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Everything posted by rhwalker

  1. Like you, we've got a new Exabyte VXA-2 1x10 1u PacketLoader. Three comments: (1) if you need to order more barcodes, the info on Exabyte's web site is a bit out of date. The only vendor I've been able to find is Tri-Optic (www.tri-optic.com), and their part numbers for Exabyte VXA-2 barcode labels are 1699-EB (8 alphanumeric characters) and 1699-EB6 (6 alphanumeric characters). There are 40 labels per sheet, $0.40 per label, or $16.00 per sheet (minimum order is $30.00 plus nominal shipping). There's no way to order from their web site because prices aren't given, you have to call Tri-Optic sales at 888-438-8362. I ordered some, they came in a few days, and are very nice. FYI the Exabyte bar code label spec document is at http://www.exabyte.com/support/online/documentation/libraries/30860704.pdf You can see Tri-Optic's color PDF spec sheets at https://www.tri-optic.com/LabelStoreMedia/pdfs/1699-EB.pdf and https://www.tri-optic.com/LabelStoreMedia/pdfs/1699-EB6.pdf (2) To me, the value of barcodes is to manage/control your archival inventory, but that's just my opinion. Dantz/Retrospect has a different view, and uses the barcodes as simply advisory (the Retrospect tape name controls what tape is used for non-erased tapes) to speed up the locating of tapes in an autoloader. See page 41 of the Retrospect Users Guide. I've submitted a feature request to Dantz on this point for a future version, to have Retrospect take its tape names from the barcodes. (3) There's also an issue whereby Retrospect, when needing an erased tape for New Media or when adding a member to a backup set at end-of-tape, will choose whatever erased tape it finds in the autoloader and use it and rename it to the name it needs, even if another erased tape of the needed name also exists in the autoloader. See page 43 of the Retrospect Users Guide. I've submitted a feature request to Dantz on this point, for a future version, to have Retrospect use a properly-named and erased tape in the autoloader if one exists, rather than the first erased tape it finds. There may be a partial workaround on this point because Retrospect seems to use the erased tapes from the highest-numbered slot first, looking bottom to top for an erased tape, so, if you put your barcoded tapes into the autoloader in the right order ..... If you agree with my feature request suggestions above (or if you've got improvements to my suggestions), I suggest that you email your feature request to Dantz's tech support - maybe if they see that there is a real need for this by customers with autoloaders, it will receive some priority for a future release. Regards, hope this helps. Russ
  2. Quote: I just want to know if anyone out there is using Retrospect Desktop, v6.0.212???? Simply as a data point, I can answer yes to your question, at least for Retrospect Workgroup (not Desktop), which I think is pretty much the same as Retrospect Desktop except for added support for servers and remote client backup. Seems to be working fine (with the usual Retrospect quirks) now that the new Retrospect version and driver update are installed on our new Xserve G5 that we recently received and now have put into production serving and backing up a mix of Mac OS 9.1 and Mac OS 10.4.2 clients, with, of course, a selector that excludes Spotlight files. It may just be our configuration, but here's what we've got: Xserve G5, single 2.0 Ghz processor, 2 GB RAM, Mac OS 10.4.2 Server with Security Update 2005-007 v1.1; 3 x 250 GB internal Apple Drive Modules on Apple Hardware RAID card, configured as one 50 GB RAID 5 system partition and one 417 GB RAID 5 user data (and home directory) partition. POSIX permissions on the system partition/volume, ACL permissions on the user data partition/volume. Running headless, accessed by Apple Remote Desktop version 2.2. ATTO ExpressPCI UL4D Ultra320 Dual-Channel SCSI PCI-X card. Channel A is attached to a legacy Sony DDS-2 SCSI-1 DAT drive so that we can read all of our old Retrospect backup tapes for the past 13 years from our (now retired) ASIP 6.3.x PPC 8100/100 server using, at the end, Retrospect 4.2. Channel B is attached to an Exabyte VXA-2 1x10 1u PacketLoader (SCSI interface with ethernet interface to autoloader), filled with 80 GB VXA-2 tapes with barcodes, and also an 80 GB SCSI-3 drive. As a comment, we were having minor problems with Retrospect using the LSI Logic 22320 dual-channel Ultra320 SCSI card that Apple sells as its BTO option for Xserve G5 servers, and those problems have disappeared after replacing that card with the ATTO UL4D card. Software and firmware versions: Xserve G5 Boot ROM firmware: 5.1.7f2 ATTO UL4D Firmware version 1.4.2f1, ExpressPCI Driver v.3.40. Exabyte VXA-2 drive firmware version 2109, Autoloader Firmware version A109, Ethernet Module firmware version V10E0A. Retrospect Workgroup version 6.0.212, Retrospect Driver Update 6.5.102. Retrospect version on Mac OS 10.4.2 clients: 6.0.110 Retrospect version on Mac OS 9.1 clients: 5.1.157 No special "bandwidth reduction" or whatever in Retrospect preferences - running with stock preferences except for preserving date/time on restored files (which I have set). We don't use any of the "backup server" stuff for clients that appear/disappear, just