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Correct Configuration for Catalog Backup

Hello everyone ,

  Imagine a scenario that someone has been using Netbackup for five years and in the past five years  they have offsited more than thousand  tapes , one day their tape library caught a fire and obviously their catalog tape(s) which were in the library are lost too.

   if we assume that they have disaster recovery files ( configured in catalog policy at "disaster recovery "  tab) , still they depend on those catalog tapes .

so here are the questions :

1- can they use the off-sited tapes and read their contents with a newly installed Netbackup app ?

or those tapes are totally unreadable?

2- what should we do if we don't want to be dependant on catalog tape(s) ?

Thank you So much

Netdigest
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Re: Correct Configuration for Catalog Backup

your comment definitely helped me Steve. I am so sure they have  Microsoft Access database which helps them  find out what is on each of off-sited tapes .so,  they can do the two steps "tape import procedure" .

 

 

Netdigest

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Re: Correct Configuration for Catalog Backup

Hi Kasra,

For point 1, yes you can use the other offsite tapes without a catalog (ie: a new NetBackup install).  You will need to do what is known as a two phase import.  Unfortunately these take time, and if you have thousands of tapes it will be a nightmare.  Coupled with that, is without the catalog you are unlikely to know what is on what tape - except if you can guess by the date the tape was offsited, or if you have specific barcodes for specific backup types.

For point 2, you don't give any information as to wether you only have the one site.  If you have more than one site, you could use SLP's and AIR (Auto Image Replication) to replicate backup images and catalog information to one of your other sites.  I have a PROD and a DR site with a virtual Master and a 5230 appliance at each.  The backup is performed to the local appliance and then duplicated to the remote site appliance via SLP and AIR.  The catalog on the remote Master is also updated at the same time.  In the end that means I have copies of all backup images at both sites, and the catalogs at both sites also contain the same images.  Due to this, I no longer use tapes for catalog backups.

If you only have one site, then the above may not be useful as if your site burns and that is the only copy - you're up **bleep** creek without a paddle Smiley Happy

I'm not sure what license you have (capacity or traditional), but there may be something in NetBackup's cloud connectivity solutions that could possibly allow you to duplicate a copy of your catalog to the cloud.  I can't comment further on this (I haven't dug into that side of NetBackup yet), but hopefully someone else can provide some more ideas.

Hope this helps,

Steve

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Accepted Solution!

Re: Correct Configuration for Catalog Backup

your comment definitely helped me Steve. I am so sure they have  Microsoft Access database which helps them  find out what is on each of off-sited tapes .so,  they can do the two steps "tape import procedure" .

 

 

Netdigest

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Re: Correct Configuration for Catalog Backup

Why you just not simply offsite daily full catalog backup?? In worst case scenario you will loose 24h of catalog informaiton, but from the other hand you will have access to 1k+ tape being off site - after catalog recovery of course.

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Re: Correct Configuration for Catalog Backup

I agree with @quebek - send Catalog Backup tape offsite with each batch of backup tapes that go offsite.

Be sure you take good care of DR-files - configure email notification so that that a copy of the DR-file is sent to the backup team after each successful catalog backup. 

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Re: Correct Configuration for Catalog Backup

I don't know why the catalog policy allocates two tapes ( while the first tape still has lots of free space) , and if we want to off site two tapes just because of catalog data , this makes us to buy too many tapes.

instead I have created a basic disk at Storage Units and I have changed the catalog policy to copy Catalog Data to the defined Disk instead of tapes ( I do guarantee that the content of that basic disk is protected and is replicating to two remote sites.)

the email is already configured and sends the information about catalog disaster recovery .

what is your idea about this config ? is it right or what?

Netdigest
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Re: Correct Configuration for Catalog Backup

Hi Kasra,

Wether the config is right or not depends on your environment, policies and processes.  What works best for you, and gives you the highest level of confidence and redundancy, based on the resources you have is the right choice.

Both @quebek's and my responses solve the same problem, using different methods - but the result is the same....the catalog is protected and no longer has a single point of failure.

There are various reasons as to why your catalog is using two tapes (It's not uncommon and you'll find plenty of hits in this forum if you Google it).  If you are still concerned, then open a new post and we'll try and help you out.

Steve

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Re: Correct Configuration for Catalog Backup

If you are replicating the basic disk storage used for catalog backup, you should be able to recover the catalog from the replicated storage. 
If the DR-files are on the same replicated storage, you should be able to test catalog recovery at the remote site. 

Your configuration can only be declared 'right' after you have completed a successful DR test. 
DR testing should then be repeated on a regular basis.