backup exec with tape library

Posted on 2006-11-07
Last Modified: 2013-12-01
we have a compaq MSL5000 tape library with one tape drive installed.  it has 2 magazines.  we are using symantec backup exec 10d to control the backups.  we recently started putting barcoded labels on the tapes because we wanted to move forward in technology. :)  the tape library has a barcode reader and scans the front of the tapes to see what was inserted.

the process we do now for backups is this:
3 tapes get loaded each day for 3 servers.  a file server, sql server and exchange server.  every day we take out yesterdays tapes and walk them to our other building across the street to a safe.  we grab the tapes for today, and place them into the magazines.  on fridays (or days before holidays), we grab the saturday or any other tapes that need to run.  the magazines are divided up for the different servers and different days.  for the file server, on weekdays we do incremental backups and saturday runs a full backup.  the other 2 servers get full backups every day.  because of holidays and/or weekends, we could have 4 tapes lined up for the backup.  the partitions are divided like this:
0-2 file incremental
3-4 file full backup (another issue with the data not compressing correctly)
5-8 sql
9-12 exchange

the thing that gets me is that even with the barcodes on the tapes, we still have to reserve these spaces physically.  we should be able to assign a barcode to a certain job, and let the library pick the tape from whatever slot it is in.  it does a quick scan to see what tapes are inserted every time you open the door.  it should know after that what tapes are in there and which one it should pick for the job.  we just havent found a place in the software to assign the barcode numbers to the jobs.  can this not be done?
Question by:WMIF
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Expert Comment

ID: 17895605
Dear WMIF,
No it is not possible. Veritas will take the tape which ever is free. The criteria is oldest tape which is free will be taken for the backup from the Media Pool

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Accepted Solution

andyalder earned 250 total points
ID: 17897896
Adding barcodes to tapes that have already been used confuses Backup Exec since the barcode label does not match the label on the media. However if you re-label them it will use the barcode label so that then it matches (this effectively erases the tape).

Once they are in scratch then as long as you have a different media set for each job and the overwrite protect is set to 1 day less than the rotation it will use the same tape again next time since it is overwritable and part of the correct media set (as long as it's in the library and you inventoried the library when you put it in). That is if you set it to overwrite media in the target set before overwriting scratch media under tools-options-media management.

Refer to figure 3 in 
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Author Comment

ID: 17899617
when we added the barcodes, we used new tapes.  looking in the media tab of the software though, we only have one media set.  

so i think what i am reading is that i need a seperate media set for each job.  then the tapes need to be part of the media set for the job that they should run with.  the barcode lets the library identify the tape when it is loaded.  we do have an inventory job that runs before any of the other jobs start.  since we usually only have one tape from each job in the library, the software will use that tape since it is the oldest tape from the media set.  when we have holidays and weekends, it will use the appropriate oldest tape from the media set for each day.  is that all correct?

my last question about the setup then is how do i assign the slots?  do i make them all in one group?
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LVL 55

Expert Comment

ID: 17899800
I don't think there's a guarantee that it uses the oldest tape in the media set, that's why I suggest the overwrite period to be 1 day less than the rotation period - that way even if you put extra tapes in for holidays only one is overwritable from each media set, the others only become overwritable on a day-by-day basis. lso set the append period to something like 6 hours if you want two jobs to use the same tape one after the other.

Slots all in one group is fine so just delete the partitions.
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Author Comment

ID: 17900110
we did have it setup already with the 6 day overwrite protection.  so far i have created 4 new media sets.  exchange, sql, file weekdays and file sat.  all of them have 6 days overwrite protection.  i need to now drag the media to the appropriate media sets.  so now i can join all the slots together into one big partition, and put the tapes in however.  instead of putting them in specific slots.  

sorry about being a pain, but i dont like messing around with our backups.
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Expert Comment

ID: 17900227
I don't think you can drag scratch tapes into media sets, but if you leave then in scratch pool it will take them pretty much at randon but next week it will take the same one it took this week on the same day.
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Author Comment

ID: 17900579
ah, i thought it was a drag-n-drop interface, but there was an option on the right click menu to 'move to media set...'.  i would like to leave this question open until the backup runs tonight in case i have any questions.  thanks for the help so far.
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Author Comment

ID: 17909417
it worked perfectly!  thanks.  im going to open another question about the compression ratio (or lack of) if you are interested.

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