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Safe and Easy One-Click Upgrade of NetBackup Flex Scale

Level 2

So, everything in your backup infrastructure is stable, but now a new release is available. You would like to procrastinate but know this isn't a good idea. You need the cumulative security fixes, the availability of new features or functionalities, or other support requirements. However, in your experience, upgrades can be complex and are risky, time-consuming, and highly disruptive.

NetBackup Flex Scale makes upgrades extremely easy with a one-click upgrade that initiates a simple process that automates the update across all the nodes in the cluster. The update comes as a single downloadable package that includes any necessary updates to the OS, system drivers, NetBackup software, security fixes, cluster management software, or other software updates.


  • Rolling upgrades that are minimally disruptive
  • Automatic rollback in case of failure
  • Ability to run from either a web UI or API calls

It works by upgrading the platform software (OS, security fixes, and drivers) one node at a time in a rolling fashion, followed automatically by upgrading the NBU software. As part of the upgrade process, mirror volumes and container snapshots are created, allowing for automatic rollback in the event of an upgrade failure.

If you have configured a single-domain, dual-site config, the upgrade can be triggered from either cluster, and it will automatically initiate the upgrade on both clusters simultaneously.

The time it takes for the upgrade to complete is dependent upon the number of nodes in the cluster and the package content. But don’t worry, since we do rolling upgrades and have a containerized architecture, upgrades are minimally disruptive!

Upgrade Process

One-Click Upgrade of NetBackup Flex Scale.pngTo initiate an upgrade simply:


  • connect to the cluster using either API calls or the web UI and add the package either by manually uploading it or allowing the system to check online and download
  • click to start the upgrade

This initiates the automatic portion of the upgrade, which is broken into three phases:

Phase 1: Pre-Check

The upgrade will automatically run a pre-upgrade check to ensure the cluster is healthy and is ready for upgrade. If there is a problem, the upgrade will not proceed and will generate an error message with details.

If the precheck passes, the upgrade process automatically continues the next phase of the upgrade.

Phase 2: Platform software upgrade

This phase starts by upgrading the platform and storage software. It works by:

  • creating a mirrored partition on each node.
  • installing the new rpms in this mirrored partition thus preserving the previous version so that it can be rolled back in case we run into upgrade issues.

Note: During this time backup and restore jobs can continue running on all the nodes in the cluster!

  • Once the mirror partitions are upgraded, each node is restarted in a rolling fashion and boots off the newly upgraded partition.

After the infrastructure upgrade is complete, phase 3 is automatically initiated.

Phase 3: NetBackup software upgrade

Phase 3 upgrades the containerized NetBackup services and involves:

  • taking container snapshots
  • stopping NetBackup services
  • upgrading the NetBackup service containers

During this phase backup and restore jobs will fail, but the services are automatically restarted after the upgrade completes, and job scheduling will resume.

Roll Back

If there is a problem with the upgrade on any node at any time during the upgrade, all the nodes will automatically be rolled back to the previous version. The container snapshots and mirror partitions created as part of the upgrade are used to automatically roll back the entire cluster to the state that it was in before the upgrade.


In summary, NetBackup Flex Scale provides a rolling upgrade that is super easy to run and minimizes the impact on your backup and recovery jobs. It removes administrative overhead and risks by providing automatic rollback of the entire cluster.

For more details on how to upgrade a NetBackup Flex Scale cluster, check out the install and config guide.

For more information on NetBackup Flex Scale check out this white paper.