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BE only wants to put one backup on a tape

Created: 01 Oct 2013 | 4 comments

I've run into an odd behavior with duplicate to tape operations, hoping someone may have a quick bit of insight...

I've had a B2D2T scheme running every Sunday for a few years now.  All servers backup to disk and then duplicate to a single LTO tape.  The tape has more than enough space for all of our backups.  A few hiccups during the years, but no major issues.  We recently had some catalog corruption that ended up leaving a few stranded backup sets on our B2D targets and ultimately began to cause backup jobs to fail with odd, inconsistant errors.

After rebuilding the catalogs (incl. a rebuild of the BEDB database indexing), manually removing the stranded backup sets and reindexing all of our media, the backups jobs all succeeded again and life was good...  Until it came time to duplicate the weekly backups to tape.   We began to see BE demanding we change the tape after only one backup job had been duplicated.  (We only have one tape drive.)  After changing the tape, the remaining dozen or so backup jobs all duplicate onto the 2nd tape without issue.

The first tape only has the one backup job's data on it which can be confirmed with an inventory/catalog operation and yes I trust that the cataloging is functioning properly again after being repaired.  The issue cannot be retention time or append/overwrite settings.

All of this was working using only one tape per week before our cataloging troubles.  Now, the first backup job finishes, duplicates to tape and BE demands we change the media.  After inserting a 2nd tape, the remaining backup sets all duplicate with plenty of room to spare.  I've tried erasing the tape-to-be-used before those weekly backups run, which associates the tape to Scratch media set (which is correct) yet the behavior repeats and after the first backup job of the day completes and duplicates, BE ejects the media and demands a new tape.  BE doesn't accept re-inserting the same tape either.

I cannot think of a reason why BE would be demanding new media, I've double-checked all settings at the backup job and the media and cannot find any reason for this behavior.  Hoping someone here has some insight.

Thank you all in advance,

Operating Systems:

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Donald Eady's picture

Verify that first you have not configured the duplicate job to eject media after completion. Also verify that the first job to duplicate is set to overwrite and all subsequent jobs are set to append in additionto the OPP and APP properties being set accordingly .. Please view the following documention on writting multple jobs to one tape

I hope this posting was helpful


Jaydeep S's picture

Check the settings for the first and the second job. Is the first duplicate job set to Eject Media after its complete. Is the second job set to Overwrite data, it needs to Append. Last but not the least, are all the duplicate jobs using the same Mediaset.

pkh's picture

You should re-create your jobs for a clean start.

M Strong's picture

Thank you all for the rapid responses.

Donald, Jaydeep, I've never used the eject media setting, but I'd double checked that job anyway.  In doing so, also verified that the 'Append to media, overwrite if no appendable media is avialable' was set.  This overwrote the previous media, but only wrote one backup job's worth of data.  All subsequent jobs (all of this is within the append media threashold) also had the same setting - append, then overwrite if..., so one could surmise that subsequent jobs should simply continue appending onto the same media.

Now, given that as part of troubleshooting the recent catalog issue, we did re-arrange the timing of some backup jobs, which consequently changed the first job to run.  The previous first job did have 'Overwrite Media' set in the storage options of the duplicate stage.  Now, oddly enough, after moving the previous first job to somewhere else in the schedule, this setting not being changed, did not result in any errors, warnings or failures.  At the point in time when this previous first job ran, there would have been fresh backup sets that were protected on the media, so it is curious that the 'overwrite media' setting did not cause issues.

That said, I've edited both the previous first job to 'Append then overwrite if...' and the new first job to 'Overwrite Media'.  I will see on Sunday if this changes the behavior and advise next week.

Now, regarding the option 'Append to media, overwrite if no appendable media is available'...  At the point in time when the tape would be used, anything on it would be 4 weeks old (minus the few hours required to run the backups).  The append settings are for 18 hours and the overwrite protection is 6 days.  BE even displays the media-to-be-used having the scratch media icon before these jobs run.  So, with 'Append, overwrite if no...' is set, shouldn't it simply overwrite the media, then any subsequent backup job within the append period settings - having the same setting should then append to the media?

Unless there is something I'm missing here, it seems that to some degree the options are not behaving intuatively.  I reviewed the document above, but aside from outlining recommendations for migrated backup jobs it doesn't really go too much in-depth about these settings.

Since I made a change, I will observe for that to have any affect and advise.

Again, Thank You all for the replies.