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Tape Expiry Confusion

Created: 06 Nov 2012 • Updated: 07 Nov 2012 | 23 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

Hi all,

Just noticed with NBU BAR that a backup image (where the policy has a 1 year retention set) states that the image will expire in 1 month.

However, when I run a 'images on tape' report the expiration is correct and is 1 year from now.

Anyone seen this before?

I'm running NBU 7.1.0.4 on W2K8 R2 STD 64-Bit.

Thanks!

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sazz.'s picture

You might be using SLP or Vault duplication. The first copy of your backups might be going to disk/vtl/ost where it will be available for 1 month and once duplicated it will be available for 1 year.

If data is getting backed up using SLP then it won't be deleted till it get duplicated.

Also the SLP schedule will overwrite what you see in the policy.

markdavies1978's picture

No not using either.

I am running multiple copies though. The Primary copy has a 1 year retention.

I have this issue across multiple policies.

sazz.'s picture

I am running multiple copies though? Please specify how you are running multiple copies?

Is the primary copy directly going to tape?

Could you please post the screen shot as attachement where it shows 1 month and details of policy here.

sazz.'s picture

Ahh I am sorry you mean Multiple Copies Option. Please check retention to Disk STU and retention to your tape media

In the Schedule - Multiple Copies. There you can specify STU and retention levels, what it shows there?

It might be 1 year and will take effect when it goes to tape.

markdavies1978's picture

Yes multiple copies option.

Retention is set correctly.

I only backup to tape.

see attached screenshot.

Retention.png
sazz.'s picture

Your duplication pool which is Copy 2 is showing 1 month that is the reason it will be 1 month.

markdavies1978's picture

"Your duplication pool which is Copy 2 is showing 1 month that is the reason it will be 1 month."

No that is incorrect.

When using BAR it should be looking at the primary copy which has a 1 year retention.

Why would it refer to copy 2?

Also when I run a report on the tapes in question the expiry is correct.

markdavies1978's picture

Just checked more policies & I have the same issue for all of them.

The last time a month end backup with a 1 year retention is stated correctly from within BAR was at the end of September.

sazz.'s picture

This is how multiple copies is designed. If you just want 1 copy why to use multiple copies then? You might got confused and just thought that you are taking just one copy going to tape but the copy 2 is also happening here. That tick mark on Primay give that feeling that it will only do primary copy but actually there are 2 copies.

But if you just want 1 copy then no need to use the option multiple copies, please check with your teammates they might have it setup for some purpose. Actually it would be better to have 1 copy onsite(mostly on disk) so data can be restored as and when required till it get expired(in your case it is 1 month)

In catalog BAR gui select copy 2 and it will report copy 2 as well.

markdavies1978's picture

Copy 2 stays on site & the primary goes off site. Both to tape.

It has been like this for 2 years without issue.

Clearly there is a bug somewhere.

I'll log a ticket with Symantec, thanks for your efforts anyway.

 

Mark_Solutions's picture

Just ran a quick test using multiple copies and both show up in the BAR GUI - so i see the one with a short and the one with a long expiry date in the GUI

Are you saying that you only see one backup in the BAR GUI for each day?

Authorised Symantec Consultant

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sazz.'s picture

As per the multiple copies you are running 2 jobs, both on tape.
1> primary copy will be retained for 1 year
2> 2nd copy will be retained for 1 month

Just noticed with NBU BAR that a backup image (where the policy has a 1 year retention set) states that the image will expire in 1 month.
Can you paste the screenshot where it shows this?

In the activity monitor you should be having 1 job running for 1 year retention and 1 for 1 month.

markdavies1978's picture

@ Mark_Solutions

Thanks for running a test. I'm only seeing 1 backup job within the BAR GUI, thats correct right? As BAR will only be looking at the Primary Copy image?

@ Sazz

I have attached 2 screen shots, 1 from within BAR & the other from within NBU.

Thanks.

 

BAR.png Image-Expiry.png
markdavies1978's picture

For some reason it appears that BAR may be looking at the copy 2 expiration date?

Perhaps once copy 2 expires BAR will update?

Mark_Solutions's picture

OK - happy that it is a bug then so feel free to raise a ticket.

Here is what i have found ..

First copy set to 2 weeks, second to 1 month - I see both in the BAR GUI

First copy set to 1 month, second to 2 weeks - I see just one in the BAR GUI and it is the one with the shortest retention.

