Simple tape backup to Tape Library (MSL2024)

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Simple tape backup to Tape Library (MSL2024)

Veeam Logoby jazzoberoi » Mon Mar 09, 2015 5:08 am 1 person likes this post

Hi Guys,

So after having successfully configured the simple Backup, Backup Copy and Replication jobs in VEEAM, we turned our attention to Tape Backups... and like many others hit obstructions on how to achieve a simple GFS backup scheme using VEEAM. Something that many of us have been doing for many years using software like Backup EXEC etc...

However, on our quest to finding the settings for Tape backup that worked for us, I realised that most of the functionality that was required for a simple GFS style offsite tape backup was already present in VEEAM.. However the myriad of options, obscured terminology and lack of clear documentation made it very difficult to make this happen.

Luckily, with trial and error I’ve found settings that enable us to make simple full backups to Tape each night and using the 'Mail Slot' on many Tape libraries make it easy to load / offload tapes every day.

Your mileage may vary, but for us the following settings seem to work best:

Our environment:
-Daily full backups fit on one LTO-6 Tape
-Backup job configured with ‘reverse incremental’
-Tape library (MSL2024) with 1x ‘Mail Slot’ configured

Veeam Tape Configuration:
-Fill the tape library with all the tapes.
-Run an Inventory / Catalog on the Tape library to ensure all the tapes are identified.
Image

-Create a Media Pool for your Tape backup job eg. ‘Daily Tape backup media pool’
-On the ‘Add Tapes to the media pool’ screen, make sure you add all the tapes in the library to this media pool.
-Also, tick the ‘Add tapes from Free media pool automatically’ checkbox.

Image

-On the ‘Media Set’ screen, give the name which will be appended to the tapes for identification. Eg. ‘Daily Tape Backup Set - %date%’
-On the ‘Automatically create new media set’ option, select ‘Create new media set for every backup session’
Image

-On the ‘Retention’ screen, select ‘Do not protect data (Cyclically overwrite tapes as required) option
-For ‘Offline media tracking’, First: create a new Vault by pressing ‘Add New’ and give it a name eg. ‘Offsite Tape Storage Facility’. Second: select the checkbox ‘Move all offline tapes from this media pool into the following media vault, and make sure the ‘Offsite Tape Storage Facility’ vault is selected (which you created in the first step)
Image

-Use the ‘encryption’ option if you wish to and press next -> finish to complete the Media pool configuration.

VEEAM Tape Backup Job:
Now, we move onto creating the actual Tape backup job which will be used to back up the required VM’s to the above created Media Pool. Create a Tape Backup Job with the following settings:
-Name Screen: Give the backup job an appropriate name, eg. ‘Daily Tape Backup Job’
-Backup Files Screen: Select the backup jobs / repositories you wish to backup to tape.
Image

-Media Pool Screen: Select the Media pool which you had created previously eg. ‘Daily Tape backup media pool’
Image

-Options Screen: Uncheck ‘ Use hardware compression’ ; Check Eject media once the job finishes’ and ‘Export current media set once the job finishes’ option.
Image

-Click on the ‘Advanced’ button and in the ‘Advanced’ Tab, tick the pre-job script option. Browse to a folder on your backup server which contains the following 2 files, TapeImport.cmd and TapeImport.ps1. Select the TapeImport.cmd as the pre-job script.
Image

-The contents of TapeImport.cmd and TapeImport.ps1 are as follows :

TapeImport.cmd:
Code: Select all
@ECHO OFF
powershell.exe -noprofile -executionpolicy bypass .\VBR-ImportTape.ps1
EXIT /B %errorlevel%

TapeImport.ps1
Code: Select all
Add-PSSnapin VeeamPSSnapIn
Get-VBRTapeLibrary -Name "HP MSL2024 Tape Library" | Import-VBRTapeMedium


