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How can Tape management be improved? RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • If you got suggestions for tape management improvements please share them. I will submit your ideas to the DPM product group
    regarding how DPM can be more developed regarding tape management.

    No suggestions are a bad suggestion! Share them please.

    Please email me your suggestions to
    robert.hedblom@gmail.com

    Thank you in advanced


    Best Regards

    Robert Hedblom

    MVP DPM


    Check out my DPM blog @ http://robertanddpm.blogspot.com

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012 11:43 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • A few suggestions to start with:

    1. To be able to specify what tapes are used for each day of the week (so the same tape is selected each week from the library). 
    2. To make it possible to enable the quick erase option from the DPM user interface (without having to go into the registry)
    3. To make is possible to make a tape "free" using DPM user interface and not depend on scripts/hacks.
    4. To be able to eject a tape from within DPM (it may be possible but I could not find it).
    5. To be able to specify how long the catalogue is retained for (e.g. for longer than the retention period)
    6. To be able to specify groups of PGs which share the same tape (although I understand that this is possible in 2012). E.g. PG1 and PG2 on one tape and PG3 and PG4 onto another tape.
    7. To make it easier/more flexible to get around restrictions which are designed to help protect backups from being over-written, but can become major obstacles under certain circumstances.
    8. When viewing the contents of the tape to be able to sort the columns by clicking on them.
    9. To be able to backup to USB drives instead of tape.

    Finally, make it easier and straightforward to set-up Grandfather Father Son tape rotation with a tape auto-loader library, and produce a step-by-step guide on how to do it. I am grappling with it at the moment and the more I look into it the more complex it becomes and more questions that arise.

    It is almost as if DPM isn't designed for GFS backups using a tape library. But GFS backups have been accepted and standard practice for decades and so have tape libraries. Should it really be this difficult to set-up a GFS rotation with a library on DPM2010?

    Thanks,

    Bruce.

















    • Edited by Redbruce Wednesday, February 29, 2012 5:30 AM
    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 5:06 AM
  • Hi,

    Great question. I want to be able to delete tapes out of the database. We have returned faulty tape under warranty, but these tapes will always appear in the overdue section. We also had an issue where one library was reading the tapes as 123456L4 and another library as 123456L. This was due to checksum bar codes and one library ignoring the checksum. We now have lot of L only tapes in the database I want to remove.

    Remove the stupid error that says something like. Inventory failed, tape 123456L4 is in the drive. If you know it is in the drive you need to tell me that :-)

    Auto clean

    If a tape fails stop picking it and trying to run the backup against the same tape

    If a tape job fails requeue it and run it again

    Have an option to mark tapes as archive. We make an end of month tape set that is very to be overwritten and stays offside. I have done this by making the retention period 360 months in one set and 361 months in another set.

    Try and use the tapes in slot number order. It tapes in slot 1-10 are free, then use those. It makes removing the tapes much easier.Best wishes

    Michael

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 6:10 AM
  • note taken and will be delivered.

    Best Regards

    Robert Hedblom

    MVP DPM


    Check out my DPM blog @ http://robertanddpm.blogspot.com

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 7:02 PM
    Moderator
  • note taken and will be delivered

    Best Regards

    Robert Hedblom

    MVP DPM


    Check out my DPM blog @ http://robertanddpm.blogspot.com

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 7:03 PM
    Moderator
  • A few suggestions to start with:

    1. To be able to specify what tapes are used for each day of the week (so the same tape is selected each week from the library). 
    2. To make it possible to enable the quick erase option from the DPM user interface (without having to go into the registry)
    3. To make is possible to make a tape "free" using DPM user interface and not depend on scripts/hacks.
    4. To be able to eject a tape from within DPM (it may be possible but I could not find it).
    5. To be able to specify how long the catalogue is retained for (e.g. for longer than the retention period)
    6. To be able to specify groups of PGs which share the same tape (although I understand that this is possible in 2012). E.g. PG1 and PG2 on one tape and PG3 and PG4 onto another tape.
    7. To make it easier/more flexible to get around restrictions which are designed to help protect backups from being over-written, but can become major obstacles under certain circumstances.
    8. When viewing the contents of the tape to be able to sort the columns by clicking on them.
    9. To be able to backup to USB drives instead of tape.

    Finally, make it easier and straightforward to set-up Grandfather Father Son tape rotation with a tape auto-loader library, and produce a step-by-step guide on how to do it. I am grappling with it at the moment and the more I look into it the more complex it becomes and more questions that arise.

