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Taking Backup of Client/Media server 8.3 with Net backup master server 7.6

Level 3

Hi everyone,

We have a big backup environment with a 7.6 solaris10 master server. I understand that we are not able to take Exchange 2019 backup with lower (client/media) version than 8.x so I installed Media server 8.3 on Exchange 2019 and tried taking backup with my low version master server 7.6 and it worked! my question is if anyone has any idea about this situation and is there any risk to keep up with this situation, with lower master server agent than client?

P.S.  we are not able to upgrade our master server at this time.

Thank you 



Level 6
Partner Accredited Certified


When I had try it with a 7.6 server and a 8.2 client it was a big failure as for 8.2 (and 8.3) you have to install the master certificate.  But 8.2 was new back then, so maybe I was wrong.

My experience using clients with bigger version than the master is that you will have no problem as the backup is working.

I do not have experience with 8.x clients in older environments and the biggest problem is support. If something goes wrong you will find no help.

I suggest you to create a new netbackup environment, if you can not upgrade the current master. At least until you upgrade.


Thanks for your quick response. Didn't you have any issue in restoration or in you catalog backup after taking client/media with lower master server version? 

Level 6
   VIP    Certified


My take would be this is blind luck it is working - btw did you try to restore? having backups does not mean you are able to restore. Also let me quote from about upgrade:


  • For compatibility between major versions, the latest available release of NetBackup is compatible with media servers and clients that run a release of NetBackup that is up to one major version behind. However, this compatibility ceases to be supported in any configuration once the previous major version has reached its End of Support Life.
    For information on Veritas End of Life Policy, refer to
  • NetBackup does not support any scenario where a media server or client runs a software release update version that is higher than that of their Master server.
    For more information, refer to the NetBackup Release Notes and the NetBackup Upgrade Guide:


So if you will face any, any even tiny issue with this env - Vertias support will wash their hands and point you to above - my take.


Thanks for your great notes. Actually I haven't tried to restore this backup yet. I will do it and let you know the result.


Partner    VIP   

Hi @support2015 

I can only sanction @quebek statement. 

Don't run unsupported configurations

If Exchange is a backup issues, install a separate Netbackup 8.3 Master / Media server.




I tested restoring this backup. when I tried to restore in alternate destination , it failed but it succeeded in original location.



Thanks for your response.Regarding your suggestion for installing new master dedicated to Exchange backup, we do not have extra tape library to do so and it is not possible to partition the current library.

Level 6
   VIP    Certified


Lucky you - nonetheless I would refrain from taking these backups using unsupported configuration. Knowing Muprhy's law when you will need this restore, something will go wrong and you won't even in position to open case with Veritas.

If you have license for Media server - I think this can be converted to master - so create master/media on supported NBU release and take it form there... This is what I would do, but this is your env and I will leave it up to you.

Hi @support2015 

I can only endorse what the others have recommended, do not go with a unsupported configuration. You say you have a big backup environment, why are you allowing it to be run at risk?

My question to you is why can you not upgrade your master server to a supported NetBackup version? 

I imagine that you will continue to run into issues like this as other applications are upgraded and the old unsupported version of NetBackup will not work with them.

Remember that there is no reason why you cannot have a lower version of media server and/or client connected to an 8.x master. 



Hi David,

There are two reasons for not going to 8.3 :

1) There is no direct upgrade from 7.6 to 8.3 and it should be performed gradually (going to 7.7 and then 8.3), and there are too many Media servers/Clients which need to be upgraded. This  needs enough down time too.

2) I couldn't make sure and understand the way of capacity based backups in 8.3. currently our licenses are not capacity based and my question is if our licenses work with 8.3 in this way.

Finally, my plan is to divide my backups and configure some of them (with low retention policies) with new master server (8.3) and then start upgrading the old master.

I appreciate if you and others could disambiguate number 2 for me



Level 6
Partner Accredited Certified
  • Upgrade to 7.7 from 7.6  is a very simple operation.
  • You do not have to change your licenses to capacity in order to upgrade to 8.x or 9.x
  • splinting your big environment is a good idea


capacity license is based on the total TB of the actual data you have on your systems. (used capacity).

you can calculate the used TB with netbackup nbdeployutil command

or using opscenter


Thanks, very useful. is there any way to upgrade from 7.6 directly to 8.3?


Level 6
Partner Accredited Certified

I do not know. I'm trying to keep my customers updated, not necessary to the latest version but in support range.
I do not see any problem with the direct upgrade but you have to read and understand both 8.0 and 8.3 upgrade guides.

