What is Veritas NetBackup and How does NetBackup work?

In NetBackup concepts we’ll discuss the common terminology and how backup and restore functions.

We know that one of the import part of NetBackup is backup policy and it has some different options to choose to create a backup job (backup policy) such as Attributes, Schedules, Clients and Backup Selections. Lets looks at these options below:

NetBackup policies: the heart and soul of NetBackup

The first option is Attributes which talks about how the backup will be performed like and where the backup images will be saved. The Schedules talks about what types of backups will run like Full backups / Differential Incremental backups / Cumulative Incremental backup, when the backup should run and how long the the backups data will be retained.

The Clients option is a list of clients and which clients should be backed up in this policy. The Backup Selections tells us which client or data should we backup in the policy. All these information is stored in a centralized way in the NetBackup Master server.

Note. Latest NetBackup version may have more backup policy options and additional tabs or additional settings for specific product such as Vmware, Oracle besides the above for options. For more information please visit link: https://www.veritas.com/support/en_US/article.100040281

Backup storage types

While initiating a backup job to send the client’s data to storage device NetBackup collects all these information and it is called backup image. NetBackup takes this backup image and sends it to a backup storage destination such as a disk, tape or OST storage. It can also be SAN storage or NetBackup appliance or third party appliances.

Another backup destination is cloud storage and NetBackup supports a verity of cloud vendors as well.

The NetBackup Catalog

Catalog is a very critical data of backup application and it contains information about NetBackup environment and index about all the data that have been backed up and can be restored. The catalog is kept in the Master server.


The NetBackup Catalog is broken up into two sections :

The NetBackup database (NBDB) – The NBDB is a proper relational database and stores information about media and device data which also known as EMM (Enterprise Media Manager) and also stores a lot of other information as well.

NetBackup configuration files – This stores information about the NetBackup environment however it is not stored with relational database. It keeps some add hoc files information like policy, schedule, attributes etc.

One of the largest part of database is image database which is partially stored in NetBackup database and partially in NetBackup configuration files. Also, it is configuration file which takes largest part in the catalog area. The catalogs file keeps growing as the NetBackup gets older in an environment.

The data backup process

Lets discuss how the data backup works in NetBackup. So the way we perform backup it stores centrally in the Master server within the backup policy. When the NetBackup scheduler runs to determine that it is a time to run a backup > a media server is chosen to perform that backup > Now the media server will read the backup from the client machine > and send that data as an image > to the storage destination be it a disk, tape or other storage. The media server can be the same system which is a Master server as well.

During the backup the backed up data information is sent to the Master server and that information is going to be stored as catalog in the master server. Now when the backup is complete we can see the result of the backup through the job logs to find out if it has failed or successful. If failed then why it has failed.

The data restore process

During the restore process, the restore job is initiated by a backup administrator from the Master server or by a client > The restore job connects to the Master server and initiates the restore job > Now the Master server assigns a media server to perform the restore of actual data > Now the backup image on the storage device is read by the media server and actual data to be restore is sent to the destined client > As the process is progressing we can see the status of the job in NetBackup logs and reports.

For more information please visit : https://www.veritas.com/ > Backup and Recovery > NetBackup

NetBackup clients and agents

The above is the list of clients and agents supported. The first three clients are the Standard clients, Enterprise clients and Application and Database Pack. Other client like Enterprise Vault does not require any additional license. It is advisable to check Veritas NetBackup website for current and updated supported agents.

NetBackup Options

NetBackup also provides a of comprehensive selection of performance, security and storage management options to match your backup and recovery need in your environment.

Some of the options are listed here including data protection and optimization option which provides deduplication and acceleration functionality. The NetBackup shared storage option provides a shared tape drive across media servers.

Related post – How to install NetBackup Administration console?


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