NetWorker 6 - Backup software

Business-Critical Data Protection

The NetWorker Solution

NetWorker protects the critical business data of more than 10,000 enterprise customers worldwide by simplifying, centralizing, and automating backup and recovery operations across Unix, Windows, Linux and NetWare platforms in DAS, NAS, and SAN storage environments. Built upon an open, highly scalable client-server architecture, NetWorker reduces management overhead by providing "lights out" protection of storage assets in the largest corporate data centers and the smallest satellite branch offices.

Advanced indexing and media management, cluster support, high speed parallelism, tape interoperability, comprehensive NDMP support, DiskBackup, tape cloning, archive, serverless backup, and dynamic drive sharing are among key components the enable administrators to protect storage assets and minimize downtime.

Database, messaging and ERP modules deliver online protection and granular recovery. Storage Nodes enable load sharing and distribution of backup traffic, and LAN-free protection of servers with large data volumes. Autochanger/Silo modules enable hands-free protection using a wide variety of robotic devices. NetWorker is also tightly integrated with complimentary applications such as hierarchical storage management (HSM), systems management frameworks, simplified operator administration, and web-enabled management of multiple NetWorker servers.

With NetWorker, companies and organizations can standardize on one application to provide complete, fast, and reliable protection of business-critical information across a heterogeneous enterprise, resulting in lower downtime costs, less management overhead, and greater ROI of storage resources.

NetWorker 6.0 Frequently Asked Questions

With the release of NetWorker 6, customers will find some significant enhancements and changes to how they may manage their NetWorker environment. The purpose of this document is to highlight some of the major feature changes that have taken place since the release of NetWorker 5.x and sources of information where NetWorker users may go for answers.

Q: What are the new features and enhancements of the NetWorker 6 release?
A: Technical enhancements of NetWorker 6 over previous releases can be summarized as follows:
    Improved Availability & Scalability

  • New Indexing Architecture
  • Improved browse and retention policies
  • Expanded NetWorker data format (64 bit)
  • Support for NetWorker Image Backup
  • Extensive Cluster support (Client & Server) for Legato Cluster, Sun Clusters, MC ServiceGuard, Compaq TruCluster, and Microsoft Cluster Services

    Expanded SAN/NAS support

  • NDMP-based backups supported
  • Library Sharing within a data zone
  • SAN/NAS Storage Node support

    Expanded Platform Support

  • Full support for Linux - Server, Storage Node and client (Red Hat and Caldera on Intel x86
  • Expanded Windows support Windows NT and 2000

Q: What are the highlights of this new Indexing architecture?
A: This release offers substantial architectural improvements to the earlier index structures. The changes are mainly transparent in terms of user interaction, but the benefits are significant. They include:
  • Decreased conversion time when upgrading.
  • More efficient index cross-checking (for database integrity).
  • A more robust and stable database index structure that stores indexes more efficiently.
  • Nondestructive index recovery.
  • Significantly smaller client file indexes. The size of a client file index is greatly reduced after conversion, even though the number of files it contains increases by orders of magnitude. After conversion, the media database requires approximately twice as much disk space as it did in NetWorker 5.x releases. This expansion, however, is insignificant when weighed against the size reduction of the client file index.
  • Support for recovering the index to a specific time.
  • Improved availability of the nsrindexd program. Expect to see a decrease in server busy messages.
  • Ability to perform backups after the media database has been converted, and while the client file indexes are being converted.

Q: What changes have been made in the Client File Index and to Media Database Disk Format?
A: The NetWorker server maintains one file index for each client computer and one media database that tracks data from all clients and save sets. Each time a backup is completed, NetWorker creates entries for the backed-up files in the client file index.
The media database stores one entry for each save set and storage volume during each backup operation. This release of the NetWorker software requires that the client file index, server index, and media database be converted to a new disk format. Because there is no returning to a previous release of NetWorker once the client file index, server index, and media database are converted, be sure to have an up-to-date backup. The first time you run the new version of NetWorker software, the indexes and media database are automatically converted. (The NetWorker Release 4.2 and later client files indexes and media database are automatically converted, but earlier versions must be recovered from backup.)

