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Tape library with FC and SAS drives being shared by two systems

Created: 01 Jun 2010 • Updated: 13 Dec 2012 | 19 comments
matt077's picture
This issue has been solved. See solution.

Can any one help me

I have a tape library with 2 SAS and 2 FC drives which will be used by two systems, one system using the SAS drives and the other system using the FC drives

What i'm trying to work out is how the system using the FC drives will tell the robotic library arm where to place tapes? (can see the drive fine but no arm), the system using the SAS drives is the main backup exec system and will work the robotic library arm

Many thanks

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sazz.'s picture

you can not use 1 library to be shared between 2 servers unless and until you use some kind of san switch or SAN SSO option where you can plug the library to a san switch and multiple media servers to the same san switch.

matt077's picture

sorry, forgot to add that the FC is going over a SAN

the SAS drives are via a sas cable and card

sazz.'s picture

so if i understood correctly you have 2 library connected to 2 servers. You have media server installed on each of them and the one has the Fiber through san not showing the arm in the BE.
If that is the case check in device manager if you see the unknown medium changer.

matt077's picture

the set up i have is -

One Tape library with 2 SAS drives and 2 FC drives plus not for getting the robotic arm

1st system - system using the two SAS Drives plus robotic arm, connect via a SAS card and cable, everything working on that fine
2nd system -  system using the two FC drives, cant see no robotic arm but can see both drives as stand alone drives, connect via SAN and fc cards.

what i'm trying to work out is how can the 2nd system use the robotic arm to place tapes in the FC drives?

sazz.'s picture

In that case you have to connect all the 4 drives to one library or you should have 2 library. Otherwise the robotic arm will only work for the system where it is connected and will not be detected by other system

matt077's picture

is there a way that the 2nd system to talk to the 1st system? kinda be share the arm from system 1 to system 2?

sazz.'s picture

Not possible at all as it is attached to one server and can't take control of other server at all

matt077's picture

just been talking to a support engineer which he told me that i need the SAN Storage opt licence, any one done this before?

sazz.'s picture
Yep in that case you have to connect your library to SAN switch and both the server should be connected to same San switch. Install BE on both the servers and both can access the library, you have to purchase the san - sso option for it.

SAN SSO lets multiple distributed media servers share common, centralized storage devices connected over a SAN. This configuration provides greater efficiency and fault tolerance. In addition to increasing performance and backup speeds in the SAN environment, the Shared Storage Option load balances backup activity across multiple Backup Exec media servers and centralizes management tasks while lowering the total cost of hardware ownership.

CraigV's picture

Hi Matt,

What sazz neglected to tell you is that to use SAN SSO on another SAN-attached server, you need a full version of Backup Exec on it, with all the agents and the SAN SSO agent. I don't see how this will address the issue where 2 drives are SAS-attached. That other server will need to be SAN-connected to utilise it.
Why not consider loading up BE on the server that has SAn connectivity to the library, and then a RAWS agent on the other server? The thing here is that you can look at assigning the drives, or better yet, partitioning the library's slots and pointing the jobs to these partitions?
This would save the cash of buying the SAN SSO license, as well as having to swop out your SAS drives for FC drives.

Laters!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

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

matt077's picture

Save cost where need be is great so RAWS agent sounds good, any more info on this? e.g set up guides etc?

CraigV's picture

Hi Matt,

Best bet is to get hold of the following:

Admin Guide - http://seer.entsupport.symantec.com/docs/308400.htm

Quick Installation Guide - http://seer.entsupport.symantec.com/docs/308993.htm

Laters

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

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

matt077's picture

take it i need to be reading page 1632 of the admin guide?

matt077's picture

also this is what the set up looks like at the min

Colin Weaver's picture

A couple of comments

1) CASO and/or SSO is needed if you want to share a library between servers (strangely CASO will work without SSO but due to a licensing quirk you still should own the SSO licenses even if you don't enable it)

2) For a library to operate in a shared mode between 2 Backup Exec servers the robotic arm of the library must be conncted to both servers (which is usually done over SAN zoning)

matt077's picture

thanks guys for all your comments, its the 1st time i'm doing something like this (and could be the last ;-) )

for the fc drives, they be going over the SAN as a zone to the system but will need some kind of way to drive the arm to stick tapes in the FC drives e.g getting system2 to talk to system1 which will drive the arm via SAS

CraigV's picture

...I think that is where the problem will lie. You can share the robotics and 2 drives between the SAN-attached servers, but the server using the SAS drives will have the issue...and possibly cause issues with the other servers as they fight for contention with the robotic arm.

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

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

matt077's picture

after logging a call with the support team, they have told me that the arm needs to be seen in windows from both systems and that i need SAN Shared storage option installed

the system using the FC drives cant see the arm but can see the drives in device manager

SOLUTION
CraigV's picture

Yep...otherwise the first server to access the robotics has control...put that option into a 60-day trial if available to verify that it will work before buying the license!

Alternative ways to access Backup Exec Technical Support:

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