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SAN Backup Strategy using tape library

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Andrew Houghton
Occasional Contributor

SAN Backup Strategy using tape library

Hello,
Does anyone know of a suitable document or have direct knowledge of, describing how to backup numerous volumes / discs / partitions to a tape library.
For instance, if I want to backup 5 logical volumes, totalling 300Mb to a MSL5026 tape library, how do I accomplish this.
Do I physically have to load the next tape?
How do I know which volumes reside on which tape in the library?
I have MRU software and a nice GUI on the library. Am I missing some software that catalogues the tapes?
Any help or knowledge appreciated.
7 REPLIES
Lokesh_2
Esteemed Contributor

Re: SAN Backup Strategy using tape library

Hi,

AFAIK, there are two backup management solution available for VMS -- ABS (Archive Backup system) and SLS (Storage Library system). You can use these to manage your backup strategy. I am using SLS on my systems and is satisfied with that. Anyway ABS is newer one.

HTH,
Best regards,
Lokesh
What would you do with your life if you knew you could not fail?
Shael Richmond
Frequent Advisor

Re: SAN Backup Strategy using tape library

You can use VMS backup to do this.
We use MRU command line to load tapes in the backup command procedure so everything is automated. The operator changes the magazine once a week.
Martin P.J. Zinser
Honored Contributor

Re: SAN Backup Strategy using tape library

If you do not want to roll your own management and especially if you do expect to backup not only VMS systems with this library you might consider the backup product from Legato. They do seem to make an effort with VMS (which is more than one can say about many other products in this area)
Zahid Ghani
Frequent Advisor

Re: SAN Backup Strategy using tape library

Andrew, We use MSL5026 tape library with VMS backup. In order to get the next tape loaded automatically you need to configure the option 'library mode' as seqential. The tape drive will request for the next volume when it comes to end one tape. The robot will automatically load the next tape in the library.
The library can be configured from the front panel selecting MENU option. The default password is 5566.
Frankly, Iwould rather trust the tried tested Backup utility than any other third party product.
Andrew Houghton
Occasional Contributor

Re: SAN Backup Strategy using tape library

Thanks everyone.
None of the answers have really answered my question so I'll try and explain the question again.
Q 1. Is there a document describing using a tape library and backup routines - Not the user guide.

Q 2. I want to backup dga180, 181, 182, 183 and 184 to the library / robot etc. If I set this going tonight, when I arrive at work in the morning how do I know which tapes to remove and place in my firesafe?

Q 3. When my supplier sold me the library did they forget to tell me I needed extra software to help me solve Q2?
Cheers
Andrew
Lokesh_2
Esteemed Contributor

Re: SAN Backup Strategy using tape library

Hi Andrew,

As I said before, SLS can answer your question no. 2. I have not used ABS, so don't know about it. But I am sure ABS will give answer to your question no. 2 too..

Else, you can make a backup command procedure, which will track your tape usage in a log file, and then you can use the log file to interpret your overnight backup results.

Best regards,
Lokesh
What would you do with your life if you knew you could not fail?
Denver Technology
Occasional Advisor
Solution

Re: SAN Backup Strategy using tape library

Hi Andrew,

If I might add my threepeneth:-

Re Q1. "Is there a document describing using a tape library and backup routines - Not the user guide."

Well that depends on what you want to know. You are trying to achieve several things here - manage the tape library and robot, manage the media and its contents and, finally backup your data volumes. I know of no single document that will describe all that in any detail. You could try the VMS Backup web site at http://h71000.www7.hp.com/openvms/storage/backup.html
However I think you'll need to piece the information together from different manuals. The VMS manuals are on line at http://h71000.www7.hp.com/doc/os732_index.html (depending on which version you want:)

VMS BACKUP at http://h71000.www7.hp.com/doc/732FINAL/6048/6048pro_contents.html#toc_chapter_7

MRU docs at http://h71000.www7.hp.com/openvms/storage/mrupage.html


Re Q2. "I want to backup dga180, 181, 182, 183 and 184 to the library / robot etc. ... how do I know which tapes to ... place in my firesafe?"

As a previous reply stated unless you have a media manager you'll need to interogate the backup job log file to see which tapes contain which disk image. BACKUP tells you when it has finished with one tape and loads another. (Am I teaching Granny to suck eggs here??? :-)

Re: Q3. "When my supplier sold me the library did they forget to tell me I needed extra software to help me solve Q2?"

Possibly. MSL5026 tape library comes with MRU as you know. Theoreticaly VMS BACKUP and MRU are all you need to control the library and run disk backups. You can write you're own backup script in DCL to do this as a previous reply stated. That's certainly the cheapest way. And if you set up your tapes for a regular backup cycle (daily incrementals and weekly images for instance) that may be all you need. So if you have a data retention requirement of 6 months you could have 6 monthly sets which you can manually cycle. However this is all MUCH easier to manage with a full media manager product. HP market ABS (Archive Backup System) for VMS which includes the MDMS media manager. Its very good, uses the VMS BACKUP format and has both CDE (x11/Motif) & MS Windows GUI's. And its designed to integrate with MRU. Unless you have a VAX don't bother with SLS as its now end-of-life.

I have used other backup/media management software. The XuiS EnterpriseBackup for VMS includes MEDIA which is a solid and reliable media manager that we used for years. See the VMS backup web page for the link - http://h71000.www7.hp.com/openvms/storage/backup.html

Note that you will still need to do some DCL scripting to produce a fully error handled backup procedure. There are examples in the VMS BACKUP manual and the product documentation that will get you going.

However both products make tape management and data restores a breeze.

We now use the Legato NetWorker product which was mentioned in a previous reply. The VMS client is pretty good and was written by Steve Jensen (ex Digital and author of DFO, the VMS defragger). And the NetWorker Server is pretty much industry standard and very feature rich (i.e. complex ;-). So unless you need a centralised backup system that handles multiple operating systems its probably more than you need. I'd stick to one of the specifically VMS products as they use the BACKUP format, which NetWorker does not.

I hope all this answers you're questions.

Robin Smith
Merrill Lynch Europe