Q: What is the extent of NetWorker’s Cluster Support?
A: A cluster is two or more nodes that are connected and appear to network users as a single, highly available system. A highly available system allows application services to continue despite most hardware or software failures. It does this by providing failover (relocation) capability. The NetWorker 6 software now supports the following additional UNIX cluster environments: Compaq TruCluster Server 5.0a; HP-UX MC/ServiceGuard 10.05, 10.10, 10.11, and 11.05; Sun Cluster 2.2; Microsoft Cluster Services; and Legato Cluster (currently available on Solaris and Windows NT)

Q: How have NetWorker browse and retention policies changed?
A: The NetWorker server uses browse and retention policies to manage the life cycle of data and to control the size of the client file index automatically. The browse policy determines how long files are maintained in the client file index on the NetWorker server. The retention policy determines how long save sets are maintained in the NetWorker server’s media database. Using NetWorker 6, you can specify browse and retention policies for each client, each save set, or for groups of save sets. This is a significant change that allows greater browse and retention flexibility.
In earlier NetWorker releases, all save sets within a client had to have the same browse and retention policy (because the policies were bound to the save sets at the time nsrim ran). With this release of the NetWorker software, you can have different browse and retention policies for each save set within a client (because the policies are bound to each save set when the data is saved). You can also change the browse and retention policies of save sets at any time, without affecting the policies of other save sets in the client.

Q: What is NDMP and the extent of the new NDMP support for NetApp, EMC and Auspex?
A: Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP) is a standards-based, storage management client/server protocol for enterprise-wide backup of heterogeneous, network-attached storage. It allows the NetWorker 6.x and later software versions to provide connections to computers with NDMP data modules for tape operations, allowing a significant reduction in network traffic and better use of the time window dedicated to backups. NDMP also allows NetWorker to maintain the client index and media database, as well as control backup operations on a UNIX or Windows NT™ computer with an NDMP service installed. The NetWorker NDMP module is available on the Solaris and HP-UX operating systems and supports the following:

Q: Are there special memory requirements when using a NetWorker NDMP server?
A: In this release, backing up large numbers of files using a NetWorker NDMP server can require a large amount of memory and/or swap space. If your system does not have enough swap space to hold the entire file history, you may receive the following error message: cannot decode the file. If this happens, try increasing the swap space. If, after increasing the swap space, the backup is still running slowly, try increasing the amount of memory on the system.

Q: What is the significance of the new NetWorker 64 bit data format?
A: NetWorker 6 uses an upgraded, 64-bit data format. The new format was introduced to support several of the features that are new in this release. These include indexing and media database improvements; support for NetWorker NDMP with Celestra, Network Appliance, and EMC; and support for save sets that are larger than 2 GB.

Q: How have Save Set ID’S changed in this new release of NetWorker?
A: Each NetWorker client now has a unique ID that is used to identify it in the media database, and for index backups to identify a save set with the client. The client ID that is automatically generated by the NetWorker server is unique across servers, and is maintained in the media database.

Q: How has support for large save sets and large save set names changed?
A: This release of the NetWorker software supports save sets that are larger than 2GB.This eliminates the need to divide large save sets into a series of smaller, continued save sets from NetWorker 6.0 clients backing up to NetWorker 6.0 servers. The maximum length limit on save set names has also been increased from 64 bytes to 255 bytes.