    It is almost as if DPM isn't designed for GFS backups using a tape library. But GFS backups have been accepted and standard practice for decades and so have tape libraries. Should it really be this difficult to set-up a GFS rotation with a library on DPM2010?

    Thanks,

    Bruce.

    I definitely support, well, pretty much all of the above. In addition:

    1) The tapes are used in reverse order in the tape library autoloader. It seems unnecessary to take the tape first from slot 8, then slot 7, then slot 6 when doing backups. Wouldn't it make more sense to load them in order? It does this on my Dell PowerVault 124T Autoloader, anyway.

    2) The ability to delete a tape from the catalog, remove any recovery points associated with it, and have the DPM 'forget' about it entirely. (Might be the same as #3 from Bruce above)

    3) In Windows Server Backup (specifically helpful in Small Business Server 2011), the backup feature allows you to add a number of external drives for backup, and it will back up to whichever one is attached, so you can arbitrarily take any of them off site and the server will be "fine" with it as long as one is connected. This would be helpful for using offsite backups stored on disks instead of tapes. It could be treated as a virtual library with several slots/disks.


    • Edited by ITJM1 Thursday, March 8, 2012 6:54 PM Removed whitespace
    Thursday, March 8, 2012 6:53 PM
    1. expired tapes should "auto-free"
    2. adjustable limit of free tape threshold
    3. Possible to disable free tape threshold related warnings
    4. Integrate cleaning tape functionality with libraries (we use Quantum Scalar i80)
    5. Fix all instances where admin gets spammed with 100's of warnings/errors
    Monday, March 12, 2012 5:47 PM
  • Hi ITJM1,

    Thank you very much for your feadback. This has been added to the list.


    Best Regards

    Robert Hedblom

    MVP DPM


    Check out my DPM blog @ http://robertanddpm.blogspot.com

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012 8:41 PM
    Moderator
  • Hi JGurtz,

    Thankyou for your feedback, it's noted and summarized.


    Best Regards

    Robert Hedblom

    MVP DPM


    Check out my DPM blog @ http://robertanddpm.blogspot.com

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012 9:05 PM
    Moderator
  • Awesome Robert; you're one of only a few. It's people like you who keep my faith up that Microsoft does actually listen here and there
    Wednesday, March 14, 2012 9:09 PM
  • Im backing all of the above, but the most irritating for me is the minimum 1 week retention period. It should be possible to disable owerwrite protection all together in some situations.

    For a lot of users it is alot more important to run the backup to tape, than it is to protect the data on the tape.

    Also as noted above, it should be alot easier to mark a tape as free, even is the retention period is not over.

    Friday, March 16, 2012 10:17 AM
    • tape pools, e.g. for retired tapes
    • expire all recovery points on tapes from within the GUI
    • more robust library sharing
    • Llbrary sharing client dpm service not crashing if arbitration master goes down (planned or unplanned)
    • being able to select retention period when manually running backup to tape jobs. Right now you can only run tape jobs with the shortest defined retention period
    • option to auto free expired tapes (usefull in library sharing)
    • option to set warning threshold for available free tapes
    • option to show offline tapes in dpm console (e.g. to expire and delete them from dpm)
    • option to show offline tape libraries and drives
    • data written to tape column should learn to sort as expected ;-)
    • more "love" for the library sharing setup would be nice
    • option to show when tape will expire
    Friday, March 16, 2012 11:30 AM
  • Right now, changes in protection group settings do not take effect immediately for monthly backups.  For example, if I want to add a server to my protection group or change some setting, I can do that, but then my monthly backup won't run until next month.  This happens if the change is made within a certain number of days prior to the monthly backup happening - I thought it was 2 days, but last month I made a change 4 days ahead of the monthly backup, and it still didn't run.


    Keith


    • Edited by sdhondaman Monday, April 2, 2012 4:11 PM omit last name
    Monday, April 2, 2012 4:10 PM
  • The retention period for the tape catalogues is a BIG problem for me.

    DPMs seems all too willing to delete (prune) catalogues when it just isn't necessary (e.g. at the end of the rention period).

    The default should be for DPM to retain all catalogues until a tape is over-written by DPM (i.e. "fail-safe" design).

    Okay - you may then end up with a small number of catalogues which you don't need*, but this is much better than the alternative (e.g. finding yourself in a DR scenerio where you only have a tape to recover from which DPM has overzelously deleted the catalogue for).

    *Example, of where this might happen; if the tape has been destroyed, used for another backup system, etc. But in these cases the user could be given the option to manually delete tape catalogues, where they know they aren't needed.

    Sounds like a good idea to me.

