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Retrospect Server and HP MLS6060 24/48Tb Tape Library


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I have a 4 Xserve RAID system and I want to make backups to a HP MLS6060 24/48Tb Tape Library. The tape library is connected directly using Fiber Channel to a XServe running Retrospect Server. I can see the Tape Library in the System Profiler, and I can see it too in the "Devices" menu of Retrospect. I can see the 60 Ultrium Tapes, with their barcode and name, but they appear in white, no color at all.

 

When I try to make a backup, I receive the message "Sorry, no tape storage devices found". I've tried to intialize the tapes using "Initialize Elements", but nothing happens. In fact, anything happens using the buttons in the "Devices" menu, I can click on "Erase selected" or "Unload All/Mag..." and it's the same ... anything happens at all.

 

What am I doing wrong?. I need some help!.

 

Thanks.

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My you have a big fast storage system. I'm jealous.

 

Quote:

RDU 6.1

 


It may be the RDU that is the key here, and you haven't provided a complete version number. The version number is available in the "About Retrospect ..." under the Retrospect Menu and also is printed in the Retrospect log each time Retrospect launches. The current version is 6.1.9.102, available here:

Retrospect Mac updates

 

Quote:

I want to make backups to a HP MLS6060 24/48Tb Tape Library. ... I can see the Tape Library ... in the "Devices" menu of Retrospect.

 


Do you see a tape drive as well? What drive do you have?

 

And is that a typo? The Retrospect supported devices list shows it as a MSL 6060:

HP MSL 6060 tape library

Note that it's only supported with the Ultrium 460 and Ultrium 960 drives, and the Ultrium 960 drive requires a recent RDU. Again, what drive do you have?

 

Surely you didn't get the "zero drive" version and just don't have a tape drive at all?

HP MSL 6060 (zero drive version)

That would make the solution just too easy!

 

Quote:

I can see the 60 Ultrium Tapes, with their barcode and name, but they appear in white, no color at all.

 


Yea, barcoded tapes in a library appear that way until Retrospect has written data to them and has associated a backup set member name with the barcode. So everything is consistent except that you don't seem to see a tape drive.

 

Could you also post the relevant portion of your System Profile output with the tape and library stuff?

 

Russ

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Thanks Russ,

 

It's a MSL 6060, my mistake. The RDU version is the 6.1.9.102, I just saw that in the Log.

 

The problem might be that I can't see the Tape Drives, I didn't get the zero drive version, mine has 2 drives ... I just see the "HP Library, Fibre-A:0:0". I didn't know I was supossed to see the Tape Drives there, I thought I should see just one item, not one for the Library and then one per Drive.

 

The system profiler says this:

 

Code:


 SCSI Target Device @ 0:

 

Node World Wide Name: 10:00:00:E0:02:03:A7:7C

Port World Wide Name: 10:00:00:E0:02:23:A7:7C

Address Identifier: 00:00:01

SCSI Target Identifier: 0

SCSI Peripheral Device Type: 8

Manufacturer: HP

Model: MSL6000 Series

Revision: 0518

 

SCSI Logical Unit @ 0:

 

SCSI Logical Unit Number: 0

Manufacturer: HP

Model: MSL6000 Series

Revision: 0518

 

SCSI Logical Unit @ 1:

 

SCSI Logical Unit Number: 1

Manufacturer: HP

Model: NS E1200-320

Revision: 571f


 

The NS E1200-320 is the Fiber Channel card, and the other Item is the Library ... so I'm clearly missing the two drives. I'll work with the SCSI configuration of the Drives. The problem has to be there.

 

Thank you again.

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You are on the right track. Got to have some tape drives. Just so you know what to look for, here is the relevant stuff from our System Profile on our Xserve G5, which has an Exabyte VXA-2 1x10 1u PacketLoader (SCSI) attached to one channel of an ATTO UL4D SCSI card:

Code:


PCI Cards:

 

(irrelevant stuff deleted for brevity)

 

ATTO ExpressPCI UL4D:

 

Name: ATTO,ExpressPCIProUL4D

Type: scsi-2

Bus: PCI

Slot: SLOT-3

Vendor ID: 0x117c

Device ID: 0x0030

Subsystem Vendor ID: 0x117c

Subsystem ID: 0x8013

ROM Revision: 1.5.2

Revision ID: 0x0008

 

ATTO ExpressPCI UL4D:

 

Name: ATTO,ExpressPCIProUL4D

Type: scsi-2

Bus: PCI

Slot: SLOT-3

Vendor ID: 0x117c

Device ID: 0x0030

Subsystem Vendor ID: 0x117c

Subsystem ID: 0x8013

ROM Revision: 1.5.2

Revision ID: 0x0008

 

Parallel SCSI:

 

(irrelevant devices deleted for brevity)

 

SCSI Parallel Domain 2:

 

Initiator Identifier: 7

 

SCSI Target Device @ 0:

 

Manufacturer: EXABYTE

Model: VXA 1x10 1U

Revision: A10E

SCSI Target Identifier: 0

SCSI Device Features: Wide, Sync

SCSI Initiator/Target Features: Wide, Sync

Peripheral Device Type: 8

 

