ONTAP Hardware

Backup by NDMP on FAS2020


Hi all!

I need help by resolving the backup issue.

Shortly... blades boot from SAN with FC cards, FAS 2020, XenServer and IBM TS3100 library by FC.

My idea is to make full backup of filler by NDMP because there is a problem with pass-through for FC ports to VM's in XenServer.

I don't want dedicate separate server as backup server in my chassis.

My filler has two controllers, each with two FC ports. It's connected to SAN swithes with four paths. I use multipath in XenServer - four paths used.

The problem is that filler doesn't see the library connected to SAN switch. The zonning is made correctly, to one filler's FC port.

I red articles and want to ensure is it true that I CANNOT use tape drive which is connected to SAN switch and zonned to the filler's port (that port is also used by host connection through SAN switch).

If it's true what is solution for me? Should I change zoning and run the data flow on three paths and use the last one for tape drve only?

Thank for help.



The onboard ports are either Target or Initiator.  In your case they are targets for Xen.  To work for tape, you need Initiator ports.  These ports cannot do both simultaneously.  Unfortunately there is no PCI slot on the 2020 to add more ports.  If you type "fcadmin config" you will see 0a/0b are targets from the description below, and you don't have ports to connect tape.

A workaround you could use is ndmp over ethernet.  Configure the tape library on a server, then do ndmp from the 2020 to that server.  This has been a part of the ndmp protocol for many years...the backups will run over ethernet to the server then from the server to tape... not as efficient as direct attached tape, but since it isn't feasible teh 2020 would push more than a gig anyway, I don't see a bottleneck... unless the network ports are being used for other workloads.


Hello Scott!

Thank you for informatin.

You wrote "Configure the tape library on a server, then do ndmp from the 2020 to that server.".

Scott, I canot do it.

My XenServer's VMs don't see FC cars in. There is no pass-through possibility now.

Isn't it?


Hi, welcome to the community

We have two filers connected to a dual drive library and a Windows server via an FCP switch, so yes it will work.

The port you are connecting the tape to needs to be configured as an initiator.  The CLI filer command fcadmin config we display the current config.  If it needs changing, sorry filer reboot.  This port can not be used to connect to disk shelve or host servers.  There are also the same rules for quad port cards which share chips between ports.  See now site

The switch should have link lights for the filer and tape, if not replace cables and confirm licenses on switch.  The NetApp filer does not require an FCP lincense for to use FC tapes.  Tape drives/media changes do not support multipath so only use a single switch can set your zoning as point to point.

Now that you have configure the switch confirm that the filer can "see" the tape

sysconfig       Is it on the correct port

sysconfig -t    Are the drive options correct  (LTO / SDLT, etc)

sysconfig -m  Is it the correct library

If it is not showing the tape.  Try either removing the filers FC cable and wait for the filer to down the port (console message)  or use the command storage disable adapter <name|0a...>.  Wait for about a minute then enable the port.  The file will then scan for new devices.

Still no joy confirm to storage router is configured correctly in the tape and terminators are in the correct place.

Once you can get the filer to 'see' the tape, you just need to enable NDMP, create an backup account with both a filer password and an NDMP password which the filer creates.  Review the ndmpd command, yes there is an extra d on the end.

Your backup app should now be good to go.

If you are still having problems go make to basics.  Show that the filer will work with the library by using a single FC cable in a point to point config.  Once this is working, add in the switch, etc.

Hope it helps



Thank you Bren for spenidng time to answer.

One improtant thing. You have written "This port can not be used to connect to disk shelve or host servers.". Did you mean exactly "host servers" or this port can be used to connect to host servers but using FCP switch? Is is difference?

If the port cannot be used to any other operation that tape backup, then I have to decrease HA down to three paths to my blades and make the preparing as you described.

All the best!


Sorry not sure what I was on about there.

Yes you can have your servers/hosts and tape on the same FCP switch, just need to create the zoning correctly.

"The best practice would be to have separate zones for each filer. The  zones consist of one initiator from the filer and respective dedicated  tape drives and a separate zone for the Robotic arm and NetBackup host  only."

Good guide here


Here is a good guide to all things tape.


This is the FCP cable guide


The system config guide states


Fibre Channel Libraries
Many libraries with fibre channel  interfaces employ a combination of fibre tape devices and/or SCSI tape  devices. If the library is supported by NetApp with a particular tape  device , then devices listed as SCSI in the matrix above are also  supported when accessed via the fibre channel interface of the library.  If a fibre channel interface library is supported via switch attachment,  it is also supported without a switch. If the devices in the library  attach directly to the storage appliance (i.e. not through a bridge  device in the library) then only the interfaces in the matrix are  supported.


Good day Bren!

I feel that we don't understand each other 🙂  Sorry for it.

I still don't know is specific filler's fc port able to work with tape drive as well as hosts via fc switch.

You wrote that "The port you are connecting the tape to needs to be configured as an initiator.  The CLI filer command fcadmin config we display the current config.  If it needs changing, sorry filer reboot.  This port can not be used to connect to disk shelve or host servers.  There are also the same rules for quad port cards which share chips between ports."