Q: What is directed cross-platform recovery and how can it be used in my NetWorker environment?
A: Directed cross-platform recovery allows you to recover backed-up data remotely from a NetWorker client (the source client) and direct it to another NetWorker client (the destination client) within an enterprise. The destination client receiving the recovered data can be the source client itself, another NetWorker client within the enterprise, or the administering client computer. Directed recovery includes all the NetWorker standard file handling features. Directed recovery is useful in recovering data from a shared server or another computer where users cannot recover the data themselves. Directed recovery allows you to perform the recovery remotely, from your own computer, rather than from the source computer.
Directed recovery also permits recovered data to be directed to NetWorker client computers other than the requesting one. This allows the sharing of files and information among a broad range of NetWorker client computers.
You can use the NetWorker software to administer directed recoveries between UNIX-based and Windows-based NetWorker clients by entering NetWorker commands at the command line. Refer to the recover(1m) man page for information about these commands. The nwrecover program does not support directed recovery.
You can perform directed recoveries of data between different combinations of Windows-based and UNIX-based source and destination clients. You must, however, have established the proper remote access requirements for the clients and the NetWorker server that backs up their data. The source and destination clients must also be of the same type (either both Windows-based, or both UNIX-based).
In this NetWorker release, the save stream format is different from the format in previous releases. Therefore, you cannot use an earlier NetWorker release to recover data that was backed up using the current NetWorker release.

New Features in NetWorker 6.2

The NetWorker 6.2 release builds upon the NetWorker 6 platform to meet the growing information protection needs of Windows-based Data Centers and Branch Offices. Designed for the Windows platform with the full functionality of NetWorker 6.1x, NetWorker 6.2 delivers automated backup and recovery of NDMP-based Network Attached Storage (NAS) using a Windows backup server, client support for Windows XP Professional Edition and improved RAP architecture.

Extends NDMP-NAS Protection - NetWorker 6.2 extends NetWorker's comprehensive protection for NDMP-NAS systems to the Windows platform (2000/NT). Co-developed by LEGATO Systems and Network Appliance, the Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP) is a widely accepted standard for efficiently managing backup and recovery of NAS devices.

With NetWorker 6.2, departmental and data center environments now have the option of using Unix, Linux or Windows backup servers to centralize and automate protection of NDMP-NAS systems from Network Appliance, EMC, Auspex and other leading vendors. Used in conjunction with NetWorker NDMP Client Connections, NetWorker 6.2 offers the same flexible configuration options available in UNIX and Linux environments to maximize backup and recovery performance, consolidate tape resources, and reduce management overhead including:

Local backup to individually attached tape drives/libraries

Remote backup to NDMP-NAS attached libraries

Remote backup to libraries attached to Unix-servers installed with NetWorker SnapImage

Backup to libraries attached to Fibre-Channel SANs

Backup to a network attached ATL library via NDMP

To further reduce backup and recovery completion times, minimize downtime costs and optimize storage investments in NDMP-NAS environments, NetWorker 6.2 also extends support for:

Dynamic Drive Sharing (DDS) - enables tape drives to be shared automatically between NAS systems and Storage Nodes over a Fibre-Channel SAN

Direct Access Restore (DAR) - pinpoints file locations to eliminate time consuming tape scanning during file level restores

Windows XP Professional Edition Client Protection - NetWorker 6.2 delivers centralized, automated protection of Windows XP Professional Edition data. Full, incremental and differential backups of systems states and all components are fully supported, enabling businesses to upgrade to Windows XP Professional Edition with the confidence their storage assets are reliably protected.

RAP Improvement - To increase backup and recovery performance and serve the scalability requirements of growing Windows environments, NetWorker 6.2 introduces a new Resource Administration Platform (RAP) database architecture for storing client resource information. The \nsr\res\nsr.res and \nsr\res\nsrjb.res entries are saved as individual files instead of within a single, expanding file. This advancement also enables multiple database reads and eliminates access delays during modification of resource information. NetWorker 6.2's RAP architecture ensures database queries are fast, regardless of how large the database grows as client resources are added.

New Features in NetWorker 6.2 Power Edition Network Edition Workgroup Edition Business Edition
Windows 2000 / Windows NT 4.0 backup server for NDMP-based protection of Network Appliance, EMC IP4700, Auspex NS3000/2000 NAS systems N/A N/A
Windows XP Professional Edition NetWorker Client support
RAP Enhancement