SCSI Logical Unit @ 0:

 

Manufacturer: EXABYTE

Model: VXA 1x10 1U

Revision: A10E

SCSI Logical Unit Identifier: 0

 

SCSI Target Device @ 1:

 

Manufacturer: EXABYTE

Model: VXA-2

Revision: 2120

SCSI Target Identifier: 1

SCSI Device Features: Wide, Sync

SCSI Initiator/Target Features: Wide, Sync

Peripheral Device Type: 1

 

SCSI Logical Unit @ 0:

 

Manufacturer: EXABYTE

Model: VXA-2

Revision: 2120

SCSI Logical Unit Identifier: 0


 

I think that Retrospect prefers the autoloader and then the drives in that SCSI order.

 

Russ

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Let me also add a couple of comments because you have 60 (wow) barcoded tapes in the autoloader.

 

Make sure you have settled on a barcoding scheme and don't change it later. I changed our barcoding scheme after we had done a few tapes so that the barcode name would closely match the member name in Retrospect, so that the tapes could be retrieved from our archives easily for a restore, and discovered the hard way what a painful and time-consuming process it is to change Retrospect's barcode to backup set member mapping.

 

For example, we have two backup sets that rotate in the autoloader on alternate days (I have much less data than you, so I can get four backup sets (of two members each) in the autoloader at a time). The backup sets are named, e.g. (for the Exabyte backup sets):

VXA Set A [001]

VXA Set A [002]

VXA Set A [003]

etc.,

VXA Set B [001]

VXA Set B [002]

VXA Set B [003]

 

Where Set B goes offsite. Some people use color names (Red, Grn, Blu) for backup set names to make it easy for their staff to know which set goes off site. Whatever.

 

These sets have members:

1-VXA Set A [001]

2-VXA Set A [001]

1-VXA Set A [002]

2-VXA Set A [002]

1-VXA Set A [003]

2-VXA Set A [003]

etc.,

1-VXA Set B [001]

2-VXA Set B [001]

1-VXA Set B [002]

2-VXA Set B [002]

1-VXA Set B [003]

2-VXA Set B [003]

 

And are barcoded as:

1-A 0001

2-A 0001

1-A 0002

2-A 0002

1-A 0003

2-A 0003

etc.,

1-B 0001

2-B 0001

1-B 0002

2-B 0002

1-B 0003

2-B 0003

 

We never reuse tapes, and we move to the next backup set when a backup set fills up.

 

Prior to this barcoding scheme, we simply had numerically increasing numbers for the barcodes. If you change the barcodes, there is presently no way in Retrospect to edit the barcode database that associates barcodes with backup set members. I made a "feature request" last summer to make the barcode database an editable file or else to provide a GUI interface to change the barcode to backup set member mapping, but I haven't seen any progress on that. The only way presently to change the barcode to backup set member mapping is to wipe out the complete barcode mapping for all members, then have Retrospect make the association again FOR EVERY BACKUP SET MEMBER TAPE (this requires, after resetting the barcode mapping, moving each tape into the drive, starting a verify, stopping the verify after Retrospect has seen the tape header, and repeating for every tape). This can take days if you've got a big library, and you have to retrieve all backups from offsite, etc. A real time waste. Here's the link on how to wipe out the barcode database:

KB article on barcode database reset

 

And there's also a bug in Retrospect (well, I consider it a bug, Retrospect support considers it a "feature" and not a bug) that, as a practical matter, prevents effective management of barcoded tapes:

 

If Retrospect needs a new (erased) tape (whether on new media command, or upon filling a tape), it will whimsically pick an erased tape from the autoloader in some arbitrary manner (not the next slot, not the first tape from the top and not the first tape from the bottom, just arbitrary) even if a pre-named, pre-erased barcoded tape already is in the library with the name that Retrospect will name the new member, even if Retrospect knows the name of that tape as shown in the Configure > Devices window.

 

Retrospect support considers this not to be a bug because they argue that this odd behavior is what is documented in the User Guide (see page 43):

 

Quote:

Tape Library Media Requests

During Immediate and automated operations, Retrospect scans the library, searching for the appropriate media, and loads whichever tape is required. If a new or erased tape is required, Retrospect will load and use the first one available.

 


This behavior makes it impossible to barcode new tapes as they come in from the vendor and then have Retrospect use the correct pre-named, pre-erased, barcoded tape. Makes barcode inventory management impossible.

 

The only workaround that I have discovered is to never put an erased tape in the autoloader, wait for a media request to occur when the tape fills up (you never know which backup set will fill up next), allow the media request to fail and for the backup to fail (because the automated backups happen during the night when the server is quiescent), get the failure notification email the next day, and put the correct prenamed barcoded erased tape in the autoloader for that next backup, when it will be used because it is the only erased tape in the autoloader.

 

When Retrospect support refused to consider the bug report I filed on this because it was "documented behavior", I submitted a feature request back in September 2005. No progress on that.

 

Just wanted to warn you before you got in too deep with all of those tapes.

 

Russ

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