Hi, I am using Backup Exec 15 on Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard. I have a HP Autoloader 1/8 G2. Usually I replace each day the tapes used by the backup jobs and this way the backup jobs always have available tapes. Sometimes (usually when there are several non working days in a row) the backup jobs use all available tapes on the autoloader. My question is: How should I replace the used tapes without canceling the running backup jobs?
Thanks in advance.
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That does not sound right as I would not expect you to have to touch the LCD menu on the library to do an import and export as backup Exec should do these actvities for you.
I also would not expect to have to take the library offline.
You need to configure a mail slot first on the autoloader, and then run an import job. Even if you can somehow unlock the library (BE will maintain a lock on the library basically preventing you from ejecting the cartridges) and put in a tape, BE will not recognise it.
There will be a section in the Admin Guide on how to configure this. Just give it a read and make the changes.
An import job is your likely answer.
Even if you can somehow unlock the library (BE will maintain a lock on the library basically preventing you from ejecting the cartridges) and put in a tape, BE will not recognise it.
BE hasn't locked tape libraries (by default) for a number of years now.
Assuming htat you are using bar codes on your tapes and change tapes manually (without an import job), a Backup Exec Scan job or an import job will recognize the changed media.
Do you perhaps know from which version? BE 2010 R3 was still doing this.
It was changed in BE 2012 and up.
"How to change Backup Exec's robotic library locking behavior"
Unless you are using barcode labels, it is not possible to introduce new tapes to the tape library while a job is running. Without barcode labels, you need to run an inventory job to get the new tapes recognised by BE and the inventory job will be queued behind the backup job that is currently running. I am not sure whether a scan job will run at the same time when the backup job is still in progress. The safest way is to do an import if you are using barcode labels.
On a longer term, if your library does not have the capacity to handle jobs run over a couple of days, then you should be looking at a library with more slots or replacing the tape drive with a higher capacity one.
Unless you are using barcode labels, it is not possible to introduce new tapes to the tape library while a job is running.
This blanket statement is not universally true. It may be true for some very unique environments or with peculiar (old) tape libraries. When BE cannot find usable media in the library, BE prompts the user to import more tapes, which generally works fine.
Without barcode labels, you need to run an inventory job to get the new tapes recognised by BE and the inventory job will be queued behind the backup job that is currently running.
An import job works fine here, with or without bar code labels. Obviously using bar code labels is highly suggested.
I am not sure whether a scan job will run at the same time when the backup job is still in progress
Generally, yes, a scan can be run at any time. In the old days a scan was just a "background process" and not a bona fide "job". When "scan" became a "real" job (maybe in BE 2012?) it would not run at the same time as other jobs, but that got quickly fixed in a service pack as I recall.
How do you introduce new tapes into a tape library when a job is running if you are not using barcode labels? They would not be recognised until you run an inventory job which can only be run when the running job has finished. What is the point of importing a tape without barcode label? the tape is useless until an inventory job can be done on it.
As Craig and I both mentioned: use an import job. Regardless of it having a bar code, BE will know that the contents of that library slot have changed. Therefore BE will mount the unknown tape to determine what it is and to see if it can be used for the currently running backup job.
If my statement has no merit, then I assume that you think BE is defective when it asks customers to import a tape when there are no available tapes within the library? If so, then BE has had that unfixed defect for over 15 years? Remember, way back when, bar codes were a luxury and many libraries did not even have bar code readers (or they were an option). Bar codes were never required by Backup Exec. In fact, Backup Exec tolerates tapes with duplicate bar codes (unlike NetBackup) as BE really uses the media GUID as the real tape identifier, which can only be read when the tape is mounted in the drive. Of course bar codes are highly suggested and are much more popular now.
...will a tape without a barcode not be used? I've always been led to believe it will select the tape imported and if it is available, then use it. The label would be auto-generated by BE and show accordingly in the job log. Not sure that the default behaviour would always require a barcode.
If not suitable, then it would lead to the job queueing again.
