Another NEW feature in Backup Exec 15 FP4.

What it is?

Veritas™ Instant GRT (Instant Granular Recovery Technology) is a new feature that will greatly reduce your backup time and improve flexibility and performance when using the “Quick catalog" option for VMware and Hyper-V hosts and VMs.

Instead of the conventional full cataloging option that may consume a lot of time when running a large backup job, the Instant GRT, or quick catalog option, job will finish up much faster, while at the same time providing the flexibility to complete an item level restore after the backup completes.

 

 

 

Is this feature only for VMware and Hyper-V backups? Would that work?

This functionality already exists for RAWS backup for applications like Exchange and SharePoint but not for the Virtual Agents. Feature Pack 4 has added this feature for Virtual Agents also.

 

How would this help me?

The Quick Catalog option can provide huge relief to administrators who can now see the backup job completing quickly, rather than worrying overnight about how long the backup job will take to finish up.  This is possible because this option removes the forceful need of deep cataloging for VMware and Hyper-V backups. Remember, you still get the great benefit of an item-level restore immediately after the backup finishes.

 

How much performance gain we have achieved ?

Our in-house performance tests show considerable performance improvements. More importantly our customers are reporting up to 50% improvements, and simply by reducing the catalog time in cases where there are larger VMs.

Following readings has been taken from our in-house Performance Testing

SR No  Data Size  Backup Type  Resource Type Storage Device used Backup Performance Gain
1 ~700 GB 1 Full and 5 incremental VMWare File and Folder GRT Deduplication Disk Storage 15% of Performance boost
2 ~300 GB 1 Full and 5 incremental VMWare File and Folder GRT Disk Storage 17% of Performance boost
3 ~925 GB 1 Full and 5 incremental Hyper-V File and Folder GRT Disk Storage 25% of Performance boost
4 ~292 GB 1 Full and 5 incremental Hyper-V Exchange GRT Disk Storage 18% of Performance boost
5 ~600 GB 1 Full and 5 incremental Hyper-V Exchange GRT Deduplication Disk Storage 26% of Performance boost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what our Customer says -

"....We use Backup Exec to backup multiple Hyper-V guests on multiple hosts. One being 4-node server 2012R2 cluster with about 3 TB data (40 guests). Normally, incremental backup takes about 6 hours + another 6 hours for catalog. With Instance GRT, the backup takes just about 6 hrs, without additional time needed for catalog. So the time needed for backup is actually cut in half, which is great..."

 

Is the full cataloging option still available?

The full cataloging options are still available. Users who find that the backup window may not be an issue for them, as they might have a small backup selection list and hence can afford the time taken for full cataloging after the backups, can still select one of the full cataloging options. In fact, full catalog is the default option even in Feature pack 4.

 

Are there any limitations I may face after opting for the Quick Cataloging option?

The only limitation is that you will not be able to search an item from the backup set during restore which users tell us is not as important. However, you can still view the items that you want to restore as you go on expanding the nodes in the restore view.

 

Are there any other considerations when using this feature?

Not in most cases, but based on the backup size, when doing a restore you may notice a little lag time of only a few seconds when browsing file system based backup sets to a maximum of couple of minutes for browsing Agent’s backup set in Restore view.

Here is a snapshot of the Restore view:

1.png

 

For most this is not an issue because you do not restore often, whereas your backups might be running on a daily or even hourly basis. This can reduce your backup times by hours each day when taking advantage of this new feature. Moreover, the item level restore (GRT restore) facility is still available right after the backup. 

 

Where can I find this option in the Backup Exec UI?

It is at the same location in UI, it is just that we have elaborated the text for easy understanding.

  • Simply navigate to “Backup and Restore” tab in the main UI,
  • Right click the Virtual Machine whose backup is to be taken >>Backup >>Backup To Disk
  • Select “Virtual-based backup” option >>Click Next
  • Specify the ESX or vCenter and Click Next
  • Click “Browse” and select the VM to backup
  • Click Edit in the “Backup Definition Properties” window
  • Click “Delayed Catalog” option from the left pane of the window

 

2.png

 

 

For a fresh install of FP4, what would the catalog options look like?

