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Appending data to a tape media

Created: 23 Jul 2013 • Updated: 22 Aug 2013 | 9 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

I'm having the followin problem:


BE2012 on Server 2003 x64

Servers being backed up are all Win 2003.

When running a full backup job and one tape media is completed filled up, the backup job will stop and ask to insert scratch media, even when there are other tapes almost empty and set to append. Only when I insert a scratch media the job will continue. And it doesn't matter either which "overwrite media option" in the backup exec settings. So I tried both options; "Overwrite scratch media before overwritting recyclable media......." and "Overwrite recyclable media contained in the targeted media set....."

This is bad because I'm wasting a lot of tape drive space = money.

Any help on resolving this issue would be appreciate it.


Operating Systems:

Comments 9 CommentsJump to latest comment

Donald Eady's picture

This is by design.. Backup exec is unable to append to media when spanning tapes... A job when Starting and begin by appending to a tape that has already been written but if you ran out of space during a job as in your example it must continue writting at the begining of the next tape 

I hope this posting was helpful


Guev007's picture

I think that is a poor design. Is there a plan to improve this?

CraigV's picture

I don't know of any other backup vendor that will append to another tape when spanning tapes. You're going to have issues with 2 different sets of data on the tape with the previous set's data retention being overwritten when the tape is appended too.

Not a poor design...simply functional and protecting the end-user's data.


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Guev007's picture

CraigV, isn't that the reason why you configured Media Sets to specified what you want to overwrite/append and when. I have setup all my media sets that once data is written to them you can't overwritte them, but allow to append. Thus my understanding was that if the backup jobs belong to the same media set, as long as there is a tape media mark with the same media set the backup job will append to that tape (of course if there is available space).

Jaydeep S's picture

If the Tape is appendable and has space, when a job starts which is set to append and is using the same media set, it will append to such tape. Howver, when it has to span and needs 2nd or 3rd tape, it only can perform overwrite operation.

CraigV's picture

...or simply put:

Job 1 --> Media Set 1

Job 2 --> Media Set 2

Job 2 runs, needs a second tape to append too, and appends to a Job 1 tape with enough free does BE expire media on the tape in time for Job 1? You can't selectively erase certain parts of a tape. It is all or nothing.


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Guev007's picture

Jaydeep S,

Thanks for your responses. I understand and will have to live with it until we decide to move to a different solution.

Kunal.Mudliyar's picture

If you have a tape library use library partitioning so that you can target you jobs to specific slots this way you can utilize the tapes in an effective manner

Eg: If you have if you know 300 GB "tapes" and your daily  job lets say use 900 GB, target it to a robotic librarry patition created of 3 slots with 3 tapes which are overwritable, using this it will not jump on to any random tapes in the tape library.

This design where it will not let 2nd spanned  tape to append is quite an effective one as imagine if I have 10 tapes in the library  with 10 GB free each instead of going to a fresh 300 GB tape, my backup of 100 GB will append to 10 tapes and think of the disaster it will create at the time of restore when you need to arrange inventory and catalogs on all the 10- 11 tapes.

Media management is quite a vast topic however this technote 

covers it nicely

Hope this helps...

Thank you

Technical Support