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8mm/AIT drives under NetWorker 9.2
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8mm/AIT drives under NetWorker 9.2

Posted by Dave Gold 
Dave Gold
8mm/AIT drives under NetWorker 9.2
February 02, 2019 01:59PM
Hi,



Does anyone have AIT tapes working under NetWorker 9.2?



Even though they are still on the hardware qualification list, the option
for any 8mm format drives has been removed, and post upgrade the device
type of existing drives became something else.



I have configured as an LTO changer, and while the tapes mount fine,
restores don’t—it still knows that the tapes are AIT, and has a pending
“waiting for AIT tape xxx” message even after a tape is in a drive and is
“reading, waiting”.



Any thoughts appreciated.



Dave


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Re: 8mm/AIT drives under NetWorker 9.2
February 04, 2019 03:29PM
This sounds weird.

NW of course still remembers the source pool but it should be able to deal with a non-compliant media type because the major adjustments for the drive/media type were
- block size
- volume default capacity

I guess that a bunch of customers who did not know these facts were even running successful backups (but not necessarily optimal ones) with the old default (4mm DAT) but a total different hardware.

The block size does not matter for the label - it will always consist of 2 blocks with 32kB each.
The data block size might matter when you fixed it to another value.

May I suggest that your run "scanner -n -m -vvv ...." to see more detailed information or look at the daemon.raw file - it should tell you more.

Wish I could assist you ...
Re: 8mm/AIT drives under NetWorker 9.2
February 06, 2019 10:59PM
In regard to: [EMC-DataProtection-L] 8mm/AIT drives under NetWorker 9.2,...:

Sorry for a little delay in responding, I've been thinking about this
issue a bit.

> Even though they are still on the hardware qualification list, the option
> for any 8mm format drives has been removed, and post upgrade the device
> type of existing drives became something else.

That sounds like a bug. Have you contacted support about the issue?

> I have configured as an LTO changer, and while the tapes mount fine,
> restores dontit still knows that the tapes are AIT, and has a pending
> waiting for AIT tape xxx message even after a tape is in a drive and is
> reading, waiting.

When you say "the tapes mount fine", do you mean that *NetWorker* lets you
use the GUI or nsrjb to mount the tape? If yes, then I guess I'm
surprised by that.

The volume type is recorded for each volume (tape) when its added to the
media database. Usually that would be when the volume is labeled.

You have a bunch of volumes that say they are "AIT", because that's the
drive type you had defined when the volume was labeled.

Presumably you also have some volumes that have been labeled *since*
you upgraded to 9.2 that say they are LTO-#, even though they are
physically AIT.

Are both of those guesses correct?

I was initially going to tell you that you could remove the volume from
the media database and then use scanner on it, to get it "imported"
as type LTO-#, but upon further thought that's probably wrong. It's
been a really long time since we went through a jukebox media conversion,
so a lot of the details are pretty fuzzy at this point.

I *think* that when NetWorker labels a volume, in addition to the volume
type in the media database, it writes the volume type to the volume label
it puts on the front of the volume. I'm no longer certain of that,
though, and examining a couple of our tapes hasn't allowed me to find
the type hidden anywhere in the header. The header is partially binary,
though, so it could be there and just not as obvious as the pool and
volume name:

$ sudo mt -f /dev/tape/i40/nst1 rewind
$ sudo dd if=/dev/tape/i40/nst1 of=/tmp/volume-label bs=32k
$ od -t c /tmp/volume-label

0000000 V O L 1 1 M O N T H
0000020 N E T W O R K E R
0000040
*
0000100 3
0000120 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0
*
0000160 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 006 \0 \0 200 \0
0000200 \0 \0 \0 005 T 023 241 307 Y 023 241 307 370 265 250 D
0000220 027 330 ! B \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 001 L
0000240 \0 \0 \0 002 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0
0000260 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0
0000300 \0 \0 \0 < \0 \a 004 ` \0 \0 \0 \0 Y 023 241 307
0000320 \0 \0 \0 \0 \ 326 \b 307 \0 004 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 005
0000340 T 023 241 307 Y 023 241 307 370 265 250 D 027 330 ! B
0000360 \0 \0 \0 \n 1 M o n t h : 0 1 1 \0 \0
0000400 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0
0000420 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 ,
0000440 \0 \0 \0 001 \0 \0 \0 \v v o l u m e p
0000460 o o l \0 \0 \0 \0 001 \0 \0 \0 006 1 M o n
0000500 t h \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0
0000520 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0
*
0100000

We no longer have any volumes that would have been labeled as an older
media type that I could even load in our LTO-6 drives, so I have no way
to confirm my recollection that running scanner on a volume imports the
media type it was originally labeled as from the volume label.

I don't see any easy workaround for the problem you're facing. It really
seems like a bug (or perhaps a really unfortunate product support
decision) that NetWorker no longer has a media type choice for the
admittedly old volume type.

