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Which disk to bring back?

Created: 04 Jan 2013 | 5 comments

When you use tapes, you have a retention period that you can see when you look at offline media.

If you use the above procedure, how do you figure out which drive you need to bring back from offsite storage?  I cant see any way to tell which drive you would use.  We are using 5 drives for daily and then want to keep 5 weeks of weekly full backups and keep 12 months of monthly backups and then 6 years of yearly full backups.  With that number of drives, I need to know which ones can be brought back online.


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pkh's picture
Normally, you would not have storage pools which have media with different retention periods.  You would have a pool for your daily job and another for your weekly job, etc.  As such, all you need to do is to label your disks accordingly like Week1, Week2, ...., you then bring these disks back on rotation in sequence.
You can also click on your storage to see which backup set has expired.  It would help if you had rename the storage to something more meaningful that you can use to trace to a particular disk.
Christopher Joles's picture

So there is no automated way of checking like we could do with the tapes

I was hoping to have two backup pools, one for daily and the other for WMY.  For security purposes, I was hoping to not have to label the drives, Week1 - Week6, Jan-Dec and 2012-20xx.  Doing so makes it easier for someone if they gain access to the drives to know what time frame to look for.  By just numbering them 001-026 we would not have that problem.  Keep in mind we are encrypting the backups on the drives for that reason.  However, I was looking for multi levels of protection / security.

So, if I understand your response, I should have a Day, Week, Month and Year pool with drives associated as described.  My only issue with that is it becomes much more cumbersom when we must ensure the monthly drive is online or the yearly etc.  Using just a single pool will allow for whatever drive to be used and then the job will assign the protection period.

Any other suggestions on a better way to make this work?  We are close, we have the new server operational with the USB drives.  Just need an effecient way to manage this.

pkh's picture

You are probably the first on this forum who wants to label your media so that they are anonymous.  I have a hard time convincing people that this is a good thing.  The vast majority of the users on this forum is in the "more descriptive the label the better" camp.  Of course, you can label them so that they are anonymous.  There is no fixed way of labeling them.  Labeling is just an aide-memoir so that you can distinguish the disks without having to take a look at their contents.  The labeling is so that you know if you are using Disk1 this week, you would need to bring back Disk2 for next week.

The danger of mixing your disk of different frequency is that they might be used for the wrong job.  Suppose you have a pool for WMY and you put in your weekly disk.  When you run your monthly job, the output would go onto the weekly disk.  I am suggesting a different pool for different frequency to ease management if you want to separate the backups of different frequency.  If you want to keep your weekly with your monthly, etc, just have one pool for them.  Space management of these disks would be a lot more complex because of the different retention periods.

Christopher Joles's picture

Are there any plans for the future to add the ability to run a retention report based on removable media?  All I am looking for is something similar to the Offline Media option that is available under a Tape/Disk Cartridge Media Sets.  Or better yet, show the overwrite dates under the job history for the individual driver, or let me create a custom report that shows the retention dates on all removable media.

pkh's picture

Disk storage is meant for fixed disk and not removable disk.  You are able to define disk storage on your USB disk due to a quirk of the OS.  This is a long story.  The short of it is that what you want is unlikely to happen because disk storage iis not meant for removable disks in the first place.