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Non-HP Tape Drive Compatibility Question

Non-HP Tape Drive Compatibility Question

We are trying to setup a new rx2660 server with HP-UX 11.31 installed on it. We have a Seagate 9SP40-0000 DDS-4 tape drive that we are trying to get working and are having issues with it.

We can use tar and pax with it, and we can use either a DDS-2 or DDS-4 tape with both of those commands.

Our problem is that we cannot get fbackup or frecover to work with either a DDS-2 tape or a DDS-4 tape in the tape drive.

We suspect it may be a configuration issue. We have verified that the kernel parameters for setting up a tape drive look to be configured properly and the special files for the tape device are present.

Does anyone have any ideas? Is there a driver from Seagate itself that needs to be installed for this to work properly? Or is this hardware even compatible with the rx2660 server?
9 REPLIES
Rita C Workman
Honored Contributor

Re: Non-HP Tape Drive Compatibility Question

Candace,

Try using "pax". Although it has not completely been obsolesced, even if you do a manpage for frecover it will tell you it is "To Be Obsoleted".

Would hate for you to set up something today, that tomorrow will stop working for backup.

Rgrds,
Rita

Re: Non-HP Tape Drive Compatibility Question

We intend to use pax to create any future backups. What we are mainly trying to do is access the data on the DDS-2 tapes that were created with fbackup using frecover, since 11.31 is supposed to still allow retrieval.

We then plan to re-backup the old data onto DDS-4 tapes using the pax command.

We have even tried as a test just using fbackup on the new system with a DDS-4 tape. We can an error that fbackup cannot open the device, and the same error when we attempt frecover with a DDS-2 tape.
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: Non-HP Tape Drive Compatibility Question

> We have verified [...]

And if you're wrong, then only the psychics
here will know.

I know nothing, but it might help if you
offered an actual transcript showing working
and failing commands. Vague descriptions and
interpretations are generally less useful
than actual evidence.

> We can use tar and pax with it, [...]

> Or is this hardware even compatible [...]

It seems to be at least partly functional,
doesn't it?

Bill Hassell
Honored Contributor

Re: Non-HP Tape Drive Compatibility Question

Unlike simple tools like pax and tar, fbackup has a very sophisticated tape handler in order to provide the best possible performance. As such, it must be aware of the tape drive and indeed, fbackup/frecover do know about several tape drives other than HP but as it (sadly) is being laid off from the HP family, no further work will be done to increase compatibility.

So this means that once you have installed the very latest fbackup patches (and it still doesn't work), you'll have to abandon the Seagate drive and find an HP drive. The issue is not HP-UX or a driver, it is the fbackup code itself.

One of the reasons that fbackup is getting early retirement because it is the closest tool to a high performance backup program there is for HP-UX (for free). Data Protector is much better but costs $$$ (but well worth the investment). pax and tar and cpio are single threaded and struggle with new tape drives that are so fast that the program cannot feed data quickly enough. fbackup )like Data Protector) starts multiple streams to keep the drive busy all the time.

So the Seagate hardware is compatible with your rx2660 but fbackup is not.


Bill Hassell, sysadmin

Re: Non-HP Tape Drive Compatibility Question

Thank you very much for the response, Bill. Do you think you could point me in the direction of the latest fbackup patches?

We're disappointed to be losing fbackup and frecover. They've been such good and reliable tools. But we knew they were being deprecated and really just wanted to get the data onto our new server so we could convert it onto the DDS-4 tapes.

Bill Hassell
Honored Contributor

Re: Non-HP Tape Drive Compatibility Question

PHCO_37986 is the latest for 11.31. You can find all patches at http://itrc.hp.com then click on patch database, then HP-UX patches.


Bill Hassell, sysadmin

Re: Non-HP Tape Drive Compatibility Question

I was at home this weekend so I was not able to check the system, but it appears we have the latest frecover patch installed.

Bill, if we have that patch and the kernel parameters configured, is there anything else on the Unix side that we need to check?

I see that with 11.31 the tape driver goes from stape to estape. This particular device is listed on an ioscan as stape.



# ioscan -fnC tape
Class I H/W Path Driver S/W State H/W Type Description
=====================================================================
tape 0 0/2/1/1.6.0 stape CLAIMED DEVICE SEAGATE DAT 9SP40-
000
/dev/rmt/0m /dev/rmt/c1t6d0BEST
/dev/rmt/0mb /dev/rmt/c1t6d0BESTb
/dev/rmt/0mn /dev/rmt/c1t6d0BESTn
/dev/rmt/0mnb /dev/rmt/c1t6d0BESTnb
Bill Hassell
Honored Contributor

Re: Non-HP Tape Drive Compatibility Question

> Bill, if we have that patch and the kernel parameters configured, is there anything else on the Unix side that we need to check?

Nope. tar and pax work OK so the tape functions as expected. fbackup is reading the model number internally and that's where it gets fails.

> I see that with 11.31 the tape driver goes from stape to estape. This particular device is listed on an ioscan as stape.

stape is correct for DDS drives. The only choice is to use an fbackup supported tape drive.


Bill Hassell, sysadmin

Re: Non-HP Tape Drive Compatibility Question

Thank you very much for your help, Bill. I can go to my boss now and tell him we've covered all our bases as far as drivers and patches and the Seagate drive is not compatible with fbackup.