Backup Exec 2014 Question

Hi,

  I have a problem for you.

We use Backup Exec 2014.  It is all patched and updated to the most current version.  
The OS is Window Server 2012.  
The tape drive we use is a Dell ML-6000.

We have to keep our tapes for 1 year then we can recycle them to use over again.  We do incremental backups M-F and full backups on the weekend.

Here is the problem, whenever BE2014 gets a tape from scratch media, it moves it to the media set of “Keep 1 Year”.  I will only write to the tape once.  It is a LTO 4 tape that can hold 800 gig uncompressed or 1.6 TB compressed.  So, it will write an incremental of 120 gigs to the tape and the next night I will grab the next tape out of scratch media.  

When I go to backup options, and select storage, I have it set to Overwrite Media.  My other two choices are Append to media, overwrite if no appendable media is available, and Append to media, terminate job if no appendable media is available.

When I go and look at the three tapes that have been written to once, it says,

Tapes 100    
Overwrite Protection = Infinite, Do not allow overwrite  
Append Until = Infinite, Allow append  
Capacity = 106 GB of 745


Tape 110
Overwrite Protection = Infinite, Do not allow overwrite  
Append Until = Infinite, Allow append  
Capacity = 26 GB of 745


Tape 120    
Overwrite Protection = Infinite, Do not allow overwrite  
 Append Until = Infinite, Allow append  
Capacity = 56 GB of 745

I want to utilize all the space on the tapes before it grabs another tape out of scratch media.  
What is going on now is just a waste of tape space because the whole tape is not being utilized.
Skygod68Sr. Systems AdministratorAsked:
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Rodney BarnhardtServer AdministratorCommented:
Have you tried erasing the tapes in the scratch media pool before the job runs? On thought is that if the tapes have been used before, it is only using the space on the tape that has never been written on and not overwriting any existing data. That might explain why the values are different. I would first try to erase the tapes and see what the job does. Although they are in scratch, your overwrite protection is to "not allow overwrite".
Skygod68Sr. Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
I thought when they are put in scratch, the overwrite protection is ignored and it will write to it.
It resets the tape so it can be written too.
Rodney BarnhardtServer AdministratorCommented:
While true it does overwrite, I believe it starts with empty space first. I was suggesting erasing the tapes as a test. If you erase the tapes, and the entire tape is then used, this would be what it going on. I am thinking there was a KB at one point, but I cannot locate it.

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Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
Hi,
And the server option main menu, what are the option you choose for Media overwrite option? (see screenshot1)
If you set to first pick a scratch media, this behavior is normal IMHO.

and in your job, what are your storage menu choices? (see screenshot2)
Append to media or overwrite ?
Same, if you set overwrite, and knowing your media, once first written, are non overwritable for one year, this could be normal.
screenshot1.PNG
screenshot2.PNG
Skygod68Sr. Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
I did set it to overwrite but I changed it to the second one down.I erased all the tape that were in scratch media to see if that helps.
I just want to utilize all the space on each tape
Rodney BarnhardtServer AdministratorCommented:
I would change it to overwrite. The overwrite protection periods should protect the tapes that are current, that would allow the scratch media to just be overwritten. Right now, it appends the empty space on the tape first, and will then start to overwrite the pre-existing data once that space is consumed.
Skygod68Sr. Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Rodney, I did have it to overwrite and it was not using all the space on the tape.  It was only using 100 GB on a 750 GB tape.  

