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Expired tapes not showing as expired RRS feed

  • Question

  • We have a problem in that tapes in our library that are a matter of hours past the last expiry date are still showing as "off-site ready", rather than "expired" in the tape library.

    This causes major problems with our planned daily backups because DPM won't backup to the tapes. What is the resolution to this issue?

    I would set the retention of 6 days for our dailys but the minimum period allowed in the user interface is 1 week.

    Thanks,

    Bruce.


    • Edited by Redbruce Friday, March 2, 2012 5:23 PM
    Friday, March 2, 2012 3:23 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    If the tape in question is for full backups, it will not show as expired until all the incremental recovery points that are dependent on that tape also expire.  See if any of the recovery points are still active or have dependencies by using the following power shell script to expire all RP on a given tape, then mark it free.  When it prompts for slot, type slot-#  where # is the slot number as seen in the DPM console containing the tape you wish to free

       http://blogs.technet.com/dpm/archive/2007/09/04/cli-script-force-mark-tape-as-free.aspx

    If you have a standalone tape drive - get the script from this post:

        http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/dpmtapebackuprecovery/thread/ab431377-665e-44e3-956d-e74a71000d77

    If you have a strict seven day retention and are using daily tape rotation, then it's a known issue that tapes will not expire in time for the next weeks backup.  We're currently working on a fix for that and will be in a future DPM 2010 rollup fix.  In the meantiime, add 1 tape to the rotation or expire the tape manually using the above script.  


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. Regards, Mike J. [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

    Monday, March 5, 2012 2:52 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,

    If the tape in question is for full backups, it will not show as expired until all the incremental recovery points that are dependent on that tape also expire.  See if any of the recovery points are still active or have dependencies by using the following power shell script to expire all RP on a given tape, then mark it free.  When it prompts for slot, type slot-#  where # is the slot number as seen in the DPM console containing the tape you wish to free

       http://blogs.technet.com/dpm/archive/2007/09/04/cli-script-force-mark-tape-as-free.aspx

    If you have a standalone tape drive - get the script from this post:

        http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/dpmtapebackuprecovery/thread/ab431377-665e-44e3-956d-e74a71000d77

    If you have a strict seven day retention and are using daily tape rotation, then it's a known issue that tapes will not expire in time for the next weeks backup.  We're currently working on a fix for that and will be in a future DPM 2010 rollup fix.  In the meantiime, add 1 tape to the rotation or expire the tape manually using the above script.  


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. Regards, Mike J. [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

    Monday, March 5, 2012 2:52 AM
    Moderator
  • Does the same problem also apply to weekly backups (i.e. if I tried to setup 5 weekly tapes)?

    I tried the script and it worked for free-ing up tapes and it seemed to remove them from the recovery points list of tapes, which is good.

    Adding an additional tape to the 4 dailys introduces other problems. For example, in a true DR scenario (e.g. a hacker wipes production servers and DPM), you would have to resort to recovering from tape but you will have no way of knowing which of the 5 "dailys" contains the last backup. With each tape taking up to 6 hours or so to catalogue, you could potentially end up taking up 5x6 hours = 30 hours just to find and catalogue the most recent backup to recover from. Could be very frustrating on the day!

    The other (related) problem that I have is this:

    Tape backups TUE - SAT (SAT being the weekly).

    Backups start at 10am.

    How can I ensure that the tape inserted before 10am on Friday is backed up to on Saturday rather than on Friday?

    If the rentention period of the weekly tapes is 5 weeks (5 tapes).

    This should be straightforward.

    Why (oh why) can't DPM handle GFS backups properly?

    I don't know how to describe it, but the more you look into it the more complex it all gets.

    Thanks,

    Bruce.

    Wednesday, March 7, 2012 9:35 PM
  • If the DPM server gets wiped, you need to install DPM again before you can re-catalog the tapes.  However, if you have a current backup of the DPMDB to restore, the tapes don't need to be re-cataloged and you can simply restore from the tape that DPM says is required for that last recovery point before the disaster.  So the key to your disaster recovery is to maintain a good backup of the DPMDB so you can get the DPM server back up as quickly as possible with current tape catalogs.   Then it doesn't matter how many tapes you have in rotation.  In fact, best practice would say to have 10 tapes so you can keep 5 offfsite, that will totally eliminate your scheduling problem until the hotfix if released. 


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. Regards, Mike J. [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

    Thursday, March 8, 2012 5:46 AM
    Moderator
  • Hi Mike,

    Thank you for this information.

    The way we backup DPM database is to tape each day (with other protection groups with long-term protection using co-location), as recommended in a technet article i found for DPM 2007. It also recommended making two copies and storing one off-site.

    We still have the same problem as we don't know which tape contains the last backup of the DPMDB, we are are back to the same scenario.

    In practice we'd be able to re-catalogue probably one tape per day, so worst case it could take us 5 full days just to find the most recent backup from which to restore the DPMDB, and restore then go on to restore the servers.

    The DPM server NASes and the tape drive is hosted at our DR site (there are no other servers there other than a Domain Controller).

    I think it would help if customers are provided with a "recommended method" of backing up the DPMDB, rather than just leave it to the customer to decide.

    Because of the problem with the way DPM uses a tape library, I now need look at another method to backup the DPMDB as backing up to tape in the library clearly isn't suitable.

    Thanks,

    Bruce.

    Friday, March 9, 2012 11:04 AM
  • With DPM 2010 you have a few choices.

    1) You can do local backup to Disk, and long term to tape. Provided the DPM storage pool did not get destroyed, you can simply copy the last backup directly off the replica volume. Just get the path to the relica volume ahead of time and look for the volume GUID using mountvol.exe and assign a drive letter to it.  In case you need to mount the storage pool disks to another server, you can copy off the DB quickly and use it for the rebuilt DPM Server.

    2) You can schedule either a SQL backup job to save a copy locally, or schedule a Windows task to run DPMBACKUP -DB.  Then copy the file C:\Program Files\Microsoft DPM\DPM\Volumes\ShadowCopy\Database Backups\DPMDB.BAK to another safe location.


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. Regards, Mike J. [MSFT] This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

    Friday, March 9, 2012 4:19 PM
    Moderator