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Business Justification for Linux Vs. MS master/media servers.

Level 4


I am in a MS shop, and am having some difficulty changing the direction of the master/media servers from MS to Linux. (Solaris is simply not an option *sigh*)..

Our current environment is 2 MS masters, and 2 MS media, and the idea is to move to 2 MS VM masters, and 2 Linux media. This would not be an "upgrade" but a new environment to move to so I see no upgrade path issues, but I may have missed something.

Our data is in thirds, 1/3 is servers (700 and growing), 1/3 DB, and 1/3 SAN/Filers for approx 260Tb /month.

Why would we want to stay MS on the masters?
Why would we want to move to Linux on the masters?

I prefer Unix, but that is not a business justification. =)


Not applicable
For your piece of mind here is the Symantec Support Statement updated in the last couple of days.

DOCUMENTATION: Support for NetBackup™ in a virtual environment. (updated September 15, 2009)

I tested last year a Suse Linux VM Master with a Physical Windows 2003 VCB Proxy Server on 6.5.2 and worked fine.

Level 5
 For the amount of data your are talking about, Linux media servers are fine and MS Media/Master servers are fine too (2003 and above) as long as you have enough CPU/Memory and sufficient high speed NICs on board.  What I would not recommend is having virtual (VM) master servers - especially if you are looking to use VCB backups with your ESX servers. 

The justification I thing would be in favour of MS Master servers at least (no problem to use Linux media servers, perhaps even a good idea as they may handle the data traffic better) because of the sheer numbers of them in use around the world. The more in use, give a more immediate feedback to Symantec engineering and result in a more robust and well supported platform. Again, I personally would avoid using a VM master server if I could. Perhaps some Symantec guys could comment. In addition if you are looking to import your old catalogs from old to new platform, it will be a more straight forward job to go MS to MS rather than MS - Linux (not to say of course that it is perfectly doable). 

I have seen very heavy data loads going through complex environments on MS 2003 servers alone and they were extremely reliable. At the very least, if you do go for Linux, you will need a dedicated (and fast) admin console to be hosted on a Windows box as it is, in my experience far more functional & with many more features than the Java based equivalents you would need to use on a Linux platform. 

Level 5
 Interesting .... Thanks

Level 6
NBU was first developed to run on SunOS.


Level 6
Employee Accredited Certified

Whatever OS and Hardware you choose for Master Server, ensure that you have enough CPU power . If this is going to be a media server also, get more RAM


Partner    VIP    Accredited Certified
Unix/Linux scripting capabilities is much better than Windows one, if you are using a lot of scripts this may be substantial. However, this only makes sense if you are using CLI.

Level 6
In past there were serious limitation about how much data an x86 server running MS could push but those limitations are kind of long gone and these days performance on two platforms are comparable. It's true that with linux/unix you can do lots of tuning, tweaking, scripting etc easily but if you are not a linux/unix expert then it doesn't do any good to you. Perhaps this planning and perfromance tuning guide can give you a better idea.