Video Screencast Help

Media Management Issues

Created: 07 Jun 2014 | 3 comments

I can’t seem to wrap my head around media management.  I have a tape library with 4 drives.  I’ve got the usual daily. Weekly, monthly jobs.  When I add new media it gets sucked up pretty quick across the 4 drives, which I’m prepared to live with.  However I have a big problem when it’s prompting me for over writeable media when I have tapes in the library with heaps of room on them.  Some tapes have as little as a gig written to them and the job won’t run because it’s looking for media!

Now I was told by Symantec that if a job spans media it can’t append to media in the same media set if any data’s on that tape, and that it can only write to scratch tape.  I just don’t’ understand that, but I’ve accepted it.  However, subsequent jobs that just start, and would have not spanned any media are also prompting me for overwriteable media as well

My storage options are to append to media, overwrite if no appendable media is available and my BackupExec settings for media overwrite protection level is set to partial – protect only allocated media.

What’s going on??

Operating Systems:

Comments 3 CommentsJump to latest comment

Colin Weaver's picture

If you look carefully at the box that surrounds that Append to media settings - you will see that that box refers to what happens at the start of the job - this basically means ONLY the start and not what happens when you fill a tape mid job.

When you fill a tape mid job we can ONLY overwrite the next tape. We can use a tape already in the same media set but it has to be overwriteable otherwise we may use one from scratch or even an overwritable tape from a differet media set. If we can't find any suitable media the job will pop an insert media notifcation and then either wait or timeout and fail.

As such you need to look at your timings and how often things fill up mid job and plan for more overwriteable tapes to be available. You might also find that starting some of your jobs as overwrite giving the the whole of a tape at the start of that job helps as well.

The admin guide does have some good information on the rules that govern how we choose the next overwritable tape.

Couple of other points

- if a job starts and can't find appendable tape once it switches to asking for overwritable it will not switch back (hence we never ask for appendable tapes as the job has already swicthed by the time we alert.

- the tape has to be overwritable when the job first needs it, if the job then goes queued for a couple of hours and the tape becomes overwriteable during that time it will not use it and it will look confusing as you will come in the next day and see queued jobs with overwriteable tapes. As an example do not set 7 day overwrite protection for a tape you want to use every Friday - set 6 days as you have to allow for the length of time the backup took to run the previous week due to overwrite protection starting at end of job

- a tape cannot be in two media sets

- you cannot overwrite just a set on a tape it is always the whole tape.

I would also recommend an upgrade to BE 2014 as you can then put multiple-servers in one job which makes some of what happens when multiple jobs run to a multi-drive library easier to handle.

BackupExecNewb's picture

Thanks for the feedback.  Appreciate it.  I understand what you are saying about how BE treats media for jobs when they are first run and when they span media.  I'm still interested in any strategies to avoid my jobs failing for media and better utilisation of tapes so that I don't have so many with so little data beig  written to them.  It just seems such a waste to throw more media into the library when there's tapes sitting there with practically noting on it.

Is there a way to clear/reset the job after it's prompted for overwriteable media and been cancelled so that I can re-run it so that it will then append to appendable media?

pkh's picture

You should read this document carefully and understand what OPP and AP is all about.