A system and method for managing backup and restore operations associated with a backup system. Metadata associated with files/directories of one or more file systems associated with one or more resources may be received. A virtual catalog image associated with the metadata may be created in a virtual file system image format. Once the virtual catalog image is created, virtualization vendor specific technology may be utilized to mount the image on the backup system and search and browse operations may be performed. The virtual catalog image may contain the file/directory hierarchy without containing actual file data.