We have a situation where our backups sometimes don't quite fit on one tape, and there's no budget for a bigger drive.

What we do have is two separate tape drives, so we've hooked them both up to the backup server.

My question is, how should I configure Backup Exec (12.5) correctly to use these drives?

Here's what I've tried

  • Drive 1 called HP1
  • Drive 2 called Dell1
  • A device pool called TapeDrives containing Dell1 and HP1
  • Policies have a Duplication task pointing to TapeDrives as their device

The problem I have is that the tape is HP1 fills up, and the job moves onto Dell1, but subsequent jobs try to load HP1, so stall.

Should the "Preferred source device" in my jobs be pointing at the drive I want used first (HP1 by preference), or the pool?

The verification jobs also now fail, because HP1 was ejected due to being full!

How do I configure two devices to be used in BE, so that one device is used by preference, then the second if required?

  • I see that Cascaded Drive Pools might be the answer, but then find out that they've been removed in BE 2010?! Is there no long-term support for people using multiple independent drives, instead of big expensive libraries? – Cylindric Jan 26 '11 at 11:30
  • Here's a link to the Symantec site about the CDP being removed: symantec.com/connect/idea/casacade-pool-needed – Cylindric Jan 26 '11 at 11:49

I got a confirmation from BackupExec that what I wanted to do is not possible. We bought a bigger drive.

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You could try selecting "All Devices" as the target device in the job properties.

Also, how about swapping the tape when it gets full?

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  • If I have to swap tapes, I'll just use one drive. The point is that our backups are supposed to all run at night, and be done by morning, not have to manually swap a tape over and end up with the verification taking all day. – Cylindric Jan 26 '11 at 13:43
  • The best practice recommendation from Symantec is to backup your production data to disk (B2D) then back that up to tape. Have you considered that? That way the backups of the production systems are done to disk and complete during your nightly backup window and then those B2D backups are backed up to tape during the day when you'll have an opportunity to swap tapes as they get full. That's the way I do it. I'm not saying it's the best way but I never have to worry about a tape filling up overnight. – joeqwerty Jan 26 '11 at 13:48
  • Yeah, that's actually what we do. The problem is that if we don't swap the tapes over promptly at 9am, the verification is still running at 5pm. So even a slight oversight means we don't get a full tape backup. – Cylindric Jan 26 '11 at 14:06

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