NetBackup Scaling Made Simple – No Client Side or Policy Changes Required

Protection March 02, 2021

We all understand that providing enterprise data protection for your IT services involves several variables that are often hard to predict.  NetBackup Flex Scale was designed to make enterprise data protection easy. You can start with an initial configuration that meets your current performance and capacity requirements, and simply grow when you need to with a fully automated process.  To scale your cluster, you can simply add additional nodes – one or more at a time – and the cluster capacity and performance will automatically increase. It’s that simple!

NetBackup Flex Scale is designed for nearly unlimited scalability.  The minimum configuration is 4 nodes with a total of 448 TB of usable data protection capacity.  Currently, we have tested and support scaling up to 16 nodes, totaling 1.8 PB of usable space within a single domain on local storage, with the option to add additional capacity using cloud-based storage services.  NetBackup’s advanced in-line deduplication engine ensures that space is highly optimized as data is sent to both local and cloud storage. 

Of course, properly scaling out a data protection solution requires more than simply adding backup storage capacity. It also needs to include scaling out capacity for metadata and fingerprints as well as a way to scale the backup services to handle the additional load. The key to doing this right is to automate the entire scaling process so you can seamlessly increase your capacity, performance, and resiliency without administrative overhead. NetBackup Flex Scale was designed to do exactly this! Our engineers used our expertise in both data protection and distributed cluster management to design a scale-out data protection solution that allows you to simply add a node without having to monitor and manage individual components.  

NetBackup Flex Scale is designed to automatically:

  • Provide clients with a single endpoint connection to highly available, self-managed, scalable NetBackup services.  This eliminates the need to make changes to backup policies and client configurations when new nodes are added into the cluster. 
  • Create an optimal ratio of storage pool capacity, catalog, and cache sizes that automatically scale together to ensure the most efficient hyperconverged solution.   
  • Create a distributed file system that’s ideally suited to efficiently store NetBackup deduplicated data with high levels of resiliency.  
    • All of the disks in the cluster nodes are used to create a clustered file system that is automatically configured as a single NetBackup storage pool.  As new nodes are added, their disks are automatically added to the same storage pool.   
    • The storage pool and fingerprint cache provide the highest levels of storage optimization using our world-class and highly efficient dedupe engine and intelligent I/O router technologies.

Scaling out your NetBackup Flex Scale environment can be done in a few simple steps:

1. Cable up and power on the new node(s)

2. Let the running cluster autodetect the new node(s) and select them to be added to the cluster

3. Choose a cluster resource priority for scaling out

4. Provide the name and IP addresses 

That’s it!!!

Once this is done, the non-disruptive background process automatically takes over and starts:

  • installing and configuring the node software and networking 
  • expanding the cluster filesystems 
  • increasing the cluster’s fingerprint cache size 
  • optimized data rebalancing, moving only the minimal amount of data while ensuring data resiliency 
  • spinning up additional NetBackup service containers

Once that process completes, the built-in intelligent load balancer automatically includes the new node(s) in backup and recovery job scheduling.  What’s even better: there’s no need to make any changes to your clients or your backup policies!!  

Now that’s scale-out data protection done right!

To see how easy it is to scale-out a NetBackup Flex Scale cluster, check out my demo.

For more information on NetBackup Flex Scale, check out this white paper or visit the Appliance Solutions page on and watch the recorded NetBackup Flex Scale announcement and technical breakout sessions from the Conquer Every Cloud Virtual Conference.

Sandra Moulton
Dir, Solutions Architect
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