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Open Veritas NetBackup VSP Cache Files October 13, 2010

Posted by General Zod in Backup, Tech.
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I’m currently using Veritas NetBackup to perform the backups on my servers.  When these backups are running there are VSP cache files created on the server’s HDD in a “NBU_VSP_Cache” folder because I have “open file backup” enabled.

Unfortunately, I occasionally have seen issues where the VSP files are not properly closed and purged after the backup finished.  The backups always seem to complete successfully, but this open-file snapshot cache doesn’t always find closure afterwards.  But now you’ve got this huge “open” file and eating up your disk space.

You could just reboot the server, but that seems like a rather extreme fix… especially when that down-time eats into your monthly “server availability” score.  All you really need to do is to “close” that file so you can delete it.

process_explorer So go download yourself a copy of Process Explorer.  You don’t need to install anything to use it… so just unzip a copy of it somewhere on your server(s) in anticipation of the day you’ll need it.

Launch Process Explorer, and then click View –> Show Lower Pane.  Next, select “System” from the top pane’s Process tree list.  Then, sort the contents of the lower pane by “Name”.  Then, simply scroll through the list of names until you find the path to the open file.  Right-click on that entry, and select “Close Handle”.  Finally, go delete that pesky file.

Now this doesn’t resolve your problem… nor do I think anything can “fix” this issue.  It’s going to happen from time to time.  However, there is something you can do to prevent this issue from choking your machine in the future.

What you want to do is to direct your client to create all of your VSP cache files on a disk partition that has plenty of disk space (even if you have to create a custom partition just for the occasion).  I don’t know of any way to do this from the NetBackup client, so…

You will need to access to the NetBackup Administration Console.  Next, browse through your policies and find the Client that you wish to configure.  Right-click on the Client, and select “Host Properties”.  Then, expand through the Properties tree to Properties –> Windows Client –> VSP.

veritas_vsp The “Cache File Volume List” field is a list of preferred drive locations on which NetBackup should place VSP cache files. This list of volumes should be separated by separated by commas and spaces. For example: D, E, H

I’d recommend that you not be tempted to start experimenting with the “VSP volume exclude list” as the name is misleading after reading about the 1st list.  This 2nd list does NOT tell the client where NOT to put the VSP cache files.  Instead, it tells the client to proceed with backing up these drives WITHOUT the benefit of snapshot protection.

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