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Backup exec 2012 backup to tape strategy

Created: 29 Jul 2013 • Updated: 26 Aug 2013 | 18 comments
sweehan's picture
This issue has been solved. See solution.

I'm using Backup Exec 2012 to backup the files and vms. Current backup plan is backup to dedup disk then to tape. My autoloader has partittion configured.

partition 1 is from slot 1 to 3 (daily backup)

partition 2 is slot 4 (monthly Backup)

partition 3 is slot 5 (empty slot)

partition 4 is slot 6 and 7 (VM backup)

partition 5 is slot 8 ( cleaning tape)

The overwrite protection for tape is set to 2 weeks and append is infinite. 

What happens if the tape have been written 60% and the following backup job to the tape needs more than 40% of the tape capacity. Let's say the overwrite protection for the tape is over.

Does it delete the exisiting data on the tape before running the backup job? 

Operating Systems:

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ehrgeiz's picture

As i know it from BE 2010 it will stop when the Tape is Full. When the overwrite protection time is over it should overwrite the data as you know it from a normal Backup 2 Disk Job.

Please correct me if I'm wrong!

Kunal.Mudliyar's picture

Does it delete the exisiting data on the tape before running the backup job?

Depends on what you have selected on the job

If you have selected , append if no appendable media is there overwrite,: It will append on any appendable tape

If you have selected overwrite in the job, it will look for a tape which can be overwritten , scratch or a tape whose overwrite protection is over , it will delete the existing data and write the 40 % of the new data

Technical Support

Symantec

Donald Eady's picture

This would all depend on the job settings. In the Scenario that you describe if backup exec pulls that tape that has 60% written to and the job settings are to over write then it will do just that it will over write the data that is present on the tape. If the job settings Are set to append then over write it will append to the tape even if the overwrite protection has expired if it doesnt find any appendable media it will look for overwritable. If the settings are to append and terminate if none is found then it will do just that. 

These settings are found under the backup options/Storage Tab

I hope this posting was helpful

  

sweehan's picture

For my scenario, This backup job for tape is set to partition 3 with 1 slot. Job is set to append then overwrite. If the Overwrite protection for this tape is over and the tape for example 60% of the capacity has been written. The next backup job need like 50%. For this case, would the tape write until the maximum capacity of the tape then overwrite the exisitng 60% and backup the remaining 10% or it will overwrite the whole tape and kept the 10% of the next backup job?

Kunal.Mudliyar's picture

1 slot  = 1 tape = filled upto 60 % and protected

Now if the overwrite protection on this tape expires the tape become overwritable

next time the 50 % space needing job will run

It will

delete all the 60% data  and only keep 50 % on the tape , making the tape 50 % free

Tapes which have expired the overwrite protection period cannot be appended

Technical Support

Symantec

pkh's picture

Tapes which have expired the overwrite protection period cannot be appended

This is not true.  Whether a tape is appendable, depends on the length of the AP and when the tape was first written.

Kunal.Mudliyar's picture

Thank you pkh

I meant in the lines if  in the job the "overwrite" is selected.

Your are right if the tape becomes overwritable it can be appended, however in the example i forgot to mention that

if you overwrite it will delete 60 % and keep 50 % occupied and 50 % free

If you select "appened" it will fill up 100 % and ask for a new overwritable tape for the remaining 10 %

Technical Support

Symantec

pkh's picture

I am glad that my answer below reminded you.

pkh's picture

@sweehan -

Since you have set the AP of the the tape to infinite and your job specifies append, the job will append to this tape and use the remainder 40% and then it will need another OVERWRITABLE tape to write the remainder 10%.  BE will not append to a 2nd tape nor will it continue from the the front of the first tape.

If your job had specified overwrite, then it will start from the front of the tape and wipe out the existing 60%.

sweehan's picture

Would the backup exec prompt message to overwrite or it would just automatically overwrite the tape?

VJware's picture

You can set it via BEUtility.exe - Edit Configuration. You can set the "Media Overwrite Alert" option to Yes or OK for a prompt. If its set to "No", then there is no prompt.

pkh's picture

@vjware - What you are describing is setting the response when auto-response is enabled for the Media Overwrite Alert.  Changing the response will change whether the alert is issued or not.  There is no way to disable the Media Overwrite Alert.

pkh's picture

@sweehan - When a tape is overwritable, BE will just overwrite the tape without any prompt.  This is why you must set your OPP correctly to make sure that the tape is not ovewritten before it is needed.  If BE was to prompt you everytime it needs to overwrite a tape, then this would render your tape library useless.  You would have to be around to respond to the media overwrite alert, otherwise your job will hold and may fail.

The Media Overwrite Alert discussed above is issued when overwriting imported media and a certain configuration setting is enabled.

sweehan's picture

@pkh,

Which meants for my senario, If the tape overwrite protection is over and 60% of the tape capacity is used. When the next backup job runs and lets say it need 50% of the tape capacity.

Backup exec will write the 40% until the tapes full and it will prompt to insert a Overwritable tape to the slot?

Can backup exec erase the existing 60% and write the remaining 10% of the new job if it was set to append then overwrite?

pkh's picture

Backup exec will write the 40% until the tapes full and it will prompt to insert a Overwritable tape to the slot?

Yes.  If you are appending to the tape.

Can backup exec erase the existing 60% and write the remaining 10% of the new job if it was set to append then overwrite?

No.  This is not possible if you are appending to the tape because it would destroy all the information on the tape including the 40% that was just written.  However, if you specify overwrite, then the job will start from the front of the tape and wipe out the existing 60%.

sweehan's picture

@pkh,

Thanks for the explanation.

If I plan this way, for the monthly backup job to partition 2 slot 4 I set to overwrite each time the backup job starts, and for the daily backup and vm backup (partition 1 to 3 and partition 6 to 7) i set to append then overwrite. If the daily backup or the vm backup capacity is almost full, I manually overwrite the tape before the next backup.

Would this be a good way to manage the tape backup?

pkh's picture

If the daily backup or the vm backup capacity is almost full, I manually overwrite the tape before the next backup.

How are you going to this?  Erase the tape?

The whole idea of using a tape library is so that there minimal monitoring/intervention.  You should have enough overwritable BEFORE the job starts so that when the job needs another tape, it is available.

Don't use partitions until you have sort out your OPP/AP.  Otherwise, your jobs may fail when there are overwritable tapes in the other partitions.  Just use media sets to protect your tapes and don't worry about what backup set ends up on what tape.  See my article on this subject

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

I would suggest that you do not append to tape first.  Just overwrite tapes and get your OPP correct before trying to append to tapes.

SOLUTION
sweehan's picture

@pkh,

Thanks for your advice.