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tape drive needed for rp3440 server

 
GraceO
Regular Advisor

tape drive needed for rp3440 server

Is it possible to share a single tape drive with three rp3440 servers? I have system recovery issues to address because I do not have an Ignite-UX server and need to create a system backup for each server in case it dies.
(Data backup is not an issue.)

Can anyone suggest make and model number of possible tapes drives?

Grace
7 REPLIES 7
Matti_Kurkela
Honored Contributor

Re: tape drive needed for rp3440 server

Practically any SCSI tape drive will work.

How close to each other the servers are located?

Remember that even though the drive itself may be electronically shared, you'll need someone physically present to change the tapes.

The most low-tech solution is a single external tape drive which you can connect & disconnect manually as needed. It is not recommended to do that while the system is powered on, though...

A step up from that is an external hot-plug chassis with e.g. four independent slots for storage devices. You can wire each server to one of the slots, and then move the tape drive around as needed.

I don't have the current model numbers handy, but your local HP vendor could probably help you.
MK
Joshua Scott
Honored Contributor

Re: tape drive needed for rp3440 server

Grace,

I would concur with Matti's suggestion to use an external hotplug array, like the TA5300. What type of tape drive do you want to use?

I am not aware of any tape drives that have more than 2 SCSI connections, so it would not be possible to connect all 3 servers simultaneously. The only way to simultaneously connect all three to the same tape drive would be a Fibre-attached tape library through a switch.

Josh
What are the chances...
GraceO
Regular Advisor

Re: tape drive needed for rp3440 server

Matti and Joshua,

Thanks you for your responses. Since I don't want to shut down the server to connect/disconnect the drive, the external hot plug sounds good to me. I am not particular about type of drive. I guess it would depend on whether we get a fibre channel that can handle my three servers, or two SCSI drives-- whichever is cheaper. It would only be used for system backup as opposed to data.

Now that I know (at least) that it can be done, I'll contact a vendor.

Thanks again,
Grace
Matti_Kurkela
Honored Contributor

Re: tape drive needed for rp3440 server

A FibreChannel setup just for sharing a single tape device for system recovery (=Ignite tapes) sounds like overkill to me.

Besides the price of the FC switch, the complexity of the system will increase a lot. For system recovery purposes, the KISS principle is recommended. ("Keep It Simple, Stupid.")

Besides, the important thing is the capability to restore the backup as needed - which means booting from an Ignite tape. With a simple SCSI setup, anyone familiar with HP-UX hardware can boot an Ignite tape with minimal instructions.

Besides, if you set up a tape drive that's simultaneously connected to all three servers with FibreChannel, there's a question of ensuring that only one server at a time can use the tape drive. The simplest way is of course "trust the admin knows the system and does not start two simultaneous tape operations".

Doing this setup "right" would seem to require ServiceGuard with the Advanced Tape Services (sharedtape) for controlling access to the tape drive. This is *way* overkill for just Ignite tapes for three small servers.

But if you have the funds and could use a testbed or a familiarization exercise for clustering and FibreChannel storage systems, go ahead.
MK
Joshua Scott
Honored Contributor

Re: tape drive needed for rp3440 server

Grace,

If you just want to make ignite images, then the best solution would be to set up an ignite server to write the images to. Then you would just have the tape attached to that server to back up the images to it.

Josh
What are the chances...
GraceO
Regular Advisor

Re: tape drive needed for rp3440 server

That was my original plan. I was over in the Ignite forum as well. I got overwhelmed with the prospect of having to configure a dedicated Ignite server. I thought having a tape drive would be the 'quick and dirty' way of getting covered.
GraceO
Regular Advisor

Re: tape drive needed for rp3440 server

Still not decided on what to do (purchase tape drive or set-up Ignite server). But your advice!