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What is my tape Drive doing while backups are running?

Created: 11 Aug 2010 | 4 comments

Just curious how other people are monitoring what their tape drives are doing while backups are running as far as:

Drive Throughput
Drive idle with tape in
Drive starts and stops

Fujifilm is trying to sell me a read verify appliance which does a lot of stuff and it sounds pretty neat, but it is also pretty expensive.  Anyone know a more cost effective way to monitor these things?

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Will Restore's picture

Your library may have some built-in utilities to do the same !

Will Restore -- where there is a Will there is a way

Scott Chapman's picture

I'm guessing your environment is windows? 

If it isn't you can use iostat to monitor your drives, I like "iostat -cMDnxz 2".  This shows the output in meg/sec and only shows the devices which are doing something.  Now it doesn't show "Drive starts and stops" or "Drive idle with tape in" but if you can watch the amount of data being written and the %busy that the drive is from iostat, then you can tell if you are working your drive or not.  I would think that is what you ultimately want to know...

One of the things that I've discovered with iostat is that i can tell when i've got a bad tape or drive... if the %b column sits at 100% for a long time and the drive doesn't show that it is writing anything, or very little (ie <meg/sec) then either the tape is bad, or the drive is bad.  I would get another tape in there and see what it does with a backup.

Hope this helps.

NetBackup on Solaris 10.  Protecting Solaris 10 and Windows.

Andy Welburn's picture

we just use

iostat -dxn 5|egrep "rmt|wait"

to monitor the drives being utilised by our Solaris master and the output from

sysstat -x 3

to monitor the throughput (total) for the drives utilised by one of our NDMP hosts.

These two, along with the info within the Activity Monitor, are enough to let us know if there is anything untowards happening.

Adamaitis's picture

Yes my master and media servers are UNIX, mix of Solaris and HP-UX.  These look like some good ideas, I'll give these a try and see how they work out for me.