Summary: Autoloader solution

From: Z H <>
Date: Mon Jul 25 2005 - 16:02:56 EDT
Thanks to all the responsers:
Scott Lawson" <>
Tim Evans" <>
Dragan Cvetkovic" <>

Paul suggests to use LTO3 since it is available but
the capacity double.

>From Eric, suggest Overland robotic tape libraries or
robotoic tape libraries

Eric stress "BE VERY sure the tape library you chose
the interface HBA are supported by both the tape
vendor and the 
software vendor".  A very important point to make sure
the compatbility among hardware and software.

>From Scott, suggest sun L25(It's a Quantum ATL unit)

Brad has very good comment on my question and here it
is to share:

I can't really speak to the technical specs you posted
without knowing what your backup requirements are,
e.g., how much data needs to be backed up in what time
window, etc. I recommend that you find out before you
buy anything--it really sucks to have bought hardware
that won't do what you need it to do. Look out for
data growth, also, and build this into your proposal,
i.e., include information on why this purchase will
satisfy your current requirements, and forecast when
you'll need to buy more.

I can say that ufsdump will work with this autoloader,
but you'll need to wrap it in a script: ufsdump, by
itself, will prompt for another tape, but you can
capture this request and act on it with simple mt(1)
commands. You need a script that will catch ufsdump's
request, tell the loader to change to the next tape,
then tell ufsdump to continue. Several people have
mentioned as a solution. I prefer to use
Expect, which is free ( and easy to use. The
easiest way is to run Expect in "record" mode, then go
through a sample session by hand. Then edit the
resulting script to add variables.

I strongly suggest using Amanda ( It's a
very robust backup solution, uses dump or tar, it's
also free, and it has excellent support for holding
disks: designate a large filesystem for Amanda to dump
to, then let Amanda roll these dumps off to tape at
your discretion. In this way, you make the best use of
your tapes, and the urgent restore requests like "I
need my directory tree to look just like it did
yesterday" are satisfied by restoring from disk, not
tape. The trade-off is that you'll have to tweak it
pretty thoroughly to get it to do the typical
schedule. Amanda out of the box will figure out its
own backup schedule--workable, but probably not what
you're used to. The good news is that there are
several published modification sets for traditional
backup schedules. Amanda recognizes
*every*single*tape*machine out there--the contributors
are constantly adding and updating its database of
known machines and their behavior. The mailing list is
very active, even moreso than sun-managers.

Regarding the "next" tape problem with autoloaders: If
this unit is a simple stacker, watch out for how it
behaves when you get to the last tape. If it goes
right to the first tape, you'll need tape labels or
some other strategy to prevent over-writing a valid
tape. If it's a robot, you're almost certainly safe,
given that you're probably relying on barcodes--in
that case, though, ufsdump + one or more scripts is
probably not going to cut it. Amanda has support for
bar codes, and it always writes its own label on file
one of the tape. After that, it's just one dump (or
tar archive) after another. I don't know of any other
free backup software that does labelling.

I just read up on the Magnum 1x7. Nice. Barcode
support, and now they have an LT03 model.

Final Opinion: Looks like a great machine. Make sure
you have the software to drive it properly. 


Dragan has similar configuration and use mtx and
Amanda tools.

the system we use mtx for loader controller (check in combination with amanda
backup program
( Both are free, but you have
to tweak and 
your own stuff. Beware that amanda doesn't do
multi-volumes so if your
backup doesn't fit onto a single tape, you have to
find some other 

Original question:

To All Helpers:

I am planning to implement tape autoloader LTO2
solution for system backup and would like to hear some
successful or not so successful stories about your
experience with autoloader vendors.

I am planning to install it on V880 system running
Solaris 2.8 and currently is studying Exabyte Magnum
1x7 LTO2 Tape Autoloader. (would like to know whether
this is a good one for you or not if you use one

The capacity that I am looking for is around 1.4TB
native, 2.8 TB compressed mode.

Also on the software side, I like to know whether I
can use ufsdump to control the autoloader or I need to
buy software program to do it.

Thanks in advance.
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Received on Mon Jul 25 16:03:23 2005

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