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2010 Media Sets - BE Pulls tapes from other Media sets

Level 2

[How to "make" Backup Exec "respect" Media Sets, or... how to make Backup Exec NOT steal tapes from another Media Set]

First: I have just read:

And was dissapointed... tho it doesn't exactly match my situation

Reason: I use Media Sets for a few reasons, but most importantly I have backup sets that MUST be archived for offsite_storage in case of a full DR scenario.

I manage this with a Media Set as "Weekly_Offsite", with my critical backups being pointed explicity to this Media Set. All other backups are pointed to various other Media Sets, including another one I use for Quarterly Offsite Backups. Backup Exec insists on pulling tapes from my OTHER Media sets if, for some reason my Weekly_Offsite needs another tape to write to. Other times my regular backups will suck up a tape from my Offsite_Media set.

I specifically do NOT keep my tape inventory in "Scratch Media" for just these reasons. I want to be able to remove these Offsite tapes without removing my ability to perform any regular restore for the rest of my backups. I would rather the job FAIL and wake me up, then have to go chasing down tapes that BE decided to "steal" to make another job run with sucess.

I'm open to suggestions, maybe partition and put JUST my offsite_Media sets into a separate partiition? Then I only have to fight BE between my weekly and quarterly backups from stealing tapes out of other media sets. As long as the correct tape is always returned to the SAME slot, that would work, but I worry that there is another "gotcha" involved there...


...but for now I'm adding this to my growing list of major Backup Exec "annoyances" that require extra workarounds and/or extra "babysitting" for this application.


   VIP    Certified

The reason why BE is taking tapes from other media sets is that your OPP is not set correctly, thus you have a situation where there is no overwritable tape in the targeted media set and BE has to get tapes from other media sets.  If your OPP is set correctly, BE will never get tapes from other media set.

You can put your off-site tapes in a seperate partition, but if BE cannot find an overwritable tape in that partition then your job will fail.

the correct tape is always returned to the SAME slot

There is no guarantee that this will happen.  All slot is a slot, all slots are the same.

If you are referring to the fact that you want want a certain job to use a certain tape in a certain slot, then this will not happen unless you set each slot as a partition.

You are managing your tapes rather than letting BE and the tape library manage the tapes for you.  This is swimming against the tide and it more problematic.  See my article on this subject.

Level 2

Thank you for your reply. I read your article

What I'm actually trying to do is keep the offsite tapes separate from everything else so that when I pull my offsite tapes out to go offiste, these tapes contain ONLY the offsite backups and no other backups.

If I let BE manage the tape library how can I manage offsite tape rotation in this fashion?


What is the recommended practice for maintaining an offsite tape rotation cycle wihtout these tapes getting mixed up with the rest of my backups?




   VIP    Certified

As I said before, the key is to make sure that your OPP is set correctly so that when your job runs, there are sufficient overwritable tapes for it to run successfully.  Check that the tapes are overwritable BEFORE the job run.  If there are sufficient overwritable tapes in the targeted media set, there is no reason for BE to take tapes from other media sets.

Also go to Tools ---> Options ---> Media Management and check the following options

1) Overwrite Protection Level should be set to Partial or Full

2) Use recycleable media in target media set before scratch.


Not applicable

Here is what worked for me.

I have a Dell TL2000 tape drive. I have my five tapes inventoried and formatted for offsite\weekly use by Wednesday.

That same day I will inventory two to three tapes and scan the other two.

Thursday and Friday, I will inventory two to three tapes and scan the other two. There is no order involved, as long as I have inventoried or scanned all the offsite\weekly tapes that day in some way.

This has worked for me three weekends in a row with no failure.

Once a month I will do a backup that is called an offsite\monthly. It is on the same set of tapes, but these tapes are set aside for one year. This backup can span 7 or more tapes. If I do not have enough tapes in the set, then it goes and grabs two weekday tapes. That is to be expected.

I have worked with Backup Exec from Version 8 in Netware to version 2012. We are now running mostly windows servers and NO Netware