN >>> Media Server >>> Storage Device/Storage Server
SAN Client and FT Media Server
Client >>> SAN >>> FT Media Server >>> Storage Device/Storage Server
Enterprise Client (Client and Media Server process run on same server)
[Client [>>> Media Server ] ] >>> Storage Device/Storage Server
I'll add more sections on the configuration concepts available in NetBackup in the next revision.