Can't erase tapes, showing as "Assigned" - Veritas Net Backup

This is a discussion on Can't erase tapes, showing as "Assigned" - Veritas Net Backup ; I'm new to NetBackup (from Backup Exec) and am having a minor problem with erasing old backup tapes to reuse them. We have all our backups set with 2 month retention periods. We have enough tapes that when we are ...

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Thread: Can't erase tapes, showing as "Assigned"

  1. Can't erase tapes, showing as "Assigned"


    I'm new to NetBackup (from Backup Exec) and am having a minor problem with
    erasing old backup tapes to reuse them. We have all our backups set with
    2 month retention periods. We have enough tapes that when we are completely
    cycled through, the tapes have backups that are MORE than two months old.
    However when I inventory the robot and attempt to erase these tapes, it
    says "This operation is not supported when assigned media are selected".
    If you look at the tapes, the assigned dates are more than two months old.
    I can't figure out why I can't just quick-erase and reuse them.

    As a workaround, I've found that I can run "bpexpdate -m MediaID -d0 -force"
    then run "vmdelete -m MediaID" to totally delete the tape from the volume
    manager. After that I can reinventory and erase the tape for reuse. This
    workaround is a pain in the behind though.

    There's got to be an easier way to do this. I can't figure out if I missed
    a setting somewhere or what...

  2. Re: Can't erase tapes, showing as "Assigned"

    A couple of things could be going on. You're right ... that is a pain (and you shouldn't have to do it ... on a properly configured system). NetBackup does not require erasing tapes or any specific command for reuse.

    First, it's not clear what you mean by "the tapes have backups that are MORE than two months old". If you mean that the *newest* file on a full tape is more than two months old, then proceed to my second point. A tape is reused only when all images have expired. It's also possible to have a tape with no images, but an expiry date in the future, if, for example, an image was started, but later failed. Once all images on a tape have expired, NetBackup will expire the tape. This may cause the tape to logically move to your Scratch pool, depending on your configuration, otherwise it remains in its volume pool, ... in either case, ready for future use.

    Second, perhaps the process that implements expiration processing is not running on your system, or is not running very often. This is "bpimage -cleanup -allclients". Search the support site to find more info. I think, be default, NetBackup runs this each 12 hours, but a change was made in one of the early v5 MPs. I also see I have a CLEAN_IN_BACKGROUND file at my site ... you might investigate it, especially if you have a very busy system.

    I suppose its also possible that you haven't configured expired tapes to go to your Scratch pool, in which case the tapes remain, expired, in the pool where they were written. This is fine if that pool will be used for future backups.

    Deleting the tapes is not necessary (be careful!). Maybe you use it because the "inventory robot" puts the tapes where you want them? If so, mark that pool as your NetBackup scratch pool.

    Hope this helps!

    cheers, wayne

    Mark Frank wrote:
    > I'm new to NetBackup (from Backup Exec) and am having a minor problem with
    > erasing old backup tapes to reuse them. We have all our backups set with
    > 2 month retention periods. We have enough tapes that when we are completely
    > cycled through, the tapes have backups that are MORE than two months old.
    > However when I inventory the robot and attempt to erase these tapes, it
    > says "This operation is not supported when assigned media are selected".
    > If you look at the tapes, the assigned dates are more than two months old.
    > I can't figure out why I can't just quick-erase and reuse them.
    >
    > As a workaround, I've found that I can run "bpexpdate -m MediaID -d0 -force"
    > then run "vmdelete -m MediaID" to totally delete the tape from the volume
    > manager. After that I can reinventory and erase the tape for reuse. This
    > workaround is a pain in the behind though.
    >
    > There's got to be an easier way to do this. I can't figure out if I missed
    > a setting somewhere or what...


  3. Re: Can't erase tapes, showing as "Assigned"


    "Mark Frank" wrote:
    >
    >I'm new to NetBackup (from Backup Exec) and am having a minor problem with
    >erasing old backup tapes to reuse them. We have all our backups set with
    >2 month retention periods. We have enough tapes that when we are completely
    >cycled through, the tapes have backups that are MORE than two months old.
    > However when I inventory the robot and attempt to erase these tapes, it
    >says "This operation is not supported when assigned media are selected".
    > If you look at the tapes, the assigned dates are more than two months old.
    > I can't figure out why I can't just quick-erase and reuse them.
    >
    >As a workaround, I've found that I can run "bpexpdate -m MediaID -d0 -force"
    >then run "vmdelete -m MediaID" to totally delete the tape from the volume
    >manager. After that I can reinventory and erase the tape for reuse. This
    >workaround is a pain in the behind though.
    >
    >There's got to be an easier way to do this. I can't figure out if I missed
    >a setting somewhere or what...


    Mark,

    What happens if you do

    bpmedialist -U -m tape#

    Do you get a hit or do you get "requested media id was not found in NB media
    database and/or MM volume database"? If you get a hit, it means the tape's
    images have not yet expired.

    Also, look at the output of

    vmquery -m tape#

    in the "assigned" line: is there anything there? If so, NBU still thinks
    there are valid images there.

    This brings up a more general question, though: if the lifetime is only
    2 months, why bother erasing tapes? Why not just let them expire and let
    NBU re-use it on its own with no SA intervention? That's what I do at my
    site [too many tapes to keep track of anyway]. Or is that what you wanted
    to do but it wasn't working and that led you to erase tapes?


    Scott

  4. Re: Can't erase tapes, showing as "Assigned"


    "Mark Frank" wrote:
    >
    >I'm new to NetBackup (from Backup Exec) and am having a minor problem with
    >erasing old backup tapes to reuse them. We have all our backups set with
    >2 month retention periods. We have enough tapes that when we are completely
    >cycled through, the tapes have backups that are MORE than two months old.
    > However when I inventory the robot and attempt to erase these tapes, it
    >says "This operation is not supported when assigned media are selected".
    > If you look at the tapes, the assigned dates are more than two months old.
    > I can't figure out why I can't just quick-erase and reuse them.
    >
    >As a workaround, I've found that I can run "bpexpdate -m MediaID -d0 -force"
    >then run "vmdelete -m MediaID" to totally delete the tape from the volume
    >manager. After that I can reinventory and erase the tape for reuse. This
    >workaround is a pain in the behind though.
    >
    >There's got to be an easier way to do this. I can't figure out if I missed
    >a setting somewhere or what...



    Make sure your media is in a volume Pool other than the NetBackup Volume
    Pool. Also, if there is more than one backup job on the tape, the tape will
    only expire when the last backup job on the tape expires, in which case might
    be 2-4 months after the tape was assigned.



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