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Database for Retrospect Tape Backups?

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I wonder if someone could help me with this. I imagine there is probably a solution out there that I haven't found, but I am planning on using Retrospect to archive old creative media projects to LTO-4 tapes. So one tape might have Customer 1's advertising on it, and another tape could have Customer 2's advertising on it, while another has Customer 1's advertising from 5 years ago.

 

At some point this is going to generate a considerable amount of tapes. Instead of placing each tape in, one at a time to figure out what is on which tape (and without having to restore the contents every single time) is there some sort of searchable database that cooperates with Retrospect?

 

For example: We need to pull up a client's print marketing materials from several years ago. Search for that client and the job and find out that the data is stored on tape 1313.

 

Thank you in advance for help with this.

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Someone else may know of a way to link an external database to Retrospect, but I wonder if that's really necessary for what you're trying to do.

 

Remember that Retrospect doesn't back up to "tapes;" it backs up to Media Sets. In a tape media set, the backup data resides on tape members, while a listing of the data files resides in that media set's catalog. The catalog is the database of the files in the media set.

 

It sounds like what you're thinking of doing is to have a bunch of different media sets. This could be one for each customer, year, whatever; only you can decide what makes sense in your operation. You may even decide you don't need to separate out the backups into different media sets as much as you were first intending.

 

When you need to restore a file, Retrospect allows you to search for a file across multiple media sets. You need to know something about the file to be able to do this, of course. That could be one or more of the following: file creation, modification, or backup date, file name, folder name, source volume, etc. The primary limitation to Retrospect's own database/catalog is that it's structured the same way as the source volume's directory. Earlier versions of Retrospect allowed users to view these files in many different ways, including eliminating the original directory structure and viewing all of the files sorted by name, size, date, etc. I for one hope that this extremely useful capability might be brought back in a future version of Retrospect.

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Thank you so much for the helpful reply. I have only recently happened on to Retrospect and I am afraid my ignorance is likely the majority of the problem. So please excuse the silly questions as I get a feel for what I think is going to be a good solution for us.

 

That said, I guess it may come down to a lack of understanding of how a media set works. Let's say that I have 20 tapes that have been used in the media set. I find that marketingthing.psd is stored within that media set and I need to retrieve that file so that a designer can update it. How do I know which physical tape to put in to the drive? On a related note, do I have restore the entire directory? It isn't possible to just retrieve the individual file?

 

Thank you for your patience!

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Let's say that I have 20 tapes that have been used in the media set. I find that marketingthing.psd is stored within that media set and I need to retrieve that file so that a designer can update it. How do I know which physical tape to put in to the drive?

During a restore operation, once you have selected your desired file or files Retrospect will tell you which tape member(s) to insert.

 

On a related note, do I have restore the entire directory? It isn't possible to just retrieve the individual file?

You have lots of options. For example, you can restore an entire directory to a point in time, or you can restore one or more versions of an individual file.

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Excellent. Thanks for your help.

 

Now if I could just get this Quantum LTO-4 drive to not crash my Mac. :( Looks like I'll be looking for another drive.

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Now if I could just get this Quantum LTO-4 drive to not crash my Mac. :( Looks like I'll be looking for another drive.

You may be experiencing problems with the interface or adapter card. What kind of connection does the tape drive use?

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The Quantum tape drive uses a SAS connection with an LSILogic SAS3442E. The drive is a Quantum LTO-4 HH (original version).

 

The problem is that the tapes show up sometimes and don't at other times. The card and drive show up in System Report though.

 

Thanks for the response, BTW. Sorry that I missed it.

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The Quantum tape drive uses a SAS connection with an LSILogic SAS3442E.

I know people have reported problems with LSILogic's SCSI cards; don't know about their SAS cards. ATTO is a better bet, to my mind. You may want to try one of their SAS HBAs; it'd be cheaper to test than buying a new tape drive, and will likely serve you better in the long haul in case the tape drive turns out to be at fault.

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