Veritas NetBackup Archive

Veritas NetBackup, an enterprise level backup and disaster recovery suite, acts as a heterogeneous cross-platform solution, was formerly known as Symantec NetBackup. Veritas NetBackup utilises a central master backup server, upon which one of many operating system may be installed, such as Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, Tru64, Linux and Windows. Data is streamed between the client computers and the backup media via the central master server.

NetBackup is supported by a wide variety of hardware devices, providing the ability to back up live databases and virtual machines or create snapshots. Veritas NetBackup is mainly used in the enterprise market, which means the need for data recovery is rare, with most examples sent for data conversion. The Veritas NetBackup underlying data structure is based upon a variation of the well-known TAR archive format.

Veritas NetBackup History

In 1987 Chrysler Corporation hired Control Data Corporation to create a backup software solution, who later used it for their own data archiving purposes. The Automated Workstation Backup System (AWBUS) was created in 1990, for which the first version on the SGI IRIX OS supported twin tape drives which utilised a robotic carousel. The product was renamed to BackupPlus three years later, by which time additional support for media Volume Management and Hierarchical Storage Management had also been added.

OpenVision Technologies the acquired this product and the developers later in 1993, renaming the product again, this time to NetBackup. When Veritas acquired OpenVision Technologies in 1997, they also took control of the NetBackup product family. In 2005, Symantec acquired Veritas and despite their own existing backup solutions, continued to market NetBackup. Symantec split their Information Management Business in 2005, which includes the NetBackup products, creating a new company called Veritas Technologies Corporation.

Features of NetBackup

While the main function of NetBackup is the ability to simultaneously backup multiple client computers, many other features as also present, including data encryption, data deduplication and image replication. Another additional functionality of NetBackup is the ability of creating snapshots of systems with purpose of securing or replicating another server.

The management functionality is provided through a Java based administration console, through which activity can be monitored. The creation and viewing of management reports can also be done using a web server.

Conversion and Recovery of Veritas NetBackup

Due to NetBackup mainly being used in an enterprise environment, the requirement for data recovery is rare. Requests for converting data from tapes containing NetBackup archives are much more common. The main use of Veritas NetBackup is within the enterprise environment, where multiple backups and other security measure are usually in place, making backup failures to be rare.

NetBackup archives often contain several multiplexed backup streams from several computer systems, which is the main complexity when it comes to recovering or converting data from an archive tape. Each backup must be de-multiplexed in order that the data from each computer can be processed correctly.

So far, we have not seen any corrupt data streams, with all data recovery examples featuring media damage. This requires an expert knowledge of the backup structure, in order to overcome the damage resulting from lost data blocks. Our tape data recovery at DiskEng have the experience and expertise to de-multiplex NetBackup data streams allowing data to be converted or recovered.

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