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No compression on backup exec 12.5

Posted on 2011-02-16
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Hi.  I'm backing up a couple of servers to a backup exec 12.5 server running Server 2008 and using an HP Ultrium 1760 with HP LTO4 tapes.   All running fine until the 7th - it backed up 941GB of data that night.  Since then it's failed consistently.  The tapes show a maximum capacity of 781.5GB, which is no compression at all, isn't it?  Looking at some of the tapes that haven't been used since the 7th, they've reported compression of between 1.4 and 1.9:1, so I'm guessing this is an issue with the drive or the software rather than the media.  Compression's enabled on the drive

drive compression screenshot
 I've tried updating the drivers on the tape but I still can't get the tape to accept more than its uncompressed limits.  Thanks.

 
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Question by:SONMDTS
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andyalder earned 250 total points
ID: 34906342
First thing to do is test the drive using L&TT - http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Home.jsp?lang=en&cc=uk&prodTypeId=12169&prodSeriesId=406729&submit.y=5&submit.x=4&lang=en&cc=uk

Don't forget there's a compression option under the job as well as under the device.
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by:SONMDTS
ID: 34906388
thanks.  the job has compression set:

 Job compression settings.
I'll try that tool, cheers.
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Author Closing Comment

by:SONMDTS
ID: 34914915
Thanks Andy.  Useful tool that.  The drive's faulty and HP are swapping it out.
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by:andyalder
ID: 34914973
Probably head wear, it gives the impression of no compression or at least not getting enough data on a tape since it re-writes any bad data further down the tape so taking up more room. LTO4s are pretty hard to feed data to fast enough to stop them continually repositioning (shoe-shining) which wears the head out.
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Author Comment

by:SONMDTS
ID: 34916253
that's interesting.  It'll be good to swap it out and see immediately whether I can get the compression back again.  To be honest, even compressing at 1.4:1 I'm not getting enough backed up, so I'm thinking about buying an LTO5 device.  Had a brief think about offsite backup, but it's ludicrously expensive.  thanks for getting back to me andy.
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by:andyalder
ID: 34916653
Trouble with LTO5 is they're even faster than LTO4, 47-140 MB/s data rate matching meaning that the head should be fed at at least 47MB/s which means about 100MB/s to allow for compression. Can you read your disks at 100MB/s? L&TT has a host test to see if it can.
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Author Comment

by:SONMDTS
ID: 34924113
Hmm.  It's reading/writing at 82 MB/s as per the test.  Is there any way of improving this?  I must get some sort of improvement off an LTO5, even with this issue.  To be honest, even with 1:1 compression, starting at 1.6TB would be enough for a while.  Anything else is just bonus.  Thanks for the followup questions.
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by:andyalder
ID: 34924550
Only way I know of improving the disk read speed is to buy more of them, we often setup D2D2T with several disks in the staging area to ensure we can feed the tape fast enough.
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