So if your primary copy has a longer retention than your secondary copy you only see the shortest one in the BAR GUI (at least until it expires)

I am guessing that this is because the primary copy usually expires first and then promotes the second copy to be primary but that is not the case with your setup - obviously an assumption coded in somewhere

For your info my test system is 7.1.0.1 so looks like this has been around for a while!

Hope this helps

Authorised Symantec Consultant

Don't forget to "Mark as Solution" if someones advice has solved your issue - and please bring back the Thumbs Up!!.

markdavies1978's picture

@ Mark_Solutions

Thanks for your input.

Seems odd that you can see both copies in BAR? I can only see the images of my copy 2 in BAR if I goto Catalog & promote my copy 2 to Primary.

I did read somewhere that if you set up Multiple Copies the Primary copy is expected to stay onsite. I didn't want to implement it this way but maybe thats where this confusion with expiration is coming from.

Mark_Solutions's picture

It seems to be the retention that matters - if the primary is longer than copy 2 then you see just the shorter one but if the other way around you actually see both so can select which one to restore from

That being the case (and feel free to test it) then that could work for you as it gives visibility of both copies in the BAR GUI so you can choose which one to restore from

You would just need primary to go to the duplicate pool for 1 month and copy 2 going to the Monthly pool for 1 year - the only difference being whgich is primary, but if you can see both in the BAR then it shouldnt be an issue for you

Hope this helps

PS - only change things like this before a full backup is due to run incase it triggers all incrementals to run as fulls

Authorised Symantec Consultant

Don't forget to "Mark as Solution" if someones advice has solved your issue - and please bring back the Thumbs Up!!.

SOLUTION
Jevon's picture

I thought this whole thing was unusual.  Why mark the longer retention that is offsite to be 'primary' (aka - The media to perform restores from) when you have a local copy.  The local copy would otherwise never be used for restore.

Would NetBackup ignore the primary that is offsite if library contains a copy?  It would make sense to me if that were the case.

markdavies1978's picture

@ Jevon

For my environment it seemed to make more sense to make the Primary Copy the offsite copy and with a longer retention. The idea being if my site had a melt down I could restore my master server knowing that my Primary copies were offsite and more than likey the images I would have needed would not have expired thus saving the need to import any tapes.

markdavies1978's picture

@ Mark_Solutions

Thanks for your input, your last post has help me understand what the issue was.

sazz.'s picture

Hi Markdavies,

Just tested it, with environment 6.5 sssssssshhhhhhh(Be quiet).

Created multiple copies exacty same way and for me it ran 3 jobs in the activity monitor.One job will just show the information of other 2 or it is kind of parent job. One job shows the retention of 1 month and other one shows retention of 1 year.In the BAR GUI it will only show 1 restore and the expiry date would be the shortest image expiry though TAPE would be picked up per the primary image.

So the image expiry it will show for the COPY 2 which is shortest as per your environment but the tape for restore it shows is Primary copy. I then expired the COPY 2 image and it now shows the primary copy retention as 1 year.

Conclusion:

The way NBU designed you want to keep the shortest retention onsite to restore data.In your scenario if you send the primary copy to offsite then you have to promote your copy 2 as primary to do the restore for first one month.

As you said in your environment "Copy 2 stays on site & the primary goes off site"

copy 2 - retention 1 month
Primary copy - retention 1 year

Have you tried restore within 1 month? because you have to promote your copy 2 to primary everytime for whatever restore within 1 month if you get any kind of restore OR for even yesterday's backup you would be recalling offsite tape?

Recomendation:

Better to change primary copy to 1 month and dupliation to 1 year. It will also make things easy to understand and won't be much confusion in case you left the organization smiley
 

Assumption: I don't think this is a bug because this is how it should be designed. Still the data can be restored and it keeps the data as per retention though it just shows the shortest one first.

markdavies1978's picture

@ sazz

Thanks for your help, makes sense.

sazz.'s picture

NP:)

also

The idea being if my site had a melt down I could restore my master server knowing that my Primary copies were offsite and more than likey the images I would have needed would not have expired thus saving the need to import any tapes.

You can still do that with your copy 2, send your copy 2 to offsite and keep the primary copy onsitewink. This is what I have seen in 99.9 % of envionment, only yours being a exception.