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Totally Annoyed with Granular Recovery & NBU 6.5.3


I have had nothing but drama when it comes to NBU 6.5.3 with Exchange Granular recovery and SharePoint document level recovery. I’ve had several issues with Exchange granular recovery with Exchange 2007 including catalog backups failing and most recently the inability to actually browse/drill down into mailboxes.
Symantec has spent all week trying to get this to work reliably and they have not been able to. SharePoint document level backup and restore has not worked for me since day one, and Symantec have been working on it for a month now.
This makes it extremely difficult for me to convince the business the NBU is a superior choice to BackupExec. Especially when they already use BackupExec and Exchange backups work perfectly fine, and without the need of disk-based storage.
I wish the sales people better explained the many caveats that go along with Exchange and SharePoint granular recovery. If we knew that the technology was reliant on disk-based storage, and that we’d have to reserve double the amount of storage space for Exchange/SharePoint just to hold and be able to recover two day’s worth of backups we might have re-thought the idea.
To say I’m disappointed in the product is an understatement. I know NBU has been around for some time, but I think the granular recovery options for Exchange and SharePoint are still quite immature.
I was about to abandon Exchange granular and go with 1 policy for Exchange info store backups and one for public folders and mailboxes. Now I get tons of error messages and what took 1 ½ hrs using the granular method, took 10 ½ hrs and generated heaps of access denied and other error messages!
I’d like to know if anyone has had any similar experiences (good or bad) with regard to NBU 6.5.3 and Exchange/SharePoint and what they have done to provide a reliable backup and recovery solution.


17 Replies

Backup by Mail Store

I an on and backup both exchange 2003 and 2007

All my exchange backups are via Mail Store or Mail Store Group
So all my restores are by Mail Store Group to a RSG.
I have no issues backing up at MSG level.

Backup by Mail Store

I am on and backup both exchange 2003 and 2007

All my exchange backups are via Mail Store or Mail Store Group
So all my restores are by Mail Store Group to a RSG.
I have no issues backing up at MSG level.

So that's more of the traditional approach..

This means to do a restore, you have to restore the entire info store to the RSG first yes?

I was wondering about the success rate of actually using the GRT feature that Symantec says is avaialble that allows in a single pass, the backup of the infor store as well as granular recovery, when selected.


Not there yet

Yes, right now for me to do a restore I have to restore an entire SG to a RSG.
So if I needed to restore I would setup my RSG for SG2-1, then I would restore SG2-1 and the logs that go with it to the RSG.  Then I would use exmerge to create a pst file.  then we would find the email they were looking for and move it from the pst to their outlook.
Or I could just use exmerge to merge the restored mailbox into their current.

The Draw back to this is that I don't know if the email they are looking for is in that day that I restored or not.
This is where the GRT feature would be really really nice...
I have given the documentation to my Exchange people, but so far they say there is a lot to setting it up and we just are not going to do that just yet.

I keep hoping they will let us start working on the setup, but Not there yet.

GRT would be nice indeed...

If it worked!  What I find most peculiar is that I'm led to believe that a lot of the GRT code in NBU 6.5.3 is the same as GRT in BackupExec. This works well and right now in my organization.  So how do I convince them to abandon this for NBU? 

You are right, there is a fair bit of configuration required.  Our Exchange admin was not happy about having to install services for Unix to run NFS client.  Believe it or not, a recommendation by Symantec is to actually run a media server on the Exchange server, therefore eliminating the need for a proxy.  License costs aside, I wouldn't even contemplate trying to sell the idea of NBU media server running on our Exchange box!


Exchange box a media

We have actualy thought about this as a SAN Media server.... meaning the Exchange server is just incharge of backing up himself.  The sever is already busy sending all his data to the media sever, why not just send it stight to the tape drive.  This should make the backups faster, and yes a bit more over head while it is backing up.

I love the thought of the GRT but it does seem like a lot of set up.

