Saturday, September 24, 2005

Backup to Disk

Yesterday, I repartitioned the Dell PV132T Tape Library using Veritas BackupExec because the backups for the file server and Exchange server are expected to grow. The PV132T has 2 tape drives and 23 slots.

In the evening, I remote desktop into the Exchange server and file server to check out the backup to make sure there is no problem with the configuration. Guess what?

Both the backup failed and there is I/O error detected on drive 2. I did a quick erase on the 2 backup tapes and run both the backup jobs manually. The file server backup tape was loaded into drive 1 and the Exchange server backup tape was loaded into drive 2. After about 10 minutes of backup, the Exchange server backup failed again with the same error. This means that drive 2 is having problem and probably it needs a cleaning but there is no cleaning tape in any slot. I paused drive 2 in case other backup jobs start to use that drive.

I need to backup the Exchange server before the Mailbox Manager start to cleanup mailboxes but there is no more drive to use. The file server backup will run for 19 hours and the Mailbox Manager is starting in 3 hours. I can change the schedule for the Mailbox Manager but I still don’t feel safe not to backup the Exchange server for so many hours.

Out of desperation, I decided to backup to disk and transfer the backup to the tape later. I connect to the EMC CX300 SAN and allocated 200GB of disk space to the Exchange server. Using Veritas, I created a Backup-to-Disk folder on the new disk volume and run the backup job. The backup was almost 40% faster but was slow down by the brick-level backup at the later stage. I waited the file server backup to complete this afternoon and duplicated the disk backup set to the tape using Veritas. I will need to check on drive 2 when I get back to office on Monday.

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