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Is there a way to specify certain media for a given backup schema?

Created: 14 May 2013 • Updated: 27 May 2013 | 7 comments
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We curently have both weekly and monthly backup jobs and we're currently using LTO5 tapes but have a whole slew of LTO4 tapes that my manager wants to use for our montlies (as those are kept indefinatly and we'd like to use up our LTO4s). Is there a way to specify either an entire set type (like LTO4) or even a tape by tape basis so our monthlies will pull from the LTO4 tape set?

Thank you!

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CraigV's picture


You could manually move the LTO4 tapes into a media set and direct a particular job at them, or combine this with partitions if you run an autoloader/library. If your OPP/Append settings are correct, partitions might not be necessary, but I have used them effectively.


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theoriginalgiga's picture

Pardon for the uninformed questions, I was given the backup duties and I have never used exec before. In order to associate media to a media set is it as simple as going to the media tab, finding and selecting the tapes, and dragging them to the media set?

CraigV's picture

Yes that will work...

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theoriginalgiga's picture

Thanks! Is there a way after moving the media into the given media set to mark them as overwritable or do I just have to perform a format on the tape to make it overwritable? 

Larry Fine's picture

The problem with abusing media sets that way is that by manually putting a tape into a media set, it collects those properties.  So, if your media set has infinite overwrite protection (the goal of your monthly backups), as soon as you manually put a media in that set, it becomes non-overwritable. 

Craig's suggestion will work if you are trying to append to those LTO4 media.  Are you?

This is actually a tricky question and the best answer depends upon a lot of variables.

Assuming you have multiple tape drives in your library, you might be able to always use one of those drives for the monthly LTO4 backups.  You could configure that one drive to only use LTO4 media via bar code rules.

Another option is to make sure that nothing but LTO4 media is available for overwrite when your monthly backup starts.  To do this, manually move any Scratch or overwritable LTO5 media into the "Retired" media set (BE will never touch those there), then start the monthly LTO4 backup.  If the montly LTO4 job fits on one tape, then you can immediately move everything from "Retired" to back "Scratch".  If the LTO4 monthly is a multi tape backup, you cannot move them until the last LTO4 tape has started the backup phase.

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pkh's picture

It can be done, like what Craig suggested.  I am using a mixture of LTO4 and LTO3 tapes, with LTO3 tapes primarily designated for a particular job.  Make sure that you set your OPP/AP correctly so that there is always overwritable/appendable tapes available in the media containing your LTO4 tapes BEFORE the monthly job starts.  Do familiarise yourself with how OPP and AP works with this document

OPP and AP explanation

There will be occasional hiccups where your job will use the LTO5 tapes.  You would then have to move the LTO5 tapes out of the LTO4 media set when it becomes overwritable.

theoriginalgiga's picture

Thanks so much for all your feedback. this is a lot of great information that I'll be passing to my management so they can decide the most prudent course of action.