Switch from Veritas to Commvault: Your go-to guide

Data protection is serious business, because data drives the success and growth of your business. If that data becomes unavailable, both you and your business suffer. High data availability requires making truly good decisions when it comes to selecting the best possible software and technology to protect your business. Over time, you discover your data protection products are out of date and it is time for a new, more flexible solution.

Organizations of different sizes and locations have completed this same review and made the move from Veritas NetBackup™ or Veritas Backup Exec™ to Commvault. In this guide, we’ve compiled the lessons learned from those data protection migrations to provide you with insight and best practices that will help make your move to Commvault smooth and seamless.

Migration myths

MYTH Data migrations are complex and time consuming.

TRUTH Commvault provides the resources and software tools to identify and migrate your backup data. With built-in automation, it saves your team valuable time, eliminates errors and ensures timely completion.

MYTH Migrations require specialized skill and training.

TRUTH Five easy steps; simplicity of Commvault CompleteTM Backup & Recovery to migrate, manage and support; if desired, available professional services and remote monitoring services.

MYTH I need to move all my data.

TRUTH Only move your monthly and annual, and not daily or weekly backups. Let the shorter time periods naturally expire. Life lesson: declutter your house before you move.

The challenges of Veritas NetBackup and Backup Exec

IT challenges are real. In fact, 66% of IT executives believe their environments are more complex than they were two years ago.1 But it should not be this way. For data protection, it should be simple and easy.

If your current Veritas backup solution is holding you back, and increasing your costs and complexity, then it is time to switch to a better solution. These are the four most common Veritas NetBackup challenges.

Behind on Veritas NetBackup updates. You are two, three, or even more releases behind. It is difficult and time consuming to plan, test and roll out the latest NetBackup release into production. On top of that, your staff must research and verify the release is compatible with your existing infrastructure and components: OS, servers, storage, networking, etc. If there is an issue, it leads to a cascade of updates throughout the environment. Last, your staff must get up to speed on the release documentation, verify it has the features you want and confirm it will not disrupt any of your existing backup policies or scripts. Trying to stay up on the current NetBackup release has been time-consuming and a management headache.

Boxed in with Veritas NetBackup. A lack of product innovation and product choice limits your ability to support the organization. You are finding new features are slow to be added to Veritas backup software. And when new features are added, while it may deliver the functionality you want, it increases your costs and complexity. For example, cloud support should be native to the data protection software, yet NetBackup software requires a cloud gateway, CloudCatalyst, to transfer data to the cloud, creating complex management. Choice is another limiting factor with NetBackup. NetBackup is only available as a scale-up solution and favors their proprietary NetBackup appliances. For example, if you want to run deduplication — and who doesn’t these days — you are forced into using the NetBackup Appliance based on the amount of data (as small as 64TB) and the operating system.3 While NetBackup met all your requirements when you first bought it, it has not kept pace with technology innovation, putting both your organization and you at risk.

Your IT staff is trapped, and it is not the fun of an escape room. Managing an older data protection solution is time consuming and has added complexity when there are multiple, disparate components to it. What started out as a single Veritas solution has morphed over time to include additional Veritas products, point products, or additional backup products for specific functions, applications or locations. Your environment may consist of Veritas NetBackup, separate dedupe appliances, a different backup application or Backup Exec in the remote offices, and maybe one or two additional Veritas products to meet your data protection needs. Separate data protection products mean two major issues:

1 These distinct products require separate management tools.
2 These disjointed products do not provide clear, comprehensive visibility into your data. You are unable to manage, move and protect your data across your entire environment, or do it without extensive staff resources and time.

As the solution (NetBackup) does not manage on-premises and cloud sources collectively through a single policy framework, it can neither offer recommendations for data placement decisions nor determine whether protection policies are efficient and effective. (4)

With so many Veritas and third-party products being used for data protection, it is increasing your environmental costs like data center space, power and cooling, networking and cabling. It is time to consolidate the number of data protection products you are using to streamline operations and maximize infrastructure usage.

Unsure how to change, but know a change is needed. You realize a new data protection solution is needed, but are you committed to making the change? While it may be comfortable to stay with the products you know, will they deliver the service levels, improve operations and do it within budget? Does your current solution position your business and you for future success? If not, then the time is now to make a switch. Decommissioning your legacy Veritas products may seem like a daunting task due to the volume of data and applications. However, that does not have to be case. Commvault has the experience, automation tools and resources to help you sail through the migration process.

