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NetBackup - DataDomain (VTL) replication

Level 5
Partner Accredited
Attached is a diagram of the backup environment. The back up of all the clients are performed in the local site, they're stored in the  DataDomain (VTL). The historical backups are duplicated to tape and send them out. For the critical data, it is required to have a second copy of the backup. Due to the RTO established, it's not practical to save this second copy in tape and stored in a vault. So then, the second DataDomain (VTL) was installed in a remote site to replicate a pool of virtual tapes containing the critical backups. In the remote site, there is a media server to control the VTL. At this point, the second VTL is already configured like a storage unit and the virtual tapes are replicated and syncronized,  but they can not be added because the duplicated media label.
I'm exploring the idea to deploy  a master server in the remote site to replace the media server...  I need help to tie up the loose ends to make this solution works.
Which could be the best way to integrate the DataDomain replication with NetBackup and take advantage of it with no need of new licensing? Btw,NetBackup is licensed per TB.

Level 3

I assume you have an existing VTL environment prior to DD,the reason for choosing the DD VTL option as backups.I would suggest the use of DDBoost OST from NB to DD for backups (preferrably on 10G network) to avoid the hassles of VTL deployment and better performance and utilize the NB managed file replication from onsite DD to offsite DD.

If your environment is inclined for VTL option for backups ,then I would think of a scenario where the onsite Media server can be zoned to atleast one tape drive at the offsite DD VTL.

Level 5
Partner Accredited
Unfortunely, VTL is not optional.... In the local (production) site the DD  like VTL has been working during the last couple of years... until today the second DD is being integrated to the environment though.
The integratation with NetBackup is the part that is not so clear and it is flexible to configure the server in the remote site like media or master server...
In the other hand, I'm afraid it's not possible the zonning between the offsite VTL to the onsite media server because the offsite VTL is directly attached to the offsite media server. 
Does anyone has DD replication with the VTL option integrated with NBU?
I'll appreciate any help on this. 

Level 6

It seems you have a very specific requirement, media tape ID on local VTL site needs to be the same as remote VTL site. This requirement makes it more difficult to manage, at least from the point of Netbackup.

If the above requirement is not needed, there are a few options you can explore:

1) Still under a master server domain, use optimized duplication between your local site & remote site media server. Setup MSDP with SLP on both sites, note that even though it's backing up to MSDP, you can still add another duplication target to tape storage in both ends. 

2) Setup one master in remote site, use AIR (Auto Image Replication) to replicate images between 2 sites.

In both options, Netbackup keeps a separate set of tapes in both VTL, they do not have the same mediaID but as long as you have a report and process to map it correctly, things should be all right.

Level 6
Partner    VIP    Accredited Certified

There is no option to integrate VTL replication with NBU.

DDBoost and OST work just great with NBU and even AIR is now supported.

My suggestion for this environment:

  • Have a Master/media server at remote site with same hostname as Prod.
  • Write catalog backups to NFS share on DataDomain at Prod site that gets replicated to DR site along with VTL media.
  • At DR site, recover catalog from NFS share, inventory VTL robot, and 'Bob's your uncle'!

Level 6

NetBackup 7.6 will support OST over FC I'm told....

So you can do a NBU managed replication via VTL on the DataDomain in the near future.  When, I have no clue.

Level 5
Partner Accredited
At the end, this is the configuration we decided it was the best in order to not affect the Prod site and also not require any extra feature:
.Both DataDomains (Prod and remote) are configured as VTL completely
.In the remote Site, there is a second master server configured in a diferent NetBackup domain from Prod, it has its own hostname and the Prod NetBackup catalog is not being copied to this second master server
.A pool of virtual tapes containing the critical backups is replicated to the remote DataDomain 
.Through the reports from NetBackup Admin console in the Prod master server, we identify the tape that contains the backup we need to restore. Then, this tape is imported in the remote master server using the catalog utility
.Adding the remote master server as master in the client configuration, enables us to restore the data 
.Until this point everything works well, it is a simple and manual solution but works. 
.After some restore tests , we realized that the normal backups (files) can be restored without issues. However, the test we haven't completed is the restore of SQL and Oracle databases. For SQL Server the restore test has been launched using the NetBackup for SQL utility, from the client. For Oracle databases, the DBA is running RMAN scripts. In both cases, the error is that restore process tries to query the NetBackup catalog that doesn't exist in the remote master server. 
At this time, I'm looking for a workaround to be able to restore SQL Server and Oracle databases,  with no need of the catalog.
I was thinking that for SQL we can do it from the Backup, Archive and Restore  utility from the remote master server. For Oracle, is there a way to specify all the parameters in the RMAN script, in order to restore from the remote master server (that already has the needed tapes imported) without query the catalog ?
Maybe I should to open another forum post, but here it's described the environment completely. I thought it was easier for you guys help and give some ideas... Thanks in advance!