How does it work?

Our NetBackup Backup & Recovery Service is a network backup and recovery client-server system.

NetBackup Enterprise Server, a product of Symantec, is the software that manages your backups and restores.  Backups are scheduled to occur automatically and in an unattended fashion. Normally, a "full backup" is taken of your data weekly, once over each weekend, and "incremental backups" are taken on other days.  

The results of a successful backup is called an "image".  The UMS NetBackup servers store the "image" and information about the "image" such as:
  • that the "image" was made from your machine
  • your machine type (Windows, UNIX, etc.)
  • when the backup "image" was created
  • whether the "image" is a "full", "user created", "application", or "incremental" backup (incremental backups may be based on the most recent full backup, the most recent incremental, or the "archive bit" associated with the files on some file systems);  the most common UMS NetBackup incremental type is "based on most recent full backup"
  • what files are in the "image"
  • when the "image" expires, that  is, discarded from the backup servers; normally, full backups are retained for 3 months and incremental backups are retained for 1 month
Some of this information and other information is also stored on our StorageScape reporting and notifications system.

Important: While these backups are automatic, it remains your responsibility to ensure that they are successful in backing up the files you require.  Our StorageScape reporting system allows you to check the status of your backups, developing reports that meet your needs.  We also strongly suggest that you periodically verify that files you expect are being backed up are in fact in the backup system and, furthermore, can be restored and restored in the time frame you require!

There are four parts to our backup and recovery system:
  • the NetBackup client -- NetBackup client software is installed by you on your server.  You know your system is a server, but to NetBackup and our backup and recovery service, your system is a client.  When installing this client software, you will configure it to communicate with the NetBackup servers (aka, the Master Server and the Media Server).  By this time you should have opened your firewall so that the NetBackup software can communicate using its network "port".
  • the NetBackup servers -- NetBackup server software runs on two servers, a Master and a Media server.  Your client machine must be able to communicate with both the Master and Media servers.
    • The Master Server schedules backups and stores information about each successful backup such as the time of the backup, what files were backed up and for how log the backup "image" will be retained. It also controls replication of your backup from our primary storage to a secondary, off site location.
    • The Media Server accepts backup data from your client and stores it as an "image" (a file) on our backup storage device(s).
  • the UMS NetBackup storage appliances -- Your backups are stored on two modern Quantum 6550 storage appliances.  Backups go to one, local to our Orono machine room, appliance.  The backup data then is automatically replicated to an off site, more-or-less-identical storage appliance at an off site location.
  • the StorageScape reporting system -- Information about your backups is automatically sent to our reporting system.  There, it is stored in a database.  There are many predefined reports you may use; you may alter or define new reports as you wish using a "report designer".   My favorite report, set to be my StorageScape home page, is the "Data Protection Dashboard".  This shows me at a glance how all my client machine backups are going, while allowing me to drill down to find great detail when needed.  Reports are viewed on the web, can be sent via e-mail and scheduled.  Please see the section Notifications and Reporting for more information.

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