Using tape as a backup target
geofftx
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Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Post by geofftx »

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

Post by Dima P. »

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.

geofftx
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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Post by geofftx »

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

Post by Dima P. »

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.

geofftx
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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Post by geofftx »

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

Post by Dima P. »

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

Post by veremin »

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

Post by Dima P. »

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

Post by geofftx » 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

Post by tsightler »

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

Post by geofftx »

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?

Geoff

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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Post by Dima P. »

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

Post by tsightler »

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

Post by Dima P. »

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

Post by geofftx »

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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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Post by Dima P. »

Geoff,
Hopefully, we should be able to support Amazon VTL gateway in the upcoming release, but this is not 100% sure - will update this thread with the results.

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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Post by anthonynz »

Looking forward to support for the AWS VTL media changer. I have it appearing in Backup Exec 2012, but we're very very motivated to getting rid of that and replacing it with Veeam.

I'm going to attempt a duplicate to the AWS VTL tonight with BE2012, ironically it's a copy of a Veeam backup :D

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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Post by anthonynz »

Well it looks like using Backup Exec to handle the AWS VTL is not an option. It identifies the Media changer and the tape drives, but as separate objects, and it doesn't list the media loaded in the library.

Back to waiting for the next release of Veeam to come to the rescue. What's the ETA?

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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Post by veremin »

Hi, Anthony,

The recent community weekly digest has had this information:
Gostev wrote:Very excited, and we at Veeam R&D are looking forward to putting the goods into your hands this summer.
Thanks.

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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Post by foggy »

However there's still no 100% certainty in whether this functionality will be included in it.

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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Post by petri.jeskanen »

WTB - AWS VTL support! :)

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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Post by veremin »

We're currently looking into it. So, thank you for the feedback. Your voice is counted. :D

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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Post by petri.jeskanen »

Any news on this one?

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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Post by Dima P. »

Hello Petri,
Unfortunately no, still in progress.

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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Post by Meyercord »

We are trying to implement this as well and having no luck. Any update would be helpful

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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Post by Dima P. »

Hello guys,
Short update thanks to Amazon team we got in touch and they started to work on bringing Veeam support in Amazon VTL Gateway. Currently there is no way in making our tape functionality work with the VLT but we are awaiting for changes on the Amazon end, but hopefully this going to change soon. There is no ETA, though.

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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Post by anthonynz »

That's unfortunate, we have to wait even longer, and "started to work on" is a long way off from the suggestions at the start of the year that it was an impending feature. :?

December: “hopefully in the upcoming release...”
February : “looking forward to putting the goods in your hands this summer”

I know these were simply indications of when it may be available, but now you're saying it wasn't even being worked on... you'll have to rebrand as Microsoft if you keep up that marketing technique.

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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Post by Dima P. »

Anthony,

I am sorry that I upset you with the last post but as I noted before the enhancements are currently in progress, and all the development and testing is taking place on Amazon end. There is nothing Veeam team can do to speed up the process. I am confident in Amazon team doing their best to include Veeam B&R in the list of supported vendors for Amazon VTL Gateway as soon as possible.

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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Post by Gostev »

anthonynz wrote:I know these were simply indications of when it may be available, but now you're saying it wasn't even being worked on
Please understand that we do not control Amazon R&D, and thus we cannot really tell them what to do, and what fixes to prioritize. It took us months to even get them to merely start responding on this issue...

Also, if you scroll up just a few posts to a February statement you are quoting, you will see that we were not certain this feature will make it into the summer release. We knew that the timelines are completely unpredictable here, because we have no control over Amazon R&D.

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Re: Amazon AWS VTL Gateway

Post by Dima P. » 2 people like this post

Dear all,
Official announcement from Amazon team: Announcing support for Veeam and Microsoft backup applications

Amazon is bringing Veeam tape support for Gateway VTL configuration in the new Gateway VTL release. Upcoming Veeam B&R v8 is supported; bonus - existing Veeam B&R v7 p4 is supported.

Once the VTL is deployed, and IP address or DNS name of the appliance added to the Discover Target Portal at iSCSI initiator, you must manually change the default Unknown Medium Changer to Sony - TSL-A500C Autoloader driver. Here is a short instruction how to manually swap existing drivers:

- Open Device Manager on your Windows server, and expand the Medium Changer devices tree.
- Right-click Unknown Medium Changer, and click Update Driver Software to open the Update Driver Software-unknown Medium Changer window.
- In the How do you want to search for driver software? section, click Browse my computer for driver software.
- Click Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer.
- In the Select the device driver you want to install for this hardware section, click to uncheck the Show compatible hardware check box, click Sony in the Manufacturer list, click Sony - TSL-A500C Autoloader in the Model list, and then click Next.
- In the warning box that appears, click Yes. If the driver is successfully installed, close the Update drive software window.

Thank you.

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