Backup Exec Deduplication option is a great feature to reduce storage data and eliminate duplicate data to be backed up.
The Deduplication storage opotion provides media server side deduplication and remote server side deduplication to reduce network bandwith and optimize storage device. Please note that client side dedulication is available only on remote servers and not on Backup Exec server (media server).
Let’s check below how to create Deduplication backup job.
Go to Backup and Storage tab > right click on a remote server > choose Backup > choose Backup to deduplication disk storage
Now you can select the files and folders for backup selection by clicking Edit in left panel. It is advisable to run a complete full backup of any server to dedup storage first time for best dedup results. Now click Edit right panel
Now go to storage option and selection Dedup storage. By default Client side dedup is enabled for both Full and Incremental backup job.
Note: sometimes client side dedup backup may fail due to some network related issue then manually change to server side dedup and run the backup job.
Client side Dedup backup is failing
If client side dedup backups fail then you need to check if it fails for one server or multiple remote servers. Normally it fails or one specific server not all servers. It could be any server like windows, sql, oracle, exchange etc. Now in order to fix the client side dedup backup, first check how the server is added to Backup Exec server (media server) like, with IP address, or host name or fully qualified domain name.
If added with host name then add the remote server with IP address or vise-versa. You can go to backup and restore tab and locate the remote server which is failing client side dedup backup then right click on it and choose option Establish Trust. Then you can try the backup job. You also need to ensure that port 10000 is open on the remote server.
You can edit the backup job and go to Network and select IPV4 and try the backup job.
You can add IP and host name of the remote server to backup server’s host file, restart the server and then try the backup job. If reboot of the server is not possible then restart the backup exec services then try the backup job.
You can also install the latest patches on the Backup Exec and then update the remote agent on the affected remote server then reboot the server and try backup client side dedup backup, it should be successful. Dedup storage services can be restarted as well. However once the Backup Exec is patched up with latest, then all the remote servers should be updated as well.
Deduplication storage feature is one of the most useful feature in Backup exec which save a lot of storage space and reduces cost.
Deduplication storage eliminates duplicate data in the storage system and writes only the unique data which reduces the backup windows and saves a lot of space in the storage and ultimately save money as well.
While you create a backup job for Dedup storage you get to choose two option : Client side Dedup and Server side Dedup. The recommended way is client side dedup where data is written and processed on the client server which is the remote server and then only unique data is sent across the network to write on to the dedup storage.
This process also reduces network load and minimizes backup window and it does not use the resources of backup server so that backup server can complete other tasks smoothly. We’ll discuss in detail in the separate blog.
Lets check how to create a Dedup storage in Backup Exec 20
First of all click on Backup Exec icon on top left side of the console and choose > Installation and Licensing > Install features and licenses on this Backup Exec server
You get below window which shows all the licenses which are installed. You can also added new licenses and install it. Now click Next
Here you get all the features and options to choose. We’ll check Deduplication and click Next
Next window prompts you to choose the language and click next
Next windows will install the Dedup option
Now the installation of Dedup option is finished
Now go to Storage tab and click > Configure Storage > and click next
Now in the next window choose > Disk-based storage and click next
Now choose Deduplication disk storage and click next
Now you can give a name and description for Dedup
Here you can choose the drive where you want to configure Dedup storage. Note that any drive which is already added to backup server can be configured as a Dedup storage. You can configure multiple Dedup storage on a backup server as well. If you had configured dedup before then old Dedup storage can be imported as well.
In case you delete Dedup storage from Backup Exec console and not from the drive where it was configured, you can still import it using import an existing deduplication disk storage device.
Dedup storage needs a separate user account which you can add here
You can add a dedup user account by clicking Add
Now choose the dedup user account and click next
Next option suggests you to chose encryption if you wish. Usually not required dedup encryption
Now you can choose Concurrent operations which is how may jobs you can run at a time. Maximum is 16 which is recommended by Backup Exec
Now you can click Finish
Now you can click Yes to create dedup storage
It will start creating dedup storage
Click Yes to restart services
Now dedup storage is configured successfully
Now you can create backup jobs and Dedup storage will appear in storage options.
