Best practices for Backup Exec 2010 Granular Recovery Technology

As an adjunct to the Best Practices for BE for Exchange 2010 – heres a reheat of the GRT specific best practices from Symantec.
Best practices include tips and recommendations to help you use Symantec Backup Exec and Granular Recovery Technology (GRT) effectively.
For more information about Granular Recovery Technology, see the Backup Exec 2010 Administrator’s Guide.
The following best practices can help ensure the effective operation of Granular Recovery Technology:
  • Ensure that GRT is enabled before you run backups if you intend to be able to restore individual items. You can enable GRT for all backup jobs in Tools > Options. Or you can enable GRT for individual backup jobs on the Backup Job Properties dialog.
  • Back up your current or most recent GRT-enabled backup jobs to disk. It is more convenient to work with GRT-enabled jobs on the volumes that do not have file size limitations. You can create duplicate backup jobs and send copies of your backups to tape for archival purposes. Important for speed
  • Use a backup-to-disk folder on a volume that does not have file size limitations as the destination for any backups that are enabled for GRT. An NTFS drive is an example of a volume without file size limitations. Some examples of volumes that have file size limitations include FAT and FAT32 volumes. Very important for older servers
  • Review the requirements for staging locations in the Administrator’s Guide.
    You must use a staging location for GRT-enabled jobs in the following scenarios:
    • You back up to or restore from a volume with file size limitations.
    • You restore granular items from tape.
    • You run an offhost backup job.
  • Use a volume that is not your system volume for a staging location. The volume on which the staging location resides should have at least as much available space as the size of your largest GRT-enabled backup job. You can change the default staging locations in the default backup and restore option settings. Worth checking and amending if appropriate

  • Create a separate backup-to-disk folder specifically for all GRT-enabled backup jobs to simplify media management. You must manage the IMG media that GRT-enabled jobs create differently than other backup-to-disk media. See the Administrator’s Guide for more information. Very relevant
    Note: This recommendation does not apply to deduplication storage folders and OpenStorage devices.
  • Select the specific backup-to-disk folder you want to use for GRT-enabled jobs. If you do not change the default device setting of All Devices, you could accidentally send your GRT job to a tape.
  • Do not allocate the maximum size for backup-to-disk files. If you select the “Allocate the maximum size when you create the backup-to-disk file” option, Backup Exec creates a backup-to-disk file that is as large as the size that you specified. Since GRT information is stored in IMG media, the backup-to-disk file does not hold backup data. The extra space that the backup-to-disk file occupies can often lead to failed jobs because of low disk space.
  • Run a full GRT-enabled backup job periodically if your backup strategy uses frequent incremental GRT-enabled jobs. Each incremental GRT-enabled job requires a small amount of internal storage. If this storage amount increases too much, it can negatively affect your system resources. When you run a full GRT-enabled backup job, you make available the storage space that has accumulated from incremental jobs. You can then continue to run incremental GRT-enabled jobs.
  • Create a copy of your GRT-enabled backups on disk instead of performing multiple restore jobs from a backup on tape. Perform the restore jobs from the disk instead of the tape for best results. Definitely worth doing
  • Monitor your processor, disk, and memory usage if you experience any performance issues. Recovery and staging of GRT data may require more than the minimum system requirements, depending on the volume of data in the backup sets.