5 important questions to ask before you renew your existing backup software

Can you afford to renew your existing backup software maintenance contract and suffer through mounting challenges, or is it time to move to a new solution?

Preparation is the key to success

As the old saying goes, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Certainly, that is true when it comes to moving your backup data and processes to a new and improved system. In most cases, the amount of data being moved is large, but by planning out the migration and communicating the plan to all relevant parties, you can make sure the process is efficient and successful.

The Commvault migration process preserves your Veritas retention/expiry dates, the original client information, created/modified information and other critical metadata needed for recovery or compliance. If you have tape, but only need to migrate over a subset of that, you can selectively target only those data sets you need. The best part of this is that you can also move that data directly to any of the 40-plus cloud storage solutions Commvault supports. No gateways, no extra hardware, just move it (deduplicated and encrypted) right into the cloud(s) of your choice. The best-best part of all? It’s all automated. Commvault APIs and orchestration framework take care of the migration tasks for you.

1 The first step might seem an obvious one. Discover, identify and confirm the data that needs to be moved over to Commvault and where it fits within your data protection strategy. Build an inventory of what is important to the business, and then target that data for the migration.

2 Not all data needs to be moved. A significant portion of the data set is likely not worth moving based on the expiration dates of the backups. We recommend that you migrate all monthly and yearly backup. Daily backups often expire in 90 days, and with new instances being created in Commvault, the previous Veritas™ dailies can be allowed to expire as part of your transition plan.

3 Schedule pre-planning meetings with Commvault and your IT team to review the scope of work based on the earlier discovery work. Because every environment is unique and Veritas has been customized for your environment, this is when you can determine what customizations are needed to adapt the data migration tool to your needs. This is also where you can prioritize data types and the methods used to move them. Discuss flat-file migrations and how other data types will be supported.

Determine how databases and virtual machines will be handled and plot their target locations. Often this process will uncover settings or configurations that you might not have known were implemented in the past. Commvault will work with you to determine the unique settings and configurations and configure the workflow process accordingly.

4 Due diligence. This is critical because no one person can necessarily know the compliance or retention regulations on all data types. Depending upon the data type, your environment and your industry regulations, the process of moving backups to a new location needs to be communicated and authorized by all appropriate parties. In many cases, the business does not care where the backups are located or what software is being used – they simply must have the ability to recover anything they need at a moment’s notice. Obtaining signoff from key constituents will ensure there are no unpleasant surprises later in the process.

5 What is your plan for dealing with legacy tape backups? When tapes are involved (and they usually are) you need to plan for the extra time required for retrieval, mounting and data transfer to their new location. While many Commvault customers use a migration as an opportunity to move away from tape to either disk or cloud targets, others choose to keep tape backups as part of their data protection strategy for air gap or long-term retention reasons. Maintaining a tape backup strategy within the Commvault environment will require writing back to tape, so take that into account in your planning.

6 Do you need to include Restore-as-a-Service as part of your backup and recovery strategy? If you have tape or long-term compliance requirements, many customers find that subscribing to a third-party service to provide that access is much more economical than maintaining a legacy Veritas environment just for that purpose. Restore-as-a-Service is available from third-party vendors, and Commvault can assist you in finding the right solution for your needs.

7 Time. Let’s not forget the laws of physics cannot be avoided in this process. Make sure your account for factors like latency between locations, especially when you are consolidating backups or pushing backup locations closer to the edge of your network. Naturally, the amount of data, data types and the capabilities of the source Veritas system all factor into the total amount of time that will be required to make the move.

8 Better backup and recovery are often part of an infrastructure modernization effort. Your new backup locations may be on new on-premises servers, or in new cloud locations. Whatever the case, Commvault can work with whatever backup targets you want to use, and you will be able to easily change those locations should business or financial demands require it in the future.

It’s time to make the move

You’ve done the proper preparation. You’ve communicated the plan to everyone involved. Making the move to Commvault can be summarized in these simple steps:

1 Create a storage staging location. This is the intermediary location where data will be restored from Veritas NetBackup™ or Veritas Backup Exec™. Commvault will then back up from this location to your new storage targets.

2 Install the Commvault migration software on a staging server.

3 Deploy the workflows based on the collected information about the Veritas data to be migrated.

4 Perform test runs to validate workflows are running as expected.

5 Migrate the Veritas NetBackup or Backup Exec data to the Commvault target locations.

Once the data migration is complete, you can access and review the data, reports and verify the validity of the restores. When all the past backup data has been migrated and any remaining dailies have expired, NetBackup software can be remove, and associated storage systems may be cleared, repurposed or decommissioned.