In the 8.3 upgrade guide

The NetBackup 8.3 upgrade guide provides an upgrade path from NetBackup version 7.7.x and later to NetBackup 8.3. Information about required upgrade steps for older versions of NetBackup are removed from the NetBackup 8.1 and later upgrade guides. This change simplifies the upgrade procedure for customers with more current versions of NetBackup.

For a successful upgrade from older NetBackup versions directly to 8.3, you must:

Refer to the NetBackup 8.0 Release Notes to understand the changes to NetBackup.

Refer to the upgrade procedure that is listed in the NetBackup 8.0 Upgrade Guide.

Combine the upgrade steps in the NetBackup 8.0 procedure with the upgrade steps in the NetBackup 8.3 Upgrade Guide.


Hi @support2015 

To get to 8.3.x you will need to step through an intermediate version. This is as 8.3 will not support the upgrade from anything below 7.7.1 (the database schema update scripts do not go back beyond this version). 

I guessing that you don't currently have any MSDP in your environment (based on your comments on licensing). As such upgrading is much simpler (there are no considerations regarding the MSDP changes). 

To upgrade from 7.6 to 8.3, I would first upgrade to 8.0 or 8.1. The upgrade does not have to be done all in one hit. Start with the master and upgrade it, then work through the media servers one by one. There does not have to be any significant downtime (the master server upgrade should only take 1-2 hours to complete). Once everything is at the intermediate level, then repeat to process to get to 8.3. Client upgrades are always a challenge, but are not disruptive to the client operation (clients can jump directly from whatever version they are now to the new version or highest supported version - no need for intermediate steps). 

As for licensing, if you are on traditional licensing now (where each component used has a license), there is no requirement to change going to 8.x or 9.x. Capacity licensing is a great way to go as it allows you stand up NetBackup servers as you need, and also utilise advanced features such as MSDP. Converting from traditional licensing to capacity is relatively simple (you can "trade-in" you existing licenses for capcity licenses) but not necessarily cheap (have a chat to your local account team). The capacity value used for licensing is the amount of data being protected. 


Thanks David, yes you right. we don't have MSDP so our upgrade process is easier. But as I understand from your poit, we should first upgrade to 7.7 (minimum supported version) and then 8.x

Just one question, what is the advantage of capacity license in comparison with traditional license?

and what happens if the backups pass the threshold of capacity license? Does this stop the backups?

Level 6
Partner    VIP    Certified

Someone will probably give a more detailed response, but my personal view is as follows:

* Capacity licenses are generally better if you want to backups a lot of small servers and you don't need to take into consideration the amount of servers you backup and also don't need to know CPUs on servers etc for different tiering of application licenses.

* Traditional licenses are generally better if you backup a small number of servers that have a large capacity.

I personally prefer the capacity licenses for the simplicity of it. If you have XTB of data then you need XTB license and not need a license per client etc. Though as mentioned above, it all depends on the cost between the 2. Some work out better for some people than others.

If you go past the capacity then nothing technically happens, as it's a trust based license (unless that's changed recently?), but as the newer Netbackup uses Smart Meter then it does report the capacity home (if internet connection is there). Plus if you got audited and you didn't have the sufficient license then that won't go down well.

Hi @support2015 

@Nick_Morris has most of the story, the one thing he missed (but did allude to) is with capacity licensing, you can stand up any number of NetBackup servers and use any feature available with having to concern yourself about whether you have to pay for new licenses or not. Rightly the question will come down to cost, although with the advanced disk based solutions you gain the ability to do granular recovery of things like Exchange (which is not possible with tape). 

As for exceeding capacity - Nick is correct, backups will continue to operate, the licensing (whether traditional or capacity is honour based). Although with version above 8.1, smart meter (recently rebranded to NetBackup Usage Insights) does allow you and Vereitas to monitor your usage. 

And yes, you will need to upgrade to an intermediate version before you can upgrade to 8.3 (or 9.x). I would go to 8.0 first rather than 7.7 (to go with a supported version - even 8.0 has reached the start of extended support).



I created the Traditional Licensing Report by NetBackup Deployment Utility (nbdeployutil) and have some questions.As I look at this report I see the numbers of my clients and media servers, which are currently using the licenses but I cannot find out how many licenses are remaining to use. I also have 5 tiers summary with same OS categories (Unix, Linux, Windows..) but cannot understand the difference between the tiers. Could you please explain these two items for me? (1.How to find the remaining licenses 2.the tiers concept)





Very useful. thanks