A communications company was using Veritas NetBackup to protect a large and vital database. However, the database failed in production, so the company's IT administrator needed to restore it. Since there wasn't enough space to restore the database to its original, default location, she needed to restore it to a different drive.
Unfortunately, two IT staff members who had set up NetBackup and had the most experience using it, had recently left the company. When the administrator tried to move the backup to the new location, she received an error message. Not knowing exactly what to do at this point, she contacted Symantec support, and Sean, a support engineer with seven years' experience, came to the rescue .
Gone in 15 minutes
It turned out the administrator had inadvertently written an incorrect instruction set into the batch file she was using to move the database. Working with the customer over live Web conferencing, Sean walked her through creating a new batch file that would do the restore correctly.
But when the customer ran the new batch file, the database was no longer there. "We had seen it earlier when we first tried to restore it," Sean says. "Then, 15 minutes later, all the information about that database was gone." It turned out that the database backup had reached it's expiration deadline (date) and had been removed from NetBackup's catalogs during the very 15 minutes that Sean was walking the administrator through creating the new batch file. The database was essential to an important new project the company was about to launch.
Expired but not forgotten
Fortunately, "expired" doesn't necessarily mean gone forever. As in most delete operations, the information was not actually removed from the tape; instead, the tape was simply made available to be overwritten with new information as the indices to the previous backups had been deleted.
With Sean's coaching the customer was able to import the expired data from the tape back into NetBackup, thereby rebuilding the header files and the backup's meta data, allowing the database backup to be restored. The customer then attempted to restore the database—and found that it had been corrupted. But with Sean's assistance, she once again used NetBackup to import another expired copy that had been backed up two days earlier than the previous one. That copy was sound, and the database was restored to working order. The new project would be able to move forward as planned.
The customer was so pleased that she emailed Symantec to say how much she appreciated the time Sean took to help her, and especially to teach her about the special aspects of NetBackup. She added: "Your support was outstanding."