CommVault Galaxy and Netware Clusters – the trials of Backup software

The Pros and Cons of Tape Backup Solutions (NetWare)

Rick D. wrote: How about a “thread” on Tape backup solutions? I would be very interested to find out what other “Admins” out there are using. Come see what we’ve got so far, and add your two bits.

We are in the midst of a major Commvault rollout.  It certainly has been an interesting experience migrating from a backup solution, Tivoli Storage Manager, which backed up flawlessly but restored horribly (one server restore involved hundreds perhaps thousands of tapes).  It also barely supported Netware and hardly supported netware clustering or the cluster API’s.  Its Windows support was fine, but it certainly had issues doing disparate hardware recovery — involving multiple Windows OS installs to fix the hardware issues.  It was hardly the ideal solution for an enterprise Novell customer.

We are converting to CommVault Galaxy 5.0, which is admittedly a Windows solution that “supports” Netware.   There have been a number of recent updates to begin making the product palatable in a clustered environment.  Prior to SP3, you could not even unload and reload the clustering nlm’s without abending the server.  I have become on a first name basis with the Netware support individuals for Commvault so frequent have my calls been to them.  At this point, we have brought close 30 some virtual and physical Netware servers and about 100 Windows servers into the environment, but every day we still encounter roadblocks as we attempt to implement new and different scenarios.

Despite having two clustered environments already within Commvault and the stripes across our backs to prove — one involving justifying the beta TSAUP15.exe install to get the software to backup more than one clustered resource on each node, we succeeded in bringing down our data clusters for the first time in years.  The Commvault software hung the servers with such verocity and refused to unload that the only alternative was a just-prior-to-all-user-login reboot.  The thing about Commvault is their big belief on patching – almost more than Microsoft.  Unfortunately, we have already encountered Media Agent patches that succeeded in bringing down most agent backup operations.  Any change or patches in our environment require testing and change management procedure, so their inadequate testing leaves us only applying the patches recommended specifically by support engineer, which means we had just encountered a problem. 

Not a very proactive system right now…

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  • Darwin

    I agree totally on the patch issue. Man, do they put out patches or what. I like their response to issues – but they need roll-up the patches into packages a bit more often or something.. Have you seen the Post SP3 “Service Pack” (wierd). They need to just call it a hotfix rollup package – then people will understand what it is. As far as a Microsoft shop perspective goes, the products have been working pretty great for us.. We have had a few minor issues, but nothing major.

  • jay jack

    I have Commvault Qinetix 5.0 running on our netware cluster with no issues. We also having it running on Microsoft 2000 clusters also with no issues. I have done many restores using the product and had one issue that turned out to be a dns issue on our end. The best part of the product is the support. I feel that most backup software is crap. Commvault has not let me down yet so I would say it is the best of the big 4. We have had the product for about 6 months now.

  • Paul Derby

    Am currently installing on a 3-way novell cluster, in the course of the idata Agent install on the physical server #2 got an error

    Failed to load file SYS:\Galaxy\cvzlib.nlm
    Galaxy Base component may not be loaded.

    Anyone ever see this and know what to do next?
    I don’t want to continue with the virtual server installs unless I know that I wont have to begin all over again.

  • Sorry can’t say I have seen that. We are still at SP3 with the Post Pack 1, and would recommend at least that level before going on. Before the Service Pack nothing would work. Also the recommended TSA is TSAUP15 and use TSA600 rather than TSAFS. Commvault doesn’t use the enhancements in TSAFS, and TSA600 is faster.

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