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Tape consolidation?

Last post 10-19-2010, 11:04 AM by Bill Baumann. 6 replies.
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  • Tape consolidation?
    Posted: 10-15-2010, 2:56 PM

    Like many of you out there, we have a very strict offsite requirement for backup data.  So, our Vault Tracker policy ejects tapes that are full, active, and appendable every 24 hours.  With LTO4 tapes, this translates to very poor tape utilization in most cases.

    Is there a method in CommVault to consolidate tapes that are under-utilized to a single tape or a small number of tapes?  If i can recall 20 or 30 tapes that have poor density and run an operation to fill up only a few tapes, that would help out quite a bit.

    Thanks for your help!


    Thanks!

    -Semeye
  • Re: Tape consolidation?
    Posted: 10-18-2010, 9:44 AM

    If you are required to remove all media from site every 24 hours then you will be using a lot of media and sending tapes off daily that are not being fully utilized.

    There is no such tape consolidation operation as you have described. Simpana will use tapes until they are full by default, unless you have enabled options and settings to prevent that.

    Perhaps you need to revist your storage policy settings for streams to make sure that you are using them the way you need to be to get the media as fully used as possible. The more streams you are using the more media it will need for each job (1-1 ratio) and the likely hood that they do not get filled increases (based on amount of data protected of course).

     

  • Re: Tape consolidation?
    Posted: 10-18-2010, 10:29 AM

    I agree with the above poster you should revisit your storage policy settings

     

    However, please note that as of Simpana 9 that's been released recently, there is a feature that will allow you to consolidate jobs from multiple tapes to new media

    Please see here: http://documentation.commvault.com/commvault/release_9_0_0/books_online_1/english_us/features/refresh_media/refresh_media.htm

     Only 1 hickup, the source tape must be "full"... This usually is the case when incremental jobs have already aged whereas full jobs have not...

    I guess you could consider using the advanced option "mark the media as full after successful operation" and then the "media refresh" but still it seems overly complicated. Try reviewing your storage policy parameters first... 

    Kind regards,

    Renaat

  • Re: Tape consolidation?
    Posted: 10-18-2010, 11:05 AM

    In this case the tapes are not full so i did not mention that 9.0 feature as it would not help them anyway, as you noted.  

  • Re: Tape consolidation?
    Posted: 10-18-2010, 11:28 AM

    So, you could recall these part-filled, potentially appendable tapes if you needed to?

    I have similar scenarios ongoing, with the exception of having to offsite tape.   I am lucky enough that my environment has a library/robot on sites A & B, and we take 4 copies of data - Primary Disk 1, aux's to Disk 2 @ Site B, Tape 1 @ Site A and Tape 2 @ Site B. So plenty of tape devices available. Bear with me, it is relevant.

    A couple of our SPs were set up and for some reason (I forget why)  did not Append to Tape.  So every new schedule would start new tapes...so 1.6TB media might have 40-50GB written and not get appended!

    So I changed the config to correct this, then setup a new copy which essentially ploughed through all the part-used tapes, and copied all their data to a single (at first) new media, then used that copy for future aux from disk when it had fully caught up.  OK, this required 2 tape drives but I combined 20-30 'part-worn' LTO4 down to a single one. 

    I used the same technique to combine a *LOT* of LTO2 tapes (data with 7yr retention), on to LTO4 tapes.

    The point is, if you can convince your managers to work with you on the offsiting and recalling of the tapes, you can resolve your situation. You may have to do it a few times, but you don't need special features, just creative thinking. And no, I don't work for CV... ;o)

  • Re: Tape consolidation?
    Posted: 10-18-2010, 12:18 PM

    That's not a bad idea- leveraging an Aux copy to consolidate, however that seems like more of a "spot check" solution.  I would have to run this operation on a regular basis coupled with the logistics of getting the tapes recalled, etc.

    If I can touch on the v9.0 Media Refresh option, will "mark media as full..." work for consolidating partially used tapes, or do they need to be physically full?  we're planning on upgrading to v9.0 very soon, so this may be our best option.


    Thanks!

    -Semeye
  • Re: Tape consolidation?
    Posted: 10-19-2010, 11:04 AM

    Semeye:

    That's not a bad idea- leveraging an Aux copy to consolidate, however that seems like more of a "spot check" solution.  I would have to run this operation on a regular basis coupled with the logistics of getting the tapes recalled, etc.

    If I can touch on the v9.0 Media Refresh option, will "mark media as full..." work for consolidating partially used tapes, or do they need to be physically full?  we're planning on upgrading to v9.0 very soon, so this may be our best option.

     

    Yes media marked as full will qualify for consolidation in 9.0

    There will still be constraints on storage policy\copy (ie tapes from multiple SP's cannot be combined) but overall will reduce media usage for older tapes that have only a few valid jobs left on them per SP. Still do check the streams etc and make sure it is set optimally for primary usage to reduce this overall as well.

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