NetBackup 6.5 End of Support Announcement Hastens Move to 7.x
It’s been with us since late summer of 2007 and has served us well but it’s time to say goodbye to Netbackup 6.5. In 2009 Symantec had announced that version 6.5 will reach end of support on October 3rd 2012. Of course looking at this alert back in 2009 it was easy to dismiss. Netbackup 6.5 was a solid product and support calls were most likely far and few between for most deployments. Hence, putting this announcement on the back burner wasn’t a big issue. Not anymore… 2012 is upon us, October has come and gone and so has support for 6.5. If you are one of those who didn’t give this warning a second thought (as so many of us are susceptible to do when announcements come years in advance) simply because in day to day business there are more crucial issues to attend to, now is the time to act. Allowing support for this product to expire would be a critical error. Sure, your backup infrastructure is functioning perfectly but how will you feel about your backup infrastructure running perfectly WITHOUT a safety net? Allow me to analogize. Picture yourself out on the ocean in a rowboat named Netbackup 6.5 with your support being the two oars you are paddling with. Then suddenly you lost both of your oars. You may have a boat that is working perfectly, keeping you afloat, but outside of that you have no direction and no ability to get help. You are on your own.
Upgrading to Netbackup version 7.5 is not simply a pragmatic necessity, it’s a moral imperative. If you are currently running any other version than 7.5 of Netbackup it’s time to iron out your upgrade strategies and execute in a timely manner. Don’t allow Murphy’s Law to make your life miserable. As stable as Netbackup 6.5 is there will undoubtedly be a time when technical support is needed.
Not convinced you need to upgrade? Consider that hardware support is one of the keys to Netbackup’s stability. During these times when technology changes in what seems like every 3 or 4 months this support is critical. Think about the repercussions on Netbackup when you replace that 10 year old storage array that was used as a primary storage unit for backups with newer technology only to find out the newer hardware is not supported in the currently deployed Netbackup version because Symantec is no longer writing the code necessary to support newer technology in 6.5. Hardware support is the one area that is rarely considered when speaking of reasons to upgrade while in reality it is one of the most important drivers.
Being so late in the game there is still a way to turn this potential nightmare into a sweet success story. Upgrading will be at no cost for customers with a current maintenance contract and with the release of Symantec Netbackup appliances, upgrades can be combined with a hardware refresh in a seamless process. Chances are if you’re running version 6.5 you are probably running on older hardware that most likely could stand an upgrade itself within the next year. Taking out two birds with one stone with Netbackup 5220 and 5020 appliances would be the quickest and most efficient way to upgrade from Netbackup 6.5 and should be considered plan A by IT Managers.