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Symantec Backup Exec 2010 and HP StorageWorks 1/8 G2 LTO-4 Ultrium 1760 SAS Tape Autoloader Best Practices

Created: 10 Apr 2010 • Updated: 14 Dec 2012 | 1 comment
massimiliano.rizzi's picture
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Hello there,

I have just got finished with a new Symantec Backup Exec 2010 installation into a new Windows Server 2008 SP2 media server with one HP StorageWorks 1/8 G2 LTO-4 Ultrium 1760 SAS Tape Autoloader directly attached for disk-to-tape backup jobs.

The new media server will be used to consolidate backup jobs from all RAWS installed into a number of Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 Virtual Machines with RAWS.

The HP StorageWorks 1/8 G2 LTO-4 Ultrium 1760 SAS Tape Autoloader has 8 slots and has been shipped with 10x data tapes and 1x cleaning cartridge.

The current amount of data to be fully backed up to tapes will not even fit a single tape at the moment, so there will be no need to span a backup job across multiple tapes, thus simplifying the overall design I guess.

I am widely using Symantec Backup Exec 12.5 and Symantec Backup Exec 2010 along with removable disk devices and standalone tape drives but I've never dealt with tape autoloader devices, so could you please provide some high-level Best Practices and considerations to get the most out from the Autoloader regarding to the following aspects:

- Since tapes will have to be stored off-site and rotated on a daily basis (except for those taped that will be used for weekly and monthly backup jobs) only one tape will have to be loaded in the magazine at a time and changed day by day (same behaviour as a standalone tape drive) ?

- Do you guys recommend a different tape rotation policy, perhaps using even more tapes ?

- Do you guys recommend a slot to be reserved for the cleaning cartridge ?

Please feel free to provide additive considerations or recommendations.

Thank you and have a great day.



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CraigV's picture

Hi there,

GFS policies are always the easiest to manage. Although you have 3 jobs, you have 1 policy containing those jobs, pointing to 1 selection list. This allows you to set dates and times for backups, and settings from 1 central location. It also automatically puts in rules making sure your jobs don't clash.
You would then have: Daily, Weekly, and Monthly. We have a number of the G2 autoloaders, and I partition them as follows:

Slots 1 --> 5 = Daily tapes
Slots 6 & 7 = Weekly Tapes
Slot 8 = Monthly tapes.

Using the GFS policy, I simply target each job to its corresponding slot.
For the cleaning cartridge, I never bother. Backup Exec is intelligent enough to alert you to the fact that the drive needs cleaning, and that is the only time I use it.

My tapes number 26, and are configured as follows:

10 tapes for Daily ( 2 x set of 5, changed every Monday)
4 Weekly tapes (Changed every second Monday)
12 Monthly tapes (changed the MOnday AFTER a monthly backup...which is the last Saturday of every month).

I would recommend leaving the tapes in and changing them less than once per day. If you load 1 tape in an 8-slot autoloader, it does mean extra work for you, and it means you never really make use of your capital outlay for buying 1 in the first place.

Does this help? Let me know if you need more information...


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