NetBackup OST just got cooler

I just got off the phone with the folks at Symantec where we talked about NBU 6.5.4.  The thing that stood out for me were the enhancements for OST, so I thought I’d talk about those.

I’ve already blogged about OST and why I think it’s so cool. It signficantly increases the value of an intelligent storage device, like the one that EMC just paid way too much money to acquire. 😉

One of the things I’ve always wanted to do was to have backups replicated from my datacenter to an alternate location, and then to make a tape copy of it from there.  Those tapes would never leave the tape library, but would be the “just in case” copy.  OST makes it possible to get the copy there, and for NBU to know about it, but until 6.5.4, you could not make that tape copy at the remote site without some scripting because NBU always wants to duplicate/clone from the primary copy, and there can be only one primary copy.  Before 6.5.4, you had to write a script that would temporarily promote the remote copy to be the primary while you were copying it to tape.  It worked, but it was clunky.

NBU 6.5.4 introduced the concept of “hierarchical duplication,” which allows a storage lifecycle policy to choose which copy it wants to make a copy from.  This will allow my desired design to work without having to script anything.  Nice job.

In addition, 6.5.4 also supports the concept of doing copies direct from the intelligent storage device to tape without having to transfer those bits back to the media server.  While this is in the product today, none of the OEMs have supported it yet.  I wrote about this in my open letter to EMC employees.I’m also a big fan of this, but I’ll have to wait a while for the vendors to support it.

----- Signature and Disclaimer -----

Written by W. Curtis Preston (@wcpreston). For those of you unfamiliar with my work, I've specialized in backup & recovery since 1993. I've written the O'Reilly books on backup and have worked with a number of native and commercial tools. I am now Chief Technical Architect at Druva, the leading provider of cloud-based data protection and data management tools for endpoints, infrastructure, and cloud applications. These posts reflect my own opinion and are not necessarily the opinion of my employer.

4 thoughts on “NetBackup OST just got cooler

  1. psustman says:

    NetBackup 6.5.4, released a few weeks ago, supports new Symantec OpenStorage (OST) features, including OST Direct to Tape.

    Many customers have a large investment in tape and need to move backups to tape for compliance and long retentions. OST Direct to Tape better integrates disk into backup environments that have a large investment in tape.

    This new feature builds on the tight integration, ease of use and performance increases customers are seeing with NetBackup OST. OST Direct to Tape allows NetBackup customers to duplicate backups directly from an OST capable third party disk appliance to a tape device without moving the data back up through the NetBackup media server. That’s a huge gain in overall backup performance.

    The tape created by the OST vendor is in a native NetBackup format so it’s portable! OST Direct to Tape can be combined with OST Optimized Duplication so NetBackup customers can duplicate a backup image using the OST appliance’s built-in replication, set a unique retention on the duplicate backup image, and then move it off to tape at a remote site. Very cool.

    I’m happy to report that today Quantum, a Symantec OST partner, announced support for the new OST Direct to Tape feature. Here’s the press release I found:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Quantum-DXi7500-Becomes-iw-211015764.html?x=0&.v=1

    Quantum’s OST solution with support for OST Direct to Tape has been qualified with NetBackup 6.5.4 and is listed on the NetBackup HCL as a supported solution:

    http://seer.entsupport.symantec.com/docs/284599.htm

  2. cpjlboss says:

    I wrote this blog entry several days before the Quantum press release hit the wire. Yes, they do indeed support that feature.

  3. thompson says:

    we’re a Netbackup shop, and i’m hunting for a VTL to back up a couple hundred TB of NDMP over FC.

    the OST Direct to Tape definitely puts Quantum at the top of my short list, but i’m wondering if any of the other VTL vendors will be adding the same support imminently?

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