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Tape library implementation

  • 1 December 2023
  • 14 replies
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Hi Team,

 

We are running our current environment is Commvault V11 SP32 and we are in the process of deploying the HPE MSL3040 Scalable Base Module (upto 3 HH Drive) for tape out copy and physical server having Allma linux 8 Operating System. Whether OS will support tape library and Commvault Media agent software. 

 

Regards,

ManiD

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Best answer by mikevg 30 January 2024, 14:13

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14 replies

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@John Giblin / @Nikhil Gupta can you pls help with this?

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Hi Team,

 

We are running our current environment is Commvault V11 SP32 and we are in the process of deploying the HPE MSL3040 Scalable Base Module (upto 3 HH Drive) for tape out copy and physical server having Allma linux 8 Operating System. Whether OS will support tape library and Commvault Media agent software. 

 

Regards,

ManiD

https://documentation.commvault.com/tapestoragematrix/?facet.vendor=%22Hewlett%20Packard%20Enterprise%22&facet.model=%22StoreEver%20MSL%203040%22

Userlevel 1
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Hello ManiD,

 

The HPe MSL3040 is definitely supported with Commvault SP32.

 

However the OS is not currently officially supported with tape as a Media Agent.   Looking at the differences between it and other related Linux distributions (Red Hat, Rocky) there is enough that the Alma OS would have to go through a full physical certification test which would take time to fully determine software compatibility.

 

https://www.techtarget.com/searchDataCenter/tip/Rocky-Linux-vs-AlmaLinux-Which-is-better

 

In all we would recommended using one of the supported revisions.   If full support of Alma with tape is necessary, I would recommend creating a CMR for its addition.

 

Thanks,

John

 

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Dear @John Giblin Thanks for your guidance, We have deployed MSL 3040 tape library with three tape drives. However we have configured 2 tape drives one Media agent and 1  tape drive another media agent.

Could please clarify for below mentioned points,

  1. Is there any way can we use two tape drives for backup and another one tape drive for restore purpose.
  2. how to configure only weekly backups for one tape and monthly backups for separate tape.
  3. if we configured two partition in the tape library level, will that help to take backup for one partition and another one for restore. Thanks.

Your response is much appreciated. 

 

Regards,

ManiD

 

 

Userlevel 1
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Hello ManiD,

 

I would say that the answer to your question #3 is no.   Configuring separate partitions just for restores would not solve this issue.   The partitions would be presented as different libraries and would not be able to see the tapes allocated to the other partitions.   You would have to export the tapes and re-import them into the other partitions, that would create a lot of extra overhead for no reason.

 

For your questions 1 and 2 they may be possible, but I am not certain of the best path for this kind of configuration.   I would recommend that you contact Commvault Customer Support to see if they can help with the setup.

 

Thanks,

John

 

Userlevel 3
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Hello @ManiD,

 

Almalinux or Rockylinux or even amazonlinux are 99% binary compatible rebuilds of redhat enterprise linux. The fact that Commvault has not certified those operating systems is logical as you can only do so much in any given time. This should not limit you in running those operating systems.

 

The catch here is that if you run into issues and Commvault development points to the operating system you cannot do much as they will say it is not certified.

 

Coming back to your question about 1 tape drive for restore at all time, there are multiple ways to achieve this.

You could create a second master drive pool and assign 1 drive to it.

This means you have 2 master drive pools, 1 with 2 tape drives for your backups and 1 with 1 tape drive for your restore requirement.

Another option is to use the “Allocate no. of drives” to 2. I am not 100% sure this will keep 1 tape drive available for restores.

Final option is that you create a “Global Secondary Tape Storage Policy” and set device streams to 2. Then make sure all your storage policies use this single global policy and it will combine all data to max 2 tapes using max 2 tape drives.

 

Commvault has the notion of “restore from anywhere” so any tape drive available would be used for restores.

 

Hope this helps.


Regards,

Mike

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Dear @mikevg thanks for the update.

 

As you mentioned above, 

Final option is that you create a “Global Secondary Tape Storage Policy” and set device streams to 2. Then make sure all your storage policies use this single global policy and it will combine all data to max 2 tapes using max 2 tape drives.

Question:

Can I use one drive for weekly backups another one for monthly backups to dedicated.

 

Regards

Mani D

 

 

 

Userlevel 3
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Hi @ManiD,

 

If those are seperate copies you create on storage policies you could create 2 global secondary copy policies and assign appropriate drive pools to them.

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Dear @mikevg

 

I appreciate your kind words! I have a total of five different storage policies: FS, SQL, ORACLE, VM, and Exchange. The backup strategy involves configuring monthly tape copies for FS, VM, and Exchange to one media, while performing weekly tape copies for ORACLE and SQL to another media.

Here is the planned configuration:

  1. Create two scratch pools - Weekly and Monthly.
  2. Establish two global secondary copy policies - Weekly and Monthly.

For the tape library setup:

  1. Configure one tape library with a master pool containing three tape drives. Allocate two tape drives for the secondary backup and reserve one drive for dedicated restore purposes, marking it as read-only.

Finally, for the monthly auxiliary copy, I will associate the FS, VM, and Exchange storage policies. On the other hand, for the weekly auxiliary copy, I will associate the ORACLE and SQL storage policies.

 

The above approach is fine or need to perform any modification. Please suggest. 

 

Regards,

ManiD

 

Userlevel 3
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Hi @ManiD,

 

The approach sounds good, curious to hear if it succeeds :) 

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Dear @mikevg,

 

Almost we are in the final stage of TL implementation. Could you please help to assign a dedicated tape drive for restoration and ensure that the tape cartridge mount only on that specific drive during the restoration.

 

Regards

ManiD

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Dear @mikevg, Also encountered an error indicating the medium was already reserved for some other jobs. suspended and resumed the same job, and it completed successfully.

 

Its happening each and every time while initiating the restore from tape.

 

 

Regards,

ManiD

Userlevel 3
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Hello @Mani Devaraj,

 

I suggested a lot of options above and it is not completely clear what you implemented and therefor I could only guess what you are potentially hitting here.

 

On top of this you could be hitting a known limitation / defunct in the product.

 

At this point I would suggest you contact your Commvault sales rep and ask for some guidance / help on how to move further, this could end up with some professional services engagement or maybe your pre-sales engineer can assist you.

We are well past advice, Q&A at this stage and need to rely on some mutual basis for understanding Commvault and tape libraries.

 

Regards,

Mike

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Thanks for your support

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