Try to explain the customer

Try to explain the customer why he have to install NFS client on Exchange host or AD (6.5.4)

We have Exchange server as

We have Exchange server as NetBackup SAN Media server, due to the huge Exchange DB backup crossing LAN (even Gbit Ethernet) takes too long.  Plus its backup competes  a full blown Media server's network bandwidth (and other resource) with other LAN client backups.

The footprint of NBU SAN Media server is not big.  Yes it has extra license cost as well as resource (CPU, memory, HBA, backup devices) cost.  So the point is what you want to achieve (RTO, RPO, SLA) and what budget you can get.

Right now we do the SG level backup just like J. Hinchcliffe.  I am looking forward for chance to configure and test GRT.

Thanks guys

Thank you all for your comments. 

I don't need an explanation as to why NFS is used.  I wouldn't care as long as it actually worked.  The RSG approach  seems to be well supported.  I was hoping to hear from someone that was actually using GRT, but no response as of yet.  (Perhaps an indicator of its "widespread adoption"?)

My support from Symantec appears to be waning, as I'm getting suggestions of not using GRT.  Seems like its getting all to difficult to resolve.



Has anyone that posted in

Has anyone that posted in this thread made any progress with GRT?

I have been battling this for a few months now.  On our 8th custom binary from Symantec now.  I believe the issue is with mail stores somewhere around 70+ GB.  I was seeing success full GRT backups of mail stores at about 40GB and smaller, unfortunately all of ours are at least 100GB after a recent redesign.   A little background:

-Master is 6.5.4 ORHEL 4 in VMware.
-Media is Win2k3R2 x64 on an HP580G5 w/ one quad core processor and 8GB of ram (i mention the specs because i think we might simply need more ram).
-Exchange 2007 server is Win2k3R2 on HP BL45p's. 

- I have tried with the NFS patch from Microsoft and without.
-All GRT backups end in a status 1.

I'm testing another exchange cluster for GRT backups with a media server on identical hardware but running ORHEL 4.  The job stopped transferring data (99GB with an estimated 118GB) at 84% and roughly 40 minutes into the job.  The time elapsed right now is at 3 hours 15 minutes... still at 84%.
I know that it should be indexing what it just backed up, but there is 0% processing on the media server and little to none on the exchange server.  Also, the NBFSD process on the media server is showing as Sleeping!

So is ANYONE getting GRT enabled backups to work? Are you all seeing similar activity?


We thinking about going with GRT

when we upgrade, but after seeing that so many people have had issues with it, I think we may pass.

Any one ever got GRT working?

I've been struggling for more than 6 months with Sharepoint GRT backup / recovery.
Was hoping Netbackup 6.5.4 would resolved the issue, but it did not.

I even setup a isolated lab environment to test this out and still unable to have Sharepoint GRT working.

I would love info about GRT & SharePoint 2007

I set up a thread a while back asking for people's experience with SharePoint 2007 & NBU 6.5.4, but I never got a response.  I would love to hear what works and doesn't.

> I know that it should be

> I know that it should be indexing what it just backed up, but there is 0% processing on the media server and little to > none on the exchange server. Also, the NBFSD process on the media server is showing as Sleeping! I think we have the same problem (slow indexing). see my logs here:

SharePoint 2007 and GRT

Well, we have been working with BackLine support now for some time and as yet have been unable to get GRT working correctly. Our issue is that some of our content databases are over 4 GB and it simply will not do a GRT on anything over 4gb. Anything under works fine. Would like to hear that someone has it working.

Smaller content DB's

Maybe we won't have that problem as all of our content DB's are going to be restricted to about 100GB.  We will be testing soon, so I will keep you posted.

Wait, you said "4GB"....did you mean only 4GB or did you mean 4TB?

Not working here either.

I can get the backups to work fine, but when I go to do a restore, and try to drill down into the Mail Store folder, it gives an error saying it can't find the files matching the specified criteria.  Sound to me like the indexing of the database isn't working.

I'm on 6.5.4 running on Solaris 10, and Exchange 2007 on Window 2003 SP2.