Unless they've changed this too, it has always been allowed by licensing
to install NetWorker *without a license* for recovery-only purposes.
It would be a major PITA, especially since a jukebox license wouldn't
be included in this, but for the truly desperate you could install
NetWorker 8.2.x on some hardware and give it access to one of the tape
drives and then do your recoveries from that server. I wouldn't want to
go that route until I had exhausted all other options with support,
though.

Good luck!

Tim
--
Tim Mooney Tim.Mooney@ndsu.edu
Enterprise Computing & Infrastructure 701-231-1076 (Voice)
Room 242-J6, Quentin Burdick Building 701-231-8541 (Fax)
North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58105-5164


--
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Dave Gold
Re: 8mm/AIT drives under NetWorker 9.2
February 07, 2019 02:59PM
Hi Tim,

Thanks for the thorough reply. As you suspected, NetWorker is no longer
supporting 8mm or 4mm format tapes starting with NetWorker 9.x (not sure if
all versions or just 9.2--that is where we are seeing it).

Interestingly, when the upgrade occurred, the AIT-5 media type changed to
another type--Data Domain IIRC.

Workaround that didn't work was to use LTO drive type, although the tape
mounted properly.
Workaround that did work (thanks for NetWorker's excellent support group in
Canada) was to use DLT drive type.
I'm not directly working on this, just helping our a customer, so I'm not
sure how they dealt with the media type (AIT-5) not matching the device type
(DLT). I have dim memories of this not being an issue with LTO versus LTO2
autochangers, so my guy says that the issues wasn't related to AIT-5 media
in a DLT changer, but something related to LTO. Doesn't make sense to me
since it mounted properly manually on an LTO defined changer, but since the
restore is happening, I'm not going to worry about it too much.

I'm hoping that this info gets into a customer facing doc, since lots of
folks have 10 year old media that they potentially need to restore from.

Thanks,

Dave

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Date: Wed, 6 Feb 2019 16:43:29 -0600
From: Tim Mooney <Tim.Mooney@NDSU.EDU>
Subject: Re: 8mm/AIT drives under NetWorker 9.2

In regard to: [EMC-DataProtection-L] 8mm/AIT drives under NetWorker 9.2,...:

Sorry for a little delay in responding, I've been thinking about this issue
a bit.

> Even though they are still on the hardware qualification list, the
> option for any 8mm format drives has been removed, and post upgrade
> the device type of existing drives became something else.

That sounds like a bug. Have you contacted support about the issue?

> I have configured as an LTO changer, and while the tapes mount fine,
> restores don’t—it still knows that the tapes are AIT, and has a
> pending “waiting for AIT tape xxx” message even after a tape is in a
> drive and is “reading, waiting”.

When you say "the tapes mount fine", do you mean that *NetWorker* lets you
use the GUI or nsrjb to mount the tape? If yes, then I guess I'm surprised
by that.

The volume type is recorded for each volume (tape) when its added to the
media database. Usually that would be when the volume is labeled.

You have a bunch of volumes that say they are "AIT", because that's the
drive type you had defined when the volume was labeled.

Presumably you also have some volumes that have been labeled *since* you
upgraded to 9.2 that say they are LTO-#, even though they are physically
AIT.

Are both of those guesses correct?

I was initially going to tell you that you could remove the volume from the
media database and then use scanner on it, to get it "imported"
as type LTO-#, but upon further thought that's probably wrong. It's been a
really long time since we went through a jukebox media conversion, so a lot
of the details are pretty fuzzy at this point.

I *think* that when NetWorker labels a volume, in addition to the volume
type in the media database, it writes the volume type to the volume label it
puts on the front of the volume. I'm no longer certain of that, though, and
examining a couple of our tapes hasn't allowed me to find the type hidden
anywhere in the header. The header is partially binary, though, so it could
be there and just not as obvious as the pool and volume name:

$ sudo mt -f /dev/tape/i40/nst1 rewind
$ sudo dd if=/dev/tape/i40/nst1 of=/tmp/volume-label bs=32k $ od -t c
/tmp/volume-label

0000000 V O L 1 1 M O N T H
0000020 N E T W O R K E R
0000040
*
0000100 3
0000120 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0
*
0000160 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 006 \0 \0 200 \0
0000200 \0 \0 \0 005 T 023 241 307 Y 023 241 307 370 265 250 D
0000220 027 330 ! B \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 001 L
0000240 \0 \0 \0 002 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0
0000260 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0
0000300 \0 \0 \0 < \0 \a 004 ` \0 \0 \0 \0 Y 023 241 307
0000320 \0 \0 \0 \0 \ 326 \b 307 \0 004 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 005
0000340 T 023 241 307 Y 023 241 307 370 265 250 D 027 330 ! B
0000360 \0 \0 \0 \n 1 M o n t h : 0 1 1 \0 \0
0000400 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0
0000420 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 ,
0000440 \0 \0 \0 001 \0 \0 \0 \v v o l u m e p
0000460 o o l \0 \0 \0 \0 001 \0 \0 \0 006 1 M o n
0000500 t h \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0
0000520 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0 \0
*
0100000

We no longer have any volumes that would have been labeled as an older media
type that I could even load in our LTO-6 drives, so I have no way to confirm
my recollection that running scanner on a volume imports the media type it
was originally labeled as from the volume label.

