Tape wear

Everything about backing up to tape

Tape wear

Veeam Logoby pshute » Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:46 am

Does Veeam have any facility to tell you how may hours of use, etc, a particular tape has had? Or any way of warning that it's worn out and needs replacing?
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Re: Tape wear

Veeam Logoby PTide » Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:33 am

Hi,

Veeam B&R obtains information about tapes from your tape library/drive. So if your tape library/drive is not capable of collecting the wear-out data then Veeam cannot get any info about the tape state. However, if your tape server reports that your tape is weary then Veeam server will automatically place it in the "retired" pool.

Thank you.
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Re: Tape wear

Veeam Logoby rreed » Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:30 pm

Feature request (really, requirement) in V9 please???
VMware 6
Veeam B&R v9
Dell DR4100's
EMC DD2200's
EMC DD620's
Dell TL2000 via PE430 (SAS)
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Re: Tape wear

Veeam Logoby v.Eremin » Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:41 pm

Too late to implement anything new in version 9 code. But I'm not sure whether I totally got your request - ability of backup server to handle worn-out tapes? If so, it's already there, information regarding retired mediums is reported by tape device. Relying on that information allows us to place such cassettes in proper media pool and not used them afterwards.

Moreover, if you have doubts about particular tape (that wasn't reported as a worn-out one by tape library/drive for some reason), you can place it in the "Retired" pool, using a simple PS script.

Thanks.
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Re: Tape wear

Veeam Logoby pshute » Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:41 pm

Thanks for that. What criteria does it use to decide whether to retire them? Hours of use? Number of errors? Will tapes be readable when they're retired?

Is there any way of testing if my drive has this capability? I assume it has, but how can I be sure my media will be retired when the time comes, other than waiting to see if it happens?

And will there be a warning before it happens? I don't want to put a tape in the drive one afternoon, and come back next morning to find the tape job didn't run because it decided to retire it. In fact, if it retired that tape last week, will I get a warning if I put it in the drive this week for a job that's scheduled to run tonight?

My previous approach to this with Backup Exec was to design a rotation schedule that only used each tape a certain number of times, but I came up with that back in the days of DAT tapes, and I suspect LTO tapes last way longer, so I want to try using them till they can't be used anymore.
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Re: Tape wear

Veeam Logoby PTide » Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:08 am

What criteria does it use to decide whether to retire them?
That depends on your drive and tape model. Please see an example from Tandberg - section "When to Replace Cartridges".

Is there any way of testing if my drive has this capability?
Try placing a knowingly bad tape and see what happens, if any errors present in tape server log.

And will there be a warning before it happens?<...>will I get a warning if I put it in the drive this week for a job that's scheduled to run tonight?
I believe that in order to get answers to these question you need to either test it yourself or contact your drive manufacturer/refer to drive user guide.

LTO tapes last way longer, so I want to try using them till they can't be used anymore.
Tape lifespan depends on a number of factors i.e. temperature, humidity, magnetic fields, mechanical effects etc. LTO tapes are reported to last for 20-30 years, again, depending on operating conditions.

Thank you.
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