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Universal Shares Use Cases

Level 4

Been reading through all the admin guides and came accross Universal Shares. Wondering what the use case is? Prior to 3.2. it seems it was just a NFS/CIFS share with Deduplication enabled against it but no other direct integration witn NetBackup. From 3.2 we have Protection Points:

"Starting with appliance release 3.2, the Protection Point feature supports direct integration with NetBackup. A Protection Point is a point in time copy of the data that exists in a Universal Share. Creation and management of a Protection Point is accomplished through a NetBackup policy, which defines all scheduling and retention of the Protection Point. The Protection Point uses the same "Standard" policy type that is used for UNIX/Linux systems. Once a Protection Point for the data in the Universal Share is created, that point in time copy of the Universal Share data can be managed like any other protected data in NetBackup. Protection Point data can be replicated to other NetBackup Domains or migrated to other storage types like tape or cloud, using Storage Lifecycle Policies. Each Protection Point copy is referenced to the name of the associated Universal Share."

This seems useful! Is anyone using it and what use cases have you for it? Feedback would be much appreciated!Smiley Very Happy



Level 6
No direct experience but as far as I’m aware, Universal Shares are only supported on NetBackup Appliances. However I would assume Universal Share point in time copies can be replicated to non-Appliance targets.


Level 4

Just checking back in here. Can anyone elucidate for me? :)

Hi @shocko 

I also have not used this feature, but my understanding on its use case is for workloads that do not have anything directly supported by NetBackup (e.g. NBU agent or Vmware guest etc.). 

The protection point is merely a way to grab a point in time copy of the data dumped into the share for further use. 

Hope this helps - and maybe someone who is using this feature can chime in.


Level 6
Recently we recommended Universal shares to a customer who is predominantly taking offline dB backups (dump and sweep). This could be a very useful feature for such customers.

Advantage 1 —- using a universal share it’s assures you a point in time copy on appliance.
Advantage 2 — customer gain here is they don’t need to allocate storage space from their SAN. Universal shares can be mapped as nfs.
Advantage 3 — if their offline backups have any stringent timelines they can have partial relieve Once data is dumped on universal share the further backup to tape or msdp can also run out of backup window without impacting network or dB servers .

So can the NFS client that created the backup to the universal share not delete that backup i.e. once they have created it is it truly protected?

Hi @shocko 

I haven't played with these on NetBackup 8.2 - only more recent versions.

The NFS client that dumps the data into the share can definitely delete the data from the share. 

If you have run a backup of the share then the data is protected by NetBackup. I'm not 100% sure of the mechanism, but it can be likened to creating a snapshot of the share when the policy runs (the data is already in the MSDP, so there is no requirement to transfer data).

In later versions of NetBackup the policy type of Universal-Share is available which makes it clearer what is being done. In addition, universal shares are now available on BYO media servers (as long as they satify the requirements - e.g. RHEL 7.6-7.9 etc.).


Maybe I'm over complicating my attempts to understand it. SO the NFS client is unaware of protection points etc. and simply treats it as an NFS share of which it has full control over the data therein. IN the background though Netbackup can keep that data as a protection point providing a point of restore?

That's about it in a nutshell.

Remember though that until you run the backup against the uinversal share, the data is NOT protected.

Level 0

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