Using tape as a backup target
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dannythake
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Odd Issues with Backup to Tape

Post by dannythake »

Hi,

Support Ticket 00449176

Each night I have 9 backup jobs to run, all starting at the same time. Each backup is a single VM. I also have a tape job scheduled to run "When new backup files Appear".

Each evening, the first disk backup finishes and it instantly writes it to tape (about 10gb), at which point it ejects the tape. Then, it waits for all the other 8 backup jobs finish shortly after, but it doesn't append them to the first tape, but starts a second tape and writes them all to this tape.

Why is it doing this? It makes no sense!

Thanks

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Re: Odd Issues with Backup to Tape

Post by Gostev »

Do you possibly have some ejects options enabled in the job settings?

dannythake
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Re: Odd Issues with Backup to Tape

Post by dannythake »

Hi,

No its disabled.

veremin
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Re: Odd Issues with Backup to Tape

Post by veremin »

Then, I'm wondering what the media set options are. Is media set automatically created for every backup session? Thanks.

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Re: Odd Issues with Backup to Tape

Post by dannythake »

v.Eremin wrote:Then, I'm wondering what the media set options are. Is media set automatically created for every backup session? Thanks.
Yes, as its the only way we could find to see how old tapes are easily.

By this i mean, if we have 4 week worth of tapes, when we get to the 5th week i need to know the indentity of the tapes that were used in the 1st week in order to pull those from our Fireproof Safe. We could find no other way to find this information.

Thanks

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Re: Odd Issues with Backup to Tape

Post by dannythake »

Just to add, if having this set to create for each session, why is it writing a single VM to one tape and then the other 8 to a different tape?

veremin
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Re: Odd Issues with Backup to Tape

Post by veremin »

I believe that It's somehow expected - the first backup job ended up a little bit earlier that the other ones, then, backup to tape job started to copy resulting backup file to tape medias. Once it's finished, the new media set was created for second session which required separate tape, since two media set could not be placed on one media.

In order to avoid this behavior, I'd recommend creating media sets daily at the time when backup jobs have already finished.

Thanks.

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Re: Odd Issues with Backup to Tape

Post by dannythake »

v.Eremin wrote:I believe that It's somehow expected - the first backup job ended up a little bit earlier that the other ones, then, backup to tape job started to copy resulting backup file to tape medias. Once it's finished, the new media set was created for second session which required separate tape, since two media set could not be placed on one media.

In order to avoid this behavior, I'd recommend creating media sets daily at the time when backup jobs have already finished.

Thanks.
I dont understand the logic in this? Why would you want to do that? What exactly is the point of having a tape Job to backup new files as they appear if it will randomly grab a different tape.

I'm sorry but this just seems ridiculous.

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Re: Odd Issues with Backup to Tape

Post by Dima P. »

Hello Dany,
First of all let me ask you - what kind of tape library you are using. Does it have barcode scanner built in?

As for the backup to tape options – I believe in the scenario when you are collecting files from 9 backup into one tape job and what to put all the data into one tape – the best would be either start new media set daily as it was mentioned or do not create new media set option. In both cases you would force system to put all backup files into one media set (e.g. one tape) unless it is full.

Create new media set option should make a new media set for each backup job (would take a new tape from the specified media pool – that does not happen randomly) – so the behavior is expected. This option works perfectly when files produced by backup to disk job are large or by company policy you would like to keep backups of your VM separately.

To summarize you can try to use the following settings, if I am not mistaken and understood your post correctly:

1. Media pool settings – Media Set – Do not create, continue using the current media set /OR Start new media set daily at
2. Media pool settings – Retention – Never overwrite data
3. Backup to tape job settings – Use the same media pool both for Full backups/incremental backups
4. Backup to tape job settings – DO NOT USE Export current media set once the job finishes
5. Backup to tape job settings – DO NOT USE Eject media once the job finishes

veremin
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Re: Odd Issues with Backup to Tape

Post by veremin »

I dont understand the logic in this?
The root cause of this behavior is the way the settings are specified now.

