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Best backup practice for BRU PE to minimize tape change and non-sequential tape archive

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Sam Lee
Best backup practice for BRU PE to minimize tape change and non-sequential tape archive
on Jan 29, 2018 at 4:02:22 pm

I'm wondering if there's a way to get BRU PE to backup all LTO-6 tapes in a linear way. Should I use LTO-8 instead when archives are larger than 6 Tb to get it restored sequentially?

I'm working remotely (internationally) and unable to manually change tapes. Have to contact an assistant in another country to do it. I want to minimize manual human changing tape - especially non-sequential and redundant. Is there a recommended practice so that BRU will restore these files sequentially and not to be needing to reinsert the same tape whenever the original volume is different?

Example:

10 Tb of Pro Res 422 .mov on HDD-1
5 Tb of Pro Res 422 .mov on HDD-2 and FCP X 10.4 Libs.
4 Tb of Pro Res 422.mov on HDD-3.

It is very odd that BRU requested tape 1, tape 6 to restore the FCP X Libs. Should I put everything into a single big 24 Tb HDD (two 12 Tb Barracuda Pro HDDs stripped RAID-0 using SoftRAID) so that BRU would archive files sequentially? What I want is tape 1-2 and not 1, 6 as i's currently behaving.

I also want to minimize BRU asking to reinsert the same tape whenever the backup is made from different hdd volumes. If this is the case, then I'm guessing that I have to copy everything on the 24 Tb drive and backup from a single volume instead of multiple 8 Tb volumes to avoid having to re-insert the same tape over.


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Michael Sacci
Re: Best backup practice for BRU PE to minimize tape change and non-sequential tape archive
on Jan 29, 2018 at 4:31:21 pm

Not sure I completely understand your questions.

Bru does back up files sequentially. But the file path is also part of the name. So it would back up in order on each drive. Not all the A's from all the different drives. Which I don't even think you can set an Backup job to pull from different locations.

Now one thing that Bru does that drives me crazy is they don't use the tapes in the library in sequential order. So if a Library Destination has tapes 21-30, It might start with tape 28, then go to tape 30. This really doesn't cause any issues but I wish I know a way to force it to go in order just for my sanity. In the end as long as it restores it doesn't matter if it is pulling from 1 and 2 or 1 and 6.


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Sam Lee
Re: Best backup practice for BRU PE to minimize tape change and non-sequential tape archive
on Jan 29, 2018 at 5:06:04 pm

Ah. You also experienced non-sequential tape restore. This is one of the most annoying things for remote restoration. I have a 1 Gb Final Cut Lib file. BRU backup only 500 Gb on tape 1 then goes to tape 6 just to finish up the restoration. This is something I still don't understand fully. Perhaps it's trying to optimize for compression. I noticed virtually all AVC-I 100 video files, I can get about 600 Gb more on a LTO-6 tape. While other format has zero to almost zero compression.


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Michael Sacci
Re: Best backup practice for BRU PE to minimize tape change and non-sequential tape archive
on Jan 29, 2018 at 6:02:34 pm

DId the tape already have data on it. While Bru will write to tapes in non-sequential order, it will not go to a new tape until it has to because the first tape it is writing to is full.

Also if I back one session Bru will keep using the same tape until it is full before moving to another tape. So I have learned to live with it. When I need to restore I make sure the needed tapes are in the library by confirming/checking the archive list that gives you all the tapes used in that archive.


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Tim Jones
Re: Best backup practice for BRU PE to minimize tape change and non-sequential tape archive
on Jan 29, 2018 at 8:44:44 pm

Michael - BRU PE and BRU Server are very different in the manner in which they deal with tapes in a library (you're using BRU Server). BRU Server uses the tapes by access age, not position since we're trying to spread tape use across all of the volumes in a destination. This way, if you run 5 backups in overwrite mode and we started at the first slot each time, you would always write to tapes 1-5 in the destination and never touch the tapes in slots 6-10 (assuming a 10 tape destination). It's similar to the reason that you don't assign a drive in BRU Server if you have multiple drives. BRU Server keeps track of hours on a drive and round robins them to balance the drive utilization. Our goal with this design is to provide the longest life for both your media and you tape drives.

Sam - Michael is mostly correct on the other items. In your particular case, an automation solution would resolve all of what you are running into with tape swaps. However, when you select files for restore, the restore panel tells you which tape set volumes will be needed for the restore process. If you look at the "Selected Files/Paths" listbox, you will see the order of the tapes in the tape set that you will need to access before you start the restore.

There's nothing wrong with your current workflow unless you were to change it soe that one disk's data was on a tape set to itself.

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


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Michael Sacci
Re: Best backup practice for BRU PE to minimize tape change and non-sequential tape archive
on Jan 29, 2018 at 9:52:08 pm

Tim,

I totally understand that and like I said there is not an end-result problem. But in my 4+ years of using Bru I have never overwritten a tape, not once, just not my workflow. A tape gets written only once and when the entire destination set of 10 tapes are filled they are physically locked and removed. Then a new set of 10 tapes are put in.

Example: right now I'm about to take out RFD301-310 and replace them with RFD311-320. The same Backup Jobs will be used. I would just love for the software to start the next backup on 311 and and go in order. In the end it doesn't cause a problem but in order would help me track usage better to see what is full. Once again in the end it is no big deal. When I need to store files from the removed tapes I simple find the actual tapes the files are on and put them in my "Restore" side of the library that is never used as a destination.


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