Article written by Sandra Moulton, Director, Technical Marketing of Veritas 

Are you using NetBackup to protect your data and find yourself in need of cloud-like scale-out abilities for your data center — but don't want to take on the administrative burden of continually changing backup client configurations and policies? Does your need for a highly scalable solution tend to limit your ransomware resiliency to only protect your backup data but not your backup infrastructure?  

NetBackup Flex Scale has the scalability, security, and flexibility to address these demands. NetBackup Flex Scale can be deployed as a fully-featured NetBackup setup including a primary server, or it can be deployed as a scale-out solution for your existing NetBackup environment, regardless of where your existing primary server is deployed.   

Flex Scale's scale-out architecture includes intelligent load balancing that:  

  • provides the best performance for your backup and recovery jobs
  • ensures your backup/recovery jobs keep running even in the event of hardware failures
  • simplifies operations – no changes needed on your client side after initial configuration
  • ensures your cluster resources are optimally utilized

It was designed from the ground up with security as its primary objective, ensuring the highest levels of security by default, with an architecture that provides enterprise scalability with both immutability and indelibility. 

So how does adding scale-out work? It's a simple two-step procedure:  

  1. In the existing NetBackup environment, add a single media server entry and generate a new API key.
  2. Use the NetBackup Flex Scale deployment wizard and provide it with the configuration details and key.

That's it, from this point an automated deployment process takes over configuring the cluster, NetBackup services and a clustered storage pool.  Now you can just create backup policies that write to the new storage pool. As my friend Rachel says, "seeing is believing," so check out this video to see how simple deployment of a scale-out solution for your existing domain really is.

As for your backup clients, you configure them to connect to a media server alias that is resolved by the NetBackup Flex Scale cluster.



Server=<Primary Service FQDN>
Server=<Flex Scale Media Service alias>


From there, the integrated intelligent load balancer controls the distribution of backup and recovery jobs amongst the nodes in the cluster.  Many other solutions use basic round-robin techniques for job distribution, which is less than ideal and can result in unequal job distribution and jobs being unnecessarily slowed down when they're sent to systems that are overwhelmed.  Instead, NetBackup Flex Scale uses intelligence including--backup history, number of active jobs, and current system load on each node--to utilize the full resources available within the cluster and ensure the optimal performance of backup and recovery jobs. 

Now, when you want to further scale your storage pool capacity and increase the number of concurrent jobs you can run, you simply add another node.  The cluster makes this process super easy by scanning the private network and autodetecting the new node.   

combined UI.png

After providing a few networking details, the automated deployment process takes over installing the new node, adding it to the cluster, rebalancing the data in an optimal fashion, and deploying additional NetBackup services, all backgrounded and non-disruptive to your backup and recovery jobs.  After the automated process completes, the load balancer is instantly aware and begins including the new node in its backup and recovery job distribution without any changes required to your client configuration or your backup policies.  Check out this video showing how easy it is scale-out NetBackup Flex Scale and get dynamic and linear scale of capacity and autom...

Of course, an easy, automated method for scaling out your backup infrastructure is important, but of paramount importance is securing your backup images and infrastructure from malware and ransomware attacks.  Having immutable storage is one thing, but how good is that if someone can change the time on your system and fool it into prematurely deleting images, or can access your system remotely and format the disks? In addition to NetBackup's ransomware anomaly detection and malware scanning, NetBackup Flex Scale adds multiple layers of infrastructure security protection through:  

  • System hardening and a Zero Trust architecture
  • Immutable and indelible storage with an integrated secure compliance timer
  • Container isolation and network segregation