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Simple isn’t always so simple

October 26, 2011

I think all of us on the administration side of IT know this: no matter how simple and straightforward a change appears to be there is something that can go wrong.

Recently we asked our service provider for such a simple change: Replace the existing server running Symantec Backup Exec with new hardware, and consolidate all the storage used for backup-to-disk on that new server. The idea was just to do a clean install, migrate over the existing libraries, and change the jobs to point to the new storage. Except it really couldn’t be done. The old server was plain Windows 2008, the new was Storage Server. The SCSI card in the old server that connected the tape changer wouldn’t go in the new server. There was an upgrade of Backup Exec to be implemented, and corresponding agent upgrades for the servers being backed up. And when all was said and done we needed to completely recreate the backup jobs, schedule, tape rotation, etc.

We’re getting close to having it all run smoothly again. And we did eliminate an old flaky server and some performance and backup window issues caused by sharing storage between the backup server and one of the mail servers being backed up.

Not sure there’s a moral here other than to test all your assumptions even if the job seems like a no brainer, make sure requirements are properly communicated each time a new person comes onto a project, and assume Murphy’s Law will kick in.


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  1. Anonymous permalink

    Not an admin, but just another story that feeds my bias against BE. If ever there is a problem that can be caused by backup and a backup system never up to date so the new domino ODS is not supported or backup and compact together = RRV bucket corruption, it seems BE is involved. Maybe it has 90% market share and that is why. Personally, I think BE is Murphy’s twin-in-law.


  2. David Schaffer permalink

    Thanks for the feedback. I’ve nothing to compare it to for Domino backup. Prior to BE we were replicating to a workstation and backing that up at the OS file system level via Yosemite Backup. We just outgrew that solution.


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