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DLT8000 firmware issues?

ITeam
Super Advisor

DLT8000 firmware issues?

Customer has 4 DLT8000 drives, each on dedicated SCSI controller, on N-Class server running HP/UX 11.00.
2 of the drives are writing at about 150Mb/Min and 2 write at around 444Mb/Min. The "slow" drives have firmware 80 and the "fast" drives have f/ware 40 (or 44?).
Anyone know if a UX patch is required to match the later rev. of firmware on the "slow" drives?
Thanks! Paul.
11 REPLIES
Vincent Farrugia
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT8000 firmware issues?

Hello,

I don't think it's a firmware issue. Check whether the tapes are DLT III in the slower servers' drives. They are slower than DLT IVs.

HTH,
Vince
Tape Drives RULE!!!
ITeam
Super Advisor

Re: DLT8000 firmware issues?

Thanks Vincent - but I know categorically that all the tapes are DLT-IV type. Customer is now trying to arrange for firmware downgrade by HP (as it was HP who upgraded it in the first instance!).
Paul.
Vincent Farrugia
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT8000 firmware issues?

Hello,

Keep us informed about things after you downgrade.
Tape Drives RULE!!!
David Ruska
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT8000 firmware issues?

Paul,
Judging from the firmware numbers (80 and 44), I assume these are standalone DLT drives (with V44 or V80 firmware). The V80 firmware provides an important fix for a potential data corruption issue, so I would not recommend downgrading. Was the change in performance directly associated with the update in firmware? If not, what HBA types are each of the drives on? Can the drives be moved to see if the problem follows the drive or the HBA? Also, can the media in "good" and "bad" drives be swapped, and the problem stay with the drive?

The journey IS the reward.
Sanjay_6
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT8000 firmware issues?

Hi Paul,

Check the controllers you are using to conenct the DLT's. Different controllers may give different performance using the same model of backup device,

Also, install the DLT 8000 pacthes on the box. Do a search for individual patches in the hp-ux category and use the string as DLT 8000.

hope this helps.

Regds
ITeam
Super Advisor

Re: DLT8000 firmware issues?

Thanks all!
For David: Yes they are standalone units and problem only apparently appeared since HP swapped out 2 faulty drives ... the replacement drives have the later firmware on them.
For Sanjay: They are all on dedicated, identical controllers.
* As for patches ... there do seem to be several available ... I'll get customer to ask HP engineer why it's not occurred to them to check the patches that may be required and also maybe arrange to get the latest full set installed.
David Ruska
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT8000 firmware issues?

Paul,
You mentioned that the problem occured with the replacement drives with new firmware, so the performance issue could be the drives themselves OR the firmware version. You could downgrade the drive firmware and see if that fixes the problem. The easiest way do do this would be to move the drive to a windows system, and use HP Library & Tape Tools software (www.hp.com/support/tapetools). The V44 firmware can be obtained directly through the tool (if the system is web-connected), although HP would need to provide a password to enable firmware downgrading. For a password, either call the HP support center, or you could send an email to ltt_team@hp.com. Alternately, you could use the Support Tools Manager tool on HP-UX, although it would also require you to obtain a password for downgrading, and the firmware is file is not available directly, and HP would need to provide it to you manually.
The journey IS the reward.
ITeam
Super Advisor

Re: DLT8000 firmware issues?

Okay guys - We are now certain it's the firmware - HP replaced rev.80 drive with unit on old rev and it's back to around 400MB/min backup speed. Now await HP comment about replacing the other rev.80 drive unit - or providing patch details.
* I'll keep posting updates as I get more info - might save someone else having the same problems.
Paul.
Vincent Farrugia
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT8000 firmware issues?

Hello,

Replacing the drive with another other in lower firmware version is not the same as downgrading the actual drive in question. It could be that the new drive has some settings which the old drive hasn't, which could answer the performance issues.

A question: Are the slow drives using hardware or software compression? This article:

http://www.hp.com/cposupport/information_storage/support_doc/lpg50030.html

states that "In almost all cases your overall backup performance will be better using the hardware compression. Performing a backup will already be very intensive on your system resources (CPU, Disks etc), and using the server to perform the compression will add to that system load. By contrast in the tape drive, there is a dedicated section of the hardware designed specifically for compressing and un-compressing the data without restricting the throughput."

HTH,
Vince
Tape Drives RULE!!!
Adam M. Schwaber
Occasional Advisor

Re: DLT8000 firmware issues?

We have an A5583A DLT8000 in a SureStore 2/200 library. A hardware failure necessitated replacement of the transport mech. and upgrade of the controller firmware from v.1040 to 1330. At the same time we upgraded the DLT8000 firmware from v.15 to v.59. This caused an immediate decrease in performance from a former 35 GB/hr down to 2 to 8 GB/hr. We are calling in HP to downgrade our firmware!
David Ruska
Honored Contributor

Re: DLT8000 firmware issues?

Within HP, we've found some test configurations where V80 firmware is slower than V44 when using fbackup and 16KB block sizes. This is a fairly small block size to use with DLT drives, and therefore we recommend much larger block sizes to improve performance in general.

We are not sure if the small block size performance decrease happened before or after V59 (which is a library-specific firmware version).

We would therefore appreciate any application information (i.e. what application and what block sizes) where you have seen performance drops with newer firmware.

It is also important to check the drive logs to understand if there are other error conditions causing degraded performance. Also, if a drive is exhibiting frequent cleaning lights, it may be doing extensive retries which reduce performance.
The journey IS the reward.