Backup Exec 9 fails to complete backup

I am having problems with Veritas backup exec 9 on a Windows 2003 server. I am backing up about 14GB worth of data on 40/80GB tapes with a DLT DLT4000 20/40GB drive and it stops towards the end of the job asking for overwriteable media.

I noticed one of the tapes only shows 17.1 GB of total capacity and the others show 19.1. They are identical tapes, so this is a little confusing to me. I am new to backup exec, so if anyone knows what the problem is or a good white paper on the correct way to create the backup jobs.

I have disabled overwritable media, but it still promts for overwritable media and fails at the end. I am begining to suspect the drive because I have tried different tapes, with the same results.

I need an immediate resolution for this problem, so if you have any ideas I appreciate your help!

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The drive is obviously asking for a new tape as the exisiting one is full. Check you are not appending to previous backup on the tape rather than over-writing.
You have a 20/40 drive (uncompressed/compressed) and are using 40/80 tapes. The actual storage on the tapes will be limited by the tape capacity and drive capability.
You say you are backing up 14GB of data - is that compressed already on the server disk? Sometimes compressing already compressed data can result in a slight expansion!
Hope this helps a bit.
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luckyd1101Author Commented:
It continues to look for overwritable media even though the backup is setup to overwrite  and I have disabled overwrite protection in veritas. I have even set the overwrite protection to 1 hour to see if it will help. Perhaps, I am setting the backups wrong.

I have 3 jobs going. Each has it's own tape. MON-WED (diff), TUES-THUR (diff),  Friday (FULL)... I have the jobs setup to overwrite the media each time because there is too much data to append even one time. The first backup seems to go fine, then on the second it cant overwrite. Do I have to recycle the previous backup before the next cycle?

My understanding is the diff backups with overwrite any changed files and the full backup will over write everything (not really necessary, but not a big deal and may be a better way)
have you set Backup Exec overwrite protection to a  level of None or Partial ?
luckyd1101Author Commented:
It is set to None now, but I set it to full and changed the overwrite protection on the media to 1 hour. Same problems.
I believe you're using tape retention. In this case, if the tape is not destined to be recycled, you can't overwrite the tape no matter what, unless you do a quick erase of data & serial BEFORE the backup starts. You'll have to do this for all tapes that are needed in the backup.

If you don't require tape retention, you can disable this. Select a different backup option. This is caused by the GFS (Grandfather, Father, Son) backup scheme for backup retention. Of course, more tapes are needed in such a scheme & you'll probably need to track on black & white what tapes have been throughout the backups.
luckyd1101Author Commented:
I picked this app up because I thought it would have the ability to run a schedule that wouldnt take much user interaction. I need a backup scheme that will only requre the tapes to be swapped out each night by a user that doesnt know the backup application.

I am rarely at this site and can not remote into the machine to recycle media. Is there an automated scheme that I can use to accomplish this using only the 3 tapes? I can add additonal tapes, but this would only complicate things for the end user swapping out the tapes each morning.
IMHO, Veritas Backup Exec is a good backup program. What I think might need to be done is to spend some time on your end to see how much backup tapes is needed on the server for a period of time. This can also be done by estimating the amount of tapes needed from the amount of data to be backup up. However, the amount of user data will always change (usually they'll have more than less with time), so you might want to periodically check on this as well.

Full backups are the most comprehensive, however they consume the most amount of backup time & tapes. But when you are required to restore data, then you'll just require that particular set of tapes for the relavant day.

Differential backups only backup files that have changed, thus saving on backup time & tapes. But the restoration of data will require the last full backup plus the corresponding differential backups thereafter.

I understand your point of view when you do not really want to complicate lives for your users by requesting them to do too many complicated or menial tasks. However, I feel that it should be stressed that if this is data that is to be backed up & most data that I've come across are usually important, it would be a good investment to take good care of your backup process.

It would be best if someone is able to check the backup logs everyday to make sure that the backup job succeeds & that there're no errors like hardware faults, tape errors, etc. You could have this done by doing up some simple documentations with screen captures & all so that someone is able to assist you in that aspect.

It doesn't take much time, say 15 mins a day, tops, to change the tape & check the log. But when an error or problem is discovered, it'll probably be worth everyone's while to catch the problem early on rather than having to find that your users' data hasn't been backed up for a period of time & it needs to be restored.

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Btw, I notice that you overwrite all your 3 tapes each week, correct ? On top of that, you have 2 jobs that overlap on Tuesday & Wednesday. This is quite confusing, at least from my understanding.

There're many ways that you can setup a backup scheme, such as GFS, which uses tons of tapes (at least I think so) but is the safest, yet the most labour & administrative intensive, full backups everyday from Monday to Friday, or differential for Monday to Thursday & Full backups on Fridays, or full backups on Mondays, differential from Tuesday to Friday.

It's basically up to you to decide & balance the amount of tapes used to backup data, or restore data, the amount of administrative time involved, the possibility of being unable to do a full restore if a tape in a differential set is spoilt, etc.

We can definitely advise you on how to backup your data over a period of 1 week with 3 tapes, eg. do a differential with data append for Monday & Tuesday (1st tape), Wednesday to Thursday (2nd tape) & a full backup on Friday (3rd tape). However, what I'm suggesting is to look beyond just getting your backups to work & consider what might happen if something goes wrong. That's what data backups are for, they're your final line of defense.
Any updates on this ?
Thanks. Did your problem get solved ?
luckyd1101Author Commented:
I am not sure why the backups were failing, but I found an old 5 gig windows backup file that could be deleted. The cleaned the hard drive and took care of any size issues.

I re-labeled the media and am letting the backup run as scheduled. It ran for a few weeks before and then started to get the errors.

I still have absolutly no idea why one tape only says 17GB and the others read 19GB when they are identical tapes.

Thanks for everyone's imput.
Well, a no-brainer solution would be to get a higher density drive - SDLT with a tape library, budget permitting, if you don't want to bother the users with changing the tapes everyday. This will really burn a hole in your IT budget though.

When you configure differential backup, you have to configure 1 day for full backup as well. That's the way it is. So on the day that requires full backup, you'll need as many tapes as the data that you'll need to backup. Why the backuped data size differ could be due to a variety of reasons, the index size, the size of the data that has been backed up, the backup compression ratio, etc.
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