I don't see any easy workaround for the problem you're facing. It really
seems like a bug (or perhaps a really unfortunate product support
decision) that NetWorker no longer has a media type choice for the
admittedly old volume type.

Unless they've changed this too, it has always been allowed by licensing to
install NetWorker *without a license* for recovery-only purposes.
It would be a major PITA, especially since a jukebox license wouldn't be
included in this, but for the truly desperate you could install NetWorker
8.2.x on some hardware and give it access to one of the tape drives and then
do your recoveries from that server. I wouldn't want to go that route until
I had exhausted all other options with support, though.

Good luck!

Tim
--
Tim Mooney Tim.Mooney@ndsu.edu
Enterprise Computing & Infrastructure 701-231-1076 (Voice)
Room 242-J6, Quentin Burdick Building 701-231-8541 (Fax)
North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58105-5164


--
This list is hosted as a public service at Temple University by Stan Horwitz
If you wish to sign off this list or adjust your subscription settings, please do so via http://listserv.temple.edu/archives/emc-dataprotection-l.html
If you have any questions regarding management of this list, please send email to owner-emc-dataprotection-l@listserv.temple.edu
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Atro Tossavainen
Re: 8mm/AIT drives under NetWorker 9.2
February 07, 2019 02:59PM
Hello,

NetWorker 9.0 administration guide still talks about AIT tapes quite
routinely, indicating nothing amiss. So does the corresponding 9.2
document.

https://www.emc.com/collateral/TechnicalDocument/docu61081.pdf

https://www.emc.com/collateral/TechnicalDocument/docu85856.pdf

The Hardware Compatibility Guide (last updated Dec 2018) also mentions
several types of AIT drives.

https://www.emc.com/collateral/TechnicalDocument/docu34173.pdf

I think you may be dealing with a bug.

Best regards,
--
Atro Tossavainen
System Administrator (Consultant)
Oy IGT Finland Ab, a fully owned subsidiary of IGT plc (Business ID FI08945519)
tel. +358-44-5000-600 (cell)


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Re: 8mm/AIT drives under NetWorker 9.2
February 07, 2019 03:34PM
It took me a while to figure this out - but there is in fact a way to make the legacy tape drive types available from the GUI ... and of course from the command line.

The key information can be found in the Admin Guide (I used the current 18.2 version) and the key are specific environment variables you must set as follows:

NSR_SHOW_FSC_DEVICES=yes
NSR_SHOW_LEGACY_DEVICES=yes

As usual, the documentation could be a bit better but here is the core information:
- On UNIX/Linux you set the variables via the 'script' file /nsr/nsrrc
It will be read/executed when NW will be started
- For Windows, you define them as Windows environment variables, of course.

I did that for one of my test servers running NW 9.1.1.7 on Windows 2008, restarted it (to set the variables for the system properly) and opened the NW Admin tools (nsradmin & Admin GUI).
Yes - the old drive types were available again.

There are only 2 issues left:
- Couldn't that have been made available via a /nsr/debug switch as well ?
If so, such switch could have automatically been added during the upgrade process (if a legacy device would
have been detected)
- As it is an Windows environment switch, restarting the NW services will not be sufficient - the host must be rebooted.
Re: 8mm/AIT drives under NetWorker 9.2
February 08, 2019 05:59PM
In regard to: Re: [EMC-DataProtection-L] 8mm/AIT drives under NetWorker...:

> Workaround that didn't work was to use LTO drive type, although the tape
> mounted properly.
> Workaround that did work (thanks for NetWorker's excellent support group in
> Canada) was to use DLT drive type.

Glad your customer got it working, though it's not clear to me why
DLT would work.

> I have dim memories of this not being an issue with LTO versus LTO2
> autochangers,

Correct. When there is compatibility, even if it's only read
compatibility, between a "generation N" and "generation M" media family,
the NetWorker developers have had to build that logic into their volume
type logic. That's what allows NetWorker to know that it's OK use a
"SuperDLT I" tape drive to do a restore from a volume with type "DLT7000",
or a LTO-1 volume being readable in an LTO-3 tape drive.

That's also why I don't understand why DLT worked. I've never used AIT,
but we did use various DLT generations for years. I'm not aware of there
being any media compatibility between them.

> I'm hoping that this info gets into a customer facing doc, since lots of
> folks have 10 year old media that they potentially need to restore from.

That's part of why I think this is either a bug or a product change
decision that Dell/EMC might want to address.

Media support in a backup product is one area where backward compatibility
needs to be extensive.

I really do think your customer should get some clarification from
Dell/EMC about this.

Tim
--
Tim Mooney Tim.Mooney@ndsu.edu
Enterprise Computing & Infrastructure 701-231-1076 (Voice)
Room 242-J6, Quentin Burdick Building 701-231-8541 (Fax)
North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58105-5164


--
This list is hosted as a public service at Temple University by Stan Horwitz
If you wish to sign off this list or adjust your subscription settings, please do so via http://listserv.temple.edu/archives/emc-dataprotection-l.html
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