Lets check how to create a windows backup in Backup Exec 20 and schedule it.
There are multiple ways of creating backup and restore jobs in Veritas Backup Exec. We’ll discuss all the methods here.
Go to Backup and Restore tab > right click on the server where you want to create the backup job > choose first option > Backup > choose storage device from > drop down disk / tape / Cloud etc, whatever is configured in Backup Exec
Then it opens the backup job wizard. If the windows server is a virtual machine then you get below option to choose. You can choose any as per your backup method. I would prefer Agent-based backup. If it is a physical server then you don’g get this option.
Then it shows you two panels > left panel is to create your backup selection and right panel is job property to chose several custom options. By default it selects entire server and turns on the green light as highlighted below which means that complete server can be restored in future in case of hardware failure.
If you modify the backup selection list then the green light goes off and it does not Simplified Disaster Recovery.
You can also modify the backup selection list by clicking Edit
If you want to add multiple server in this same backup job then you can click the + sign and add any server
Now you can customize the backup choosing below option. By default Backup Exec creates Full and Incremental backups
First option is to schedule the backup job where you can decide when both Full and Incremental backups should run.
You can modify dates, days, week, month etc. You can also include / exclude date and time for full backup and same for incremental backup. Full backups are the primary backups to schedule and run and later incremental or differential backups can run.
If you want to add another Full / Incremental or Differential backup, you can add by clicking > Add a Backup Job and you can schedule them as well
Now you can choose Storage device for Full and Incremental backups. It is advisable to use same storage device for both Full and Incremental backups for smooth restore in future
Now you can choose the retention period which is Keep for. You can choose different retention period for Full and Incremental backups depending upon the type of data
Now you can choose IPv4 or IPv6 or any specified network you may want Backup Exec to use for backup. Click > Network and choose
Next option is to choose the recipient for backup job status notification where it failed or succeeded. You can add or choose by clicking Manage recipient for both Full and Incremental backup or any one.
Test Run can be enable as well which is just to run a quick check if backup is going to be successful. There is any failure it will notify. Test run is used for long backups with huge amount of data which may run for 3 – 4 days or weekend jobs to ensure job is going to be successful
Verify is a job which runs at the end of every backup and restore job in Backup Exec. This is to check the health of the backed up data to any storage device. Sometimes some backups fail during verify state. In this case verify job can be configured and run separately. It could be configured for Full or Incremental or any backup which fails during verify.
Advanced Open File is used while starting the backup job which helps to take the snapshot of the backup list before running the backup job. By default Automatic is selected. If backup job fails during snapshot process then choose > System – Use Microsoft shadow copy provider. Usually this is not required.
Offhost backup is specific type of backup which is used to improve the Backup server performance.
Pre/Post Commands option is used to run some custom script most on linux server. User prefers to run some script before and after backup jobs. Not required normally unless specific reason from user end
Files and Folders option is used to customize the way backup runs internally. You can also modify backup methods if the user environment has some restriction. Usually this option is not needed to configure anything.
Microsoft SQL option is only for sql server backup which allows you choose option and decide the backup method
Exclusions option is another feature which allows you to excluded some files or folders from the Backup selection.
Finally you can click OK and ready to run the backup job.
Being a backup administrator it is important to make a backup plan to protect your environment.
There is a huge difference between Full, Incremental, Differential and Duplicate backups. In order to optimize the backup operation and save storage space, it is very importance to create a backup method depending upon the criticality of the data which would help you to recover your data in the shortest possible period during any event of disaster.
How to design an effective Backup Plan
Type of data and its criticality
How frequent the data changes everyday so that you can run backups accordingly
How much is the base backup and changed data hourly/daily/weekly/monthly and how much storage space you may need.
