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~ Need assistance in creating a backup solution ~

Created: 26 Mar 2013 | 28 comments

Hello all,

I have an HP SAS 8-slot robotic library using LTO5 tapes. My goal is to have full daily (including weekends) backups and have each tape devoted to one day each. I would like this due to ease of archiving tapes and finding tapes when a restore needs to be done. The 8th tape would be reserved for a weekly full that will eventually go offsite; we have a bi-weekly rotation of of weekly backups. This way, that magazines would only have to be loaded once a week and the offsite storage would not take one of my daily backups. I would also need to do a montly; this can be in place of the weekly if necessary.

Is this feasible? Should I go about this in a different way?

Tips/advice greatly appreciated.

Operating Systems:

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pkh's picture

This can be done.  Create a media set with an OPP of 13 days and AP = 1 hr.  Set all your jobs to overwrite and target this media set.

For the tape in the 8th slot, you should create another media set with longer OPP, but you should still use overwrite for your jobs.

BinaryPirate's picture

I should have mentioned the other part of this. Not sure how I missed it.

I have barcoded tapes from 1 - 100; I wanted to make this the day of the week. How could I force be slot, if possible? Should I just let it take whatever tape it wants to use? I m just trying to make it so that last weeks tape/s wouldnt accidentally get put back in and overwritten (or even worse awaiting confirmation to overwrite at 2AM).

What do you mean by set the job to overwrite? Do I need to do two separate jobs (I currently have a GFS policy)?

lmosla's picture

Hi BinaryPirate,
Check out this Technote for a 'how to' on barcoding tapes. http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?pag...
and
http://www.symantec.com/connect/articles/using-bar...

also you don't need a separate job to set it to overwrite. This is done within the job. Job properties > select 'Device and Media" then under 'when this job begins' choose 'Overwrite Media'
Here is a great document explaining this http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?pag...

pkh's picture

You should let BE take whatever tape that it wants.  It is a lot easier this way.  Read my article below on why this is so.

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

As long as you have set up the OPP correctly, you don't have to worry that your tape would be accidentally overwritten.

As previously advised, overwrite is a job property.

BinaryPirate's picture

I more inclined to keep it organized rather than worry about an actual overwrite. And what I mean by that is; how am I to know if the tapes to be put in the library are for this week or are they already used the week previous? Id rather be able to count by day rather than waiting for BE asking for confirmation of an overwrite at 3am.

For example; next week, by date, is 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. I would like the barcoded tape to match that of the day.

This way, each week, on a Monday, the tapes will be magazines will be changed.

If looking to recover or store offsite, tapes can be found extreamly easy.

pkh's picture

If you have 2 sets of tapes, you can easily identify which set to use on which particular week.

As for using a particular tape on a particular day, do read my article referenced earlier again for why this will be a very difficult thing to achieve when you are using a tape library.

merlin66's picture

Hello BinaryPirate,

if you want to use your Library like 8 single drives, just rightklick at your Library-node and configure it to use 8 partitions.
Now you can target your Jobs to the Slot you want. The Job will run excluively at this Slot and newer use another tape in the library if the Slot is empty.

CraigV's picture

...I used partitions successfully, but only 3 (Daily, Weekly, Monthly - 5, 3, 1), but 8 partitions becomes a logistical nightmare. What happens if Tuesday's tape is put into Thursday night's slot by accident? BE won't span the backup to the next partition to search for an available tape. It will either queue (until a tape is imported, if you have an import slot configured) or fail.

Thanks!

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merlin66's picture

I wrote that an empty Slot would be a Problem! But it is the only way to target a Job to a defined tape like a single drive an have the tapes market with monday, tuesday,...

If you Change the tapes only one time a week, you can decrease the time for overwriting so in your described case if you fill in the tapes faulty it will also react like a single drive and overwrite the thurstays tape.

I also prefere not to use partitions, but in some cases it can be helpful.

CraigV's picture

For sure, and like I said, I used them...but 8 becomes a problem. Put the Wednesday tape into a Thursday slot, and like I said, the backup either queues or fails. Rather get the OPP/Append settings right in a case like this above (ie. NOT using GFS where you can have more slots in a partition) and not use partitions.

I know some people would advocate this over partitions, and in this specific example so would I.

Thanks!

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BinaryPirate's picture

Thanks for all the input everyone! I think Ill need to look into this partitioning thing.

But out of curiosity, I have more questions;
If I did the overwrite protection recommendation as stated above; how do you go about making sure the tapes put in are not ones from the week before or are not ready to be overwritten? How do I set it up, organize, and ready the weekly full? How do I know which tape? How do I know when I need to reload the magazines? I just dont see how it can be kept doing it this way. What am I missing?

CraigV's picture

Well, how is your job set up? You're obviously not using a GFS policy, so it is 7 days of full backups with no weekly or monthly.

You can do any of the following:

1. Create a second set of 7 day backups and move tapes into a new media set. Then just make sure the 2 sets are kept separate;

2. If you lock up the tapes, designate space for both sets of 7. Just label them MOnday 1, Tuesday 1 etc...Monday 2, Tuesday 2 etc.

3. Use a spreadsheet to track which tapes were used and when.

Thanks!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

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

BinaryPirate's picture

I do actually have a GFS policy; if its right, I dont know.

Thanks for the input, but I will never go back to labeling tapes the day of the week. Certainly if it isnt done tape by tape, because Monday could have three different days on it.

This is actually what we are doing now with the single loader. I hate it.

CraigV's picture

GFS = Grandfather, Father, Son = Monthly, Weekly, Daily. Do you have this?