Thanks for your comments.
(excuse me for my bad english)
FYI, I am not using barcodes, I don't think my tape unit is able to use barcodes. As some of you say, the problem is that the inventory job is not run until the backup job finishes and BE is unable to use the newly added tape. Is there a way for the tape unit to run two jobs simultaneously? This way, as the backup job is waiting for a new tape, the inventory job will be able to inventory the tape.
Now I will also search for information on the mailslot to know if my backup unit is able to use it with BE.
I will add some comments to this (but only for facts I am sure about so can't give a full answer to every point made.)
1) BE can handle tapes without barcodes but in reality if the hardware being used is barcode enabled then barcodes should be used as we have seen issues where a barcode enabled library will refuse to use a tape if it cannot identify the type of tape from the barcode (because the barcode is missing) Note: this is a library restriction and not a BE restriction. When this happens all BE does is decode the information returned through the SCSI bus and translate it into an error in the job log.
2) Whilst BE does use MEDIA GUIDs for tape identification, there are still circumstances where having the same barcodes on two different tapes causes problems hence you should always use unique barcodes. Note: We also believe that some tape manufacturers may have released tapes with the same serialization as each other which caused problems for the GUID generation and caused duplicate GUIDs where a Hardware Vendor utility reformat of the affected tapes was the only solution. (luckily this kind of duplicate ID issue has been rare)
3) A scan does only read the barcodes as it only involevs the sensor on the library arm and does not even move the tapes from their storage slots, an inventory mounts the tape in the drive and reads the header information (and I think also reads the barcode again if barcodes are enabled)
Because I do not have access to suitably enabled tape libraries I cannot confirm what the requirements are for an import job to allow a tape to be used during the middle of a backup operation (with or without barcodes) however I believe that if an inventory is needed (because of no barcodes) then an inventory job does need the running job to be cancelled and that if barcodes are enabled and present then the library arm scans the barcode during the import hence knows what the tape is without having to run an actual scan job (or for that matter an inventory job) Note there will be differences in behaviour between tape libraries and stand alone tape drives in this area of tape changing.
At the end of the day you should really plan your tape movements so that enough tapes are available (in the correct state) in the library before the job starts
I'm pretty highly HP storage certified, and have worked with the HP tape autoloaders and libraries from the HP StorageWorks 1/8 G1 (horrible!!!) to the 1/8 G2 (better) and the MSL2024 G3 (really good). The 1/8 is capable of reading barcodes. It has the functionality, and I've actually sold a few to clients as part of a solution with tapes and barcode label packs.
Here is confirmation:
Might be worth getting a pack to see if it would work, or generate your own labels.
Larry Fine, CraigV, and Colin Weaver are correct and I will address your initial question:
"How should I replace the used tapes without canceling the running backup jobs?"
You can run an import job while a backup job is running and in need of overwriteable media to continue. An alert will be posted to import one. If all the slots of the autoloader are full with non-overwriteable media, run an export job on one of them to make room for the media to be imported.
In the case of importing non-barcoded media, BE will mount it to the drive to ascertain what it is. If the media is known to BE then it will immediately write to it IF it is eligible for an overwrite operation. If it is not then BE will ask if you wish to overwrite it. Be aware the Autoloader might complain it cannot read the barcode of the media that has not barcode affixed. Our application captures alerts stemming from Autoloaders and posts them in to the job log.
If using media with barcodes, it is common for BE to learn about them by just scanning it. However, there are times when it must mount the media to determine what it really is as in the case of duplicate barcoded media.
Your HP 1/8 Autoloader comes equipped with barcode reader as a standard feature. If it is attached to your network them determine the IP address a browse to its Command View console. The default login is Administrator\00000000 (that is eight zeros). Once logged in, you should see theree barcode options under the System Configuration screen.
If you do not know the IP address of the unit, go to the Autoloader and use the LCD menu. It is located under the Network Configuration menu.
Hopefully this information was helpful to you.