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Relationship between BACKUP qualifiers, /CRC and /GROUP

Clark Powell
Frequent Advisor

Relationship between BACKUP qualifiers, /CRC and /GROUP

On the BACKUP command, if /NOCRC is set then is the /GROUP qualifier irrelevant? We were using /NOCRC and then added /GROUP=0 but saw no increase in performance. One opinion was that since we were already using /NOCRC that the /GROUP qualifier was irrelevant. Is this correct?

wcp
15 REPLIES
David Jones_21
Trusted Contributor

Re: Relationship between BACKUP qualifiers, /CRC and /GROUP

The CRC is used to detect data transfer errors writing or reading the tape. The redundancy group adds parity data to let you recover from one bad block within the group.
I'm looking for marbles all day long.
Ian McKerracher_1
Trusted Contributor

Re: Relationship between BACKUP qualifiers, /CRC and /GROUP

There are a number of HP manuals, journals and ECO summaries that explicitly state both the /NOCRC and /GROUP=0 qualifiers in the same Backup command. I have also seen examples that use the /NOCRC and /GROUP= qualifiers in the same command. I think we can assume that the CRC and GROUP qualifiers are not related and that /NOCRC/GROUP=0 is a meaningful combination.


Regards,

Ian

Volker Halle
Honored Contributor

Re: Relationship between BACKUP qualifiers, /CRC and /GROUP

wcp,

/CRC and /GROUP_SIZE are 2 different mechanisms to protect against data corruption or loss in backup savesets.

/CRC creates a CRC checksum over each backup block being written. Using /NOCRC does not create (when writing a saveset) or check (when reading the saveset) the CRC. This saves some CPU cycles, but does not protect against detecting bad data in backup saveset blocks.

/GROUP=n writes a redundant backup block every n backup blocks, which allows recovery of ONE uncorrectable read error inside each redundancy group. Using /GROUP=0 will reduce the no. of backup blocks written by 1/11th (default is /GROUP=10). You should be able to see a slight reduction in the DIRIO count. If the input disk is the bottleneck, you won't see any performance increase.

Volker.
comarow
Trusted Contributor

Re: Relationship between BACKUP qualifiers, /CRC and /GROUP

It has been recommended with modern backup devices to set group=0
However, while many don't use CRC, CRC is software to software checking. It does consume CPU cycles. It is your choice but the reliability of backups is improved with CRC checking.

Please see the new standards for tuning backup.

You should note that diolm with SAN devices should be reduces to 100. Below 100 Xwindows won't start, but if you are running batch backups you can reduce it to a much lower number, such as 32. There is a problem with Cache thrashing. Engineering is aware of the problem. But for better performance reduce your diolm.


Here is the new backup recommendations, and those are conservative so windows will start.

http://h71000.www7.hp.com/doc/82FINAL/aa-pv5mj-tk/00/01/117-con.html
Wim Van den Wyngaert
Honored Contributor

Re: Relationship between BACKUP qualifiers, /CRC and /GROUP

I would re-verify your test result.

/group=0 will decrease the traffic to your drive with 10% and cpu load on VMS will be lighter because no raid-like computations must be done.

We saw the differce very clear.

Wim
Wim
Bart Zorn_1
Trusted Contributor

Re: Relationship between BACKUP qualifiers, /CRC and /GROUP

I am not so sure if you can do entirely without /GROUP redundancy. Although no doubt modern tapedrives provide the necessary redundancy, /GROUP may be helpful if tapes are getting older and are possibly not stored in optimal conditions. In this case BACKUP may be able to restore valuable files when some blocks on the tape are no longer readable.

Of course, it is rather difficult to test this, but it is my belief that that I prefer to have the redundancy blocks and never need them than the other way around!

YMMV,

Bart Zorn
comarow
Trusted Contributor

Re: Relationship between BACKUP qualifiers, /CRC and /GROUP

The documentation specifically recommends
/group=0
Wim Van den Wyngaert
Honored Contributor

Re: Relationship between BACKUP qualifiers, /CRC and /GROUP

Because all modern drives have a some kind of /group=4 built in. And when recovery is not possible, data is not returned to the backup process so backup can't recover. Only "modern" is not defined ...

Wim
Wim
Jan van den Ende
Honored Contributor

Re: Relationship between BACKUP qualifiers, /CRC and /GROUP


Define "modern" as "SCSI", and any recovery processing is simply IMPOSSIBLE because the first parity error found will simply ABORT data transfer. Unrecoverable. Period. (unless you are able to locate a DSA compliant tape for the tape format).

SCSI = Scuzi = Sorry for this functionality-lacking implementation.

fwiw,

Proost.

Have one on me.

jpe
Don't rust yours pelled jacker to fine doll missed aches.
Tom O'Toole
Respected Contributor

Re: Relationship between BACKUP qualifiers, /CRC and /GROUP


There is a thread where this has been discussed at great length, including the latest recommended values - it's not clear that they are absolutely correct:

http://forums1.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/questionanswer.do?threadId=658938
Can you imagine if we used PCs to manage our enterprise systems? ... oops.
comarow
Trusted Contributor

Re: Relationship between BACKUP qualifiers, /CRC and /GROUP

Here's what is actually in the documentation.


Table 4 BACKUP Qualifiers That Affect Performance Qualifier Description
/BLOCKSIZE
To write a save set to a tape device, always use /BLOCKSIZE = 65,024, the largest block size you can use with save sets on tape.

Note: To be able to copy save sets from tape to disk, use a maximum block size of 32,768.

/GROUP
Today's tape and disk drive technology makes the XOR group feature of BACKUP obsolete. Use /GROUP=0. (If you do not specify the /GROUP qualifier, the default of 10 is used, which adds 10% more data to a save set).

/CRC
Keep the default of /CRC, which does not add extra data to the save set. A 32-bit field is always reserved in a save set whether you enable CRC or not. However, adding a small amount of CPU time helps to ensure the integrity of a backup save set.

Ian Miller.
Honored Contributor

Re: Relationship between BACKUP qualifiers, /CRC and /GROUP

I belive a slightly smaller block size (multiple of 2k or 4k - I can't remember) is recommended when using FC storage.

The big change in the new recommendations is to have a smaller DIOLM when using modern storage.
____________________
Purely Personal Opinion
comarow
Trusted Contributor

Re: Relationship between BACKUP qualifiers, /CRC and /GROUP

Absolutely correct. A high diolm causes the cache in the San controllers to thrash.

However, engineering is aware of the problem.

While interactive jobs require a diolm of 100, if you have batch jobs, not just backup, but other i/o intensive operation try reducing your diolm to 32 or even less.

Look at the accounting report for results.

Bob
Wim Van den Wyngaert
Honored Contributor

Re: Relationship between BACKUP qualifiers, /CRC and /GROUP

Can someone of HP confirm that all SCSI DLT drives have some kind of raid protection ?
E.g. TZ8* ?

Wim
Wim
comarow
Trusted Contributor

Re: Relationship between BACKUP qualifiers, /CRC and /GROUP

A customer of mine did some testing with and without CRC testing.



He did do the test with the TL891 tape drives



Backing up a 20,000,006 block file (512 Byte blocks) I got the following results



Blocksize = 32256

WSQuota = 16384

Compression - off



CRC GROUP Elapsed (seconds)

Y 10 2328

Y 10 2305

Y 10 2407



Y 0 2205

Y 0 2172

Y 0 2172



N 10 2370

N 10 2399

N 10 2396



N 0 2202

N 0 2168

N 0 2167



The biggest gain is from turning off Group (i.e. group=0). This causes less tape to be written.

I guess that puts the issue to bed!

Bob Comarow