Multi Head tape backups Veeam 9 Guidance

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Multi Head tape backups Veeam 9 Guidance

Veeam Logoby owenw » Thu Jun 16, 2016 11:49 am

Hi,

I have trawled the forum for this already but can only find references to questions around this on Veeam 7, so here goes...

We have a new Veeam 9 server deployed with the latest updates. This is used the complete reverse incremental backups for a couple of different VMware clusters, with each clusters backup data going to different repositories. This is all working fine and as expected.

We then have tape jobs run once the backups complete. Each tape job copies the cluster backup repository to a set of tapes.
We run a 4 week cycle of tapes where tapes get changed daily and are off-sited.

On the tape side of things we have (right now) an IBM TS3200 48 slot library with 2x LTO3 heads.
We are just in the process of ordering HP 2024 libraries with 2x LTO6 heads to replace the old IBM library.
So right now, I would like to proof of concept what we want to achieve with the IBM kit before the new toys turn up.

I would like to use both heads to complete EACH copy to tape job so that we get this completing sooner.
Im aware that I can run 1 job on 1 head and another on the other at the same time, however That's not what I want.

I want to reduce the time taken to complete the tape archive by using both heads for the same job at the same time.
Is anyone able to advise is this is possible and how to configure it?

I also have an issue where Veeams handling of tape libraries is very basic so Im not able to fill 1 magazine with Cluster 1 tapes, and magazine 2 with Cluster 2 tapes. Are there any recommendations around how best to handle this?
I have tested partitioning the library, which then presents as 2x Libraries in Veeam, which addresses part of this, however this has the result of assigning 1x head to each partition statically so I still cant do 2 head backups.

Finally, is there any way of configuring Veeam to pick tapes sequentially, as I cant work out how to have it re-use tapes in the same order each cycle.
e.g. if I fill magazine slots 1-8 with tapes, Veeam uses slots in order 7,3,5,2,8,1,4,6. This is causing concerns around labelling of tapes.

I am quite disappointed with this behaviour. It would be helpful if Veeam could use tapes in sequence.

On a separate note I am having very regular issues with Veeam in the middle of completing copy to tape jobs, where Veeam looses the inventory information from the library and aborts the backup job.
Im seeing this at least 2-3 times a week at present and is very frustrating, as well as impacting us as a business putting our tape backups at risk.

The library is configured in accordance with Veeam recommendations, latest firmware, latest IBM drivers applied in Windows, listed correctly in Device Manager, drivers are non-exclusive mode etc.

Thanks for any helpful input.

Owen
owenw
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Re: Multi Head tape backups Veeam 9 Guidance

Veeam Logoby DaveWatkins » Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:15 pm

Using both drives is an option under the Media Pool properties (Under Options). For Tape management you could have the jobs export the tapes to the I/E slots to make removing them easier. Other than that you'd have to partition the library, which has the downsides you've already noted.
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Re: Multi Head tape backups Veeam 9 Guidance

Veeam Logoby owenw » Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:01 pm

Thanks Dave,
Ive tried updating this but it looks like the check box for parallel isn't sticking when clicking finish.
Im running the latest patched version of Veeam 9.
Ive raised a ticket with support, as I have several issues which include Veeam loosing the inventory from the library, Veeam not accepting multi head config changes and no option to schedule an inventory which to be honest I would have expected Veeam to listen from back in Version 7 when users started asking for this...

Oh well, lets see what comes out of the tickets raised.

Owen
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Re: Multi Head tape backups Veeam 9 Guidance

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Tue Jun 21, 2016 11:35 pm

Hi owenw,
I want to reduce the time taken to complete the tape archive by using both heads for the same job at the same time.
Is anyone able to advise is this is possible and how to configure it?

You can either process in parallel multiple tape jobs or you can parallel process backup chains within one tape job. Can you elaborate on how the source jobs are configured? Is there a chance you are using ‘storage per vm backup file’ repository option?
Finally, is there any way of configuring Veeam to pick tapes sequentially, as I cant work out how to have it re-use tapes in the same order each cycle.
e.g. if I fill magazine slots 1-8 with tapes, Veeam uses slots in order 7,3,5,2,8,1,4,6. This is causing concerns around labelling of tapes.

Tapes from Free media pool are, indeed, randomly assigned to the custom media pools. Once assigned (manually or by tape job) tape remains in this media pool forever till you remove it or it gets retired.
On a separate note I am having very regular issues with Veeam in the middle of completing copy to tape jobs, where Veeam looses the inventory information from the library and aborts the backup job

Check this one with support team please and don’t forget to share the case ID in this thread. Thanks!
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