If I change the filler's fc port type to initiator (to enable it to work with tape drive) will it work with the hosts via fc switch as well? This port is target type now.

The above is main subject.


I still don't know is specific filler's fc port able to work with tape drive as well as hosts via fc switch.

No, it is not.


Thank you! That is enogh for me.


I think from the original post that both 0a/0b are fc target adapters..so tape will not work since a port can't be changed to initiator because all ports are targets. With no additional ports available, this 2020 won't be abke to attach to tape... Unless you go with 1 target for fc luns and 1 initiator for tape but that doesn't sound like an option.

Typos Sent on Blackberry Wireless


This is what I need.

That's a pitty I cannot add any expansion fc cards to my fas2020. I'll think about it for future investments.

I will change one of the filler's fc ports to initiator type to enable it to work with tape drive in order to use NDMP for backup purpose which will be iniciated form VM's BackupExec.

If I'm worng let me know please.

Thanks again.


Sorry for the confusion

If you have no extra disk shelves it will it will be possible to configure one port for host/servers to access via the FC switch and the other port to access the tape drive.  You can not mix tapes and hosts on the same port on the filer.


You could configure your systems (Two FAS2020 in a cluster) so that both filers, each via a single port, are connected to the tape via a single switch.  ie 3 cables.  You could then connect your hosts to the same switch using the remaining two ports on the FAS2020.  This would allow both filers to create NDMP backups, you could also connect a server to the tape via the FCP switch so that you could backup the server's local data (lun contents, rather than NDMP dump of lun, which will only restore to a Netapp filer) using a media agent.  It is possible to have the backup server running in a VM, mount flexclones and backup the contents of LUNs to the tape which the VM thinks is connected directly to itself.  This is the configuration we run here.



Yes Bren, that is what I need. Thank you!

By the way, I owe one fas2020 only with two fc controllers, each with two ports. They work in a cluster-mode and communicate with the hosts on four-way via two fc switches (redudancy).

So, your description will not reach my needs.

I think I need to use one of four filler's fc ports and change it type to initiator to enable work with tape drive. The communication with the hosts will base on three-way then.

I hope it will work. Let me correct if I'm wrong.

I'm also wondering how you are using backup server on a VM? I guess it from "It is possible to have the backup server running in a VM...". The VM doesn't see any fc cards yet.

...or you meant that it's possible to have a backup of server running in a VM... that I know.


We use CommVault to manage NDMP backups.  The commvault media agent is installed in VM and the ESX server has a HBA.

He is a description of how to set up the VMware stuff.  http://kb.vmware.com/selfservice/microsites/search.do?language=en_US&cmd=displayKC&externalId=1017757#4



See Bern...XenServer doesn't support it yet!

Thank you for beeing involved!


"It is possible to have the backup server running in a VM...". The VM doesn't see any fc cards yet.

"Enterprise" grade backup software supports libraries and tapes connected directly to NDMP host. Backup server itself does not need any direct connection to library in this case; server is using NDMP protocol to control library through filer. Whether BE supportes it, I do not know - you need to check BE documentation.


Yes, of  course, you are right. The only problem is that you can back data up ten by NDMP only.

In that case you cannot use library directly. I red a lot of about it.


No my best thread posting.  On the plus side I have learnt about XenServer storage.

Have a good weekend.



Hi Bren!

I managed to enable tape drive to the controller even backup /vol0 on the controller the tape drive is attached to.

I have one more question before I purchase NDMP option for BackupExec.

My fas2020 owes two two-port controllers (they work in a cluster mode) and the tape drive is zonned to one of them only.

I try to backup /vol0 on the partner's rsh and enter command like "dump 0f /vol/vol0" where IP address is the controller address the tape is attached to.

Then I got a message "access denied" during dump process.

The rsh connection screeen on the controller I got a mesage "[ rshd.access.denied:warning]: Permission denied for an rsh request from root at host".

What's worng with permissions?

Another thing...

I set two NDMP hosts at BackupExec. One of them (first controller) owes library and I see it in the tree view. Second not!

Should I understand that I will be able to back up data of the disks where controller is attached to? Is so, perhaps I have to create another zonning for second controller to enable tape drive to it.

Thanks in advance.


dump to remote tape is using rmt protocol that is based on rsh authentication. So you need to add source filer to /etc/hosts.equiv on destination.

But that is not how NDMP will work. In case of NDMP you can either backup to locally attached device (tape) or initiate remote backup to another NDMP enabled host. No rsh and/or rmt is used in this case.

I do not really understand the second question, but I assume you need to add second controller as BE client. Or add (another) tape drive to second controller. Do not zone the same tape to both controllers unless BE supports drive sharing. Usually it is separately licensed option.


Yes, you are right, thank you for clarifying.

The reason of my question was that NetApp hand written commands doesn't support three-way-backup but RMT protocol of which you spoke.

So, three-way-backup type will be used by BackupExec for backuping data up from the NDMP enabled host that doesn't owe tape drive (in my case second controller in FAS2020) to another NDMP enabled host with locally attached (zoned, by fc switch) tape drive.

Am I right?