-Schedule Screen: click on the ‘Run this job automatically’ option and select the ‘After this job’ option. Select your primary backup job from the selection.
Image

-Finish

=============================================================================================================================================

What the above settings do is as follows :

- Before the Tape job is run, the pre-job script checks to see if there is any tape in the 'Mail Slot' which can be imported into the library.. if it finds any tape that has already been allocated to this media pool then it imports the tape and moves it from the 'Mail Slot' and relocates it into any free slot in the Tape Library.
- Put a daily full backup to Tape (.vbk)
- After the backup is completed, the tape is ejected from the tape drive and placed into the 'Mail Slot' for the IT admin to remove it and move it offsite.
- Also, the tape is then marked offline and moved into the virtual vault indicating the physical location of the tape.

What we do is take 1x tape offsite from the previous day and re-introduce the previous days tape back into the library by re-inserting into the 'Mail Slot'
The 3x weekly tapes are stored offsite and reintroduced to the library at the end of month when 1x Monthly Tape is permanently taken off the library and sent off-site for archival storage for 10 years.

I'm sure the above instructions may still not be clear to many people and also may not suit everyone's backup regimes.

Also, i hope the VEEAM team takes hints from this tutorial and creates some sort of official documentation outlining clear instructions on achieving the different types of common tape backup retention schemes like the GFS etc..

Thanks,
Jazz.
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Re: Simple tape backup to Tape Library (MSL2024)

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:57 pm

Jazz,
Awesome instruction, thank you sharing it with the community! I got only one small note are, you sure that using the ‘inventory pre job scrip’ is needed – I believe, inventory is triggered every time as a part of the tape job start to check the existence of the media in the library.
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Re: Simple tape backup to Tape Library (MSL2024)

Veeam Logoby jazzoberoi » Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:28 pm

Hi D.Popov,

The pre-job script is for the Tape Import function and not the inventory :)

Import function is which takes the tape from the 'Mail Slot' and puts it back into one of the free slots in the Tape library to be used in rotation again.

I wish there was a checkbox on the Tape Backup job 'Options' screen for users to be able to import tapes before the start of each job, just as there is an option to eject / export tape to the 'Mail Slot'
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Re: Simple tape backup to Tape Library (MSL2024)

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Tue Mar 10, 2015 2:02 pm

Sorry, I guess, not enough coffee :mrgreen:

This point makes your instructions even better, and yes I like the idea of having the import option as a part of backup to tape job. Lets see if I can push it to the next release. Thanks again!
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Re: Simple tape backup to Tape Library (MSL2024)

Veeam Logoby mattiamigliorati » Mon Jul 27, 2015 12:16 pm

Hi Jazz, I've a question about this sentence..

jazzoberoi wrote:- After the backup is completed, the tape is ejected from the tape drive and placed into the 'Mail Slot' for the IT admin to remove it and move it offsite.
- Also, the tape is then marked offline and moved into the virtual vault indicating the physical location of the tape.


I've configured a job in a similar way like yours...
I'm not able to figure out how I can "Eject" the tape from the library..
My tape, after being exported, is put in the media Vault, but I don't find a way load it to the Drive and Eject it.

Do you know how to do it?

Thank you

Mattia
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Re: Simple tape backup to Tape Library (MSL2024)

Veeam Logoby Dima P. » Mon Jul 27, 2015 5:34 pm

but I don't find a way load it to the Drive and Eject it.

If you want the tape to be ejected in to the slot on tape job completion – there is a corresponding checkbox in the backup to tape job wizard.

Image
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Re: Simple tape backup to Tape Library (MSL2024)

Veeam Logoby jrslick22 » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:48 am

Nailed it:

"However the myriad of options, obscured terminology and lack of clear documentation made it very difficult to make this happen".
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Re: Simple tape backup to Tape Library (MSL2024)

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:53 am

Could elaborate on your statement a little bit? Have you had any issues understanding this or that particular option or function it's supposed to do? Thanks.
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