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How to span disk?

Created: 13 Mar 2012 • Updated: 13 Mar 2012 | 3 comments
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pkh's picture
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From BE 2010 R2 onwards, BE can span disk.  When you span disk, it means that you can backup to a B2D folder on one disk and when it gets full, BE will automatically continue the backup on the B2D folder on another disk.  You do not have to use USB disk.  You can use the built-in hard disks on your media server or a mixture of USB disks and fixed hard disks.

To set up disk spanning, do the following

1) Upgrade to BE 2010 R3

This is the latest version of BE 2010.  You need to be on at least BE 2010 R2 to have the disk spanning facility.

2) Define your B2D folders and enable disk spanning

Plug in your disks and define your B2D folders on them

You should use normal B2D folders for your USB disks.  Do not use Removable-B2D folders as these are for things like RDX and Jaz drives.

In the B2D folder properties, enable disk spanning.

You need to set the Low Disk Space Threshold.  Once the Low Disk Space Threshold is set, the device will span if it is in a device pool which we will define next.  The minimum Low Disk Space Thresholdis 1 MB which you can use if you want your disk right up to the brim.

3) Define a device pool for your B2D folders.

You need to define a device pool so that your job can target this device pool.  On the Devices tab, right-click on Device Pools to define a new pool.


That is it.  When the first disk is full, BE will automatically continue on to the next disk.  Remember that all the disk must be on-line for the disk spanning to work.


Note that disk spanning only works for .bkf files which are used by non-GRT backups.  These are sequential in nature, like tapes, so they can span.  GRT backups uses .img which must be allocated in their entirety so that the images can be mounted and individual items extracted.  .img files cannot span disk.

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JoshuaT's picture

According to two different Symantec reps I just spoke to this information is wrong.

Backup Exec 2010 R3 does not support spanning over B2D folders.  Yes, the screen shot provided above does state "Spans to new device if job targets a device pool" however symantec and Engineering has stated this feature does not work.    They stated that they are working for a fix on it for Backup Exec 2012 but the information I have read for 2012 shows that B2D folders on remote servers are no longer supported so I dont think this will help us out here.

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pkh's picture

This article was written when R3 was first released.  I am not using spanning so I am unware if something has changed to cause spanning not to work.  Also, are they referring to .img folders which do not span even for R2 or R3.

There is no option in BE 2012 to enable spanning.

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Colin Weaver's picture

Hi JoshuaT,

Have you actually tried disk spanning in 2010 R3 (using jobs with GRT disabled)?

Note we have always said you cannot disk span GRT enabled sets so I hope that wires are not getting crossed against both what you asked Symanetc reps and exactly what can and can't disk span in any revision of 2010. I also hope that the contacts that previously responded were aware you were asking specifically abouth 2010 R3 as 2012 will operate differently.




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