    Bruce.

     

    Tuesday, April 17, 2012 12:00 PM
  • I would like to be able to remove old tape drives from the list of Tape Libraries.

    I was having difficulty getting Windows to recognize my IBM 3582 robotic library.  Windows could see both drives in device manager but could not load the driver for the medium changer.  Subsequently DPM only added one of the drives in the library.  Once I got the medium changer driver working DPM recognized the changer, the two drives and the 21 slots after a quick rescan.  Unfortunately, it still showed the one drive in a seperate line with the status of Offline.  Apparently there is no way to remove the offline device.  This seems like a flaw.  You can remove an unresponsive server from the database but not a drive?  See the example below.

    I had a previously protected server get rebuilt with a non-windows OS and the agent was still listed as being protected but unresponsive.  I clicked the server name and hit the 'Uninstall agent' option.  The Uninstall failed but then it asked if I would like to 'Remove the server from the database' to which I said yes and poof the server was gone.  Why can we do the same with a tape drive that is no longer present?


    Jeh

    Saturday, June 2, 2012 12:09 AM
  • Don't forget that even mid size businesses on single can use your products : so support for stand alone drives and no duplicate servers are a way of life. Disaster recovery is harder but we still need help planning it.

    These are not new:

    re-use tapes after 6 days without registry changes

    remove old drives

    easy overwrite in the case that the person who was supposed to get the tape from the bank vault forgot and you just have to use a tape you have on site.

    This one I have not seen:

    A way automating creation of a removable disk (bitlocked) with an image of a DC, the DPM DB, a single file share of system documents and the DPM certificates for small business DR. (or at least a document telling us how to do this)

    Perhaps you need a setup wizard that asks the use what sort of environment they are working in (how many sites, how many DPM servers, stand alone drives of robots).

    System center is viable for some business from about 25 users, but their part-time or external IT staff have to work very hard at the moment to filter out all the large enterprise stuff.


    CarolChi

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012 9:17 PM
  • Enable the identification of locked tapes so that a job skips a tape that is locked but expired.  This can be an issue if a protected tape is left in the autoloader for recovery or if an admin forgets to unlock a tape during rotation.  All jobs currently fail once a locked tape is reached.
    Tuesday, April 9, 2013 8:04 PM
  • An option to archive the data. We want to keep some data for infinite time. Now, I have a protection group with maximum time, but maximum is not infinite. When the tape is removed from the library, all catalog data can be removed from scdpm.

    If the tape is ever to be retrieved, we first read the catalog, and then restore some data.

    Some report function/script to list which server/disks are backuped on a tape, with a simple list of files. Now I can make a toc of a protectiongroup, with alle versions of all files and file info (too much info). Or just a list of which servers/disks are backup.

    I just want to archive some data, email the toc (or save it), and remove the tape from the library. The tape will go to a save remote location. It would even better to make a automatic copy of a tape/backup. So I will have two tapes with the same data. I can copy the tape, but then I need to do it by hand (GUI). If both copies are succeeded, check for the option to remove the source files.

    Thursday, August 22, 2013 3:07 PM
  • Hello DPM team!

    Tape rotation works relatively fine with customers having a tape library and bar-coded tapes. However, without barcodes, or with stand-alone tape drives, things are messy:

    * Please give us a means to specify that tapes retain their names, or a number, or whatever, over its whole lifetime. Currently, when a tape gets reused, it gets a _new_ name, and you have to edit a separately list of your tapes and their names they currently have. How shall one find the right tape for a restore operation otherwise?

    * DPM seems to _forget_ tapes that it has not seen for some time. Please let DPM remember the old tapes and offer them as overdue in its tape usage reports. Otherwise, again, we have to keep a separate list about when a tape was written to the last time in order to be able to tell which tape might be useable again, and the tape report is at least incomplete, if not useless.

    * A nice addition would be to specify the time that DPM waits for insertion of a tape via the user interface instead of only the registry. Perhaps the UI should offer something like hours or days instead of the funny milliseconds registry value here ;-)

    * We would welcome if the UI had a means of specifying tape retention and rotation for multiple (all) protection groups in a single step. This would help to ensure that all PGs have the same settings.

    * Not related to tape management, but if DPM could do kind of self-healing for VSS errors occurring sometimes would be a great enhancement.

    Otherwise, DPM is quite a fine backup system in our opinion. Where is the 'like' button? ;-)


    Best Regards, Stefan Falk


    • Edited by Stefan Falk Monday, June 2, 2014 8:57 AM Added item
    Monday, June 2, 2014 8:55 AM