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Selective image expiration

Level 2


Is there a way to manually expire only some images on a tape (for which I'm sure that I don't need any more) to free up space on the tape? If yes, I assume that I can append to the same tape later taking into account that only the data on the same retention level can be appended?



Level 6

you can certainly expire selective images but i doubt if it will allow you to write any new data on to it... assuming your tape still have some valid data which is not expired.

Tapes do append job but i dont think it will rewind back to same block whos image is expired in catalog.

Level 6

Hi @Curious2 

If the tape is FULL, then it is not possible to expire only some images to free up space that culd be used on a tape.If you think about what happens, the expired image is more then likely somewhere in the middle of the tape, so how would NetBackup (or anything else for that matter) access this area. A tapes is not a random access media for writes - writes are only ever appended to the end of a tape.

If you really need to free media, then the only option would be to duplicate the images you need to keep to another tape, and then expire all the images on the original tape. You then have one free tape and one partially full tape that you now can append more backups to. Note there are some complexities to make sure you expire the right copy of the backup from the tape.


Thanks so much guys for the quick reply!

I would love to shuffle things around as you explained to reuse some of my LTO7 tapes. The thing is that some redundant data has been mixed with some non redundant data, and I've lost potential tape space.

Is there any guide or a howto which explains image duplication and source image expiration?


@Curious2 Vox is your friend. Search for solutions on copying images from disk to tape or tape to tape. THere are a number of articles that describe the process (disk to tape fnctionally is the same as tape to tape).

Good news is you can use the NetBackup GUI to perform all the steps (although if you have a large number of images to copy/duplicate from multiple clients, it may be simpler to do the job via the command line.

Here's one example that provides the basic idea and a number of links to other articles that can help.

From the Admin Console, go to Catalog, change the drop-down box from "Verify" to "Duplicate", and search for the images you want to duplicate off of the tape. Send them to a tape storage unit of your choice (i usually elect to promote the duplicated image to primary copy, as it makes it easier to determine which images were successfully duplicated). Once they have been successfully duplicated, search for the same criteria as before, and you should now see that the images you duplicated are no longer the Primary Copy. Find the tape you want to clean up, and expire the images from it.

Thanks so much for the info!

I'm gonna test that and report back. Just to confirm, when I search and find the images to be duplicated, I can right click and select duplicate. Then I select the corect tape library, volume pool...but I don't see where I choose to promote the duplicated image to become primary copy. Is that on the main screen where I did the search under the "Copies: Primary Copy" drop down?



Never mind found it, It's on the "Setup Duplication Variables" window, "Primary: Copy 1" checkbox will set the first copy as primary I guess...


Yes, you can make up to 10 copies from the manual duplication screen. If you're only duplicating one copy of the image, select the checkbox next to that copy, and it will be promoted to primary.

Note: When you browse the catalog, you'll still see Copy 1 (the copy you initiated the duplication from) in its original locaiton, but it will no longer be the Primary Copy.