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Tape Conversion

Looking for some opinions and advice on how companies are handling tape conversion.

We are currently running Netbackup 7.6 d2d2t with LTO6 tapes. However, we were previously using Backup Exec for many years and have tons of tapes of various generations (dds3/4, dat, dlt, sdlt, lto etc.)  The Backup Exec catalog is no longer in existence, so we are looking to rebuild it, but would first like to convert and consolodate all the backup images either to disk or to lto6 tapes. 

Typically how are most companies handling obsolete tape media that still needs to be retained?


7 Replies

In Netbackup, there is a way

In Netbackup, there is a way to import Backup Exec tapes. I haven't done it before, but some related links:

Two questions: Do you still

Two questions:

Do you still have tape drives around to read this old media?

From which BE version?

To import tapes into NBU and then duplicate them to disk or tape, you will need to connect these tape drives to a NBU media server.
But first check the BE version - only up to version 12.0 can be imported into NBU.

Your other option will be to install BE server, connect tape drives to read/catalog old media and then duplicate tapes to disk or newer tape format using the BE server.

I cannot see a way to  first ... convert and consolodate all the backup images without a backup server - either NBU or BE.

See: TECH125836   DOCUMENTATION: Statement of support for the importing of Backup Exec images in NetBacku...

Hi - am I correct in thinking

Hi - am I correct in thinking that only specific versions of BE were supported for import by specific versions of NBU - or is it the case that NBU can import any and all versions of BE up to BE 2012?

Only up to BE 12 as mentioned

Only up to BE 12 as mentioned in my post above and the TN.
NBU 7.6.x is also the last NBU version to support BE import.

All explained in the TN in my post above.

Thanks for the responses and

Thanks for the responses and advice.

Yes, we have tape drives for the old media, however, prior to LTO5, the drives are scsi and at the moment, we only have 1 scsi card, and it's PCI.  So we have it installed on a workstation with Backup Exec installed and have been able to read tapes ok.

I haven't been with the company for very long, so not sure on all BE versions, but I'm fairly certain they are older than v12.

So based on this, the best approach might be to build a NBU media server on a machine that can be used to connect to the drives.  I haven't been able to find a PCI-E scsi card in storage, so to get this going immediately, likely the machine will need to be a workstation with pci slots.  Then import the BE tapes directly into the NBU catalog, and then run duplicate jobs to lto-6.  Once all tapes have been imported and duplicated, we can just get rid of the newly built media server.

This seems to be a better approach than building a BE server, building a BE catalog, then somehow converting to lto-6 media.  As this way would mean we would be maintaining 2 catalogs.


If I'm remembering correctly

If I'm remembering correctly from a couple of years ago, you will not be able to cuplicate any of the old Backup Exec images using NetBackup.  The NBU Backup Exec import function just catalogs the data on the old BE tapes into the NBU catalog, so that you can restore data from them, but it is not able to duplicate the BE images to any additional medium.

If anyone knows otherwise, please correct me!


Update: On page 864 of the NBU 7. 5 Admin Guide Folume 1 for Unix:

Backup Exec Tape Reader limitations
The following are Backup Exec Tape Reader limitations:
■ Support is limited to images residing on tape media that the NetBackup media
server supports.
■ Importing from disk backups is not supported.
■ Importing encrypted images is not supported.
Duplication after import is not supported.
■ UNIX data cannot be restored to Windows systems, Windows data to UNIX
systems, Windows data to NetWare systems, or UNIX data to NetWare systems.
■ NetBackup does not read the Backup Exec media that Backup Exec for NetWare

Ok, if Duplication after

Ok, if Duplication after import is not supported, then the best option might be to have the tapes first converted to lto-6, then imported in to NBU.

The question then would be, how to have the media converted?