NetVault Backup

NetVault Backup
Quest Netvault Backup™
Stable release 8.5.3 / December 2010
Operating system cross-platform
Type Backup
License Proprietary

NetVault is a set of data protection solutions developed and supported by Quest Software (NASDAQQSFT). Its flagship product, NetVault Backup is a cross-platform, enterprise-level backup and recovery software solution. It can be used to protect data and software applications in physical and virtual environments from one central management interface. An enterprise solution, it supports many server, application platforms and protocols such as UNIX, Linux, Mac OS, Microsoft Windows, VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, Oracle, Sybase, Microsoft SQL Server, NDMP, Oracle ACSLS, IBM DAS/ACI, Microsoft Exchange Server, DB2, Informix, MySQL, Lotus Domino, and Teradata.

Quest offers additional components that complement NetVault Backup. These offer near-instant recovery of applications, continuous data protection (CDP), bare metal recovery (BMR), host-based replication, data deduplication, and protection for NAS filers (NDMP).

Quest Software acquired the full line of NetVault data protection products through its purchase of BakBone Software in 2011. It was the twenty-second acquisition for Quest since 1998.[1]


Product details

NetVault Backup is based on a client-server architecture. A central NetVault Backup Server provides the job management, media management, device management, client management, reporting, notifications and logging functions. The NetVault Backup Server maintains a history of backups in the NetVault Backup database, enabling users to identify the object(s) they want to restore. NetVault Clients are “agents” that work with the NetVault Backup Server to back up and recovery the respective servers, applications and data. The client software is installed on each machine to be protected. The NetVault Console enables centralized administration of a NetVault Backup Server from any workstation within the network.

NetVault supports tape drives, tape libraries and other backup devices attached to the central server itself or to a protected machine located anywhere on the network, enabling LAN-free backups. Additionally, devices can be controlled through NDMP if they are attached to a supported filer.

NetVault Backup Server 8.5.3 (the master backup server) can be deployed on Microsoft Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, IBM AIX, and HP-UX.

Platform and application support

NetVault Backup can protect Windows Server, Linux, Mac OS, Solaris, FreeBSD, AIX, HP-UX, Hyper-V, VMware and NetWare (using a thin client).[2] It also can back up a variety of applications and NAS devices (NDMP) using so-called Plug-ins. The list includes Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, Microsoft Exchange Server, Lotus Notes, DB2, Sybase, and others.


There are five options within the Quest NetVault suite, enabling backup and recovery to disk or tape, instant recovery, continuous data protection (CDP), bare metal recovery (BMR), host-based replication, and data deduplication:

  • NetVault Backup is a cross-platform backup and recovery software solution. It can be used to back up and recover data and applications in physical and virtual environments from one central management interface. eWEEK wrote that NetVault's broad platform support is its “primary strength.” For example, NetVault has been ported to Mac OS. “This makes it a good choice for IT managers who want to back up their data to Apple servers.”[3]
  • NetVault SmartDisk offers disk-based backup, data compression, and data deduplication to reduce the backend storage footprint. It uses byte-level, variable block-based software deduplication and is hardware-agnostic, so no specialized drives or appliances are needed.
  • NetVault FastRecover provides near-instant recovery for Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server and Windows File servers using continuous data protection (CDP) technology. It allows users to recovery business-critical applications and data in 30 seconds.
  • NetVault Bare Metal Recovery enabling users to restore a computer from its "bare metal" state—including the necessary operating system, network settings, system settings, applications, disk partitions and data.
  • NetVault Replicator delivers host-based, real-time replication for Windows, Linux and Solaris file-system data. On-demand replication is also available for Mac OS X file-system data. NetVault Replication supports bi-directional one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-one, and many-to-many deployments.

NetApp options

Quest supports NetApp solutions with the following NetVault technologies:

  • SnapMirror to Tape – Working in conjunction with the NetApp’s SnapMirror technology, NetVault SnapMirror to Tape enables full volumes on filers to be mirrored and backed up to tape to provide the ability to store data offsite for disaster recovery.
  • SnapVault Manager – SnapVault Manager provides a graphical interface that is integrated with NetVault Backup to provide a single point of enterprise-wide control of NetApp’s SnapVault solution. This allows organizations to back up changed data from multiple storage platforms to a common Snapshot target on NetApp appliances.
  • Snapshot Manager – The NetVault NDMP Snapshot Manager allows organizations to generate, automatically schedule and recover snapshots through NetVault’s GUI.

Disk targets

Originally NetVault Backup was intended to back up to physical tapes in tape drives. However, the product was soon extended to support backup to a Virtual Tape Library or VTL. This technology is allows writing backup data to disk for permanent storage or later duplication to tape.

NetVault Backup supports LAN-free backups, which can write to a physical tape drive or VTL that is shared between multiple machines using Fibre Channel or iSCSI.

Quest now offers NetVault SmartDisk to complement NetVault Backup. NetVault SmartDisk performs post-processing data deduplication. It represents a contiguous storage pool on disk without being subdivided into virtual tapes or slots for easier management and allows for byte-level, variable block-based software deduplication.


  • 1989: The NetVault product was originally a product developed by AT&T for internal use.
  • 1992: AT&T contracted a UK company Willow Ltd to provide tape library support. At that time NetVault Backup was at version 2.0. Willow Ltd added Tape Library management, a Graphical User Interface and heterogeneous platform support.
  • 1996: AT&T spun off the NetVault product into a separate private company, CommVault, through a management buyout. At the time, CommVault’s Galaxy product was primarily an optical archiving product and used some of NetVault tape library support within it. CommVault and Willow Ltd could not agree the term for the buyout of NetVault. They eventually agreed a deal whereby CommVault would no longer be committed to the development contract with Willow Ltd. CommVault would have the right to license the NetVault media/device manager and Willow Ltd would have full ownership of the NetVault source code.
  • 1997: The re-architecture of the product that was to be NetVault 6 was started by Fabrice Helliker and his team. It had some unique features, including common Graphical User Interface between Windows, UNIX and Linux; support for shared tape libraries on SANs; built-in VTL support; and a plug-in architecture for extending protection to applications and devices
  • 1998: The UK company was renamed to NetVault Ltd.
  • 1999: The development of NetVault 6 core product was complete and was released at the end of the year.
  • 2000: BakBone Software bought NetVault Ltd. through a reverse merger. BakBone Software introduced NetVault 6.03, which was one of the first backup and recovery solutions to support Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP) on NetApp filers.
  • 2003: BakBone Software released NetVault 7, which added user-level access and a reporting infrastructure.
  • 2006: The core team that architected NetVault 6 left BakBone to form Cofio Software.
  • 2009: BakBone Software acquired the continuous data protection (CDP) technology from Asempra Technologies. It was rebranded NetVault FastRecover.
  • 2011: Quest Software completed the acquisition of BakBone Software and made the NetVault product line the core component of their data protection strategy.[4]

See also


  1. ^ "Quest Plans $55M Acquisition Of Data Protection Vendor BakBone". CRN. 10 Nov 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "NetVault Backup Compatibility Guide". Quest Software. 2011-07-12. Retrieved 2011-07-12. 
  3. ^ "NetVault Platform Gains Backup Muscle". eWEEK. Retrieved 28 July 2011. 
  4. ^ "Quest to acquire BakBone for $55 million". Infostor. Retrieved 15 July 2011. 

External links

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