It would look like this -

3.png

The second option is the default option as was in earlier releases. However, to get the benefit of the instant GRT feature for VMware and Hyper-V, you have to select the first option (Quick Catalog) while configuring a new backup job.

 

 

What about upgrade scenarios? If I have either upgraded from an earlier version of Backup Exec or have installed the FP4 patch, would the default Delayed Catalog options change automatically after upgrading to FP4?

No, the default option is still the second option as shown in the above screen.

Job properties will not change automatically, irrespective of whether it is a patch upgrade or a version-to-version upgrade. If you wish to use the “Quick Catalog” you will need to change the default option.

 

 

 

Any changes in the way we configure a host-based backup job (VMware or Hyper-V)?

No change. It is the same as in earlier releases.

 

 

 

For which storage devices, can I use the Instant GRT feature?

Backup Exec supports this feature for “Backup To Disk” (aka B2D) and for a “Dedup device” configured on the Backup Exec server.

For a tape device, you need to do a full catalog to achieve a GRT restore. Delayed cataloging for VMware and Hyper-V would not be supposed in that scenario.

 

 

 

Do I need to purchase any additional Backup Exec license to use this new feature?

No.

 

 

 

What are the system requirements for using this feature?

There are no new requirements for this feature.

 

 

 

Which applications/Hyper-V/ESX versions does this feature support?

All applications/Hyper-V/ESX versions are supported.

Refer to Backup Exec 15 FP4 Software Compatibility List (SCL) for more information.

https://www.veritas.com/support/en_US/article.000024530

 

Things to be consider for CAS/MMS configurations.

  • In a CASO environment, ensure that the logon accounts used for backups are added to the list of credentials on the central administration server and the managed Backup Exec servers.
  • If the backup set has been quick-cataloged, the storage hosting the backup sets must be online during restore browse because Backup Exec mounts the backup sets dynamically. In case of incremental and differential backup sets, all such related backup sets should also be accessible during restore.
  • In a CASO environment, open the following ports when one managed Backup Exec server tries to browse the backup sets of another Backup Exec server. This problem may occur in an environment where the central administrative server is on windows 2008 R2 and the managed Backup Exec server is on Windows 2012 R2.

          Refer to the Technote TECH49563 for the list of ports.

  •  In a CASO environment, it is recommended to browse backup sets either from the managed Backup Exec server that ran the backup jobs or from the central administrative server.
  • The Instant GRT feature needs some free space, a few MBs, to mount the backup set at the time of restore and dynamically browse and display the data. Ensure that there is enough free space in the storage device where you have stored the quick-cataloged backup set.
  • On a disk storage, create free space on the volume where you have created the disk storage.
  • On a deduplication device, create free space on the volume that hosts the TEMP staging area.
  •  A managed Backup Exec server that has been configured with the catalog mode as ‘centralized unrestricted’ can ONLY browse its own sets. This server cannot browse the backup sets created by any other managed Backup Exec server or the central administration server.  This limitation is true for all delayed catalog options.

 

Instant GRT Demo links

 

Related links

  1. Backup Exec 15 FP4 TechNote Download page http://www.veritas.com/docs/000097855
  2. Backup Exec 15 FP4 Release Notes http://www.veritas.com/docs/000108003
  3. Backup Exec 15 FP4 Readmes http://www.veritas.com/docs/000004566
  4. Available Now: Backup Exec™ Feature Pack 4 - with Veritas™ Instant GRT, Platform Support, Cloud Enha...

 

We hope you find this new Instant GRT feature of great value and invite you to share your feedback once you’ve had an opportunity to use it.

We thank you our customer and partners for providing valuable feedback during the development cycle. If you have any addition thoughts or constructive comments please let us know.

Thank you,

Backup and Recovery Team


 

2 Comments

Thanks!

Just to add to this useful information - as per our current Backup Exec update release practices, Backup Exec 15 FP4 is initially only available as a manual download from the links supplied in this blog. Live Update releases and the availability of a complete Backup Exec install with FP4 already included will follow in due course.

As such please do not expect to install this via LiveUpdate for at least a couple of weeks.