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Backup server with multiple tapes?


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Setup: OS X Server 10.3.9, Retrospect Server 6.1xxx, G5 XServe, VXA 10 Tape Firewire 800 library

 

Backup sets:

-Server and user profiles backed up at night via 1 of 3 weekly rotating backup sets to 1 of 3 (corresponding) backup sets of tapes

 

-Portables backed up via backup server to 1 tape

 

Issue: Portables tape runs out of space after 1 week

 

Solution: use 2 (or more) tapes dedicated to portables.

 

Question: Is it possible to rotate every other week between 2 tapes when using backup server?

 

 

I would like to write to tape A for a week, and then write to tape B for a week, then erase A, and write to tape A for a week, erase B, write to B, erase A etc...

 

 

This would allow me to keep 2 weeks worth of backed up data separately.

 

I'm not sure if that's the best way to do it, so I'm open to ideas.

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Russ, I've got a recycle currently scheduled, but then it ends up being an all or nothing on one tape.

 

When the tape is recycled, I'm left without any backup of my portable machines. The problem being, what if a laptop dies between the recycle, and the next backup?

 

What I wanted to do was to try to have 2 backup tapes, and run them on opposite weeks, that way when one is erased, the other is still available.

 

Is there any way to do add 2 tapes to my backup server set, but to only run a recycle backup to just 1 of the 2 tapes?

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I'm not sure what you are asking. You recycle a "backup set", not a tape. Your original problem statement seemed to indicate that you were writing to alternate backup sets, each with one tape. Is this not what you are doing? That's how to do it. All tapes of a backup set go together (that's why they are a "set").

 

Edit - I just re-read your posts and it appears you are using the "backup server" function to do backups on demand when the portables connect. Someone else will have to help you on that - we only do scheduled backups that walk our network. I believe that there is less flexibility with backup server operations.

 

My apology for not catching that detail.

 

Russ

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Why not use 3 backup sets for your laptops? In fact, why not use the same backup sets as your fixed clients? Use Set A for one week, Set B for the second week, Set C for the third week, recycle Set A for the 4th week, etc. Assuming that users connect at least once a week, you'll have a minimum of two backups per client to different sets of media.

 

We use a combination of backup server and regular backup scripts to two tape backup sets and one file backup set (the latter on a FW hard drive). We recycle the file backup set whenever the disk becomes full. We don't recycle our tape backup sets; instead, we archive the old tape sets and perform a new media backup whenever the old sets grow too large to conveniently perform a restore.

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We tend to use only tapes for our backups.

 

For our server and desktops (to use a made up term-our 'stationary machines') we do use 3 different backup sets, that rotate weekly. In other words, 'backup script A' starts out on Sunday with a recycle backup to 'backup tape set A', and adds to the tape thru the course of the week. Then on the following Sunday, 'backup script B' starts out with a recycle backup to 'backup tape set B' etc.

 

Each script backs up to it's own tape set. The advantage of this is that we get 3 individual backup's that we can rotate thru, both for the sake of spreading out the data across more than one set of tapes, and for the ability to easily pull tapes from the week out of the drive when the next week is coming.

 

For our backup server script, we have another backup set, that currently includes a single tape. The issue is simply this, I'm trying to get discreet sets for the backup script in the same way that we have for our 'stationary machines'...but I can't setup a scheduled script rotation for this (in other words, execute every other week) so that I can rotate between tapes. I'm trying to keep from spreading backups across 2 tapes in this case, to ensure redundancy– in other words, I don't want half of a user directory on one tape and half on another, only to have one of the tapes die on me.

 

I'd rather have 2 tapes, that are complete backups themselves, in this way, if I loose a tape, I might loose all the files from this week, but still have all the files from last week...all I've lost are the changed versions– not entire documents.

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I'm puzzled why you can't use a similar arrangement for your laptop backups to what you use for your fixed machines; i.e., rotate through 3 different backup sets. If the data needs to be kept separate from that of the fixed machines, just create additional backup sets for the laptops. Granted, you can't perform a recycle backup in a backup server script, but you could either manually recycle the sets as necessary or write a regular backup script to perform the recycle at appropriate intervals. Your recycle backup script could be a dummy script: say, backing up a small local subvolume and selecting No Files.

 

A backup server script doesn't treat the data any different than a regular script, so you can use any combination of regular and backup server scripts to write to the same backup set.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So basically what your saying is, create a new backup set, and add that set to the backup server's list of available backup sets? So I could create a set called backup A, and backup B and let it go back and fort between the two?

 

I guess my question is, how do I get it to start to use backup set B? There's no way to say 'use this blank tape that I've just inserted in Backup set B', and so I don't know how to start a second backup set when using the backup server.

 

In all the other scripts, I can create a new script and a corresponding new backup set. When I create a new backup set, it's empty with no members– retrospect then requests a blank tape to add to this new backup set, that's being called for by this new backup script.

 

Since I don't have a new script to use to call for a new backup set, to use to call for a new tape, I don't know how to do the following:

 

1. Have retrospect not use the original tape

2. Have retrospect request/use/add a tape to the second backup set

 

If anyone knows how, or can refer me to how to do this I would be much obliged.

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Quote:

So basically what your saying is, create a new backup set, and add that set to the backup server's list of available backup sets? So I could create a set called backup A, and backup B and let it go back and fort between the two?

 


Yes.

 

Quote:

I guess my question is, how do I get it to start to use backup set B? There's no way to say 'use this blank tape that I've just inserted in Backup set B'...

In all the other scripts, I can create a new script and a corresponding new backup set. When I create a new backup set, it's empty with no members– retrospect then requests a blank tape to add to this new backup set, that's being called for by this new backup script.

 


It's basically the same with a Backup Server script as with a regular backup set, except that you won't get the "insert tape" message. After you create the new backup set and add it to the list of destinations in your backup server script, put a blank tape in the drive. At the time of execution, Retrospect will name the new tape and begin using it.

 

Quote:

Since I don't have a new script to use to call for a new backup set, to use to call for a new tape, I don't know how to do the following:

 

1. Have retrospect not use the original tape

2. Have retrospect request/use/add a tape to the second backup set

 


Backup Server will use whatever media is available at the time of backup from any destination backup set. In the case where several backup sets' media are available at the same time, it will prioritize use such that a given client's or volume's backup is rotated among the various backup sets. In other words, if volume "Henry" was last backed up to Backup Set A and tapes from Backup Set A and Backup Set B are both available at the time of backup (in separate drives, of course), Retrospect's next backup of "Henry" will be to Backup Set B.

 

The way to force Backup Server to use one backup set and not another is simply to load only the appropriate media member from the desired backup set.

 

The only time this can pose a problem is when two backup sets are both requesting a new media member. Retrospect will then make a choice as to which backup set gets the blank media, which may not be what you want. To avoid this situation, run an immediate backup to one of the two backup sets using a new media member. (To save time, back up a small subvolume.) This will label the tape header with the name of the backup set. If you then insert a blank tape, Backup Server will know this is for the second backup set, because backing up to the first backup set would require that set's appropriately-labeled member.

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