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LTO6 + Mac Pro experiencing issue formatting tape

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Eric Brown
LTO6 + Mac Pro experiencing issue formatting tape
on Feb 10, 2014 at 3:09:02 pm

Hi Everyone!

I run a production company and we are growing up and installing tape backup. We are excited to get started!

So here's what we have going:

System: Mac Pro Mid 2010 Model
Drive: HP LTO-6 Ultrium 6250
SAS Card: Areca 1320-4i4x 8-port
Cartridges: Quantum LTO6 Tapes

Status:

1) I got the SAS card installed, connected up the drive, and installed the drivers. Then I installed Quantum's LTFS Manager.

2) I open up LTFS Manager. It sees the drive. Then I click "Prepare Cartridge", click "Load" and it finds the tape cartridge.

3) BUT.... When I click "Format" I get this error: "Sense data 8/14 3Cartridge found but doesn't appear to be formatted for LTFS"

I can't move beyond that to mount the volume because I can't format the tape. Any ideas on what's going on?

Thanks in advance for any help!

-Eric


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Tim Jones
Re: LTO6 + Mac Pro experiencing issue formatting tape
on Feb 10, 2014 at 3:20:28 pm

The answer is simple - you can't use an Areca card successfully with tape.

You'll need to move to ATTO's R680 (for RAID) or H680 (non-RAID).

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Eric Brown
Re: LTO6 + Mac Pro experiencing issue formatting tape
on Feb 10, 2014 at 3:22:48 pm

Hi Tim,

Wow, that's good to know!

Looks like I'll be exchanging my card. :)

Thank you so much!

-Eric


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Tim Jones
Re: LTO6 + Mac Pro experiencing issue formatting tape
on Feb 10, 2014 at 3:38:47 pm
Last Edited By Tim Jones on Feb 10, 2014 at 3:40:00 pm

It is unfortunate, but we've found that out of all of the available SAS HBAs out there, ONLY the ATTO Technology cards work with tape on the Mac platform. It's specific to two items - the maximum block size for I/O and the heat management on the card. Most of these devices are designed for Disk I/O - a bit here and a bit there. Unfortunately, tape runs data as one huge gulp. This can seriously overheat cards not designed for the long period sustained I/O that tape demands - sometimes days on end.

The ATTO cards keep things streaming even at block sizes of 8MB and sustained I/O of over 2 weeks (around 200TB to LTO-6).

This is why we ONLY use ATTO with our solutions.

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Ed Kao
Re: LTO6 + Mac Pro experiencing issue formatting tape
on Sep 26, 2014 at 9:13:21 am

Hi,

I am looking into setting up a LTO-6 Backup.

May I ask what Mac OS version you are using on your Mac Pro?

And between the 2 ATTO cards, which do I need? RAID or Non-RAID? Why?

What backup software are you using? (Last time I setup a tape backup, I used Retrospect 6)

Thanks in advance.

Ed


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Tim Jones
Re: LTO6 + Mac Pro experiencing issue formatting tape
on Sep 26, 2014 at 10:29:48 pm

Hi Ed,

Hopefully you saw my response in your other thread.

For the archives here -

You only need that ATTO ExpressSAS R680 RAID HBA if you will also be attaching a disk array to the same HBA and require hardware-based RAID. Otherwise, the H680 will work fine.

For the OS, while different software may have different requirements, our BRU Producer's Edition is compatible with all OS X versions from 10.6.8 through the upcoming 10.10. It doesn't require specific hardware, so a base Mac Mini or fully loaded Mac Pro work equally as well.

Tim
--
Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
http://www.productionbackup.com
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!


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Eric Brown
Re: LTO6 + Mac Pro experiencing issue formatting tape
on Sep 27, 2014 at 12:44:01 am

Hi Ed,

First off, you HAVE to use the H680 card. Nothing else works.

The most important choice is software. Absolutely, 100% stay away from Retrospect. It is now a complete piece of shit for tape backup. Seriously terrible. Don't waste your time.

I went through a ton of different options and found that the only two solid paths are BRU or PreRollPost. PreRollPost is more intuitive to use and based on an open-standard (LTFS). BRU is more full-featured, a bit more complex, and based on a proprietary standard. They cost the same. Both work very well. Both have high-level customers and advocates.

-Eric


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Ed Kao
Re: LTO6 + Mac Pro experiencing issue formatting tape
on Sep 27, 2014 at 1:47:44 am

Thanks for your replies, I will look into the software choices.

Ed


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