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FAS 3020 and direct attached FC tape library, how to manage?

Hi

I am trying to spec out a new tape backup configuration and I am having difficulty getting clarity on a few things. Currently we have a FAS3020 which holds lots of VMs and CIFS data. There is no FC switch involved. I plan to attach a HP 2024 FC tape library directly to the filer and then manage backups of the CIFS to this library from a seperate Backup Exec 2010 media server. This media server will also have a SAS attached library for backing up a whole host of other systems. My question relates to getting clarity of how NDMP backups of CIFS will work (if at all) in this environment, specifically:

  • Do people see this as a sensible configuration option? (subjective I know but interested to hear any comments)
  • How will BE communicate with the library?
  • Will tape changes etc occur in the correct manner?
  • Will the filer need to be restarted in order to attached the library and get it working?

Any feedback or assistance greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Simon

Re: FAS 3020 and direct attached FC tape library, how to manage?

This is feasible and direct attached tape is not uncommon.

BE will control the tape robot with NDMP commands that pass through the 3020 to the tape library so tape moves should all work from the master server gui.

The FAS3020 will not need a restart.  Make sure to connect the library to an FC initiator port.  Many libraries export robotics over the same port as the tape drive (not sure if this tape library has a separate FC connection for the robot or not, but if it does, just run another connection to the 3020), so often we can connect tape and robot with one FC cable (with different LUNids).  If multiple tape drives, it is one FC cable per drive, so if more than 2 a switch starts ot make more sense.

Also, if you are using a PCI FC Card for this, make sure that port pairs (a/b and c/d) either connect to only disk or only tape.  For example a/b to tape and c/d to disk is ok, but a to tape and b to disk is not ok.  If you are using onboard ports 0a/0b/0c/0d there is no issue with this (0a can be on tape and 0b can be on disk)... this only applies to expansion cards where the ASIC that runs the port pairs on each card should not mix disk/tape.  Since there are 2 asics on these cards, you can mix across port pairs.   Here is the KB article on this  https://kb.netapp.com/support/index?page=content&id=3011912

Once you attach the library, you can confirm tape and the robot with these commands

Tape Drives

3020> sysconfig -t

3020> storage show tape

Medium Changer (robot)

3020> sysconfig -m

3020> storage show mc

Check aliases

3020> storage show alias

If you have never attached tape before, surely you will have "mc0" for your robot and "nrst0a" for your tape drive.  Use these in BE setup.  Use the no rewind device (nrst0a) instead of the other devices... If you don't see the alias for tape, then you may have an "unsupported" drive and need to create a tape_config file but wait until you connect and check... often for half height LTO drives we have to create the config file.

Re: FAS 3020 and direct attached FC tape library, how to manage?

Scott, what a fantastic reply. This really did completely answer my query in exactly the right context and has affirmed what I believed to be true.

Many thanks

Simon