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I am using Symantec Backup Exec 2010 in conjunction with an HP Storagewors 2024 tape library system. It used to compress the data well. As we are using 400/800gb tapes. For awhile now it is just going a 1:1 compression and is taking a lot of tapes.

I have contacted Symantec and they claim the tape library does the majority of the compression and to check on that. So not very much help.

I started contacted HP support last week, and I think my library is just out of warranty so will have to pay for support.

Any ideas of how I can get my data to start compressing again?

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3 Answers 3

Backup Exec offers the option to use either hardware compression or software compression (performed by Backup Exec). One possible thing to check might be: do you have software compression enabled? If you do, and the hardware is trying to do compression as well...you can't really compress already compressed data.

Are you sure your library and tape drive firmware is fully updated? That's one thing support is going to ask you about if you call them. Updating it before calling support will save you some time.

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The Symantec support is correct - the compression is not a software function but implemented in the drive's firmware/hardware, but the option is obviously triggered in software.

With HP LTO libraries you should take a look at the Library & Tape Tools - a call to support will typically result in a request to download it and run various tests. There is even a fair amount of documentation to it so you should be able to figure out what tests to run for a generic health / drive performance check. The software also includes a "drive performance test" which allows for setting hardware compression to "on" - you could evaluate the result to see if the test run actually stored compressed data on tape. If compression works from L&TT, you should get back to Symantec support with your results.

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You can use the Library and Tape tools Select the drives and Run the Data Compression test, if you get good compression with this test you need to call Symantec and show them the results, it will let you know the compression ratio that the drives are able to get.

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