Configuring Backup Exec 2010 R3 and IBM TS3200 Tape Library Configuration

BackupExec 2010 R3

*This is a repost of a older blog post on my personal WordPress site*

Sometimes you think “This should be pretty simple” and “I know how Backup Exec works, I’ve configured it dozens of times in the past”, but you know what? You’re wrong!

Adding a tape library really makes a big difference compared to how you would normally configure a 1 tape drive system.

While I’m not going to go into all the configuration details in this blog (that’s something to go through in my technical blog), I’m going to state a couple of things that should maybe make sense but don’t always.

TS3100 and TS3200 have 2 different modes for controlling the medium changer, those are;

  1. Random
  2. Sequential

Random should be set when you want the software to control the medium changer and Sequential when you want the hardware to manager the changer. Makes sense right? Yeah I though so too. Having it set to sequential will make the medium changer disappear from Windows device manager as well so that’s something to keep in mind (it needs to be in Windows device manager for Backup Exec to see it).

While it may not happen for everyone, I also experienced what happens when you have the Eject tape after completion option ticked in Backup Exec 2010 R3, and that is it causes the library to lock up and needs a reboot to get it back into working order. Great huh? Granted that the device doesn’t have a mechanism for ejecting the tapes out of the library, but seriously.

Having a bad tape in the library also caused it to lock up and become unresponsive, so that’s another trip to the server room and a reboot of the library.

Now that I have ironed out these errors and I understand how it all works, I can say with %100 confidence that the system is running correctly. I just need to clean out the old media sets and make sure that the correct tapes backup at the correct time. Once all the tapes go through there first run it should all be fine.

All in all, throughout all the frustration and stress due to production backups not working properly at least I can say that at least I learnt from the experience I will definitely know for the future.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let me know by leaving a message or hitting me up on twitter.

IBM_TS3200
@PCVirus_AU
Titan Solutions

Backup Exec 2012 Deduplication VS Windows Server 2012 Deduplication

Please note that Backup Exec 2012 is currently UNSUPPORTED on Windows Server 2012

I was curious about how the Backup Exec 2012 deduplication functionality would work under Windows Server 2012, so I setup a couple of servers to test this out.

 

The Configuration

On my Backup server, I created 2 drives and configured Backup Exec disk storage for both of them, 1 with standard disk storage, and the other with Deduplicaiton disk storage.

0002            0001

I then installed the Backup Exec 2012 remote agent for Windows on a Windows Server 2012 server and configured two jobs. One going to Disk storage 0001, and one going to Deduplication disk storage 0001.

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The files that I will be backing up total to 13.9 GB, the files are purposely duplicated otherwise this would all be pointless.

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The Backup Exec Results

Once both backup jobs had completed I compared the amount of space used in each folder, first by the folder properties in Windows and then with the backup job properties.

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Here we can see the duplication ratio of 1.8:1 or 55.6% (I used this site to convert to a percentage)

The Windows 2012 Deduplication Results

On the server that I have been backing up, I created a new drive and configured it for Windows 2012 deduplication. I then copied all the files over to this drive, and let the deduplication run its course.

Coming back the next day, I checked the progress on the drive and found that the dedup stats where in!

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As you can see, the SavingsRate is 55% and the OptimizedFilesSavingsRate is 56%. I’d say that the 55.6% of Backup Exec Deduplication sits comfortably in the middle of the savings rates in Windows.

While obviously you would these 2 deduplication options in different circumstances, its good to know that the savings being afforded to you are extremely close. I think this is also a good example of how good the deduplication technology in Backup Exec 2012 really is.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please let me know by leaving a message or hitting me up on twitter.

@PCVirus_AU
Titan Solutions

Cut the FUD – Debunking Common Misconceptions About Backup Exec

At 4am this morning (Australia EDST) the Backup Exec guys had their first Google+ Hangout titled “Cut the FUD – Debunking Common Misconceptions About Backup Exec”.

I would have loved to have caught this session live, but unfortunately my day job kinda demands that I’m asleep at 4am lol.

The Backup Exec guys hosting this hangout are:

Matt Stephenson – Product Marketing Mgr; Social Media – @PackMatt73
Scott Baker – Product Mgr– @PScottBaker
James McKey – Enterprise Support; Social Media – @SYMCJames
Elizabeth Teffner – Engineering, Usability Testing Mgr – @Eteffner

Other twitter contacts:

@SYMCPartners – For Symantec Partners
@BackupExec – Monitored by Technical Support

Sign up for the upcoming beta program

Follow Symantec over on Google+

Some of the topics covered:

    • Virtualisation agents
    • Configuring and Installing Backup Exec
    • Licensing
    • Backup Exec works with tape, disk, or both?
    • Scaling and flexibility
    • Social media presence

So if you have a chance I really suggest you give it a listen, I’m sure there will be at least 1 little nugget of information that you will pick up

@PCVirus_AU
Titan Solutions

Symantec Backup Exec 2012 Documentation

Better-Backup-For-All.png

Todays post is a collection of links for documentation for Backup Exec 2012, including software and hardware compatibility lists.

What’s Different in Backup Exec 2012

Backup Exec 2012 Readme

Licensing Information

Backup Exec 2012 Administrator’s Guide

Upgrade Guide

Instructional Videos

Software Compatibility List (SCL)

Hardware Compatibility List (HCL)

You can also find my directory of links to Backup Exec 2012 Best Practices here

@PCVirus_AU
Titan Solutions

Backup Exec 2012 Best Practices Directory

Better Backup For All

Symantec has a ton of resources for Backup Exec 2012, and here is a list of no less then 25 links to various best practices for Backup Exec 2012.

I hope you find them as useful as I have!

