Exchange Granular Restore Technology (GRT) Backups to Tape appear to hang or do hang in "Updating Catalogs" stage.
The GRT (Granular Recovery Technology) option for the Backup Exec Exchange Agent provides an option to restore individual email items from a database level backup. The GRT backup operation to a Disk backup device varies from the GRT backup operation to a Tape backup device however in both types of backups there is a stage called the "Updating Catalogs". In the "Updating Catalogs" stage, the catalog information is built for the backup set so that the individual email items can be seen in the Restore Selections view after the backup job completes. The "Updating Catalogs" stage may take a long time to complete depending on the size of the database, number of transaction log files, number of mailboxes, number of mail items etc.
The catalog information for GRT backup is processed differently, depending on whether the backup target is Disk or Tape.
Exchange GRT backup operation to a Tape backup device:
When running an Exchange GRT backup to tape, it is not possible to mount the database and build the GRT catalog information. Backup Exec depends on Active Directory and MAPI connections to build that information. Backup Exec gets information about the various users from Active Directory and logs into every user's mailbox using MAPI and builds the information about every email item inside the mailbox. During this time the backup job will show to be in "Updating Catalogs" stage. To confirm if the job is actually processing data or stuck at this stage, launch the activity monitor for the active job and verify if the "mailbox/email message information" is constantly changing. Depending on the number of mailboxes and mail items this process can take significant amount of time.
If the backup appear to be hung without message information changing:
1. Cancel the backup job.
2. Run backup on a B2D (backup to disk) folder until it completes successfully.
3. Duplicate the successful backup from step 2 to the tape media.
Note: Because of changes in the way the most recent version of Backup Exec 2010 and above generates catalogs, this issue has not yet been found to occur for Exchange Backups which use VSS to backup the databases. For more information about upgrading, review the following: