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How to back up Netbackup 7.5 master virtual machine


We have Netbackup catalog backups running every night on our Netbackup master vm (NB7.5.0.6 Win 2008 R2) but we don't do an actual OS backup. I'm vaguely concerned that if we do a VM backup with a snapshot that this might impact on Netbackup somehow. Can someone advise?

Would it be better to configure a Netbackup file system backup using the backup client? The server is dedicated to Netbackup so there is no other data on there relating to any other systems. 




9 Replies

A snapshot is just a copy in

A snapshot is just a copy in time effectively, it should be fine to do.

However, do not substitute this for a Catalog backup. Ensure you are regularly backing up the catalog.

If you ever had to restore from a backup of the Master, you would want to recover the catalog if newer, never backed up a VM in its entirety that is the master to see if it would still work as you are backing up a live database really.



Think about this scenario.

Think about this scenario. Your data center explodes. You go to DR and start up some ESX hosts. How do you recover your master server?


Riaan, you just opened up the

Riaan, you just opened up the OP post a bit better.

OP, are you stating that you just want a snapshot backup of the Master and are not snapshotting the VM to then back it up outside of your VM environment (preferably to tape or a disk on a non-VM system) ?




Steve - I don't think it is

Steve - I don't think it is possible... in a DR situation... for a non-existent master to somehow wink in to existence (unless spooky action at a distance?).  In short a master cannot recover itself.  I guess you might want to backup certain special elements of the master, e.g. in case you goof with some edits... so maybe backup the hosts file, and the vm.conf file, and maybe /db/class (i.e. the backup policies) and maybe System State if you want to retain the Windows Event Logs for a long time, or maybe the NetBackup logs but really that's about it - apart from of course the catalog backup which must be taken - and saved off-site.

In a DR - you need an existing running master, or a warm box (with just an OS and the NetBackup installation kits) which is forever sitting idle ready waiting doing nothing ready for a server re-name before installing NetBackup and recovering a catalog backup - or detailed build instructions pre-prepared to do it all from scratch.


I guess you could

I guess you could periodically shutdown the virtual master and clone (not Storage vMotion) it from one VMware DataCentre to another.  But be very very sure to never fire the two up in the same (or routable) network.

I would never snapshot a running virtual master.  I would never clone a running virtual master.  Any copy of the virtual master needs to be utterly clean because there's a database inside it - and there's no native method to synch (quiesce/pause, flush, snap, release/resume).

IMO I wouldn't even shutdown the NetBackup app and clone a running OS with a shutdown application - because you could never guarantee that Windows would survive.  To be certain, it has to be shutdown.


Dont ever vm a master or

Dont ever vm a master or media server...its just another needless layer of abstraction.

I disagree.  If I was to

I disagree.  If I was to virtualize any server part of NetBackup, it would most probably (in my mind) be a master.

For example, a while ago, trying to run Windows 2012 R2 natively on a certain vendors 'blade' raw tin (at the physical layer) was near impossible.  The simplest thing to do was to install ESX (very easy) and just run one virtual machine inside (very easy)... i.e. a NetBackup Master.   Ok, so the OS wasn't native on tin, but there was no noticeable impact... big CPUs, big RAM, big SAN - ran with no issues whatsoever.  Let's face it, we all virtualize big MS Exchange, big MS SQL, big Oracle... why not big NetBackup masters?

Recovery was... have another blade at the other site, ready, just with ESX, and the Windows VM, up, ready, (with a diff name), receiving OS patches, had NBU installation kits sitting local, and the manuals, and the procedure, in "txt" form - waiting for a server rename and and reboot and master install and master catalog recovery.


Never. No good reason

Never. No good reason to....tons of bad reasons. Just cuz you can doesnt mean you should.

My view: Recover master the

My view:

Recover master the same as physical:

  • Install OS using same hostname,
  • Install and patch NBU to same version as before.
  • Recover catalog. 

See Disaster Recovery chapter in NetBackup Troubleshooting Guide