tonyalbers
2 Iron

Problems labeling tapes

We have a customer who has several networker installations all over the world. All the setups are the same, consisting of a server and a tape library. The tape libraries are equipped with LTO4 drives, but some tapes are LTO3. Networker is ver. 7.5.2

In one of these setups, they are having issues labeling tapes. Sometimes it takes 3-4 retries to get the tape labeled, other times it just works right away. When a tape is labeled, it is immediately used for a backup. Sometimes when they try to mount the same tape again after a few days or hours, they get an error message about invalid label.

My first guess was that this is a hardware issue, maybe the tape drive just can't label properly.But they got the drive replaced 6 months ago because of the same problem.

As far as I know they use the GUI to label tapes and administer NW, but I'm going to ask them to try doing it through the CLI to see if that changes anything or at least gives them some error messages.

Any ideas anyone?

/tony

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11 Replies

Re: Problems labeling tapes

My first guess would be are you cleaning your drives regularly?  Secondly is your firmware/drivers up-to-date?

Could you post the exact message you get when it refuses to label a tape?

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tonyalbers
2 Iron

Re: Problems labeling tapes

Thanks David, I'll ask them.

/tony

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tonyalbers
2 Iron

Re: Problems labeling tapes

Ok, I guess I misinformed earlier, it's a standalone drive attached directly to the backup server.

The drives are cleaned regularly, and firmware has been updated recently.

I haven't got the error message from the cu yet.

/tony

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Re: Problems labeling tapes

You could also verify if these problems happen with a particular tape format (LTO3/LTO4), if these tapes have been used before, if they are tapes that may have been purchased or stored in a similar batch.

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yassine2
2 Iron

Re: Problems labeling tapes

mays be labels are being overwritten by other softwares

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soupdragon2
1 Nickel

Re: Problems labeling tapes

Are these AIX servers by any chance? I have seen old versions of the IBM Atape driver cause this behavior

Sometimes you find the volid on the tape and in the media database do not match particularly if relabelling tapes on a very heavily loaded server - run scanner against the tape to verify the physical volid.

Are they using mixed media / both LTO3 and LTO4 tapes - possibly drive is not resetting when different media is presented.

 

Do you have hardware encryption in this infrastructure?

Obvious question - they have checked that all the tapes are write enabled

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tonyalbers
2 Iron

Re: Problems labeling tapes

I finally got a chance to log on to the system and tried labeling a tape using nsrmm, see attached screenshot. Could the error message about group numbers be causing this? There are no problems on any of their other servers which are identical. I don't know if this error message shows up though, they only and always use the GUI.

nw-nsrmm-groups.jpg

Server is running windows, not AIX. I'm not sure about the tape drivers. I'll check.

/tony

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Re: Problems labeling tapes

That appears to be successful, do you have an instance where it failed?

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Reply to 'Re: Problems labeling tapes' in NetWorker

BTW other message is an informational message which you can remove by setting the MAX_LGTO_GROUPS environmental variable to a value higher than the number of Windows groups the user doing the backup is a member of.