Symantec NetBackup Catalog Manipulation

By | January 16, 2015

Symantec NetBackup is my favourite enterprise-level backup software. Why? At first, NetBackup is a heteregenous software supporting Windows, Unix/Linux servers as a client but also a backup server (Master/Media Server). The second,  NetBackup features for VMware work good.

All NetBackup administrators or consultants know that Catalog is a heart of NetBackup. A NetBackup catalog is the internal database that contains information about NetBackup backups and configuration. Backup information includes records of the files that have been backed up and the media on which the files are stored. The catalogs also contain information about the media and the storage devices. Without regular catalog backups, you risk losing regular backups if there is a problem with the disk that contains the catalogs.

The NetBackup catalog resides on the NetBackup master server. It manages and controls access to the following types of data (NetBackup version 7.6):

  • Image metadata (information about backup images and copies (image header files))
  • Backup content data (information about the folders, files, and objects contained in a backup (.f files))
  • NetBackupbackup policies
  • NetBackuplicensing data
  • The NetBackup error log
  • The client database.
NetBackup Catalog on Windows

NetBackup Catalog on Windows

NetBackup Catalog on Unix

NetBackup Catalog on Unix

Now, I described what the NetBackup Catalog is so...let's answer for two questions:

When it is mandatory to use NetBackup Catalog Manipulation services? If you face one or few following scenarios:

  • Migration from an existing master server to a NetBackup appliance master server
  • Merging of two or more NetBackup domains
  • Splitting of a domain into two or more domains
  • Clustering of a non-clustered Master Server
  • Renaming of a Master Server or Media Server
  • Moving a Master Server to a new machine involving a host name change
  • Moving a Master Server to a different platform/operating system (Windows to Linux/Unix or Linux/Unix to Windows)
  • Un-clustering a clustered Master Server

you  can do it only with assistance of NetBackup Catalog Authorized Consultant.

When I don't need to use NetBackup Catalog Manipulation services? If you face one or few following scenarios:

  • Transfer NetBackup catalogs between Windows master servers with the same DNS name - e.g. when you refresh server hardware
  • Transfer NetBackup catalogs between UNIX or Linux master servers with the same DNS name

Sometimes, when NetBackup architecture is not complicated (e.g. no MSDP pool, SLP etc), you can merge two domains manually (using import tapes). However, this is a very long process and generally nobody wants to do it. I have done few Catalog Manipulation activities and recently my customer wanted to merge two NetBackup Windows domain. Doing the merge manually (importing hundred TB data, ~3000 tapes, NetBackup Catalogs: 400GB + 150GB) would take years... We did that project within 30 days.

NetBackup Catalog Manipulaton is also used when you need to re-organize your NBU environment because of DR solution. For more information please follow my another article: NetBackup Master Server Disaster Recovery – Overview

Authorized Catalog Manipulation consultant will help and prepare your environment to migration, merging etc. NetBackup Catalog. If you need assistance please drop me message via linkedin or twitter.

Author: Mariusz

Architect (~ 15 years experience based on passion...) with strong background as a System Administrator and Engineer. Focused on Data Center Solutions: Virtualization/Cloud Computing and Storage/Backup Systems. Currently living in Poland.