I want to AIR replicate my catalogs from one 7.7.3 master to another.
I found docs on how to AIR the MSDP... and that's fine. But I want to replicate all the catalogs so the new master knows what data is on what tape, including backups that don't use MSDP.
Any assistance would be appreciated.
AIR replicates backups. It does not as such replicate "catalog entries". Here's what you can do, if you have the storage capacity, either or both of these might be viable options:
1) Replicate the catalog backup of environment A to environment B - but this doesn't help you browse the contents of what was or is stored by or at environment A. And if you ever needed to determine the detail of what was once saved by environment A then you could catalog restore to a temporary VM to create an instance of an "environment A Master Server".
2) Replicate all backups from environment A to environment B - assuming you have sufficient compute storage and network capacity to do such a thing - and what this will achieve is that environment B will now contain and know about (in it's own environment B catalog) all about the backups that previously occured at or by environment A.
Environment B can never know about the tapes of environment A unless you transport the tapes from environment A to environment B and then import the tapes at/by environment B.
If you need an off-site database which knows about and is able to list everything owned or known by enviroment A then an offsite instance of OpsCenter can help you there. Or script up your own dump report of all backups and all config elements of environment A and get that emailed or FTP'd off-site.
You final option would be to AIR replicate the daily catalog backup from environment A on a daily basis and then merge that catalog backup and trim it into the live running catalog at environment B. But, this is non-standard, and not a supported end-customer action, and requires an approved "CatMan" specialist to do this. As to whether this could be automated, i.e. merge in only new entries on an daily basis... I don't know.
These poeple (Stone Ram) know about complex catalog merging, and I dare say (for a price) they might also be able to develop a custom tool-set for you to be able to achieve what you need - but it would be highly likely that you would need to re-engage them for every NetBackup Master Server version upgrade:
They have NetBackup "catalog" merging and manipulation tools.
Disclaimer: I am not, and never have been, affiliated with Stone Ram in any capacity whatsoever. I was once a customer of theirs, but not for their catalog merging tools... instead we used the Stone Ram guys to develop some reusable complex catalog reporting scripted tooling... and what I can certainly vouch for is that they really do understand how NetBackup catalog and its embedded relational database works at a fundamental layer.
As you identified in your quextion, and @sdo also stated, AIR can not be used to achieve this. AIR can only be used where the backup was to disk, and where it is already in a SLP that does the replication.
AIR is about IMAGE replication not catalog replication, and it works in conjunction with the disk replicating the stored image and then effectivly imports the catalog entry for it.
Depending on what it is you are trying to achieve there may be another solution...
1) If you want to have something that allows TWO independent master servers to know about each others backups.
This can be achieved by Merging Image, and Media Records from one environment into another where both environments are ACTIVE, is something we (Stone Ram) have a solution which will allow both environments remain active throughout.
2)If you want to have a WARM Standby master in you DR site.
This can be done by scripting a solution to perform a AUTOMATED restore from a Catalog Backup to a STANDBY master as a DR solution, this is something I have seen a few customers do. Note that both MASTER must have the same name, so the recovery has to be "sandboxed". As such only one Master is Active....