Feature

More Than Just Backup

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CommVault's Simpana 7.0 uses the same software catalog across its entire line of data protection products; users have immediate access to its Common Technology Engine (CTE) catalog regardless of which CommVault product is selected. When used in conjunction with its Galaxy Backup & Recovery software, the CommServe master server centralizes, coordinates and distributes policies across one or more of its media servers.

The CommServe database contains top-level information for the complete environment, while a secondary catalog tier is federated across the media server indexing structure. Using a distributed index, each media server catalogs and manages the data under its control and submits only a subset of that information to the master CommServe database catalog. This distributed database design prevents that catalog from becoming too large and slowing its performance. EMC Corp. NetWorker is similar in that it uses its own proprietary catalog, which can hold millions of objects and creates a federation of smaller catalogs divided into data zones that maintain information about the media servers under their control.

Symantec Corp. took steps to upgrade its Veritas NetBackup backup software catalog in 2005 because of the increased amount of meta data it needed to manage. Symantec changed Veritas NetBackup's underlying catalog from a flat-file to a Sybase relational

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database with its Veritas NetBackup 6.0 release; a series of maintenance packs released throughout 2006 addressed some of the issues created by this change in the underlying catalog database.

Veritas NetBackup catalog issues still exist depending on which version of NetBackup a company uses. On Windows Master Servers running Veritas NetBackup 6.0 MP5, if catalog compression is turned on and the image database becomes full, Veritas NetBackup may not be able to continue normal database activity and its services may stop. Veritas NetBackup 6.5.1 includes fixes for the catalog issues introduced by Veritas NetBackup 6.5, such as processing large numbers of images more efficiently and performing incremental hot catalog backups.

IBM Corp. is planning what it calls a "significant" database upgrade to a future release of its Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) database (no release date has been provided). As part of the release, IBM plans to support more concurrent archive and backup operations, expand its maximum database catalog size of 1TB (vs. the current 530GB limitation), and allow online, automated database reorganizations (currently, database reorganizations can only be conducted offline).

CA didn't change its catalog database in its February 2008 ARCserve Backup r12 release. However, to enhance CA ARCserve's search capabilities, its complementary CA XOsoft CDP software will now use Microsoft SQL Server as its back-end catalog database so ARCserve can take advantage of SQL Server's built-in content indexing functions.

This was first published in February 2008

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