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back to article Converting between backup formats is possible after all

I had always thought it was impossible to convert files from one backup format to another: to migrate files from Symantec NetBackup to HP DataProtector, for example. But actually, you can. A new product from Butterfly Software does exactly that. Butterfly Software is based in Maidenhead in the UK and I'm only going on what the …

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Anonymous Coward

Ok...

That's all very well, but can it convert the back end databases?

If not, it's still the old tried and tested: Restore, then back up all the long retention backups, followed by just letting the short retention backups drop out of retention.

Either that, or you can just make a 'legacy' partition of your tape library to service restores from your legacy product. As the tapes drop out of retention, destroy them (or re-use, if you must) and shrink the legacy partition as appropriate.

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How long . . .

. . . will it be before these guys are bought by CA/EMC/Tivoli and quietly vanish?

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me too

I was wondering about the IP angle on this story, release the attack lawyers!

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Anonymous Coward

@Henry

Not all backup packages use non-standard storage formats, NetBackup uses TAR, for instance.

Also, to say that you can just use rsync and a wrapper script to replace backup systems suggests that you don't really understand most of what a backup package does. Rsync may well be fine for backing up a couple of linux boxes and storing the data on disk, possibly even moving it off to a standalone tape drive, but it really doesn't cover the vast majority of functions of modern backup software.

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all-in-one

That is the key. Don't let there ever be a vast amount of functions in a backup software.

That is. Copying for a backup is one function. It has all the nastiness in itself, that no backup software should ever embrace itself that is does all. Archiving a backup is another function. Storage of backups is third. Management of backup archives in the storage is fourth and so on. All those steps, at least, should be separate ie. different software taking care of them, but they aren't. For the sake of easyness and fake simpleness they mostly are all-in-one.

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Coat

@AC 09:43

"Rsync may well be fine for backing up a couple of linux boxes and storing the data on disk, possibly even moving it off to a standalone tape drive, but it really doesn't cover the vast majority of functions of modern backup software."

As one that does use rsync for backups, it's actually quite nice until you have to back up monolithic databases such as MSSQL or Exchange. Then you start getting into scripts for sql dumps or Exchange mailbox backups and things start to get a little dicey. However, for file servers and the like, it's a breeze and what you do with the "backed up" data is completely a separate process. I'd had "backup management software" die at this point because the tape I was trying to use wasn't configured as a scratch tape, or it had data on it already and I hadn't given the system the go-ahead to overwrite indiscriminately. It is a sickening feeling to come in after an evening backup and realize the 6hr dump to tape failed and now your data is not even cached on the backup server for a second attempt. Rsync will give you that cache. The other option would be to schedule a D2D2T, and hopefully be able to redo the 2T part if the initial attempt fails. Oh, and there's that nasty bit about recovering data from a tape you thought was good....but that's a whole other story.

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dont see the point

how many times do you actually need to access legacy backups for restore ? perhaps 1 restore per 100 tapes ? just put the tapes in an archive and use a service to restore the 1 file. why bother cluttering a new backup environment with legacy data.

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