standard scheduled backups. Now, I never have been able to get Retrospect to work to the SuperDrive (UJ845) that came with the Xserve, and I have given up on that point and have accepted that Retrospect just doesn't work to DVDs (at least not to mine). Other programs are able to write to the SuperDrive DVD just fine, but Retrospect can't. But backing up to the Exabyte VXA-2 via SCSI seems to work OK (there are some minor autoloader quirks that I have noted and that I am careful not to cause - can happen if a tape is left in the drive not rewound, etc., which seems to confuse Retrospect). I had the usual problems with Retrospect trying to back up a live Mac OS X server, but cured that by a middle-of-the-night script that shuts down the various services, clones the system partition for the quiet server to an external 80 GB drive on the server, then restarts the services, and Retrospect backs up that cloned drive (which is not active) rather than the live system. This has the added benefit of always having a "hot spare" of the system partition (but with a stale mail database) in case the system partition dies during the day if the Hardware RAID card fails (of course, failure of a single drive in the RAID 5 array is supposedly cured by hot-swapping in a spare drive and rebuilding in the background). But to address your question, I have, in our testing before putting the server into production, been able to do backups to and full disk restores from the Exabyte VXA-2 tapes of the Mac OS 9.1 clients using Retrospect 6 on the Xserve running 10.4.2, and I have been able to do backups to and restores from the Exabyte VXA-2 tapes of the Mac OS 10.4.2 clients using Retrospect 6 on the Xserve running 10.4.2, and I have been able to do file restores from (read-only) DDS-2 DAT backup tapes originally made on our now-retired ASIP Server by Retrospect 2.x - 4.x. So it can be made to work because we seem to have an existence proof. It took some work and extensive testing and making sure everything (drivers, software, etc.) was up-to-date, and a bit of scripting and careful debugging/testing, but yes, I can report that at least one installation (ours) of Retrospect 6 is working on Mac OS Server 10.4.2. The installation should have been more turnkey on such a standard system as ours, and that's my gripe - that it didn't plug-and-play "out of the box" for a standard installation. Would be nice if Retrospect supported ACLs, but I've made notes as to our ACL configuration in case we have to do a full restore before Retrospect releases an upgrade to support ACLs, hopefully before the end of the year. As long as we have a couple of legacy Mac OS 9.1 clients, there's really no other choice for backup than Retrospect. Hope this helps, and it's just to provide a data point for you on a configuration that's not quite the same as yours but may be similar enough for comparison. Regards, Russ
  3. I don't know if this is the cause, but your firmware on your Exabyte VXA-2 1x10 1u is a bit out of date. The current firmware rev for the AutoLoader is A109 (5/4/2005) and the current firmware rev for the VXA-2 drive is 2109 (6/16/2005). Just as a datapoint, I have the SCSI version on a new Xserve G5 and am not seeing the problems that you are seeing. Our configuration is Xserve G5 1 x 2GHz, Mac OS X Server 10.4.2, Retrospect Workgroup 6.0.212, RDU 6.5.102. Only oddity that I see is that you have to do a manual device rescan after boot because Retrospect doesn't see the tape drive or autoloader. You might try updating your firmware and see if that changes anything, but it's hard to see how the Exabyte firmware would affect the Retrospect catalog. Regards, Russ
  4. Your experience matches mine with a new single 2.0 GHz G5 Xserve (headless). Mac OS Server 10.4.2, UJ-845 SuperDrive, Retrospect Workgroup 6.0.212, Retrospect Driver 6.5.101. However, I was able to restart the server remotely from Server Monitor when Retrospect hung for over two hours trying to configure, so I didn't see the Kernel Panic. Nothing was ever written on the DVD-R during the configure - it's still blank. Don't think that Retrospect works to DVD. Russ
  5. Just as another data point, we've got a new Xserve G5 with UJ-845 SuperDrive. Can't report on how it would have behaved under 10.3.x because it shipped with Server 10.4, now upgraded to Server 10.4.2. Retrospect Workgroup backup to DVD-R has never worked (various media brands tried, including Apple) since the day we got our server a month ago. Retrospect Workgroup 6.0.202, Retrospect Driver Update 6.5.101 (didn't work with Driver 6.4.102 either). Retrospect works fine to Exabyte VXA-2 1x10 Autoloader (SCSI) now that the 6.5.101 Retrospect Driver is installed and extensive scripting has been done to shut off services, back up a quiet system, then restart services. Other programs, such as ASR, etc., work fine to the SuperDrive. I've just concluded that Retrospect is broken. Sigh. As soon as we upgrade our last Mac OS 9.x clients, I can be done with Retrospect and switch to BRU, which works much better but can't back up Mac OS 9.x clients. Retrospect used to be a good program for many years and served us well for over 10 years, but doesn't do so any more and can't do disk to disk to tape staging or be controlled on a headless server from remote machines.
