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Users suffer major problems with Symantec NetBackup 6.0

Users hold off on implementing NetBackup 6.0 until problems are fixed

By Sharon Fisher
September 5, 2006 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Users are saying that problems with Symantec Corp.'s latest version of Veritas NetBackup are keeping them from rolling out the application even though the data backup and recovery product was shipped more than a year ago.

Veritas Software Corp. announced NetBackup 6.0 in April 2005 (see "Veritas announces next version of NetBackup, EVault") and began shipping it in October, just after Symantec announced that it was buying Veritas (see "Sidebar: Planned purchase leaves some Veritas users cold").

Users on at least two Web site forums dedicated to Symantec customers said they are hoping that Symantec's Maintenance Pack 4, due out around October, will fix bugs they're finding in NetBackup 6.0. The most recent maintenance pack, No. 3, was made available on June 30.

Bank of Canada, whose job it is to issue money for that country like the Federal Reserve in the U.S., plans on staying at NetBackup Version 5.0 "until it's apparent things with 6.0 have improved," said Paul Keating, an IT manager at the bank, which is based in Ottawa.

Problems cited by other users include issues with the vault service, which automates tape rotation; the scheduler, which lets users specify the times that backups are run; and the Job Manager service, which accepts backup jobs and then runs them. When these features don't work, automated backups can't be performed and aren't saving the data properly when they do, users said.

"The vault service won't start," said Steve Bally, systems engineer for RadiSys Corp., a Hillsboro, Ore., engineering company that has been using NetBackup for a number of years. Without the vaulting service, Bally said, he can't perform tape duplication or send backups off-site because of problems with NetBackup.

Bally said he doesn't plan on rolling out NetBackup 6.0 until the vaulting service issues are fixed, so he has not yet experienced the scheduler problem described by several other users on the Web site forums for Symantec customers.

There are about 36,000 users of NetBackup, according to Symantec. Mike Adams, group manager for Symantec's NetBackup product marketing, said he could not say how many of those users have migrated to Version 6.0. "Anecdotal evidence" is that there is "good uptake," he said.

One major issue Veritas users cited with NetBackup 6.0 is that when a backup job indicates it's complete, it often has only backed up 1K files, so there's no data to restore. Bally characterized Veritas 5.1, which he was using before 6.0, as "solid" but said he wanted to use Version 6.0 for new services, such as the ability to restore Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server services.

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