Commvault® data protection: Good decision, no regrets

Your organization requires Commvault data protection to not only meet your needs today but also to grow into the future. Your Commvault data protection environment needs to be flexible to meet your needs and accommodate new technologies, yet be easy to manage, support and cost-effective. It’s smart to move to Commvault for many reasons.

Commvault was once again positioned as a leader—highest in ability to execute and furthest in completeness of vision, among leaders. This is also Commvault’s eighth consecutive year as a Gartner Leader. (2)

Scalable upgrades to meet your growing demands. Commvault makes it easy to grow and expand your environment. With a scale-out infrastructure option, you can predictably grow performance, capacity and costs, on your terms. And with quarterly service pack releases, you can have the latest features and enhancements to deliver the services that your organization requires. Gartner acknowledged Commvault as a leader in the Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Solutions.2

With Commvaults’ continuous cycle of releases, it is easy to maintain the current release and fully leverage the value of Commvault.

Expand your environment, not your costs. It seems like technology and business requirements can change overnight. You need a data protection solution that has the flexibility to meet your demands and deliver different service levels within your environment. A one-size-fits-all data protection solution no longer makes the grade. With Commvault, you have the power to choose. You decide the infrastructures whether scale-out or scale-up, and software or appliance-based. You decide the storage location whether on-premises or cloud. You decide the deployment of your data protection software: on-premises, in the cloud or via SaaS solutions. With changing environments and technologies, you need a data protection solution that is positioned to meet your future needs without adding more hardware, software or costs. Your data protection solution needs to streamline operations and deliver greater services levels. According to Forrester, Commvault is the solution that delivers the data protection you need today, and the innovation for tomorrow.

It [Commvault] offers the most comprehensive support for widely deployed infrastructure platforms and applications both in the data center and in public cloud services. (4)

One platform, that’s all. One is a powerful number, especially since Commvault is based on a single platform. Compare the simplicity of Commvault versus six different Veritas products needed to provide similar functionality. Whether your data is on-premises or in the cloud, you can move, manage and recover your data on your terms from a single location. Commvault includes the tools to speed recovery and streamline operations:

  • Self-service to empower end-users or application owners to manage their own restores, saving valuable IT resources
  • Intelligent policy automation to protect the right data and applications (whether you know about them or not) with the right retention policies
  • Self-driving backup, using machine learning to automate operations for backup environments and ensure your desired outcomes are automatically achieved

Commvault empowers you to consolidate your infrastructure and data protection environment and simplify how you protect your data.

Commvault makes switching easy. We know switching data protection platforms may be intimidating, and to ease your concerns we have made implementing Commvault a simple and straightforward process. To borrow a popular insurance tagline, “we know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two,” when it comes to data migrations from legacy systems like Veritas. Commvault has well established resources for a successful migration including documented processes, planning guides and checklists, automated software tools and trained resources. The migration is simple and straightforward and may be performed by your staff. Commvault can also guide you through the process for your staff to take over and complete, or Commvault can run the migration from start to finish. We can even run your environment for you if you want to free your staff to work on other projects. In any case, you have the expertise and power of Commvault behind you to ensure your success.

Commvault makes it easy

You may have been deferring a move from Veritas to Commvault, but the risks to your data are too great to ignore any longer. Your job may be full of hard decisions, but this is not one of them. Commvault makes it easier than ever to move from your traditional Veritas environment and the benefits are too many to ignore.

Resources

  • 1. ESG Master Survey Results, “2019 Technology Spending Intentions”, March 2019
  • 2. Gartner, “Magic Quadrant for Data Center Backup and Recovery Solutions”, Published 10 October 2019 – ID G00380806
  • 3. The maximum deduplication storage capacity for a single Veritas NetBackup Media Server Deduplication Pool (MSDP) is limited based on the supported operating system. Larger MSDP are only supported on NetBackup appliances. https://www.veritas.com/content/support/en_US/doc/25074086-136046435-0/v25295618-136046435
  • 4. The Forrester Wave™: Data Resiliency Solutions, Q3 2019 The 10 Providers That Matter Most And How They Stack Up by Naveen Chhabra September 12, 2019
Commvault data migration services

A roadmap for controlled migration to Commvault’s Data Management Platform.