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ABS configuration guidelines?

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Jeremy Begg
Trusted Contributor

ABS configuration guidelines?

Hi,

I have recently installed ABS V4.4A on an HP rx2660 server with an attached HP 1/8 G2 Ultrium autoloader. The main reason for using ABS is to allow us to back up a small number of Windows servers to this tape drive. I have not previously used ABS.

I've read the ABS documentation but now I'm stuck trying to work out how I should set it up in practice. Does anyone have any pointers to documents of a "cookbook" nature, i.e. guidelines or examples of ABS configuration?

I want to do a full backup once a week and daily incrementals (similar to what we currently do with BACKUP). So I thought I'd try to set up a regime whereby the operators load the coming week's tapes into the autoloader, i.e. one tape for the full backup and five tapes for the daily backups. (I might arrange for the Windows servers to have their own tape for the Weekly backup, but I hope to use a single tape for each Daily backup to include both VMS and Windows files.)

As each backup completes I want its tape moved to the mailslot so the operator can remove it easily for safe keeping. We'll have four weekly tapes plus 12 monthly tapes (full backup), and two sets of the daily tapes.

Our tapes all have HP-generated barcode labels on them but these labels don't bear any resemblence to the function the tape will perform. I get the impression from the documentation that ABS expects the tape volume label (as written by INITIALIZE) to be the same as the printed barcode label but is this actually correct?

Can I configure ABS to use specific tapes for specific purposes or does it assume that it has a general pool of tapes to work from and therefore picks a tape "at random" (i.e. based on some criteria but not necessarily predictable by the operators). I need to be able to tell the operators in advance each week which tapes they should be loading into the autoloader.

Thanks,
Jeremy Begg
8 REPLIES
EdgarZamora_1
Respected Contributor

Re: ABS configuration guidelines?

When I tried using the 1/8 with ABS (about a year and a half ago) I discovered that the vision system of the autoloader did not work with ABS. I don't know if that's fixed/supported yet but I would advise you to verify that first as your scheme depends on that working properly.

IIRC, you won't have much control over the internal volume label of the tapes (as written by initialize).

One way you can control which set of tapes get used for what purposes is by setting up separate pools (e.g. a daily pool, a weekly pool, etc.)

Have fun with ABS :) I kinda miss it (using Data Protector now).
Paul Hansford
Occasional Advisor

Re: ABS configuration guidelines?

Hi Jeremy, with regard to your query about moving the backup tape to the mailslot:
Are you utilising MRU ? In the backup post routines, you could issue MRU commands to move the tape to mailslot
eg
robot move robot $2$gga0: drive 0 port 0
(or slot)
robot show robot $2$gga0: port
(or slot)
I think you can also implement this via MDMS commands (move) , so the database is up to date with tape location etc
Jeremy Begg
Trusted Contributor

Re: ABS configuration guidelines?

Edgar, do you mind if I contact you privately with further questions?

As far as the vision system is concerned, I have confirmed that the autoloader detects the tape barcodes. How would I check that ABS can pick up this information too? I tried doing an MDMS INVENTORY command and it cycled through all the tapes, loading each one into the drive, mounting it and dismounting it to detect the tape label.

Paul, I think I intend to use an MDMS command to move the tape to the mailslot after the backup has run. But how will the procedure know which tape to move?

Thanks,
Jeremy Begg
Paul Hansford
Occasional Advisor
Solution

Re: ABS configuration guidelines?

Jeremy, with the mdms move volume command, perhaps you can make use of the save/restore prologue logicals detailed in ABS 4.3 operations guide. eg
Table 3â 4 Logical Names in Save/Restore Prologues and Epilogues
ABS_OS_VOLUME_SET_n (The volume set being used) or
ABS_OS_LAST_RVN_n (The last relative volume number in the volume set containing this specification. This value is valid for epilogue procedures only)

EdgarZamora_1
Respected Contributor

Re: ABS configuration guidelines?


Jeremy, you can send me email at ezamora@sourceinterlink.com and we can go from there.
Robert_Boyd
Respected Contributor

Re: ABS configuration guidelines?

Jeremy,

I also have lots of experience with ABS -- I'll be glad to discuss your questions with you directly. Which model of tape library/autoloader are you using?

You can email me directly.

rlboyd (- at -) duke-energy (- dot -) com

Robert
Master you were right about 1 thing -- the negotiations were SHORT!
Jeremy Begg
Trusted Contributor

Re: ABS configuration guidelines?

Hi Paul, thanks for the tip on the logical names, they look like they should solve that particular problem.

I'll write to Edgar & Robert privately if/when I need to (thanks for providing your email addresses).

Yesterday we suddenly discovered a major reason for buying ABS has become a problem. We wanted to use ABS to back up Windows servers to the OpenVMS tape drive, but it seems that the ABS client for Windows doesn't install on the version of Windows in use (Windows 2003 server, 64-bit). Of course the SPD mentions only Windows 2000/XP so I'm not hopeful of getting this fixed soon.

In which case we'll abandon ABS and just use MRU to manage the autoloader with some modifications to the Backup procedure currently in use. (And buy another tape drive for the Windows systems.)

Regards,
Jeremy Begg
Derek Garson
Frequent Advisor

Re: ABS configuration guidelines?

Does anyone (e.g. someone who works for HP) know how I can get in touch with the ABS Product Manager?

Last week I asked a number of questions about the product via the HP web site. I received the "auto acknowledgement" email but I have received nothing further. Yes, my enquiry was composed in English. (-: