Can you set tapes to be appendable until a certain time?

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Can you set tapes to be appendable until a certain time?

Veeam Logoby cffit » Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:22 pm

With Backup Exec, I could put 5 tapes in our library at the beginning of the week and each one would rest of the week. I'd have a tape for Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to all do incrementals. The protect date would work so that on Monday night, only the Monday night tape was unprotected, so it would use the Monday night tape, etc. Also, after Monday night's backup ran, that tape would be appendable until X hours later. That way, when Tuesday came around, if I didn't have Monday's tape exported, Tuesday's backup would only go to the Tuesday tape, even though the Monday tape had room, because the Monday tape became marked unappendable by the time Tuesday's backup would run.

With Veeam I think that if I ran a backup on Monday, if I didn't export the tape then Tuesday's backup would just start appending to Monday night's tape rather than write to the Tuesday tape. This becomes an issue on holidays because if someone isn't in every day of the week to export the previous night's backup tape, then we start having multiple days write to a tape that represents a single day.

All of these tapes would be in the same media pool just to clarify.
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Re: Can you set tapes to be appendable until a certain time?

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:26 pm

Hello Christensen,
There is no way to 'link' media for each day of the week, however, there is an option to create media set for each tape backup session. It would produce one tape (or more is needed) per one tape backup session (one job run), and then it could be exported. Please, take a look at media set creation settings details. Thank you.
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Re: Can you set tapes to be appendable until a certain time?

Veeam Logoby cffit » Tue Dec 03, 2013 7:35 pm

I wasn't looking to link the media to a day, I was looking at saying for instance, tapes in media pool X are appendable until X hours after they are written to. That way you can still have the tape in the library, but it can't be written to and the backup will chose the next available tape. That might be a feature request I guess.
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Re: Can you set tapes to be appendable until a certain time?

Veeam Logoby tsightler » Wed Dec 04, 2013 1:54 am 1 person likes this post

I think what you are looking for is under the "Media Set" options of the Media Pool settings. If you configure the "Create new media set" option to create a new media set at 12AM every day (or the specific time/specific days you prefer), then you will get effectively this behavior. For example, with this option the first backup that runs on Monday would start a new tape, further backup jobs would continue to use this tape (unless it was full, in which case the media set would take a second tape). However, once the time passed 12AM, a new media set would be created which would require a new tape, even if the active tape in the current media set has space. The tapes in the prior media setup would then be subject to the overwrite protection for the media pool. I think this is exactly what you are looking to do.
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Re: Can you set tapes to be appendable until a certain time?

Veeam Logoby cffit » Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:19 pm

Thanks tsightler. That's effectively what I'm looking to do. I'm not sure if there is a downside to creating a new media set every single weekday. I guess I'd just need to have 10 media sets as we have two weeks worth of daily incremental backups that get reused after two weeks. What VEEAM uses media sets for is different than what I'm used to I guess. Thanks.
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Re: Can you set tapes to be appendable until a certain time?

Veeam Logoby tsightler » Wed Dec 04, 2013 2:43 pm

I can't think of a downside to creating a new media set every day if you're already wanting to use a single tape for each day. A media set is simply a logical grouping of media that goes together. In your case it sounds like you only need a single tape every day, so in reality you have a media set every day anyway, it's just that you "set" is only a single tape.

The primary use case for media sets is to simplify rotation of media offsite. If I create a new media set every day, the previous days media set (whether it be a single tape or multiple tapes) can be exported and taken offsite. However, it's not required to take the tape offsite, you can simply use it to force a new tape to be used the next day and I think that will work for you.
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Re: Can you set tapes to be appendable until a certain time?

Veeam Logoby cffit » Wed Dec 04, 2013 5:44 pm

So in my case, this is my backup rotation:

Week1 Full
MondayA Inc
TuesdayA Inc
WednesdayA Inc
ThursdayA Inc
FridayA Inc
Week2 Full
MondayB Inc
TuesdayB Inc
WednesdayB Inc
ThursdayB Inc
FridayB Inc
Week3 Full
MondayA Inc
.....

So my MondayA tape is used on a Monday, then taken offsite until it is used again in 14 days. In this case, would I need 10 media sets for my incremental tapes, each named MondayA, TuesdayA, etc... or would I just have it create a new media set everyday ongoing for the incrementals? If I did go with creating 10 media sets, would I need 10 different jobs too?
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Re: Can you set tapes to be appendable until a certain time?

