Feature request: Eject tape on failure

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Feature request: Eject tape on failure

Veeam Logoby crichardson » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:54 pm

I was pointed to this forum by Veeam Support. Case # 02060977.

This really isn't a feature request. It's more of a bring back a feature request.

Prior to Veeam Backup & Recovery 9.5, the tape job option "Eject media upon job completion" functioned exactly as it should. The option is clearly worded. However, with v9.5 this option changes. It only applies when the tape job is successful.

This is concerning as it appears this was changed without considering the consequences.

Consider this: we have Veeam Backup Jobs which run over the weekend which transform previous chains into rollbacks. These jobs take longer than the tape job's schedule which results in a tape job failure. But it's not really a failure. It's the expected result. We know some of the jobs won't finish in time to be sent to tape. That's fine, they'll get sent to tape on Sunday instead. However, hours after Veeam uses the tape drive, we have other backup applications which use the tape drive to backup AIX, UNIX, and other applications. With v9.5, if the Veeam Tape Job fails, Veeam does not eject the tape regardless of the setting "Eject media upon job completion". This means the tape drive is locked. No other applications can use the drive. This results in other failures caused by Veeam's decision not to eject media on a job failure.

For now we've been told to use PowerShell as a workaround which is not an acceptable solution. Sure, it's fine for a SysAdmin but our daily backups are handled by the helpdesk. And adding a scheduled PowerShell script to eject a tape adds complexity. And I'll also have to include some logic in the script to perform some error checking before attempting to eject the tape.

Before the change, everything just worked as it should. If customers were asking for this, why not create an option instead of changing an existing option's workflow?

Thanks for reading. Hopefully this issue can be resolved in a future release. With all that said, I'm still satisfied with Veeam v9.5. Everything is working great other than our tape job fiasco.
crichardson
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Re: Feature request: Eject tape on failure

Veeam Logoby lyapkost » Fri Feb 10, 2017 9:07 am 1 person likes this post

Hi, Corey. Ejecting tape after the job fails is considered as a wrong behaviour. In case of tape library there shouldn't be any problems for the autoloader inserts proper tape next time. As for standalone tape drives, ejecting cause troubles because tape needs to be loaded manually and if a job failed for some reason in cannot be automatically retried. There was such misbehaviour in v. 9.0 and it was fixed in 9.0 upd2, so it's not about changing workflow but rather about fixing issues.

Returning to your case I can say that tape drive should be unlocked after the job fails regardless of 'eject' option state. The reason the drive remains locked should be investigated deeper.
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Re: Feature request: Eject tape on failure

Veeam Logoby crichardson » Wed Feb 15, 2017 1:07 pm

"Ejecting tape after the job fails is considered as a wrong behavior".

This is not always the case. It's logical when it's a tape library from my experience. Another backup application shouldn't be ejecting a foreign tape. In the case of HP Data Protector or ArvServe, the job will fail with the message "Target drive is busy" when Veeam leaves a tape in the drive. It's a foreign tape. If HPDP has a tape in the drive, Veeam fails. If Veeam has a tape in the drive, HPDP fails. I'm also not sure if Veeam or HPDP can tell the difference between a loaded foreign media and if the tape drive is actually in use... Any suggestions?

Maybe it was a bug in Veeam's opinion. But to us, it was a great feature. Maybe I'm missing something but leaving a tape in the drive when the drive is a part of a library seems counterproductive.

Thanks.
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Re: Feature request: Eject tape on failure

Veeam Logoby lyapkost » Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:16 am

Please, again, don't mix leaving the drive locked after job finishes/fails and leaving a tape in unlocked drive. If you use different tapes in different applications which is recommended there should be no porblems. I can't say about other applications but in VBR tape job begins, sees wrong tape it can't write to in drive, unloads it, loads proper tape and starts writing.
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Re: Feature request: Eject tape on failure

Veeam Logoby crichardson » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:04 pm

I'm not confusing anything. I'm telling you that when Veeam leaves a tape in the drive, the tape drive is reporting to other backup applications that the drive is busy. Are you indicating this isn't the same as locked? Because as far as other applications are concerned, the drive is busy with another task even though nothing is being written or read from the tape.

Exact error from HPDP:
"Cannot load exchanger medium (Target drive is busy.)"

If HPDP is giving this message, in your experience, is the tape drive "locked" or is their just a tape in the drive?

Veeam and HPDP have their own media pools with their own media. HPDP tapes are foreign to Veeam and Veeam tapes are foreign to HPDP. All tapes lives in the same library with a single drive. IBM TS3100.

I'm not trying to be difficult. I'm looking for answers. I was pointed to this forum by Support. What information can I provide to receive assistance to resolve this issue?

Our Veeam and HPDP installations have lived side-by-side since Veeam first introduced tape support. It worked perfectly. We've never had an issue until now... But yet I'm being told by support that this is "the expected result" or that I'm doing something wrong...
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Re: Feature request: Eject tape on failure

Veeam Logoby crichardson » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:44 pm

crichardson wrote:I'm not confusing anything. I'm telling you that when Veeam leaves a tape in the drive, the tape drive is reporting to other backup applications that the drive is busy. Are you indicating this isn't the same as locked? Because as far as other applications are concerned, the drive is busy with another task even though nothing is being written or read from the tape.

Exact error from HPDP:
"Cannot load exchanger medium (Target drive is busy.)"

If HPDP is giving this message, in your experience, is the tape drive "locked" or is their just a tape in the drive?

Veeam and HPDP have their own media pools with their own media. HPDP tapes are foreign to Veeam and Veeam tapes are foreign to HPDP. All tapes lives in the same library with a single drive. IBM TS3100.

I'm not trying to be difficult. I'm looking for answers. I was pointed to this forum by Support. What information can I provide to receive assistance to resolve this issue?

Our Veeam and HPDP installations have lived side-by-side since Veeam first introduced tape support. It worked perfectly. We've never had an issue until now... But yet I'm being told by support that this is "the expected result" or that I'm doing something wrong...


We’ve implemented a work around. We’ve scheduled HPDP to use the tape drive BEFORE Veeam and changed the option “Select what action Data Protector should take if the drive is busy” from “Abort” to “Eject medium”. To me this sounds like HPDP could eject a tape which was actively being written to or read from by another application. Hopefully we don't encounter this issue since we’ve rescheduled the job to run BEFORE Veeam. We'll test the workaround on the weekend.

I guess the real question is: When another application sees the Tape Drive as “Busy”, does this mean the tape drive is “Locked”? And if so, Veeam is keeping the drive locked after the tape job finished.

Veeam may have fixed a bug that was actually a feature to us. If HPDP is not able to to tell the difference between a loaded foreign tape and a locked drive, then Veeam had a solution by ejecting its own media back to a library slot regardless of the job result.
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Re: Feature request: Eject tape on failure

Veeam Logoby lyapkost » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:45 am

I guess the real question is: When another application sees the Tape Drive as “Busy”, does this mean the tape drive is “Locked”?
I think the answer is 'no' just because of your workaround (I'm glad you've found it). If the drive really had been locked, 'eject' command wouldn't have worked.
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Re: Feature request: Eject tape on failure

Veeam Logoby crichardson » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:04 pm

I don't know if it works at this point. We'll find out if it works this weekend. If it doesn't, we can assume Veeam is keeping the drive locked somehow. I'll update the support case on Tuesday when I return to the office.
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