Discussions related to exporting backups to tape and backing up directly to tape.
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Scar_UY
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How to Daily full File to tape backups

Post by Scar_UY »

Thank you all in advance for your time. I'm sorry if this question has been asked before, but I couldn't find it.
I've been using Veeam Community for months now while trying to convince my employer to move away from Backup Exec, but I've yet to resolve an issue to make my case...
I have a rather big folder (about 1.8 Tb) with user files that I need to back up, by company policy I need to do a full tape backup twice a day of that folder.
I have read the documentation about it (on that note, the media set part makes no sense at all to me, must be that I'm dumb and everyone gets it right away cause I can't find a better explanation anywhere) and created 2 jobs, one to run at night and one in the morning, the folder to be backed up is a copy so it won't be disturbed during the backup job (although vss is active and enabled in the jobs settings).
There will be 10 tapes in the pool (7 at the moment) one for the morning and one for the evening for each day of the week. What I need is for each tape to have a full copy of the folder, so if 9 tapes suddenly die, the folder is still fully in the remaining tape.
I only have one available standalone SAS LTO6 tape drive for this job, and the mentioned tapes, no robotic library or anything else.

Please don't ask me why this policy is like this, I don't know, or to change it cause I can't, I'm rooting for veeam and to get rid of backup exec, but Backup Exec can do this VERY easily, and after 2 weeks trying I can't get Veeam to make a full file to tape backup without doing incrementals.
I really hope I don't have to make 10 pools and 10 jobs, one for each tape, that'll be... suboptimal.

Feel free to call me dumb, maybe I am missing something very obvious, but I don't see it, and feel free to leave a better example of what media sets are and why they are useful, Backup Exec works just fine without that concept and I can think of an example of its usefulness with the info in the documentation.

Here are some screenshots with the (I think) relevant settings of the jobs and the pool: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/ ... share_link

Thank you again
david.domask
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Re: How to Daily full File to tape backups

Post by david.domask » 1 person likes this post

Hi @Scar_UY,

Will comment on Media Sets in a minute, but based on your screenshots, it should work to just do fulls on an automated schedule with your two jobs. Are you or someone in your org manually triggering the tape job? That would trigger incremental passes. Else it looks really not expected; I'd get an Evaluation License installed (you should have one in the portal at my.veeam.com) and open a case with Evaluation and let us check the behavior.

Your setup is not uncommon, so I don't think you have anything strange here except that it's doing the incremental passes, which I can only think would be if it was manually run, but it'd be best to check the logs if possible. (you _can_ open cases with Free edition licenses, but such cases don't carry any SLA guarantee and are handled based on Support availability at the time, and may be automatically archived depending on case load. Evaluation is best way to go, or normal license)

On Media Sets, it can be a bit confusing at first, but imagine it as a completely logical concept to organize your tapes. Media Sets force data to be placed on tapes in a way that is logical for you; maybe you want to just dump the weekly backups to tapes and then ship them off, knowing that Media Set N has all the tapes for week Y. Maybe you want to have a new Media Set every backup session (i.e., every time the job runs); it's purely a logical construct for your convenience.

If you can excuse the very dumb example, remember way back when you were a kid -- if you were like me, probably you recorded your favorite TV shows; similarly, if you were like me and didn't have a lot of money as a kid, probably you just recorded to tape until it was full, and then put in the next tape. Very convenient as you get more use out of the tape, but not so convenient to figure out which tape has which data on it, and you might need to pull out multiple tapes to watch a specific series.

This is the equivalent of "Do not create, always continue" media set option.

If you were a stickler for organization, maybe you'd use a new tape for every Saturday so that it's much easier to know which tape has which day's cartoons or maybe you just use specific tapes for a specific show. This is great for organization, but it doesn't use the tape space very efficiently.

This is the equivalent of "Create new media set every $time_period", whether it's every backup session or on specific days.

This has no impact on the actual tape backup except for one point: a new Media Set must begin with an empty tape. Similarly, there are a few outlier instances where Veeam might force close an old media set as outlined here: https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/backu ... ml?ver=120 (see bottom four bullet points)

With your setting, you make a new media set every backup session, so each run of the job(s) is going to want to use a new tape or an expired one that can be erased or a tape that has been marked as Free/Erased.

Does that help at all with clarifying media sets?
David Domask | Product Management: Principal Analyst
Scar_UY
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Re: How to Daily full File to tape backups

Post by Scar_UY » 1 person likes this post

First of all David, thank you so very much for your time, clearly the media sets explanations on the documentation could use some of your input!
It surprises me that the manual run would trigger an incremental, I have read the documentation, and I've been using Veeam since 9.5, and that is not a behavior I'd expect, I´ll leave the task as they are and try again for a couple of weeks without manually run them then.

Thank you again, and since you're probably reading this too, I'll abuse of your kindness and ask one more (kinda) related question, where do I set the wait time for a job to cancel itself if the conditions for the job are not met (let's say a holyday and nobody is there to place the new tape, for several days in a row) I couldn't find that either, bit it's not that important so I didn't included it in the main question.
david.domask
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Re: How to Daily full File to tape backups

Post by david.domask »

Hi @Scar_UY,

You're very welcome and I appreciate the kind words!

And I can agree that the manual run part is a little confusing; the logic is that you set the _schedule_ in the UI, but manual runs after the initial are incremental by design. I will ask if we can clarify this a little in the User Guide.

As for your second question, there is a registry value:

Name: WaitForValidTapeTimeoutMin
Location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Veeam\Veeam Backup and Replication\
Type: DWORD
Value: Set to Decimal for desired wait time in minutes (e.g., for waiting 24 hours, set the value to 1440 as 60*24 = 1440)

Keep in mind this is a global value, so all tape jobs will follow the value.
David Domask | Product Management: Principal Analyst
david.domask
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Re: How to Daily full File to tape backups

Post by david.domask » 1 person likes this post

Also, a small addendum to my post on the media sets; this is a slightly simplified explanation but for _most_ tape environments it behaves just like that and there's little else to consider.

However, in larger tape environments where you're using Parallel Processing on the media pool, there are a few extra considerations required as noted in the User Guide: https://helpcenter.veeam.com/docs/backu ... ml?ver=120

I actually think the examples are pretty good, and in most cases if you're in a tape environment where you have enough drives to effectively utilize parallel processing, it's mostly a set and forget deal, with a few edge-cases that are best reviewed with Veeam Support.
David Domask | Product Management: Principal Analyst
Scar_UY
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Re: How to Daily full File to tape backups

Post by Scar_UY »

Well, it clearly is as you say, testing shows that as long as they aren't run manually, the jobs do work as intended, this is great news for me.

I'll take note of the registry setting, I'd be so bold as to suggest to put that somewhere in the gui, ideally as a per/job option.

Thank you very much for your help, have a great week!
david.domask
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Re: How to Daily full File to tape backups

Post by david.domask » 1 person likes this post

Really glad I could help @Scar_UY, and that it's working as intended for you.

And as for the registry value, yes, I personally agree it'd be a nice QOL touch to have in UI. I will submit a request internally on this (but your comment there also is a perfectly cromulent way to make a feature request).

Have a good one too!
David Domask | Product Management: Principal Analyst
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