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Limitations of Backup Exec NDMP granular selection and restore

Level 5
Partner Accredited Certified


I'm looking to refute some competitor statements regarding Veritas Backup Exec.

Client is using BEX 2014 and considering either upgrading to BEX 15 or changing to another product.

The principal backup source is a large EMC NAS and the backup target is VTL on EMC Data Domain.


Currently they use NDMP level 0 dumps monthly and then level 1 daily (so effectively differentials) for 30 days

They have been told that BEX2014 can't do granular backup or restore of files and folders within a volume

And that the whole volume would need to be restored to an alternate location on the NAS to extract files.

This systems incorrect.  Can you provide some collateral showing that BEX can do granular backups and restores from within NAS volumes?


Secondly there are concerns about the size of the volume (50TB) and number of files and folders (10 million files in 1 million folders)

Is there an upper limit on the size of a backup job and how does this effect performance?


Thanks in advance



Employee Accredited Certified

It kind of depends on the type of data you store on the NDMP device

If you use it as the hosting volume for Virtual Machines (either Hyper-V or VMware) then yes we cannot get at the granular level within the VMs themselves and our NDMP option is therefore not an appropriate method to backup such data.

Similarly if database technologies such as MS-SQL or Exchange have their databases stored on the NDMP device then again we cannot get at the information inside such databases with the NDMP Option.

In fact if you have carved up the NDMP storage to present LUNs to other servers (holding files, databases or VMs inside the LUNs) then we cannot get inside the LUN objects

However if you have just used the NDMP device to hold individual files (possibly copied in through shares) then we may need you to backup the whole volume (and you might have to enable the files history as part of the configuration of the backup job)  but you should be able to restore individual files within the volume

We can also do the Level 0 and Level 1 etc backup processing

Why don't you download the trailware of BE and test it with a supported NDMP Device to confirm what it can and can't do against individual files.

WARNING: The large overall total byte count and the number of files you mention might be more of an issue as the performance (especially for the restore) might be a problem for the indicated environment so definietly try to test this if you do a trial

Level 5
Partner Accredited Certified

Hi Colin,

This is purely NAS file storage of office files, EV archives and the like.

Yes, we have concluded that some robust testing of backup and restore functionality and performance is required, so that an informed decision can be made.



Employee Accredited Certified

Hmm - I am not an EV specialist but if the backup of the EV archives has to be synchronised with the backup of an an EV database or other components of EV, then a backup using the NDMP Option might not be a good idea.

I am aware that when we do an EV Backup, we try to put EV into Backup mode, an NDMP Option backup cannot do this.

So you should perhaps check the EV side as to whether the archives can be backed up without putting EV into Backup Mode and whether you have to synchronise backups of different parts of EV. Note: In theory you can put EV into Backup Mode using a script but agains you would have to check what to backup and when you can run the script to remove the backup mode.