How to keep a track of growing data and storage space
In case of tape storage, how many tapes you may need and rotate tapes daily/weekly/monthly/yearly etc.
Besides the above point you need to design your backup schedule that is also very important task to optimize the backups. Now scheduling the backup jobs again depends upon the overall data change across your environment including all departments. Also time taken to rebuild a particular server or database in case of hardware failure.
For example if you have a financial database which is very critical data and it changes hourly, then you may consider to run full backup daily and incremental backup every two hours / four hours which will ensure that every change is backed up. You should also consider running differential backup every weekend.
Lets discuss the types of backups.
Full backup is considered a baseline backup which creates a reading points for other type of backups like Incremental and Differential. Full Backup will backup the whole data which is selected for a a backup of a server or source device each time it runs. It will not check or reset the archive bit or anything.
Any file whether is modified or not, each time you run a Full Backup, it backs up everything. It includes backup to a tape library, tape storage, disk storage and cloud storage where it will backup the full data in every Full backup and does not save any space, in fact Full backup occupy a lot space in the storage.
Besides that it would occupy same amount of data as per the total data size. Full backup will not do any de-duplication or avoid duplicate data. However you run full backup to a de-duplication storage then it would not backup same data regardless of type of backup and would backup only unique data to the dedup storage.
Incremental backup will backup data which is changed since last full or incremental backup. It will back up only block level changes since the last full and incremental backup. But the differential backup will backup all data changed since the last full backup.
Note: It is advisable to use same storage device for full and incremental backups which is accessible to back exec server.
Backup window of incremental backup will be shorter since it would backup only the changes since previous incremental or full backup.
-Full backup runs on Sun which is the baseline backup.
-Incremental backups run on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri and Sat.
-Now the incremental backup which runs on Mon will backup only changed data since full backup of Sun
-Tues incremental will backup data changed since Mon incremental
-Wed incremental will backup data changed since Tues incremental
-Thu incremental will changed data since Wed incremental
-Fri incremental will backup changed data since Thu incremental
-Sat incremental will backup changed data since Fri incremental
Again on Sun a full backup will run and same cycle will follow
Now if there is hardware failure occurred before next full backup runs, then you will need a last completed full backup and all the completed incremental backups to restore the complete data.
Lets check the above example where full backup runs on Sun and incremental runs Mon – Sat. Now if the backed up server crashes on Sat then you would need last Sun full backup and all the incremental backups which ran from Mon-Sat so that server can be restore till Sat. If you restore full backup and lets say incremental till Wed only, then server will not have all the data. The data of Thu, Fri and Sat would be missing.
The differential backups will backup all the data which was originally selected in the full backup, changed since the last full backup. And the incremental backup will backup only the data changed since the last full or incremental backup. It depends upon you how you want Backup Exec to detect change of data which can be configured by modified time / archive bit / Backup exec catalogs.
Also, it is advisable to run Full and Differential backups in same storage device accessible to backup server.
Note: Backup selection list should not be changed without completing a full backup cycle. In case any backup selection list is changed then a Full backup should run first then the following incremental or differential or both should be run.
Differential backups will consume a lot of space since it will have all the data changed of previous full backup. However, it helps to restore complete server data faster as you need only a full backup and last differential backup which results in fewer media files in the storage device lesser changes of restore job failure.
Duplicate backup is a copy backup of any backup where duplicate backup is configured. You can run duplicate backup backup Full, Incremental and Differential backup. For a duplicate backup you will need two type of storage as duplicate is configured between two storage device.
If you have only one type of storage then duplicate job is not possible. However you can duplicate backup between two similar storage devices like Disk to Disk but it is not considered a good strategy.
Normally, you can run duplicate backup from Disk to Tape or vise-versa. You can also run Duplicate backup from Disk to a Dedup storage or Tape to Dedup which is the best way to save storage space as well. You can also run duplicate backup from Dedup storage to a disk to tape which will also save storage space as dedup storage will backup only unique data and avoid duplicate data.