Automatic tape naming, using new tapes, etc

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Automatic tape naming, using new tapes, etc

Veeam Logoby pshute » Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:46 pm

Whenever I use a new tape, I get an email asking me to insert a tape, even though there's one already inserted. I'm guessing this is because I haven't made that tape part of the media pool it's expecting to use. Correct? Should I do that first? It eventually says it's "Moving Tape x to media pool free", and the backup starts. Is this how it's supposed to work?

I then find it's named the tape "Tape n", where n is the next available number. If I rename it, say from "Tape 4" to "Tape 4 - weekly 1", it'll give the next tape the same number. I was thinking I should include the number it gave it in my names, but if I'm going to end up with them all called Tape 4, there's no point. Should I just ignore this, and rename them as I want?
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Re: Automatic tape naming, using new tapes, etc

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:32 am

If a media doesn't belong to existing or free media pool, a tape job pointed to the said media pool won't be able to use it. Thus, you need to move media either to the given or free media pool manually.

Do you use barcodes?

Thanks.
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Re: Automatic tape naming, using new tapes, etc

Veeam Logoby pshute » Thu Dec 17, 2015 9:22 pm

v.Eremin wrote:If a media doesn't belong to existing or free media pool, a tape job pointed to the said media pool won't be able to use it. Thus, you need to move media either to the given or free media pool manually.


That's what I would have thought, hence the email alert. But then why does it move it to the free pool itself and start using it?

Do you use barcodes?


No. We've only got a single tape drive, no auto loader, and assumed it can't read barcodes. Is there a possibility that it could? I'm guessing not.
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Re: Automatic tape naming, using new tapes, etc

Veeam Logoby pshute » Thu Dec 17, 2015 11:31 pm

Assuming our drive doesn't support barcodes, where is it storing the tape names? Does it store the name on the tape itself, on the cartridge chip, or only in Veeam's database? Is there a risk it'll ever get the names wrong?
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Re: Automatic tape naming, using new tapes, etc

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Fri Dec 18, 2015 12:01 pm

That's what I would have thought, hence the email alert. But then why does it move it to the free pool itself and start using it?

Is a brand new tape, a tape written previously by 3-party solution or a tape written by VB&R?

No. We've only got a single tape drive, no auto loader, and assumed it can't read barcodes. Is there a possibility that it could? I'm guessing not.

To the best of my knowledge, standalone drives are "blind", it's medium changer in libraries that makes device see the barcodes.

Thanks.
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Re: Automatic tape naming, using new tapes, etc

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Fri Dec 18, 2015 4:39 pm

Does it store the name on the tape itself, on the cartridge chip, or only in Veeam's database? Is there a risk it'll ever get the names wrong?

According to my test results, it stores the name in local catalogue only, so proper labeling and naming the tapes properly within one backup console is almost a mandatory.
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Re: Automatic tape naming, using new tapes, etc

Veeam Logoby pshute » Sun Dec 20, 2015 8:35 pm

v.Eremin wrote:Is a brand new tape, a tape written previously by 3-party solution or a tape written by VB&R?

It's a brand new tape.
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Re: Automatic tape naming, using new tapes, etc

Veeam Logoby pshute » Sun Dec 20, 2015 8:39 pm

Dima P. wrote:According to my test results, it stores the name in local catalogue only, so proper labelling and naming the tapes properly within one backup console is almost a mandatory.

Thanks, I'm also wondering how reliably Veeam can link that name to that physical tape. I assume it has some way of telling tapes apart, like a unique serial number or something. Is that stored on the tape - written by Veeam - or in the cartridge chip? Is there a chance it will be wiped after erasing the tape, causing Veeam to become confused about which name I've given it?
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Re: Automatic tape naming, using new tapes, etc

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Mon Dec 21, 2015 12:47 pm

unique serial number or something

Yes. The “internal” ID (I call it internal because it’s invisible for an end-user) is stored both on tape and in backup server's catalogue
Is there a chance it will be wiped after erasing the tape, causing Veeam to become confused about which name I've given it?

Well, after you are erasing the tape media it should keep the given name (since its linked with this ID), however, when you are Removing tape media from catalogue – it loses the links between media name and internal ID.

This is actually a good catch, thanks for bringing our attention to this scenario. I believe the best way in terms of blind tape management is to somehow keep the given name on the media – will discuss with the team how this could be accomplished. Thanks again!
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Re: Automatic tape naming, using new tapes, etc

Veeam Logoby pshute » Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:14 pm

Dima P. wrote:Well, after you are erasing the tape media it should keep the given name (since its linked with this ID), however, when you are Removing tape media from catalogue – it loses the links between media name and internal ID.

If the internal id is written to the tape, how does it retain it after erasing? Does it rewrite it? Is the cartridge memory not involved at all?
This is actually a good catch, thanks for bringing our attention to this scenario. I believe the best way in terms of blind tape management is to somehow keep the given name on the media – will discuss with the team how this could be accomplished. Thanks again!

This is a problem that cannot happen with barcoded tapes and loaders, correct? Would I be right in assuming that emphasis is given to using Veeam with loaders? I initially found the tree shown in the Tape Infrastructure section confusing. It doesn't make full sense to someone with a standalone drive, as it lists the drive under itself. In orderr to eject or inventory, I have to right click in different places that don't seem logical. I'm hoping we don't come across more things that are poorly supported with standalone drives.
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Re: Automatic tape naming, using new tapes, etc

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:27 pm

Mind me asking before I answer, why do you care about the given tape name when the data itself was erased? Is this somehow referring to your internal media rotation and labeling?
This is a problem that cannot happen with barcoded tapes and loaders, correct?

Yes, barcode lables solve this issue.
Would I be right in assuming that emphasis is given to using Veeam with loaders?... I'm hoping we don't come across more things that are poorly supported with standalone drives.

You won’t find any – standalone drive users are treated with the same respect as regular library owners. :wink:
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Re: Automatic tape naming, using new tapes, etc

Veeam Logoby pshute » Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:41 am

Dima P. wrote:Mind me asking before I answer, why do you care about the given tape name when the data itself was erased? Is this somehow referring to your internal media rotation and labeling?

I wouldn't normally erase a tape, only overwrite. I was just trying to see how stable these names are.

Yes, these tapes are part of a rotation scheme - weekly 1, weekly 2, etc. If I ever want to restore data from a particular time, I need to be able to identify the physical tape.
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Re: Automatic tape naming, using new tapes, etc

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Tue Dec 22, 2015 11:41 am

Thanks for the heads up! The behavior is following:

‘remove from catalogue’ will force VBR to forget the given name. Catalogue Tape will recognize this tape as recorded by Veeam B&R but won’t set the name to the correct one (as I said before this needs to be corrected)
‘mark as free’ – name remains
‘Erase Tape (both short/long)’ – name remains

Keeping this in mind, you scenario will perfectly work: you can label the tapes with custom given names and overwrite such tapes according to media pool retention – given tape should remain in the UI.
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Re: Automatic tape naming, using new tapes, etc

Veeam Logoby pshute » Tue Dec 22, 2015 9:05 pm

Thanks. Just out of interest though, do you have an answer to my other question:
If the internal id is written to the tape, how does it retain it after erasing? Does it rewrite it? Is the cartridge memory not involved at all?
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Re: Automatic tape naming, using new tapes, etc

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Wed Dec 23, 2015 12:21 pm

The said ID is kept both in the tape headers (not in the chip memory) and in Veeam B&R catalogue. Thanks.
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