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HP Ultrium 3-SCSI Tape drive, compression issue

SMUNBEMS
Occasional Visitor

HP Ultrium 3-SCSI Tape drive, compression issue

I am using an older HP Ultrium 3-SCSI Tape drive to backup my companies data. until recently, with hardware compression on, I was able to use the max storage of 800 gigs on each tape. Now for some reason it will only recognise 390 GIG max. i have done everything from setting it back up, updating the drivers, and talking to HP support VIA the phone, but they did not quite understand my issue. If anyone can help me out on this i would be greatful. thanks

 

 P.S.This thread has been moved from Storage >Tape >Tape Backup (Small and Medium Business) to Tape Libraries and Drives- HP Forums Moderator

4 REPLIES
thomasr
Respected Contributor

Re: HP Ultrium 3-SCSI Tape drive, compression issue

Is it possible you've turned HW compression off for your backup jobs?    Perhaps even a recent backup application update has made this change?

 

Are you sending pre-compressed data to the tape?   For instance, do you have software compression enabled?   Or, are you sending mpeg, jpeg, zip or any number of other compressed formats to the tape?

 

Have you recently started encrypting your backup jobs?   (well) Encrypted data is not compressible, and this would explain why you're only seeing the native capacity.   (Note: LTO-4 and LTO-5 tape drives get around this by compressing the data before their hardware encryption occurs, so you get compression and encryption without loss of performance)

 

 

--
Liberty breeds responsibility; Government breeds dependence
kl7
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP Ultrium 3-SCSI Tape drive, compression issue

This past March (2012), I experienced the same issue.  I had a HP storageworks 960 (Ultrium 3) and use HP LTO-3 tapes.  I had used this drive on same server (HP DL380G3, Windows 2003 Server, Backup Exec 2008 R2 sp2) since 2007.  I use Hardware compression, which has always yielded about 1.5~1.7 compression ratio for my entire overnight backup job. 

 

Early this year I had bought a batch of 5 HP tapes, as I always do every few months.  I rotated the first tape into my backup plan and it was spit out long before all the jobs were done (they had previously always fit on one tape).  At first I thought it was just a bad tape.  To make a long story short, after a few weeks and using a few more of the new tapes, I realized the problem was that there was no compression occurring on the new tapes (BExec showed 1:1 compression ratio).  Absolutely nothing had changed (hardware, software, Windows updates, backup job and file contents, whatever), just the fact that I had a new batch of tapes.  All the old tapes continued to work fine (compression around 1.7), but the new tapes were always 1:1 or worse using same backup job.  I examined the tapes and there were slight diffferences, most noticeable was the serial number on the tape.  The older tapes had embossed-like solid letters/numbers, and the new tapes had white dot-matrix type letters/numbers.  I figured these were from two different manufacturing facilities, and that the newer ones were somehow different which caused them to not function correctly.

 

I called HP tech support, and again, to make a miserable long story short, they did confirm that the tapes came from different manufacturing facilities, but, after I had already spent a month investigating and gathering data to figure out this issue myself, HP was making me go through a song and a dance with their own tests that I was to do on all the tapes, and then finally they MIGHT replace them if I sent them in (instead of sending me replacements first).  I could not send them all the tapes first as they were in service, plus I would have had to security erase them all first.  At the same time, I found out that my Purchasing dept had bought them from a different vendor than usual, so I then purchased some tapes from the original vendor and the tapes were fine.  After all the time and trouble dealing with HP, I just let the matter go.

 

Since that time, my server has been replaced (DL380 G7, Win 2008 R2, Backup Exec 2008 R2 sp2, but same HP 960 tape drive), and I also updated the firmware on the tape drive.  My stock of good tapes has nearly run out so I bought some more tapes last week from the good vendor and found that they are now the "bad" type of tape - the type with the white dot-matrix serial number and, after testing, the type that yield no hardware compression.  So, I still have a problem and am back searching the internet for answers.  If anyone has experienced this issue and found a resolution (solution with HP tapes or by simply using another brand of tape?), please post here.  I would be puzzled if there were not many others with same issue, unless most have moved on to LTO4, only use software compression, use another tape brand, etc. 

Rsilver_Natus
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP Ultrium 3-SCSI Tape drive, compression issue

I am expericing the same exact issue.  Did you get a resolution?

kl7
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP Ultrium 3-SCSI Tape drive, compression issue

I have not done exhaustive tests with my full nightly backup regimen yet, but I have tested a few other brands with one or two individual server jobs.  So far it seems that TDK brand works OK.  IBM and Quantum brands seem the same as the new HP tapes (not OK).  I'll be trying the TDK in a full nightly job soon and I'll post the result.