You’ve selected both options “When new backup files appear” and “Create a new media set for each backup session”. So, let’s see what’s happening in your case:

1) 9 Backup jobs are executed.
2) 1 out of 9 job is finished and the first backup file appears.
3) As per “When new backup files appear” setting, backup to tape job starts to copy the said file to tape.
4) During the copying process, the other 8 files are created in backup repository.
5) Once the copying process is finished, a new backup to tape session begins and a new media set is created as per “Create a new media set for each backup session” option. Since it's not possible to create two different media sets on one tape, the other 8 files are transferred to the second tape media.

Thanks.

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Re: Odd Issues with Backup to Tape

Post by dannythake »

d.popov wrote:Hello Dany,
First of all let me ask you - what kind of tape library you are using. Does it have barcode scanner built in?



To summarize you can try to use the following settings, if I am not mistaken and understood your post correctly:

1. Media pool settings – Media Set – Do not create, continue using the current media set
2. Media pool settings – Retention – Never overwrite data
3. Backup to tape job settings – Use the same media pool both for Full backups/incremental backups
4. Backup to tape job settings – DO NOT USE Export current media set once the job finishes
5. Backup to tape job settings – DO NOT USE Eject media once the job finishes
Its a HP Autoloader with Barcode Reader. The above setting are what we wanted to use, but couldnt find a way to track the older tapes without creating a media set each time with %date%

This is exactly what im struggling to get an answer for. Let me try explain in a different way:

Lets say i have 7 tapes, one for each day of the week. Lets say these tapes are named by colours (Just purely for the sake of this example)

Monday: Blue
Tuesday: Red
Wednesday: Yellow
Thursday: Black
Friday: Green
Saturday: Orange:
Sunday: Purple

I run a weeks worth of backups, using the tapes as above. I get to the second week, and need to know which tape is the oldest so i can use this first. If i create the Media Set each day with %date% as a name i can just look at the dates.

So how would i know which tape to use (Blue) if i dont create a media set each time?

Bearing in mind we use Months worth of tapes in our cycles, potentially around 100 tapes. We need an easy way to sort the tapes, find the oldest, put it in the drive, and know that its the correct one

Hopefully this will make it clearer what im after - It seems like such a simple thing to ask for

Thanks for your time

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Re: Odd Issues with Backup to Tape

Post by dannythake »

v.Eremin wrote: The root cause of this behavior is the way the settings are specified now.

You’ve selected both options “When new backup files appear” and “Create a new media set for each backup session”. So, let’s see what’s happening in your case:

1) 9 Backup jobs are executed.
2) 1 out of 9 job is finished and the first backup file appears.
3) As per “When new backup files appear” setting, backup to tape job starts to copy the said file to tape.
4) During the copying process, the other 8 files are created in backup repository.
5) Once the copying process is finished, a new backup to tape session begins and a new media set is created as per “Create a new media set for each backup session” option. Since it's not possible to create two different media sets on one tape, the other 8 files are transferred to the second tape media.

Thanks.
Thank you, great explanation. So my last remaining question is the one above this post

Thanks.

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Re: Odd Issues with Backup to Tape

Post by veremin »

As mentioned above, creating media set daily at the time when backup jobs have already finished should do the trick. If you’re copying backups to tape during evenings, the morning time should work for you.

This way, each morning new media set will be created and during the evening the corresponding backup files will fall into it without any issues. Also, media set will be given proper “daily” names. Should need be, you can easily identify what VM restore point relates to what media set by going to “Tape” node.

Thanks.

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Re: Odd Issues with Backup to Tape

Post by Dima P. »

Moreover, in the media pool view even if the tape was taken offline you can see barcode of the tape and media set date - so it works for identifying what tapes should be taken for a proper restore.

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Re: Odd Issues with Backup to Tape

Post by dannythake »

Ok, this sounds like it may be ok for us.

If we created a media set at 6am each day, and then a backup starts at 11pm in the evening but rolls into the next day and doesnt finish untill 7am - What will happen in this instance?

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Re: Odd Issues with Backup to Tape

Post by Dima P. »

backup starts at 11pm in the evening but rolls into the next day and doesnt finish untill 7am
Just a short update: if a job has been already started and it is not finished by the time new media set should be created - it will use the previously created media set but not the new one.

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