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Archive for October, 2015

Mission creep with mail restoration

3,500 backup tapes containing Commvault Galaxy backups from which selected emails are required within 30 days might seem like a tall order, until the tapes arrive and turn out to be 1400 TSM backups on LTO2, 1200 Galaxy on LTO4, 900 NetBackup on LTO1 and LTO2, along with a selection of additional DATs and AIT tapes of unknown origin (it transpired that these were AS/400 SAVLIB). The water having been muddied it now turned to sludge as the court deadline to get the data turned out to be 30 days from 18 days earlier, so there were 12 days until the deadline. One other small detail, the email system in use had changed at some point from Notes to Exchange.

Planning around formats such as NetBackup and Galaxy where there is at least the option to position along tape to filemarks and get backup set information without having read every block of data is one thing, for TSM there was no option but to read every block of every tape and identify all of the file present.

Under such circumstances using the originating backup applications is not an option, for NetBackup and Galaxy where this would be possible, the infrastructure set-up requirement prior to starting work would take us past the deadline. With TSM it is just not an option. To meet the deadline tapes had to be “spinning” from day 0.

This is where the benefit of having written your own “non-native” restoration software and having spent years proving it in live situations reaps rewards. Rather than needing media servers to host drives & backup servers to host backup software, we were able to process the tapes using single PC systems each with 4 tape drives attached and scale up to 60+ drives running simultaneously on a 24/7 basis, filtering the file information as we went to identify Exchange backups and Notes files and where found process the tapes in question and restore the data. The deadline was met, not easily, but a day early.

Whilst there are cases where using the originating “native” backup application is the way to go, in a case like this being able to scale up processing with the relatively simple addition of Windows PCs each with multiple tape drives and no requirement for additional servers is what made it possible.


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NDMP Restoration – No filer required

The restoration of data that was backed up from NetApp and EMC appliances, when those appliances have been retired, has long been a source of angst for IT departments. Do you have to retain appliances in case data is needed? Do you just accept that data is lost or that legacy hardware will have to be re-commissioned if a restoration from an NDMP backup is required?

Altirium’s “restore-on-demand” service now provides a solution with NDMP support being an integral part of Altirum’s much vaunted ADR Suite tape restoration software. Whether you have NetWorker NDMP backups from a NetApp filer or NetBackup backups from an EMC Celerra, files can be restored from your tapes direct to USB disk and returned to you quickly.

Contact Mark Sear or Laura Sangster on 01296 658737 to find how your access to your NDMP backups can be retained without the main of maintaining legacy systems.

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