  6. We just started using an Exabyte VXA-2 PacketLoader 1x10 1U (SCSI with network interface) on our new Xserve G5 running Mac OS X 10.4.2. Works fine, very fast, but I will say that the Retrospect installation was anything but turnkey, and required lots of script editing, etc., that shouldn't have been needed on such a vanilla installation as ours, to get the mail notifications working and service shutdowns and then startup after copies were made of the server while the services were quiet. But that's unrelated to VXA. Only oddity is that, every time the server is rebooted (because we are still going through the usual new server installation stuff), Retrospect forgets that the tape drive and autoloader are attached, and you have to manually rescan the devices to get them to reappear so that subsequent scheduled backups won't fail. Can't even script this with Retrospect because Retrospect device rescans aren't scriptable. But that's the only strangeness that we have seen (other than the usual Retrospect crashes that have been fixed by appropriate selectors and by the new driver update).
  7. Mystery solved. Retrospect was crashing on a subsequent source and never handled this one correctly, so it kept being backed up. Sigh. If only the troubleshoot cycle wasn't so time-consuming. Now to go troubleshoot crashing that it seems others are seeing...
  8. Surely I'm missing something simple here because Retrospect keeps (after the initial expected full backup) backing up an unchanged mounted volume while doing a normal backup. Configuration: New Xserve G5 1 x 2.0 GHz, 2 GB RAM, Mac OS 10.4.2 Exabyte VXA-2 1x10 1U PacketLoader Plus with SCSI interface Autoloader Firmware A109 (current), Drive Firmware 2109 (current) Retrospect Workgroup 6.0.212 with driver update 6.4.102 (current) Storage sets alternate between two VXA-2 tapes ("VXA Set A" and "VXA Set B"), scheduled backup. Boot (system) drive is 250 GB in Bay 1 on Xserve. Bay 2 has a 250 GB volume that holds some Retrospect Storage Sets from when I was testing (before using tape) and some disk images from our migration to our new server, about 23 GB total, but is otherwise unused. No files on Bay 2 drive have been changed or touched since installation, and it is not mounted as a network share; it just happens to appear on the desktop of the Xserve and is in the backup list. Here's a sample of a log report from a subsequent backup after the initial normal backup (which, of course, backed up this volume to the erased tape on the initial backup): + Normal backup using WMW Backup at 8/1/2005 6:05 PM To backup set VXA Set B [001]… [ stuff omitted about successful backup of the system volume and network clients ] - 8/1/2005 6:48:42 PM: Copying Bay2 HD… 8/1/2005 7:52:26 PM: Comparing Bay2 HD… 8/1/2005 8:48:10 PM: Execution completed successfully. Completed: 27 files, 23.5 GB Performance: 402.2 MB/minute (377.8 copy, 430.0 compare) Duration: 01:59:28 (00:00:18 idle/loading/preparing) The question is, why is this unchanged, unmodified volume being backed up each day in a normal backup in the same script that is doing correct normal backups on the other sources in that script? Incremental stuff seems to be working OK for the System volume and for all clients on the network, yes, I've figured out all the selector hacks necessary to get things working, but this is simply a quiet drive with no activity. Retrospect on the server just keeps backing up 23+ GB of unchanged data on this drive on the Xserve every day. Backup report shows this volume as backed up, and it appears in each of the daily snapshots. Any suggestions? I'm stumped, never had this problem on our old ASIP server [Retrospect 4.2] that the Xserve replaces. Regards, Russ
  9. > Who OEMs Apple's SCSI card in their Xserve? It's LSI's 22320 Ultra 320 card (not the 22320-R) (listed as a discontinued product on LSI's web site). At least that's what was in the Xserve G5 I got last month. Seems to be working fine with Retrospect (6.0, Mac OS X 10.4.2) to a new Exabyte SCSI VXA-2 PacketLoader 1U x 10 and a legacy SCSI-1 DAT-2 drive. See: http://www.lsilogic.com/files/docs/techdocs/storage_stand_prod/SCSIboards/ultra320_ug.pdf Russ