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Hardware Thread, Sun Storage 7110 Backup Options in Technical; It may simply be that BE knows how many remote devices I'm licensed for and won't let me connect to ...
  1. #16
    Duke's Avatar
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    It may simply be that BE knows how many remote devices I'm licensed for and won't let me connect to any more. I can't remove any of the others to find out though as they're all in use. I'm in a meeting most of the morning but plan to call Symantec after that and see if they can shed any light on the problem. I can't believe it just 'won't work' so there's probably a simple explanation here...

  2. #17
    RobFuller's Avatar
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    Duke; let us know how you get on as I'm very keen to get a working solution for the backup.

  3. #18
    Duke's Avatar
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    Not good news on our end unfortunately, but it doesn't mean this isn't possible. Because we've had Backup Exec for so long (since the Veritas days) and have bought various different upgrades through different resellers, Symantec Support has no way of telling me exactly how many remote devices we're licensed for. They didn't really understand my problem either which wasn't a big help.

    We could have hit the limit for the allowed number of remote devices, but I have no way of really knowing. The fact I can't connect to a C$ share on a Windows PC certainly suggests this isn't a SAN problem. As we're on backup Exec 10d, Symantec have basically turned around and said they won't support us any more as it's an end-of-life product so I'm a little stuck now.

    I can price-up doing a full upgrade to Backup Exec 12, but it's going to be a big job to do so I'd rather leave it until next summer and tie it in with the virtualisation project (when I'll need VMware backup licenses anyway).

    My plan for now is to map the CIFS share as a drive on the Backup Exec server and back it up as a local drive from there. I assume this will work but haven't tested it yet.

    Sorry guys, doesn't look like I'm going to be much help. Would be really good to know if someone else gets it working though, I really can't see a reason why it wouldn't...

    Chris

  4. #19

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    @Duke
    We were in the same position as you with Backup Exec, plus when we went to buy the upgrade licenses they said we weren't eligible and that we had to buy the full version!
    Ended up going with CA Arcserve as you can buy competitive upgrade licences which worked out a lot cheaper and to be honest works really well. You can get a trial version off their website.

  5. #20
    Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teejay View Post
    @Duke
    We were in the same position as you with Backup Exec, plus when we went to buy the upgrade licenses they said we weren't eligible and that we had to buy the full version!
    Ended up going with CA Arcserve as you can buy competitive upgrade licences which worked out a lot cheaper and to be honest works really well. You can get a trial version off their website.
    Cheers mate, I might have to give that a look! Backup Exec has always worked okay for us but it's never blown me away as being particularly user friendly...

  6. #21
    RobFuller's Avatar
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    The pilot thickens...right going to have to sit down and thrash this out and get something working!

  7. #22
    Duke's Avatar
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    You can get a 60-day trial of Backup Exec 12.5. If it'll help anyone then I'm willing to install it on a test machine and try it with a CIFS share on the S7000 if I can get everything working. I know you probably shouldn't virtualise your backup server, but can anyone see any issues with putting Backup Exec on an ESX VM just for testing?

    Let me know if it'd help and I'll try to get it done.
    Chris

  8. #23
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    I come bearing news - hope someone finds this useful!

    Running Backup Exec 12.5 trial on a VM, all installed and configured fine. I tried to add \\SUNSAN\share$ and it adds okay (like it does in 10d) but when you try to browse it then it says a 'communications error has occurred'.

    I then tried the same with a Windows PC to see if it was a SAN issue or not. I added \\WINDOWSHOST\C$ fine, but when I tried to browse it I got the same 'communications failure' as I did with the SAN.

    At this point I'm thinking maybe Backup Exec can't connect to a CIFS share without the agent (which would be moronically stupid as Windows can access it) so I do a bit more hunting on the net and find the following on a couple of forums regarding whether this is possible:

    Nope, afraid not. The nothing technically preventing it from doing do, but the licensing requires you to have the remote agent license, and since v9/10 the server software itself has refused to backup a remote server without it to ensure all installations are properly licensed. Back in the v8.x days the remote agent was required for licensing, but in practice was only really needed if you wanted to backup the system state. I guess Veritas / Symantec realised they were losing out on potential profits from people not bothering with system state backups, so tightened up the software licensing accordingly.
    I use bexec 11d and backup the CIFS share via \\CIFS name \vol.

