we have a ton of macs that are configured to be backed up nightly. a lot of these are laptops that people take home sometime, and therefore we end up with a ton of failed backups in the activity monitor.
this 'pull' mechanism for laptop backups seems to not work very well, due to the machines being mobile so much.
i'm wondering if there is any convenient (i.e. doesn't require some elaborate client-side cron job or scripting) to do a kind of 'push' backup for these machines. something like they connect to the internal network, and then wake up and start backing themselves up to netbackup. kinda/sorta like time machine i guess.
I can't think of a good way to accomplish this without involving yourself in some sort of scripting on the client side, like setting up cron to try to ping the master or a media server and if that's successful, manually run a `bpbackup` command of some sort. Anything involving that level of scripting is outside the scope of support, unfortunately, and you already said you wanted something more convenient than that, so you've probably already gone down this road of thought. Sorry I don't have a better answer!
You can set up backup policy with "User Backup" type schedule, and set up a cron job on the Mac clients to run a simple job - use the bpbackup command with the options you specified - hopefully these clients only need to back up the home directory, not the whole system. You may want to run the cron job couple times a day so the client doesn't miss the opportunity to be back up.
Take a look at the bpbackup command and its options in the NetBackup 6.5 Command for Unix and Linux Guide, page 46.
Alternatively, you could run the backups on these during the day?
Yes, lots of people shy away from that option, but for a user machine is it really that bad?
Even better would be to use PureDisk (it's a little expensive if you don't have it already though).