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How-To: Rapid Backup And Restore With FlashArray And NetBackup

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Today's enterprises must protect and retain an ever growing amount of data while the time window open for data backup and restore becomes smaller. These contradicting trends present a new set of challenges for Information Technology personnel. The traditional archiving hardware generally is not able to quickly store large amounts of data in a short amount of time available for backup.

Veritas NetBackup and CloudPoint in combination with Pure Storage FlashArray make those seemingly impossible tasks a reality with nearly instantaneous backup and restore. With CloudPoint intelligently managing FlashArray snapshots and NetBackup cataloging those snapshots, rapid backup and rapid recovery are becoming a reality.


NetBackup, a time proven backup solution integrates with CloudPoint, a snapshot management offering from Veritas allowing to take a full advantage of FlashArray hardware based, nearly instantaneous snapshots. The architectural diagram of the FlashArray, CloudPoint, NetBackup repaid backup and restore solution is shown in Figure 1. The backup process consists of the following steps:

  1. Backup is initiated on Master Server 
  2. The request for FlashArray snapshot is send to CloudPoint
  3. CloudPoint requests volume snapshot on FlashArray
  4. Volume snapshot is taken on FlashArray
  5. Master Server is notified about successful snapshot completion and catalogs it
  6. Optionally with Storage Lifecycle Policy, data is moved to different media for long term retention (not shown in Figure 1)


Figure 1.

The process of the integrating FlashArray with NetBackup and CloudPoint is described below.

Configure Snapshot Management Server

Minimum supported versions:

  • NetBackup: 8.1.1 or higher (8.2 or higher for SLP support)
  • CloudPoint 2.0.2 or higher (fully licensed) 
  • FlashArray Purity 4.8 or higher

In the NetBackup Administration Console select Media and Device Management ➤ Snapshot Management Server ➤ Actions (Menu) ➤ New ➤ Snapshot Management Server. Provide CloudPoint Host Name and click Validate Server.

nb _cp2.png

Figure 2.

After successful server validation and accepting the certificate, provide CloudPoint credentials. The newly added snapshot management server (CloudPoint) will appear in the middle pane.

Configure or Add New CloudPoint Plugin

The assets managed by CloudPoint require plugins. The FlashArray plugin is included with CloudPoint however, it must be first registered and configured with NetBackup. 

Use NetBackup Administrator Console to configure FlashArray CloudPoint plugin.

In Snapshot Management Servers screen in the center pane select snapshot management server to be configured and right click in the rightmost pane and choose New CloudPoint Plugin... in the pop-up dialog. See Figure 3.


Figure 3.

In the Add new Plugin dialog select Pure Storage FlashArray and provide the Plugin ID (friendly name such as array name), IP address of the array and credentials. The configured plugin should appear in the rightmost pane of the Snapshot Management Servers window. Optionally, the FlashArray plugin configuration may be verified using CloudPoint management - see How-To: Configuring FlashArray with Veritas CloudPoint.

Configuring NetBackup Client

The NetBackup client must be able to resolve the CloudPoint server name to the IP address. Ensure that proper DNS record or hosts file entry exists.

Create Backup/Snapshot/Instant Recovery Policy

It is beyond the scope of this article to describe all available NetBackup policy options. Only FlashArray and CloudPoint related tasks are highlighted.

Only volumes which are located on FlashArray may be backed up and restored using methods described below. 

In the NetBackup Administration Console select NetBackup Management ➤ Policies  ➤ Actions (Menu) ➤ New ➤ Policy.. In the Change Policy dialog select:

  • Policy type: Standard
  • Snapshot Client and Replication Director: ✓Retain snapshot for Instant Recovery or SLP management
  • Snapshot Client and Replication Director: ✓Perform snapshot backups ➤ Options

See Figure 4.


Figure 4.

In Snapshot Options dialog select:

  • Snapshot method for this policy: VSO
  • Configuration Parameters
    • Snapshot Type: Clone
    • Maximum Snapshots (Instant Recovery only): as required
    • Snapshot Host: CloudPoint server configured earlier

See Figure 5.


Figure 6.

When creating Schedule ensure that under Destination: Instant Recovery Snapshot only radio button is selected if no Storage Lifecycle Policy is desired .  See Figure 7.


Figure 7.

For Storage Lifecycle Policy (SLP) configurations Snapshot and copy snapshot to a storage unit radio button must be active. See Figure 8.


Figure 8.

Backing Up And Restoring From Snapshot

The process of scheduling and executing the backup is identical to backups using other policies.

For restoring from snapshot select Restore Type: Point in Time Rollback with corresponding source and destination clients. See Figure 10.


Figure 10.

Before restoring from snapshot target volume must be unmounted on host operating system.

In the Restore Marked Files window select Force rollback even if it destroys later snapshots option. See Figure 11.


Figure 11.

After successful restore job completion the file system may be mounted.

For restoring from data which has been already moved to another media based on Storage Lifecycle Policy select Normal Backups. 

Appendix A

Sample Storage Lifecycle Policy for snapshot based backups. See Figure 12.


Figure 12.