    I get a warning message that no agent is installed so backup performance is reduced, but it still performs the backup and verify OK. You can not install the agent, because the NetApp does not have a running windows o/s

    I have restored data also.
    I also found these threads:

    Access is denied when creating a user defined selection | Symantec Connect

    BE 11d and NAS CIFS - access denied error | Symantec Connect

    I get the impression there are some very mixed messages here and Symantec are doing a poor job of resolving the issue or providing any clear documentation. BE 12.5 happily states at the top of the backup selection screen 'You can back up data from any drive or share that is accessible on this server', which we can see is quite clearly not true.

    Next step was to try a mapped drive on the BE server, but BE won't see it so that route is out too! You can't share a mapped drive either so it's not like you could map it, share it, then back up it up as a 'local' share on the BE server.

    My final thought was whether it was simply something stupid like not accessing hidden shares (which the test one on the SAN and the Windows C$ share both are), and here's where we get some success! I made a share on the Windows PC and added it as \\WINDOWSHOST\myshare and it adds, connects and browses fine. I then 'un-hid' the share on the SAN by removing the $ and now I can browse that share too! This also worked on BE 10d.

    I have yet to try actually backing anything up, but so far it seems like this has resolved this part of the issue. This obviously raises the question of what on earth Symantec are playing at, as there should be no reason it can't back up a hidden share. If you look at the properties of a hidden share in BE then it can see the size/used of the volume so it's clearly able to see the share exists.

    Looks like I'm not the only one with this issue: Cannot backup hidden share on NAS | Symantec Connect

    I'm going to go back to testing, is anyone able to shed any further light?

    UPDATE: I've got backup and restore working fine on 12.5 but I'm still struggling with 10d. It'll see the share and the files fine, but when I try to backup I get 'The media server could not connect to the remote computer', despite the fact that the BE server can see and browse the files fine...

    UPDATE 2: I've just tried adding \\SUNSAN to Backup Exec rather than a specific share (something I should have tried before really) and in 10d I can see all the shares but only select non-hidden ones. In 12.5 it only shows the non-hidden ones. Suggestions in 10d to resolve the issue include installing the remote agent (not possible) or trying a different logon account (not needed). Anyone know of a fix for the hidden shares problem?

    Chris
    Last edited by Duke; 18th June 2009 at 02:52 PM.

  9. #24
    RobFuller's Avatar
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    Duke, are you running any storage for virtualisation on your shares? Does it handle locked files ok, just wondered?

  10. #25
    Duke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobFuller View Post
    Duke, are you running any storage for virtualisation on your shares? Does it handle locked files ok, just wondered?
    No, I'm doing all my virtualisation through iSCSI currently (still having issues with NFS) and I just picked some testing data for the backup.

    I think the general answer is that you really shouldn't be backing up your virtual machines through a CIFS share as there's no guarantee you'll get a stable snapshot image of the VM files and they might not boot when you restore them. Backup Exec do make a VMware agent, and while it's not cheap I think it's probably the safest option for backing up VMs as it uses the VMware API to ensure you get a proper snapshot of the VM.

    Cheers,
    Chris

  11. #26
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    Well at the moment were using Hyper-V (yuck!) and backup is not easy with that using script the aVHD file add extra complication. I'm in the middle of testing XenServer at the moment which I have been very impressed with until today when the centre manager won't connect to a server for some reason.

    But the problem with Xen is there are not many companies supporting backup for this so trying to work out an export script. I really want to backup these machines live without downtime as we have remote access 24/7 basically! Thatís why NDMP looked a good option to backup the entire unit and do the snapshot in one swoop! But just getting backup exec to talk nicely! Phil is seeing if he has any clients using this setup who might have some pointers!

  12. #27
    Duke's Avatar
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    I've been testing Hyper-V, Xen and ESX for a while (see HERE) and after initially really liking Xen I'm now leaning towards VMware ESX. It's more of an enterprise-level product in some ways, and you do get things like the officially supported backup API. Once you account in the support costs I actually found Xen and ESX were fairly similar in price.

    Cheers,
    Chris

  13. #28
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    If I was paying then VMware without a doubt used it before the full version and itís amazing. Problem is all the decent features are missing from the free version. Hence the next best thing is Xen as Hyper-V is so far behind its untrue..

  14. #29
    Duke's Avatar
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    I think Xen is the best free option and ESX is the best paid-for option too. Based on my experiences Hyper-V is just an absolute pain, although they might sort it out eventually. Any chance of you getting the budget to buy VMware?

  15. #30
    RobFuller's Avatar
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    Not this year but I need to get some virtual infrastructure going as we will be building our learning gateway in the summer.

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