This is what the last three days of writes looked like, so I changed it this morning from Overwrite to Append to media

Tapes 100    
 Overwrite Protection = Infinite, Do not allow overwrite  
 Append Until = Infinite, Allow append  
 Capacity = 106 GB of 745


 Tape 110
 Overwrite Protection = Infinite, Do not allow overwrite  
 Append Until = Infinite, Allow append  
 Capacity = 26 GB of 745


 Tape 120    
 Overwrite Protection = Infinite, Do not allow overwrite  
  Append Until = Infinite, Allow append  
 Capacity = 56 GB of 745
Rodney BarnhardtServer AdministratorCommented:
See if the deletion corrects the problem. As Mr. Tortur mentioned, this seems like normal behavior for the appending. I did find on a Veritas where someone was asking a similar question. Basically, it is expected behavior if the tape is in any group other than scratch. However, I cannot find a confirmation that it still exist if the tape is moved to scratch. I would wait and see if erasing the tape makes a difference. If that is the case, then the only way to make it work the way you want is to erase them.
Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
Hi,
what about the first parameter I ask for please?
For your needs, you need to set it to overwrite recyclable media before scratch media.

And another thing is the media set. The target media set is configured in media and device management,   and then on the job you select which media set to use.
If you set the above parameter (media overwrite option) to overwrite scatch media first, the job will first loot at scratch media set (default set), pick a tape and write to it. On the first write on this tape BE will put the tape in the target media set you select (e.g. "keep one year").

Then for the next backup, because of your general parameter on overwriting scratch media first, it won't take back the previous tape to write at the end of it : it will look at the scratch media set and if there is a scratch media it will write on it.

And
I thought when they are put in scratch, the overwrite protection is ignored and it will write to it.
It resets the tape so it can be written too.
Yes, this is correct.
Skygod68Sr. Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
What you suggested worked.  I set the tapes to append and also erased the tapes that I put in scratch media.  For the past 3 days it has been adding to the same tape instead of just writing once to the tape and just getting another tape.  

Thanks for all the help.
Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
Hi,
the general BE server configuration is important, and you did not answer what was your parameter here.
I think you should look at it, refer to my previous screenshot1.
Personnaly in general I would set it to overwrite recyclable media first, then scratch.


Also I don't agree with the solution you accepted :
While true it does overwrite, I believe it starts with empty space first. I was suggesting erasing the tapes as a test. If you erase the tapes, and the entire tape is then used, this would be what it going on. I am thinking there was a KB at one point, but I cannot locate it.

If you set the main server parameter to overwrite scratch media first, and you set yur job to overwrite media, it will take a scratch media and overwrite it from the start even if there is data.
Scratch media, by definition, is entirely overwritable.
Even if you have set your job t append it will overwrite it from the start.
Skygod68Sr. Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Hi Mr. Tortur,

    I did look at your screenshots and I don't have that option.  I'm using BE2014.   If you look at my screenshots, you will see that option is not available.  Unless I'm looking in the wrong spot.
Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
Hi,
from what I think you are looking at the wrong spot.. even if i may be wrong too.
Go to main menu in Backup exec 2014, meaning click the icon at the top left side, then select Config and setting / Backup exec settings :
https://notesfrommwhite.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/config1.jpg
Then go to Storage, and you will see the parameter I was speaking of.
Skygod68Sr. Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Ok,  I found it.   Here is the way I have it.

BE-Setting.jpg
BE1.jpg
Having it set this way and erasing all tapes seemed to fix the problem.  I am able to write to the whole tape now.
Mr TorturSystem EngineerCommented:
Hi again,

Ok, but this is not the good way to do only IMO.
Again, what I would do generally :

- GFS policy (well, to summarise, make dayly, weekly, monthly and yearly backup)
- have a set of tapes for each type of backup or almost
- create a media set for each type of backup (associated with a specifis retention)
- set the global media overwrite option to the second choice "overwrite recycle media contained in the target media set before overwriting scratch media"
- set the tape option on the job to "append to media, overwrite if no appendable media is available"

And this way you will finely control the number of tapes you have in each group, and letting one or two scratch media you will take into account the fact that one day your tapes in group are not enough.
And above all you will have nothing to do than watch the backup result from time to time.
Skygod68Sr. Systems AdministratorAuthor Commented:
Great idea, I will try to figure out how to do that.
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