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Backup Exec 11d doesn't use full tape capacity with Tape library Dell 124T LTO-3 IBM SCSI

Created: 13 Jun 2012 • Updated: 25 Jun 2012 | 13 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

 

Hello,

 

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/10624899/capacity_sample.png

 

I have problem that cannot use full capacity of tapes by some reason. As you see on the screenshot backup exec writes about 250-300 GB to LTO-3 drive and than takes second tape.

Compression on/off doesn't make any difference. Data - compressed video and mp3. Symantec Backup Exec version 11d Service Pack 5 (fully patched). OS - Windows Storage Server 2003 64b SP2.

Driver used:

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/10624899/driver_used.png

 

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?pag... - didn't help

 

Tape loader status:

System
Autoloader:

PV-124T

S/N:*******

Cust S/N: ****

Drive: LTO-3
S/N:1210234769
Service
Tag:
DQP02C1
Autoloader
Status: Idle
Version: V63.0
(003F.0h)
Left
Magazine:
Present
Right
Magazine:
Present
Barcode
Scanner:
Enabled
Drive
Status: Idle
Empty
Tape
Alerts:
Flags[1-64]:0000000200000000
TA[31]-HardwareB
Version: 85P8
SCSI ID:

6

How can I troubleshoot this problem?

Thanks,

Vadim

Comments 13 CommentsJump to latest comment

CraigV's picture

Hi,

Since those files are already compressed, BE won't compress them any further. You'll see you're getting a 1:1 ratio. This is why it spans 2 tapes. Upgrading the software won't make a difference, so if you need your data to fit onto 1 tape, you've got to consider another LTO drive. BEFORE purchasing, make sure the drive is on the BE 11d HCL. If not, it's an upgrade of your hardware and your software unfortunately:

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=TECH46703

Thanks!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

Kessij's picture

Craig, it doesn't use native capacity - 373GB, i'm not dreaming about compression. But I know and have tapes made before such behavior started which have about 500GB of the same video data. But again I will be happy if it would use at least native 370GB.

It's a library with 24 slots and I do backup for terrabytes of data, so it's absolutely normal situation when 10tapes are needed for backup. I don't need to fit it on one tape (I would like of course, but it isn't a goal now)

Larry Fine's picture

If you are not getting the rated native capacity of the media (ie you are only getting 250 GB on a 400 GB LTO3 cartridge), then I would suspect a hardware issue.  Backup Exec writes to the tape until the tape drive reports that it is full.  The usage & capacity numbers are cosmetic only, meaing that they don't affect job operation.

What speed are your backups running?

If you find this is a solution for the thread, please mark it as such.

Kessij's picture

it depends, Larry, but normally about 2000-2200B/min, sometimes goes down to 1400MB/min, and verify is half slowly. I have no problems with speed. 

 
I would suspect a hardware issues also and have create separate parallel thread in dell:
 
http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/storage/f/1216/t/19452560.aspx
 
doing everything what they offer now. Since it can be ping-pong between Symantec and Dell, what is absolutely normaly in such situation, I hope either here or there the solution will be found or diagnoze made.
Kessij's picture

it depends, Larry, but normally about 2000-2200B/min, sometimes goes down to 1400MB/min, and verify is half slowly. I have no problems with speed. 

I would suspect a hardware issues also and have create separate parallel thread in dell:

http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/storag...

doing everything what they offer now. Since it can be ping-pong between Symantec and Dell, what is absolutely normaly in such situation, I hope either here or there the solution will be found or diagnoze made.

Larry Fine's picture

2000 MB/min seems like a reasonable speed.  I have heard suggestions & rumors that some drives do weird things (like use more tape than they should) if the data feed rate is too low, such that the drive cannot maintain streaming.

If you find this is a solution for the thread, please mark it as such.

CraigV's picture

...I wonder if this isn't a case of the data inflating as it is already compressed. The forums are rife with issues where the native capacity of a tape isn't used when backing up compressed data.

For BE 11d, make sure you're using rev. 7170. You can update the firmware of the drive, and ensure the latest DDI drivers for 11d are being used.

Lastly, as a matter of interest, check the tapes to see if they have excessive Hard Write Errors.

Below are 2 links with similar problems...

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/forums/backup-exec-125-not-using-full-tape-capacity

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/forums/backup-exec-not-filling-tapes (check Ken's suggestion on initializing the tapes using the drive manufacturer's utility!)

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

Kessij's picture

Version:

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/10624899/Pictures/exec_ve...

I saw these two links with similar problem, but the both don't have the solution (the last one probably has broken tape drive). 

Thanks for pointing me to the tape initializing. I have no idea whether Dell has such stuff, but will try.

Dell advised to make firmware update for both tape loader and drive. I did it last night, but wasn't able to reboot tape drive (remote management allows to reboot only tape loader), so did it only today. But cannot reboot server now, will try it tonight and see what will get.

 

pkh's picture

You are compressing videos and MP3.  These are already compressed, so you would end up with more that you have started.  See my article on this subject.

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/articles/c...

If you turn off compression then you should get the native capacity.  If you don't, then there is something wrong with either the tape or tape drive.  Make sure that your tape does not have a lot of errors or use a new tape.

CraigV's picture

OK...download the IBM tools. Stop the BE services, erase a tape using the IBM tools, and try running a backup again.

Thanks!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

https://www-secure.symantec.com/connect/blogs/alte...

Kessij's picture

Guys, here is update from my side.

I liaised with Dell support (they are awesome guys!). and that's what they got:

 

****

So I reviewed the logs that you sent and there are a couple of issues that need to be resolved.  First is that the cleaning media that is in the unit is really old as it was manufactured on 02-08-2007.  The cleaning media has only had 17 uses but due to its age I don’t feel that it is cleaning the drive effetely as it should.  Cleaning media is only good for about 35-50 uses or 2-3years from date of manufacture.  Second is that on a deeper look into your drive I see that you have an issue with one of the write heads as it is clogged with debris.  With having a clogged head can cause you not to not be able to use all the tracks on the media & that could be why you are not able to get full use of 400GB with compression turned off.

What I would recommend is if you have a newer cleaning media I would try to clean the drive 3 times to see if the debris will come off.  also as for your media the creation date that is listed is for when the media was seen for the first time by Backup Exec.  It is not a good an exact date but it helps in narrowing how the media is.  Based on the 2 pieces that you provided the stats on: barcode#000091L3 is right at the point that it need to be pulled from regular rotation & moved to more of an archive rotation (example: once a month backup).  Barcode# 000016L3 needs to be archived as it is past the 3yr mark of active rotation.  Here is a link to our LTO hand book & on page 26 it explains about how long media is good for in an active rotation : http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/stor-sys/LTOMedia/LTOHBook/LTO_MH.pdf

****

I used IBM ITDT  diagnostic tool "ITDT graphical edition"  (needs 64bit java if you run it on 64bit machine) to collect logs and make tests. Dell has own similar ITDT tool: http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/555/DriverDetails/DriverFileFormats?DriverId=R268197&FileId=2731113656&productCode=powervault-100t-dat72&urlProductCode=False but I failed to run it on my win2003 64b. 

So I'm going to follow advice and buy new cleaning tape and perhaps resurrect drive. I will reply later with results.

SOLUTION
Kessij's picture

Hello,

here is result after many cleanings:

At least one tape (both quite old) overlapped native capasity and got positive compression ration.

So tape drives was faulting, hope it will help people with a similar problem. Thread can be closed.