In this guide I will offer a couple of configuration suggestions when using Backup Exec 12 along with Multi-Slot Robotic Tape Libraries
- Partitioning your Robotic Tape Library -
Configuring backup jobs to run on a multi-slot library can be confusing to say the least. When you configure backup jobs, you can use media sets to isolate a specific backup job to certain tapes, but if you run out of space on those tapes, Backup Exec often starts looking into other media sets for tapes. If this happens, you run the risk of losing other backup data and using tapes that you didn't intend to use for a particular backup.
One option to completely isolate the tapes used for a particular job is to partition your tape library. This, in essence, creates multiple "virtual" tape libraries from the various slots avaliable on your physical tape library. You can create a different partition for each backup job that you regularly run.
To do this: From the Devices tab in Backup Exec, expand the Robotic Libraries section and right-click on your tape library. Select "Configure Partitions". This will list the slots in your library. Click the first slot that you'd like to use in the new partition and Backup Exec will automatically add the new partition starting there. You can adjust the settings as needed to create as many partitions as you need. The partitions will be named with the contained slots in the name.
Once you've partitioned your tape library, you can change your backup jobs to use these "Devices". Open up your backup job from the Job Setup tab, and then from the Device and Media tab, select your new partition as the Device.
- Maintaining a clean library -
Keeping an actively used tape library in good working order is imperitive when working in any corporate environment. To do this, you'll want to make sure that your tape library is regularly cleaned. When determining your tape rotation and backup plan, I recommend leaving one slot for a cleaning tape. This way, if your tape library needs to be cleaned, Backup Exec knows where to find the tape.
Within Backup Exec's Devices Tab, Expand the Robotic Libraries section and select your tape library. The slots will be listed on the right-hand pane. Right-click on the slot you're going to use for the cleaning tape and choose properties. Here, select the "Cleaning slot" checkbox.
Once you've done that, you can set up Cleaning Jobs from the devices tab. You can also schedule cleaning jobs according to your drive usage patterns.