If this is right, what days do you run your Daily, Weekly, and Monthly backups on?

My GFS policy (when still an engineer) was as follows:

1. Daily - Monday --> Friday (Slots 1 --> 5)

2. Weekly - Saturday (Slots 6 & 7)

3. Monthly - Last Saturday of every month (Slot 8)

This worked well across 29 sites I looked after, and the site engineers knew what tapes to put in when as the Daily tapes were designated as Daily Set 1 (1 --> 5), and Daily Set 2 (1 --> 5).

The Weekly tapes (3 of them) were easily rotated.

Thanks!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

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

BinaryPirate's picture

I now have a true GFS policy. But now I cant get the job to do anything. Just queues.

 

I can see under devices, in use, idle, in use, idle......

 

 Log for Inventory Device 00004

 

 

Completed status: Failed Expand AllCollapse All

 

Job Information
Server name : SGBR-BUS01
Job name    : Inventory Device 00004
Job log     : C:\Program Files\Symantec\Backup Exec\Data\BEX_SGBR-BUS01_00089.xml
Device name : HP 0002

 

Utility Job Information

 

Job Completion Status
Job started     : Wednesday, April 24, 2013 9:59:12 AM
Job ended       : Thursday, April 25, 2013 4:28:41 PM
Final error: 0x800706be - The remote procedure call failed.

Final error category: Other Errors
Completed status: Failed

 

Job Completion Status
Job started     : Wednesday, April 24, 2013 9:59:12 AM
Job ended       : Thursday, April 25, 2013 4:28:41 PM
Final error: 0xe0008821 - Job was recovered as a result of Backup Exec RPC service starting.  No user action is required.

Final error category: Job Errors
Completed status: Failed

 

BinaryPirate's picture

Okay, now all errors aside; we are now backing up using a true GFS and letting BE take whatever tape it likes.

Now I have another question. I noticed the job report shows that BE used more than one tape for the same job. Does it simply fill up the tape then move on?

If so, this will not work. I need to be able to keep daily onsite, weekly will leave and return bi-weekly, and montly will never return. That said, weekly and montly must be on one tape, and must be the only thing on tape. How can this be done?

In other words I cannot have a tape that has a weekly and a monthly; that tape would need to be returned and stay off property permenently. Or have a daily and a weekly mixed where weekly is currently offsite, but need it for a restore for the daily portion.

CraigV's picture

...unless your backups are a lot smaller and can fit onto a single tape, then chances are good that you're spanning 2 tapes.

Furthermore, the idea behind having a Weekly/Monthly backup (or GFS policy/setup) is that Daily/Weekly/Monthly backups have different retention times. Putting 2 different backups onto 1 tape defeats the object of that, and there is no way to have 2 retention times on a tape.

Simple solution is to have enough tapes to do the job properly.

Thanks!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

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

BinaryPirate's picture

I have plenty of tapes. I want to know how to keep multiple jobs off of what ever tape becomes the monthly.

 

Im not putting two different backups on one tape, BU is. Letting it take whatever tape, as recommended.

 

So my question still stands; how can I ensure that only monthly is on the monthly tape?

BinaryPirate's picture

Are you saying that if it has a different media set/retention policy on said tape, BE will see this and not use it?

 

BE will only go lineir in the same mideia set?

CraigV's picture

BE won't put a Monthly backup onto a Weekly tape...the tapes sit in 2 different media sets, unless you simply have 1 media set and 3 defined jobs running to this?

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BinaryPirate's picture

I have media sets; Daily Full, Monthly Full, and Weekly Full.

 

Then I have a GFS policy deployed matching the sets.

 

Im good?

CraigV's picture

...my essay below means nothing now wink

Post screenshots of the settings of those media sets. BE should NOT be tacking 1 type of job onto another...Are you sure that those media sets have been selected in the respective GFS backup job?

Thanks!

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BinaryPirate's picture

I am soooo sorry! I had no idea I missed explaining this part! blush

 

I dont believe it is crossing media sets. I just didnt know how it worked. OOPS.

CraigV's picture

...Haha! classic, no worries yes

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CraigV's picture

BinaryPirate: Yes.

If you want a Daily/Weekly/Monthly backup routine, then you need to consider a GFS policy...Grandfather/Father/Son.

It's simple and easy to setup. You'd create the GFS policy, which starts with the Monthly job being created. This includes your Append/OPP settings, naming your media set (or selecting a pre-existing media set), selecting partitions (if you use them in a tape autoloader/library) etc. along with naming this. You'd move on to the Weekly configuration, and then the Daily configuration.

Each is going to have its own media set. Different retention times mean this is required. No sense in having 1 media set for everything where tapes can be overwritten, and you end up losing a Monthly for instance.

Once done, select a selection list and you're ready to go.

I suspect what's happening is that you have 1 media set and are trying to retrofit a GFS backup strategy into this which won't work. A policy is easily managed & I'd recommend it. Tapes belong to media sets and are not used by others. If you have an autoloader/library, you can further segment the tapes physically by creating partitions.

Read the TNs below for further advice too...

http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?pag...

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

http://astolstechblog.blogspot.com/2010/10/create-... (external article)

Thanks!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

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

BinaryPirate's picture

Also, will the tape be available for any media set once the overwrite protection expires? If not, how do I remedy this?

 

Basically once the overwrite protection expires, I would like it to available as BE wants to use it.

CraigV's picture

...I got around this by creating partitions containing tapes for the Daily/Weekly/Monthly and this ensures that the various jobs can't use another media set's tapes.

But your Append/OPP settings should take care of this if you don't want to use partitions (if you can!).

Thanks!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

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