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SAN/TAN vaulting solutions

Bits & Bytes: A SearchStorage.com user wrote to backup expert W. Curtis Preston with some vaulting problems. Curtis helps solve the problem and talks about vaulting options here.

A reader recently asked W. Curtis Preston the following:

Veritas and Legato seem to be your choice of software for backup solutions for online and SAN respectively but neither of these products has a "clean" vaulting solution.

The current version of NetBackup that we have has no clue on the media that may be in the current tape drives so when we go to load tapes, it is slotted with one of the tapes injected.

Any comments and/or leads as to who does have a vaulting and SAN/TAN complete, all in one solution?

Here is what Curtis had to say:

Veritas and Legato are very popular packages with a lot of people. I use them as examples in my answers because most people are familiar with one or the other. I also tend to get more exposure to these products because it's what I see out there. I can tell you though, that I love and hate both of them. There are features that both of them have that I wish the other had. There are features in many other products (e.g. IBM's TSM, CA's BEB, Syncsort's BE, BakBone's NetVault or workgroup products like Backup Exec or Arcserve) that I wish were more commonly available.

I don't know of any third party vaulting products that work with NBU that do a better job than NBU's vault. I'm not sure what version you're running but NBU's 4.5 vault is one of the best things that I like about NBU. It automates both the creation of the copies as well as moving them off-site and back on-site.

The particular problem that you're talking about is caused by a particular order of events that can be prevented with a little work upfront. Basically, vault run one makes a copy to tape X, then tape X is left in the vault. Then tape X is left in the vault and vault run two kicks off and starts using tape X as well, because it's got space on it. Then you try to eject vault run one's tapes and one of them is being used.

Although this is not done by default, this particular problem can be prevented by freezing all tapes that were included in the previous vault run. Simply run bpmedia-freeze against them. (I agree that this should just simply be an option on vault. Perhaps it will be included in a future release. Most of us are just happy that vault is finally fully integrated with the product.)

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