Veeam Logoby tsightler » Wed Dec 04, 2013 6:58 pm

You don't create media sets, they are automatically created based on the settings of the media pool. I don't think you need to do anything other than configure the options of your media pool to start a new media set every day and configure the pool for 14 day overwrite. It sounds like you're taking tapes offsite every day, is that correct? So there's only ever one tape available for overwrite, which will be the next tape. Either that, or you can manually mark the tape that you want it to use as "free" in the pool.

So I think you would need two media pools, one for full backups, the other for incrementals, with the incremental pool configure for creating a new media set each day.
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Re: Can you set tapes to be appendable until a certain time?

Veeam Logoby cffit » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:08 pm

Thanks for the suggestions tsightler. One last question.. If my daily backups M-F run from say 8-10AM and I do new media set every day and have a 14 day protection, will 14 days work for this? Or should I do 13? Say my MondayA Inc backup runs at 8, finishes at 10. It's protected for 14 days, so when 14 days pass and MondayA Inc backup runs again, the tape won't officially be a 100% 14 days old yet. It will be 13 days and 22 hours old. Does the protection start from the time the tape is first written to or last written to? Does VEEAM count the days for protection from the very moment of the backup running, or does it just count "days" and 13 days and 22 hours is considered 14 days? Just curious how it works because depending on how it works, because if I put in 4 tapes for the days of the week for Incrementals, technically at 13 days there will be two tapes each day open to write to during the backup period.

With BE, I just set the media pool to be protected for 13.5 days (13.5x24hours) and there was never any overlap of more than one tape being available on any given day's backup window. Hope that makes sense. This might be a non-issue if VEAAM always attempts to fill a tape up rather than grabbing whatever tape is available.

Also, is there a way to look at the properties of a tape (whether it's on or offline) to see when it's protected until?
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Re: Can you set tapes to be appendable until a certain time?

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Wed Dec 11, 2013 3:37 pm

cffit wrote:Also, is there a way to look at the properties of a tape (whether it's on or offline) to see when it's protected until?

It might be possible with some powershell scripting in place. For instance, this script shows names of cassettes that have experied protection period. Thanks.
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Re: Can you set tapes to be appendable until a certain time?

Veeam Logoby cffit » Thu Dec 19, 2013 6:46 pm

Is there any way in the GUI to see when a tape is protected until though? If not, that's a huge product suggestion. It's important when I put a tape in to run overnight for me to know if it's still protected or not.
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Re: Can you set tapes to be appendable until a certain time?

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Thu Dec 19, 2013 9:19 pm

Christensen,
You mean the exact expiration date? It would be possible in the upcoming release.
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Re: Can you set tapes to be appendable until a certain time?

Veeam Logoby cffit » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:13 pm

Yes. If I have a physical tape that I want to use every Monday, but not be overwritten before then, I would set the retention to 7 days. If my backup starts one Monday at 8AM and finishes at 10AM. When does the retention last until? The next Monday at 8AM or 10AM? And if my backup is set to run at 8AM, will a 7 day retention keep the backup from running exactly a week later at exactly 8AM?

As I was saying earlier, with Backup Exec I could set retention by the hour, so I would set it for a few hours less than 7 full days and that accomplished what I was needed.

Also, if a tape is 25% full after I run it on a Monday, when I run it the next Monday after it has passed the retention period it will overwrite correct? It won't continue to append correct?
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Re: Can you set tapes to be appendable until a certain time?

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Fri Dec 20, 2013 9:38 am

Christensen,
If my backup starts one Monday at 8AM and finishes at 10AM. When does the retention last until? The next Monday at 8AM or 10AM? And if my backup is set to run at 8AM, will a 7 day retention keep the backup from running exactly a week later at exactly 8AM?

Currently, we check days - so in your case if the tape backup was started on Monday "no matter what" it would be retired next on next Monday. Just to be sure I will double-check that with Dev team, and let you know the results in a few days.

Also, if a tape is 25% full after I run it on a Monday, when I run it the next Monday after it has passed the retention period it will overwrite correct? It won't continue to append correct?

Yes, tape should be completely overwritten.

**Edit: Confirmed with Dev.
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Re: Can you set tapes to be appendable until a certain time?

Veeam Logoby cffit » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:44 pm

Ok, thank you for the response. Just to be 100% clear, if I run a backup on Monday night at 8PM and my media pool for that tape has a retention of 7 days, it will be allowed to overwrite come 12AM on the next Monday AM?
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