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VTL Issue and Media lebelling

Created: 15 Jul 2013 • Updated: 16 Jul 2013 | 4 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

NBU Version

Master , Media servers OS : Linux

Client OS : linux

Backup Destination : VTL ,  Deduplication Appliance

Backup Type : Flash Backup with Media servers as alternate client


VTL Vendor Recommended to have 20GB size Tapes, 3000 Tapes are configured. Works good for backups, Issue arises when starting disk clean up job on the appliance. It never cleans  the space ocupied by virtual tapes on which Netbackup reports 0 valid images and Expiration date already met.

Vendor is enforcing that This is due to Netbackup not Signalling the Appliance to clean those tapes and these tapes have to be labelled again inorder to have their device clan those tapes/delete data on disk.

Please Correct me if  i am wrong

1. Netbackup Labels the tape only once when using it first time for backup and once the  retention for  data is met, just the records  for the backup IDs will be deleted from Image Databse, and tape will be overwritten by next backup job, so if the same tape is selected for next backup job, do Netbackup labels the tape again and then starts appending data on to the tape ? or uses same Label (which was given for first time use)  for future backups.

to be short will a tape gets labelled every time when used for backup ?





Operating Systems:

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mph999's picture

I am going to disagree with the vendor.

NBU does not know it is a VTL, NBU in fact does not understand VTLs at all, it thinks it is a normal physical library, which is the whole idea of a VTL as you will agree.

Therefore, it is not for NBU to signal the VTL to clean the 'tapes'.  The VTL should clean down the disk when the tape is next labelled.

Marianne wrote a good post on this a short time ago, I'll look for it after dinner.

You are correct about NBU labelling tapes, it does this when a tape is expired and next used.  Or to put another way, when it expires it is not relabelled.

When it is used, the first time after it expires, is when it is relabelled.

If no config has changed, it will get the same label.



Regards,  Martin
Setting Logs in NetBackup:
Marianne's picture

Mmmm... Marianne cannot remember the 'good post'.... blush

1. Netbackup Labels the tape only once when using it first time for backup


and once the  retention for  data is met, 

No. only next time a backup is due.

A couple of previous posts regarding re-labeling of VTL tapes:




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

mph999's picture

Hmm, I'm sure you wrote something, maybe I am mistaken.

From the links in Mariannes post, you can see this is a frequent question. Most importantly, you can see that the solution is external to NBU.

I am not sure why your VTL vendor is saying otherwise.



Regards,  Martin
Setting Logs in NetBackup:
rajesh Talla's picture

Thank you Martin for clearing my dought and Thank you marianne for providing such valuble posts addressing my concern.