Backup & Recovery

Recently I stepped into my new career as VERITAS Netbackup administrator; I am remembering the days spend at Doors (My Previous Origination). That was a smaller setup with 20 Servers and 150 more desktops. Developers save their project related data’s in Server and only few servers require backup to taken place.
We don’t have demand to purchase new backup software to manage backup of the servers. So we used to do backup of that servers using Ntbackup. As the data that need to backup is less in size we went for Disk-based Ntbackup.

A separate server admin allocated to maintain these server backups. His regular duty is monitoring, scheduling, and reporting the management with backup status. Even though a single guy allocated to this activity we used to get lot of problems while backing up and restoring data’s.

Data size got increased and that makes us to go for tapes based backups. To implement this we got 1 Tape Drive with 10 more tapes to use for backups. We used to Run Full Backup’s in Weekly basics. Backup won’t exceed 400 GB.

After this tape-based backups; problems got settled in my head. Daily my backup admin come and inform me that this much file got missed because of permissions issues and this much got missed because of file locks.

I got a request from an IT manager to restore a data from tape backup. When I try to restore the data I got to know that tape got damaged and also many times we failed to restore the data from Ntbackup tapes and lot and lot more errors while doing a huge data backup.

At many times we fight with Ntbackup to get the data restored, below are some reasons that forced us to go for different method of backup.
  • Handling tapes on Ntbackup is hard
  • Ntbackup supports only limited removable drives and medias
  • Backup may take more time to complete as it getting data from network drives
  • Backup may fail because of Permissions issues
  • Netbackup can’t work on locked or opened files.
  • Handling Batch files, Schedules is difficult to handle
  • Doesn’t have reporting features
  • Backup Completion should be manually verified
  • Backup may fail to start because of user account problems.
  • Need MS Software Shadow Copy Provider and Volume Shadow Copy services running
  • Days went and Company got well growth and planned to make an endpoint to backup issues. My management ordered me to buy a Cost less Backup tool.

I heard Symantec had the best Backup Tool but I thought it won’t come under our budget. But I got to know from Symantec site that there is an option specifically suited for our environment.

Symantec Protection Network proved to be the right way to go, yes that is Online Backup.

Online backup exceeded our expectations. Below are the some of the reasons why I selected Online Backup for my environment.
  • Accessible from any location even in travel
  • Easy and faster backup and recovery from wherever you go.
  • Easy to maintain Backup reports
  • Mail alerts for backup and restore completion
  • 24*7 Customer Support for free.
  • No hardware to purchase or manage-No need of backup servers, tape drive, medias
  • No software applications to install-no need to purchase and maintain software licenses
  • All upgrades handled automatically-need to maintain software patches
  • Pay as you go, and cancel any time
  • Reduced backup and restore times
  • Can be used for personal data storage with high security and encryption.
  • Lower Staff Support requirements.
  • Single Web based interface.

But my management asked me to test that in our setup and Symantec also helped me in that because it gave me 1 Month trial version to test. I just went to Symantec www.spn.com and started with Trial Version Download.

I was very new to online backup and didn’t have any idea how to do backup and restore. And here my STN Forum Videos helped me, https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/backup-and-archiving/video ; I thank Swathi [Backup and Archiving Community Manager] for those videos.

STN videos showed me how to do backup, restore, cleanup and more. I had a meeting with my top-level management guys and I showed some of Symantec Customer Success reports on Online Backup; some of them are below.

And finally based on this reviews my management said “OK” to this online backup implementation. I have found a partner and purchased Premium 7 Year Account.
I have started implementing this in my environment, installed client software in all servers that need to be backed up. While I am trying to connect the Symantec SPN server I got some issues and I mailed support team regarding this issue and got instant response from support and my implementation didn’t get held up.

I have configured and scheduled all servers to connect Symantec SPN server and begin backup at daily night. A fresh morning, with a cup of coffee I opened my laptop and there was a mail Popup from Symantec Alerting Service saying Backup Completed and with a Backup Status report. I surf into https://secure.spn.com to know about the Backup Status and there I found my backup completed in ¼ time of older Ntbackup time duration.
Also I had the option to email these reports to my management. I have forwarded that reports to my Project manager. He replied to my mail to do a test restore from that backup. I have tried to restore a Particular folder from that backup and restore got completed in minutes. That was awesome. In my experience I didn’t see this much speed in restore.

My environment got settled with online backup and backup doesn’t require user administration. And whenever a user wants to restore file I just take them machines using VNC Viewer and go to https://secure.spn.com and get that file restored in minutes.

No need to maintain the tapes and no restore failures. Whenever I have any doubts or issues I just mail to support team and get that clarified instantly.

Also I got an extra mailbox that is Alert Mail Inbox maintaining all Alerts details. Then why I should I care about backups.

Why I should I mark a guy as backup admin in my environment. My company doesn’t have Backup Admin but my servers are100 % safer, Secured Backup data, and can restore files in minutes.

Now I am planning to buy online Backup for my personal use because I don’t want to keep Extra USB devices in my pocket to store my data because I can store my data in SPN from anywhere as a Centralized storage.

Here the some extra details about online backup.

http://eval.symantec.com/mktginfo/enterprise/fact_sheets/b-datasheet_online_backup_09-2008_13902814.en-us.pdf
http://eval.symantec.com/mktginfo/enterprise/white_papers/b-whitepaper_protect_your_business_with_online_backup_11-2008_20000198-1.en-us.pdf
http://eval.symantec.com/mktginfo/enterprise/other_resources/spn_backup_pricing.pdf