Tapes not Expiring despite being past their Expiry Date RRS feed

  • Question

  • This is driving me insane:

    We have a DPM server protecting data on 5 other servers, a mix of SQL, file server, HyperV, etc, all configured in the same protection group. We have around 20 tapes and a single tape backup drive, backup size is about 320 GB and tapes are 400/800GB. My tape schedule is:

    1st Monday of Month - 6 months retention (6 tapes)
    All other Mondays - 4 weeks retention (4 tapes)
    Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri - 2 weeks retention (8 tapes)

    There are 8 tapes used for T,W,T,F and the tapes are recycled every 2 weeks. Backup time is 10AM, expiry time is checked as 9AM on this server.

    Invariably, the tapes will not expire correctly. If I put in todays tape (Thursday week 2) and inventory/list it, there will be numerous backups, all of which expire today or yesterday, yet the tape is not marked as Expired; if the backup starts, it will get one or two of the backups on there, then run out of space as the "Expired" points are not removed. Then I have a real problem as the tape has some real unexpired points on it and I have to use DPMTapeUtil to force free the whole tape and start again.

    What is causing this to happen? Shouldn't these tapes be marked as expired if all of the recovery points expire today or yesterday and the "expiry" time of day has passed?

    I need to pass the role of cycling and off-siting the tapes to a non-IT person here - they are never going to be able to manage if they have to babysit the system like this everyday. What is wrong with my setup here? Do I just set the expiry points at one week/month less than they are to be used and be done with it? I would like to get the full use out of our retention plan without doing this if possible!!

    Thanks in advance.

    Thursday, March 17, 2011 1:25 AM


All replies

  • Hi,

    A tape whose recovery points have expired during the day or a tape that is inserted that has all the recovery points expired will not show expired until after midnight when maintemance jobs runs.  Ideally, tapes will be marked offsite ready until all recovery points expire, then the midnight job will mark them expired when they can be reused. 


    Regards, Mike J. [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Friday, March 18, 2011 2:20 AM
  • Mike,

    I have a follow up question.

    We started a 1 year retention

    So if on the second Monday backup the data is appended to the end of the tape used on the first Monday because the tape was not expired until midnight then on the third Monday what happens to the Tape?

    When does DPM actually overwite the tape from the beginning?


    Friday, March 18, 2011 1:57 PM
  • The tape will me marked offsite ready after the second Monday backup because at that time the 1st recovery point will be expired.  DPM will maintain that offsite ready status until all RP's expire and then it will be switched to expired once the maintenance job runs.  If you put a tape in the drive that you know all RP's have expired, and you cannot wait for the maintenace job to mark it as expired, then just manually mark the tape a free and DPM will use it for the next backup. 
    Regards, Mike J. [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Friday, March 18, 2011 7:15 PM
  • thanks for your reply.


    I have a Tuesday tape, which is used every tuesday at 10AM. 

    The DPM server is configured to hold backups for 2 weeks.

    On week 0, I place the Tuesday tape in, and take a backup.

    On week 2, I place the same Tuesday tape in, but the system will not use the tape because it will not expire until after 11:59PM on Tuesday - unless I manually run the job to mark the tape as Free?

    So ideally, I need to set my expiry at 13 days, which I cannot do, or run a manual command every day before backup to force the days tape to be overwritten, or buy another set of tapes and use a 3 week rotation cycle to preserve 2 weeks of backups????


    If the tape is expired (ie, I set retention for 1 week instead of 2) is the data still accessible in case recovery is needed between the expiry date and the tape being overwritten (ie: from Week 1 to week 2 in above example??)

    thanks again

    Monday, March 21, 2011 3:05 AM
  • Just incase you are still confused:

    DPM will only use EMPTY space on the tape for the backup.

    Even if there are expired points on the tape, it will not overwrite that space until ALL of the recovery points on that tape have expired.


    At least, that is my understanding.

    Monday, March 21, 2011 3:08 AM
  • Closing old post, but see if this helps you.


    Regards, Mike J. [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Saturday, May 28, 2011 8:55 PM