Re: [Veritas-bu] NetBackup Fibre Transport Client Backups

2009-10-13 15:27:26
Subject: Re: [Veritas-bu] NetBackup Fibre Transport Client Backups
From: william.d.brown AT gsk DOT com
Date: Tue, 13 Oct 2009 20:22:09 +0100
Simon, I think that some of the replies on the list are not quite correct. 
 We are implementing the SAN Client/FT Media Server for a production data 
centre, and I've spent several months working on it in our test labs.

It's true that the documentation is slightly confusing, especially if you 
don't get the latest versions.  The book to read is the Shared Storage 
Guide that was updated at 6.5.4.  There is also a technote with 
troubleshooting information.

The *licence* for the SAN Client is the same Enterprise Client licence as 
allows you to run the SAN Media Server, and this naming causes a lot of 

You do indeed need an 'FT Media Server', which is a normal media server 
that has some very specific fibre HBAs installed.  There is a *very* 
narrow support matrix.  The only supported platforms at the moment are 
Solaris/SPARC and Linux (I think RHEL4, and that is new at 6.5.4).  We are 
using Solaris/SPARC.   We are using Sun-badged Qlogic HBAs; the HBAs must 
be Qlogic, and again only some are supported.

These HBAs are reconfigured as part of the setup to work in target mode. 
This incidentally causes various tools like 'fcinfo' to not see them at 
all any more.  You can do this 'card marking' in a server other then the 
one you want to use as an FT Media Server, e.g. to cut down downtime. Once 
marked the HBAs can be installed where you want.  *But* on Solaris only 
target HBAs on one PCI bus will be used, so you need to choose a server 
that not only has a fast PCI-X or PCIe bus but also enough slots on that 
bus for your needs.  There are limits on the number of ports an FT Media 
Server can support, about 4 I think (2 x dual-port cards).

A special driver by jungo is attached to these HBAs in the FT Media Server 
when you enable the function.  You will then have a couple more NetBackup 
processes running, and the server will be presenting to the SAN two 
'ARCHIVE Python' tape targets per HBA port.

You must create touch files in /usr/openv/netbackup/db/config:

NUMBER_DATA_BUFFERS_FT - should be 16, maybe 32 on Solaris, but on RHEL 
there are other limits, read the technotes.
SIZE_DATA_BUFFERS_FT - set to 262144, fail to do this and it uses the 
value in SIZE_DATA_BUFFERS if writing to tape and SIZE_DATA_BUFFERS_DISK 
if writing to disk; but FT fails if the value it uses is above 512K.

The SAN Client uses the Standard Client install (even though it uses the 
same licence as SAN Media Server, it does not use the same code).  This is 
one of the plus points, smaller code and it is just the normal client, 
very easy to manage and update.   You zone the HBAs on the client to the 
FT Media Server(s) target ports.  As usual, don't mix tape & disk on the 
client HBA port; but you can use *any* HBA in the SAN Client.

You have to configure the OS to find the drives, varies by OS.  The Device 
Configuration Guide now has information on SAN Client, though it took me 
some time to work it out.  I could give you more detail off-list and I'm 
only the other end of Gunnels Wood Road.  Windows and AIX were very easy. 
Once the OS can see the ARCHIVE Python devices, you can enable SAN Client 
function.  Entry in bp.conf, or there is a  CLI command to enable it. Then 
run bp.start_all, which reports 'starting FT client' whether it is enabled 
or not!

Many reasons for it immediately shutting down:
1)      No SAN Client licence on Master Server
2)      Trying to run on a server that has a 'server' install, not just 
the client

Performance can be good, it depends on how slow your LAN is.   Our GbE LAN 
can be as fast as the SAN Client, because the limiting factor becomes the 
speed the Media Server can write the data to disk or tape.   It should be 
faster, it should use less resource on the SAN Client as the Ethernet 
overhead is gone - but if you used TOE cards it would make less 
difference.  But if a server was on 100Mb, then backing up over 2Gb fibre 
would be a lot quicker.  Our plan is to eliminate SAN Media Servers and 

There is a lot of small print about multiplexing, which is a bit 

There are a number of new OIDs to learn for logging.  You will want to 
find the 'nbrbutil -listOrphanedPipes' command.  I found at least on 
WIndows that the bpbkar log  had some new information when logging was 
turned up about retries and errors on the fibre links.

William D L Brown

"WEAVER, Simon (external)" <simon.weaver AT astrium.eads DOT net> 
Sent by: veritas-bu-bounces AT mailman.eng.auburn DOT edu
13-Oct-2009 17:20
DOT edu>

[Veritas-bu] NetBackup Fibre Transport Client Backups

Hi All 
Currently looking into the SAN Client / Fibre Transport clients. 
Wondered if anyone else has implemented this on 6.5 and any pros cons? 
While readin the SS Guide - it seems to imply you need a "Media" Server, 
but does not really explain if you can use a "Master" Server for this 
(even though a Master / Media Server is on the same box)? From the looks, 
it seems that I need an FT Media Server to handle this !
Any comments would be appreicated, even if it is a "dont do it"  :-) 

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