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System State backups?

System State backups?

(OP)
We're using Galaxy 7, SP5.

I noticed that some, not all, of my Windows FS iDataAgent clients have two default sub-clients, one for files and one for System State, whilst some have a single default sub-client that on the "Content" tab has "Backup System State" selected.

What's the reason and difference for this and what is the suggested "best practice" to get the system state please?

Also I intend to install a FS iDataAgent on our domain controller(s) - obviously I want to get the System State but I'm not sure whether I want VSS or not?

I ask as on the clients that have a separate System State sub-client, VSS is NOT selected, yet on the clients that have a single combined sub-client the "Use VSS for System State" IS selected.

Cheers!

RE: System State backups?

There are a couple of reasons to have split File System and System State backups, but it usually comes down to business requirements and personal preference.

Personally, I only split the System State and File System Backups on Domain Controllers. This is to allow regular backups (every 4 hours) of the System State, which I also backup to a different Storage Policy that has different storage and retention rules. If I was to combine System State and File System Backups for my Domain Controllers and run the backup every 4 hours, I would be consuming large amounts of storage for zero nett gain.

Now for VSS. VSS for System State is enabled by Default, which is probably why it exists in the standard unsplit Sublcients. My guess is that the person that separated the System State and File System Backups did not enable the VSS for System State option.

When Backing the System State of your Domain Controllers, I would highly recommend using VSS as it should help ensure that no data is missed due to file lockouts.


On a side note: you have said that you intend to install the FS Agent for yor Domain Controllers; this has me a little concerned - how are you backing up Active Directory at the moment?

 

RE: System State backups?

(OP)
Thanks for the reply.

At present we do backup AD but simply using an ntbackup of the System State to off-site disk which goes to tape combined with image level backups of some of the DC's - so we do something but clearly it could be better hence now wanting to grab it using Galaxy too.

Interesting that you say "the person that separated the System State and File System Backups did not enable the VSS for System State option." as that would be me, and I simply have no recollection of spliting out System State and Default as there would be no reason to (that I'd have been knowledgeable enough to realise).

Having installed the FS agent today, I noticed it only created one subclient which does say to use VSS for System State, and to backup the System State.

RE: System State backups?

Sorry, when I read you weren't performing System State backups with Commvault, I had assumed that you were solely using the Active Directory Agent which isn't enough to effectively backup a DC.

I'm still trying to figure out what could cause the split subclients - when you installed Commvault, was it Version 7, or did you have a previous version and then upgrade?

 

RE: System State backups?

(OP)
We started off with Galaxy 5.x IIRC.

The "interesting" thing is that some of the clients that have multiple sub-clients haven't been installed that long, but are clients that have the same name as clients that have been around a while.

So Server01 that was purchased and had the FS agent installed a year back might show two-subclients whilst Server02 only shows a single combined client, yet the name Server02 has existed in the company/Galaxy since the start as obviously servers get replaced but the name stays constant.

We do always make sure to uninstall clients so they show in the CommServe as De-Configured.

RE: System State backups?

I note that a previous poster has dealt with most of your questions, but one remains: why the System State subclient is separate on some clients and not others. The answer is that a version of Galaxy a while back (can't remember exactly which one, V5.something I think) did that when a FS agent was installed. It was a change made by CommVault. They copped a lot of flack about this so changed it back on a subsequent release (V6.something?). I'll bet money that the FS agents with the separated SS subclients were installed when the software had that "feature". Those without were installed before or after. Check the installation dates of the FS agents (which might be on the properties tab - I don't have a Galaxy setup in front of me at the moment - also check in a report).

RE: System State backups?

(OP)
OK thanks for the replies and Craig I can't say 100% but I think you may be right, though I definitely have a couple of new machines that use names that have been in use over the last few years where Galaxy has created twin sub-clients - I guess even when the old server is uninstalled/de-configured in Galaxy something remains in the database.

So to kill this off, in our very simple environment (we don't need System State backups to go anywhere different than Default backups) there seems no reason to have more than the single Default subclient with the "Use VSS for System State" checked as well as "Backup System State"?

RE: System State backups?

My advice is this: unless you must have system state backups run at a different time or to a different storage policy, then merge them all back. Go ahead: delete the system state sub-client for each client and make sure that some other sub-client (usually "default") is backing up the system state. Whether you use VSS (where available) is up to you, but it is recommended. But be very vigilant making these changes - make absolutely sure that every system is having its system state backed up by another sub-client - don't miss any!

Cheers.

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