 

Update – I have added a directory of Backup Exec Documentation here

Backup Exec 2012 Best Practices

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 installation

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 and LiveUpdate

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 data lifecycle management

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 catalogs

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 and Symantec Endpoint Protection

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 reports

Best practices for using Backup Exec 2012 with server clusters

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 tape and disk cartridge media management

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 Central Admin Server Option

Best Practices for Disk Storage

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 disk-based storage

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 Storage Provisioning Option

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 Deduplication Option

Best Practices for Virtualisation Agents

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 Agent for VMware

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 Agent for Microsoft Hyper-V

Best Practices for Application Agents

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 Agent for Microsoft Exchange Server

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 Agent for Microsoft SQL Server

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 Agent for Microsoft SharePoint

Backup Exec 2012 SharePoint Agent Enhancements

Best Practices for Linux Agents

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 Agent for Linux

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 Remote Media Agent for Linux

Best Practices for Disaster Recovery

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 Simplified Disaster Recovery

Best Practices for Additional Applications

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 Agent for Enterprise Vault and the Backup Exec Migrator

Best practices for the Backup Exec 2012 Agent for Lotus Domino

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 Agent for Oracle on Windows or LINUX Servers

Best practices for Backup Exec 2012 NDMP Option

@PCVirus_AU
Titan Solutions

Selecting and Moving Tapes in a Media Set

The nightly backups at work crossed the LTO5 capacity and moved onto a 2nd tape recently, and with the annual disaster recovery test looming over my head, I didn’t want to have to restore 2 tapes to get the critical systems up and running.

What I needed to do was modify the 2 backup jobs that I have running to shuffle what server backs up to what tape. Ok, so what’s the easiest way to do that? Create a 2nd media set, easy right? Of course. Now I need to move the tapes into 1 of the 2 media sets I now have. Ok, ok, that’s pretty easy too. I’m trying to make things sound interesting here!

So if you know anything about me you know I am going to do what I need to do with Backup Exec PowerShell module BEMCLI.

Firstly, I am going to create the new media set (See Modifying media sets in Backup Exec 2012 with PowerShell for my reasoning for setting these overwrite and append times):

New-BEMediaSet -Name "Keep Data for 4 Weeks – Daily Tape 1" -OverwriteProtectionPeriodHours 648 -AppendPeriodHours 12

Next I have to select the tapes that that I want to move to the new media set. The tapes at work are named “MON101″, “TUE101”, etc for the first tapes in the daily backups and “MON102”, “TUE102”, etc for the 2nd tape in the daily backups, so the “01” and “02” are what I want to select. To select all first tapes in the daily I would use this command:

Get-BEMedia -MediaSet "Keep Data for 4 Weeks" | Where-Object {$_.Name -like "*01*"}

Then move the selected tapes into the media set by using the move command.

Move-BEMediaToMediaSet -MediaSet "Keep Data for 4 Weeks – Daily Tape 1"

Unless you use a variable on the Get-BEMedia command, you will need to pipe the 2 commands for it to work like this:

Get-BEMedia -MediaSet "Keep Data for 4 Weeks" | Where-Object {$_.Name -like "*01*"} | Move-BEMediaToMediaSet -MediaSet "Keep Data for 4 Weeks – Daily Tape 1"

Finally, you can rename the original media set.


Rename-BeMediaSet -InputObject "Keep Data for 4 Weeks" -NewName "Keep Data for 4 Weeks – Daily Tape 2"

And there you have it. Comments and questions are always welcome.

@PCVirus_AU
Titan Solutions

Moving Media with PowerShell and Backup Exec 2012

Last week I blew away my old backup server which was running Backup Exec 2010 R3, installed some new disk and installed Backup Exec 2012, everything went well as expected, but I noticed that the tapes weren’t overwriting each night and waiting for manual confirmation.

Upon further investigation, i found that when Backup Exec runs its inventory it moves the new tape into “Backup Exec and Windows NT Backup Media” which has the wonderful values “Keep indefinitely” and “No append”.

Of course, my first thought is, how can I use automate moving it to the “Scratch Media” set. My second? What if it doesn’t put it into “Backup Exec and Windows NT Backup Media” and puts it somewhere else instead.

Luckily PowerShell is the answer to both of those questions, and even better, you can do it in a 1 liner.

The command breaks down into 3 parts, first we need to get all online media in the tape library:

Get-BEMedia

Next we need to filter the media that we don’t want to move into “Scratch Media”, this might be cleaning tapes or additional tapes that might be in the left in the library. I used $_.MediaSet -ne “Cleaning Media” to filter out any tapes in the “Cleaning Media” media set,  $_.MediaSet -ne “Keep Data for 4 Weeks” to filter out anything in the “Keep Data for 4 Weeks” media set as that is where all tapes are moved to after a backup has been completed. Finally I only want online media (media currently in the library or drive) to be moved, for that I used $_.MediaVault -eq “Online Tape/Disk Cartridge Media”:

Where-Object {$_.MediaSet -ne "Cleaning Media" -and $_.MediaSet -ne 
"Keep Data for 4 Weeks" -and $_.MediaVault -eq "Online Tape/Disk Cartridge Media"}

Lastly we need to move the media that we have selected to the required media set

Move-BEMediaToMediaSet -MediaSet "Scratch Media"

When you put it all together, the script/ 1 liner looks like this:

Get-BEMedia | Where-Object {$_.MediaSet -ne "Cleaning Media" -and $_.MediaSet -ne 
"Keep Data for 4 Weeks" -and $_.MediaVault -eq "Online Tape/Disk Cartridge Media"} |
 Move-BEMediaToMediaSet -MediaSet "Scratch Media"

Set it up on a schedule sometime after the inventory completes, but before your tape backup starts and you won’t need to worry about it not being written to and screwing up your daily backup schedule.