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BE11d over switched FiberChannel

Not applicable
Hello, I'm unable to figure this out for days, and symantec wants 89$ to answer me on the phone. I've sent symantec support the questions 1 week ago, but I had no answer.
I hope somebody can help. Here we go:
We have purchased BE11d Media server. We need to know if this product covers our needs or we need something better.
We have 1 windows server, 2 linux servers and one LTO-3 Tape Library (with 1 drive) 2 FiberChannel storages, all interconnected through a FiberChannel switch.
Suppose we install BackupExec on a separate windows machine, and the appropriate clients to the servers. Then:
Q1: Do the agents backup the files directly to the tape through FC or are the files transfered to the BE media server and then to the tape?
Q2: Does the BE Media server needs to access the tape through FC or just connect to the agents (via ethernet) and the agents transfer the files directly to and from the tape? (of course we prefer that)
Q3:If direct file transfer between the agents and the tape is not possible, could we assign IP to the FC interfaces to trick the software?
Q4:We also want to use the library to transfer lto-3 tapes written with backupexec on a windows machine (given to us by another company), to our linux servers. Can this be done? (linux agent reading directly from tape and writing to the FC storage)?
Thank you.
Spiros Ioannou
Electrical Engineer,
Hellenic Audiovisual Archives

Level 3
Hell Spiris,
The Backup Exec Media Servers communicates with its' agents via ethernet. So, when a backup kicks off, the agents send the data throught the Media Server (over TCP/IP) and then to your storage solution (over FC).
So, in your case your configuration would look like:
Agent --> (ethernet) --> Media Server --> (fc) --> Tape Library
Q1 - Correct, your backup agents send data to the Media Server over ethernet
Q2 - No, the agents do not interface directly with your storage. They communicate only with the Media Server.
Q3 - Fiber networks and ethernet networks are two totally different things. They do not communicate with eachother. If you had a iSCSI Tape Library then iSCSI could run off of your ethernet network. However, your Media Server would still be the only device interfacing with the Tape Library. This is how Backup Exec works.
Q4 - I, unfortunately, do not have enough background with a Windows/Linux hybrid environment. One, I am not too clear on what you are asking here and two I probably would be the wrong person to answer this kind of question.
Hope this helps!


Level 6

sivann wrote:
Q1: Do the agents backup the files directly to the tape through FC
No, what you are describing here is ServerFree backup. This was an option for BE10, but unfortunately doesn't exist for BE11d.
I'd suggest that from what I understand of your setup, Offhost backup is probably the best option. You need the Advanced Disk-based Backup Option for this. You also need to make sure the BE media server is connected to the SAN, and you have transportable snapshots. Then when a backup runs a snapshot is taken of the filesystem, and imported on the media server, which gives it nice fast access.
I'd suggest that you install BE and don't add any license keys. Then you have 60 days to test and use any options you wish. Once you add the license keys, you can't test any options you don't have keys for.