Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

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Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Veeam Logoby geofftx » Fri Dec 06, 2013 7:46 pm

I'm trying to configure the Amazon AWS VTL Gateway (http://aws.amazon.com/storagegateway/) to work with Veeam 7R2.

The gateway is an appliance (a VM you install on a local ESX server) that presents a changer (STK-L700) and tape drives (IBM ULT3580-TD5) as iSCSI devices to Veeam. I have loaded the Stroragetek and IBM tape drivers on my Veeam server, pointed the MS iSCSI initiator at the appliance, and in Device Manager the tape drives and changer show as "...working properly". Veeam sees the tape drives but does not see the changer, and about every 15 seconds it adds an offline tape to the inventory. I have a ticket open with Veeam support but I'm told they don't know of anyone using the AWS Gateway, and that I should post here to see if anyone's gotten this working.

So if you've had any luck configuring the AWS VTL Gateway I'd sure love to hear how you did it.

Thanks,

Geoff
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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:22 am

Geoff,

Does medium changer uses the Default Unknown Medium Changes windows driver - or it is vendor specific driver? Could you, please, double check that in the device manager? Thank you.
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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Veeam Logoby geofftx » Tue Dec 10, 2013 9:42 pm

Vendor-specific Storagetek STK-L700. It's in device manager (shown as Sun/StorageTek Library) and is "...working properly", but after running Veeam tape diagnostic tools Veeam is having trouble retrieving the device properties.

On the AWS forums there's a post from another person trying to get the changer to work in Windows, and he's seeing the same property retrieval errors when he runs the MS DPMLibraryTestTool, so maybe the problem has nothing at all to do with Veeam, and everything to do with the way the VTL is emulating the changer.

Here's the AWS post with the MS test tool logs: https://forums.aws.amazon.com/thread.js ... 0&tstart=0

Geoff
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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:05 pm

Geoff,

Possibly, as we tested Storagetek libraries specifically, due few issues were addressed to these libraries. With the release of R2A Veeam patch we confirmed that issues were resolved and users reported Sun libraries are working properly with our software. I'll see if it is possible to test this amazon VTL on our side - will follow-up as soon as get any update. Thank you.
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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Veeam Logoby geofftx » Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:01 pm

I hadn't upgraded to R2A but just did so and tested again - no change in behavior, including the rescan reg key not working. I see my case (00487436) has been escalated, so I'll work with the engineer and see what we can come up with. The good news is, if you want to test this on your end the VTL Gateway appliance is free for the first 60 days, and it literally takes about 20 minutes to download, install and activate, so getting this set up in your environment should be pretty simple providing someone's willing to give their credit card to AWS :D.

Geoff
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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:04 pm

Cool! Thank you for the heads up - it means that I could actually test it myself :wink:
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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:07 pm

Previously, we have had the topic regarding the same issue. So, it might be worth posting the questions there. Once notified, Kellen (topic creator) will probably come back and share his own finding there.

Thanks.
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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Thu Dec 12, 2013 3:24 pm

Today I installed the AWS VTL Gateway, and by default it uses the Unknown Medium Changer windows driver for L700 changer which is currently not supported, I'll see if L700 has the vendor specific driver for the changer.
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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Veeam Logoby geofftx » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:02 pm 1 person likes this post

Easiest way I found to get the driver is to go to http://catalog.update.microsoft.com/v7/site/Home.aspx and then search for "storagetek". In the search results you'll see "StorageTek - Storage - Sun/StorageTek Library". The 19K one is the 64-bit version. That was the closest thing I could find, and Device Manager reports the changer as a Sun device "working properly" once the driver is installed.

Having said that... check this out from a posting on the AWS Forum yesterday:

"The generic Microsoft drivers have been tested for use with Gateway-VTL and Symantec NetBackup. It's true that when using these drivers the Media Changer device displays as "Unknown Media Changer" in Device Manager, but the backup application should still be able to detect it as the appropriate device type (ex. STK-L700).

Currently, we do not recommend installing any driver but the generic Microsoft driver for use with the Storage Gateway. However, as stated previously I this thread, we are in the process of actively qualifying other backup applications. If we come to find that a particular application works better with another driver, we will be sure to update our documentation to reflect the new recommendation."
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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Veeam Logoby tsightler » Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:01 am

The "Unknown Media Changer" is really not a driver at all, it's basically just a passthrough device that does not provide the actual Windows medium changer API and is basically just there to not display an error in Device Manager. NetBackup will work because it communicates with the changer directly, something Veeam is currently not able to do. In it's current form, Veeam requires a full-function driver that provides the full Windows medium changer API for the device in question. I'm not even sure that the link you provided does this, it appears to just change the name of the "Unknown" driver so that it shows the correct name. Typically, you must use a vendor provided Windows driver to get this functionality.
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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Veeam Logoby geofftx » Fri Dec 13, 2013 2:37 am

Well, that would explain why Veeam is having trouble querying the changer properties.

Not sure why AWS decided to emulate a library that's been out of production for so long. I searched all over for vendor drivers for the STK-L700 and most of the links seem to point back to a dead stortek.com domain or the completely paywalled Oracle support site.

The only glimmer of hope I found was someone trying to use an L40 library with MS DPM, and the MS support guy saying they had access to Sun 64-bit drivers and to open a support case with MS to get them: (http://social.technet.microsoft.com/For ... uprecovery)

Looks like the L700 library is supported by DPM so perhaps I need to open a ticket and see what MS can do.

Dmitry - know anyone at MS who can help?

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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Fri Dec 13, 2013 12:56 pm

Geoff,

Can’t say right now. I saw couple of posts that DMP users could request "private drivers" from Microsoft but they are distributed only via opening the case. I am trying to get in touch with Amazon and/or Oracle, but I guess it would take time...
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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Veeam Logoby tsightler » Fri Dec 13, 2013 5:36 pm

geofftx wrote:Not sure why AWS decided to emulate a library that's been out of production for so long.

Probably due to the fact that it was an exceptionally common device that was widely supported by natively by most legacy tape backup products running on Windows/Unix/Linux and even mainframe and midrange systems. Lots of VTLs default to this emulation. Unfortunately in this case Veeam isn't a legacy backup product.
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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:53 am

Geoff,

I believe Amazon VTL changes tape driver ID for some reason and that’s why we create new tape drive and another goes to offline. During my tests it generated over 500.000 offline drives, which caused VBR GUI became laggy, so I have to shut down iSCSI target and launch SQL Management Studio query the deletion of all tape libraries, drives and changes.
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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Veeam Logoby geofftx » Mon Dec 23, 2013 2:34 pm

OK, thanks for the update Dmitry. I hope Amazon/Oracle can help you get this working as there are rumors that AWS will be releasing a faster retrieval version of Glacier to compete with EVault LTS2 sometime in early 2014, and that makes using the VTL Gateway even more attractive.

Geoff
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