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How can I configure my Monthly media to work in a Grandfather, Father, Son design?

Not applicable


Firstly, we're using NetBackup 5.1 (MP5) at current with the intention of upgrading to 6.5 in the near future..

The problem I'm having is that we have just upgraded to using a larger robot / tape library with capacity to hold several of our Monthly tapes at a time, as aposed to only having the one slot to rotate the monthly and weekly tapes through. I'm unable to find a way of configuring NBU to write to the appropriate tape, ie. use the March tape in March instead of just grabbing the first tape available.

Normally this wouldn't be a big issue because I could just manually "move" the other month tapes to the "out" position, and only the current month's tape would be available for scheduled monthly backup.
Unfortunately, we have this same system in 26 locations around the country and don't always have connectivity to the individual sites. 

If anyone can recommend a way for me to make this work, or even explain how they have configured thier monthly tape rotation it would be greatly appreciated.


Level 6

Unless there's a specific need, of course it will be better not to create too many of something - to avoid confusions.

But in your scenario, I think we can use the volume pool, to allocate tape(s) for each month.

That is, you create twelve volume pools within NetBackup - from Jan to Dec, one for each month.

Also within a backup policy, create twelve backup schedules, one for each month.

And you put desired number of tape(s) in each volume pool then at the same time, configure the matching month's schedules within the backup policies to pick tapes from that month's volume pool.

If you do this, good thing is that you can fine-control the tape allocation as you want to.

Downside is that you end up with many volume pools (at least twelve of them) as well as many backup schedules within a backup policy (twelve schedules per policy)

To specify volume pool for a specific schedule, tick the "Override volume pool" option from the schedule's attributes tab.

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If you want the same thing with weekly ... probably you want additional 5 volume pools?


Level 6
Write a script to run and freeze or unfreeze tapes as nessary  and schedule it to run once a month.

find out what month it is
freeze last months tape
unfreeze this months tape

Level 6
NOTE: I don't like to use FREEZE because NetBackup sometimes freezes tapes. I prefer to suspend the tape which makes it easier to identify and also allows the tape to be reused without any more intervention once the images expire.

1) Run the media written report to determine what media was used for the backups
The Media Written report identifies volumes that were used for backups within the specified time period.
bpimagelist -A -media -t FULL -hoursago 72

2) suspend the media that was used
bpmedia -suspend -m <mediaID> -h <hostname>

You can feed the output from step 1)  to be the inputs for step 2) with very little scripting.
You could also do this via a cron (UNIX) or scheduler for windows.

and if your really uncomfortable with CLI and scheduling then the steps could also be done from the GUI.