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Tape driver for HP tape library ESL 712E on AIX

Created: 07 Jan 2013 • Updated: 04 Mar 2013 | 7 comments
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Which tape driver to use on AIX for HP tape library ESL 712E?
I searched online and found about atape drivers but it seems they are only for IBM tape libraries.

Can somebody please help?


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Yasuhisa Ishikawa's picture

Configure and use ovpass driver bundled in NetBackup.

For more detail about ovpass setup, please chech Device Configuration Guide.

Authorized Symantec Consultant(ASC) Data Protection in Tokyo, Japan

Marianne's picture

Can we get clarification on your actual needs?

Robot device file and tape driver are two separate issues.
Robot needs ovpass, tape drives need AIX ost driver.

See AIX chapter in Device Config Guide for detailed config instructions.

If you plan to make AIX server the robot control host, please consider assigning robot control to a media server on another OS (e.g. Windows, Linux, Solaris).
My reason for this suggestion is because Symantec no longer supports ovpass as from NBU 7.5. 

Extract from NBU 7.5 Release Notes:

■ The ovpass driver on AIX is no longer supported as of this release of NetBackup.
However, support for robotic control devices with an IBM inquiry string that
use the IBM Atape driver is still supported.
Also see NBU 7.x HCL

Supporting Storage Foundation and VCS on Unix and Windows as well as NetBackup on Unix and Windows
Handy NBU Links

sptch's picture

Thanks a lot for your responses.

Let me explain what I'm trying to do.

We have an AIX Netbackup Master server and now we need to add a new Media server running on AIX. The Master is attached to two HP Tape libraries - ESL 712E and I want to attach the same two libraries to the Media server as well.

On the Master server, I see the tape drives are discovered as "Other FC SCSI Tape Drive". I thought this is because we don't have a proper driver for the tapes so I started looking for AIX driver for the tape libraries but couldn't find any driver on HP or IBM site. I found Atape driver but I think it is only used if you have IBM Tape libraries.

I also found information on ovpass devices and will be using it on this new Media server but I thought before I do that, let me get the correct driver for the Tape libraries.

Our current Master server has the ovpass devices and they are:

# lsdev -C |grep ovpass
ovpass0 Available 06-08-02 VERITAS Media Changer
ovpass1 Available 06-09-02 VERITAS Media Changer

# lsattr -El ovpass0
lun_id 0x0000000000000 N/A True
model_name VERITAS fcp media changer N/A False
scsi_id 0x671100 N/A True

# lsattr -El ovpass1
lun_id 0x0000000000000 N/A True
model_name VERITAS fcp media changer N/A False
scsi_id 0x791b00 N/A True

The current Master server also has the Atpae driver installed.

# lslpp -l |grep -i atape
Atape.driver COMMITTED IBM AIX Enhanced Tape

This Master server setup is old and was done before I joined this job so I'm not sure whether this driver is really being used or not.

So from your comments, it seems I need two drivers - one is ovpass for the robot and the other is ost driver for tapes. Ovpass is already there when I installed Netbackup and I'm not sure about "ost". Right now the tape drives are discovered as "Other FC SCSI Tape Drive" and using the default driver. Do I still have to find "ost" driver? And if yes, where do I find it?

The other question is - Can I use Atape driver on AIX for HP Tape library?

Thanks for the information on ovpass not being supported on NBU7.5 We will need to be aware of this. So if we cannot use any other OS for Media server, what are our options? This AIX Media server was recently purchased for this project and we will have to use it.

Please let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you very much.

Marianne's picture

Only one server can be robot control host. Your master is already robot control host.

Tape drives can be shared by multiple media servers if you have SSO license.
So, Master server has robot configured as local device, other media servers will have the robot added as being 'controlled by remote host'. (See Chapter 4 of Shared Storage Guide.)

Please also read though the AIX chapter in Device Config Guide (link in my previous post).
You will see that AIX provides two tape drivers only:
Atape - for IBM tape drives only
ost - other SCSI tape (for all other nom-IBM tape drives)
This means your device discovery is fine.
You can go ahead and run Device Config wizard and select Master and Media server (provided you have added library based tape drive license(s) on new media server as well as SSO license on master and media server).

About NBU 7.5 - Full support statement in HCL (link in my previous post):

22. NetBackup has been supporting non-IBM tape libraries (robotics) with an IBM AIX robotic control host using the "ovpass" driver for many years. Changes and new functionality in AIX 6.1 and 7.1 have resulted in some issues with ovpass and an inability to support new functionality such as dynamic tracking and controlling SAS robots. Therefore, beginning with NetBackup 7.5, Symantec is no longer supporting the ovpass driver. Existing customers may continue to use ovpass as they are today, but if issues are encountered Symantec will not be able to resolve them. Symantec recommends using another OS platform as the robotic control host.

Supporting Storage Foundation and VCS on Unix and Windows as well as NetBackup on Unix and Windows
Handy NBU Links

sptch's picture

Thank you very much Marianne for your response.

I'll check on the SSO licenses and contact Symantec.

The issue of NBU7.5 not supporting ovpass can be critical to us. And if we can't use any other OS for the media server, then I'm not sure how we can work this out. If we still want to use HP tape libraries on AIX media server running NBU7.5, what options do we have?

Thanks again.

Yasuhisa Ishikawa's picture

For now, there are no options other than below:

  • Add new media server that supports HP tape libraries, and change robot control host to this new media server
  • Continue to use ovpass driver in NetBackup 7.1. ovpass driver is still supported in 7.1.

When you upgrade to 7.5, you use ovpass at your own risk, or you have to add new media server of other platform.

Authorized Symantec Consultant(ASC) Data Protection in Tokyo, Japan

sptch's picture

Thanks Yasuhisa and Marianne. You guys have been more helpful then the actual Symantec Support.
Thanks and take care.