BRMS backup with cleaning tape included

140 pts.
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BRMS
BRMS Backup
We have a 3581 tape library. Once a quarter we do a full backup but we'd also like to clean the tape drive. The unit is offsite and managed by a third party as far as unloading and loading tapes is concerned. We thought we could ensure a clean always takes place if we put one in the tape pool to be mounted. The question is, if a backup has started and it comes across a cleaning tape will the backup pause and then continue once the next proper data tape is loaded or will the backup cancel because it can't write to a cleaning tape ? Also, what does 'random' mean as opposed to 'sequential' ? That is, will it always load the oldest expired tape first and then work through the slots sequentially or is it totally random ? I ask because if the BRMS job does indeed cancel we could perhaps load the cleaning tape in the last slot if we can force it to be the last one used. We use random mode so that the backup works if a tape isn't loaded into the drive first (that's my understanding anyway). Thanks.

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The backup will cancel because the cleaning tape will not initialize and the initialization will fail.

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  • Pmaddox
    Thanks but are you saying BRMS initialises the tapes each time before using them even though they are already ? What's the point of that ?
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  • mcl
    We all hate to read, but check the IBM Redbooks for BRMS and LTO tape libraries. We have a 3581 as well, with no bar code reader. We use it in "library" mode and run a cleaning tape through it before complete system backups. For tape cleaning, I will "load" a cleaning tape in the drive through the 3581control panel. The 3581 will detect the tape as a cleaning tape, do it's thing - it indicates "Cleaning" on the front panel. When done, I'll have to "unload" the drive - again through the front panel. The whole process takes maybe five minutes and should be simple enough for your remote site operators to include for the quarterly backups. Oh, and cleaning tapes will show up as "write-protected". Library mode vs sequential mode. If you put the 3851 in sequential mode and ran the BRMS initialization, BRMS would not (should not) detect or create a library device. It treats the 3581 as a tape drive. In sequential mode, the 3581 will process tapes sequentailly by slot number. For library (random) mode, BRMS identifies the 3581 as a library and a tape drive on initialization. BRMS determines what tape to load and I believe it uses the expiration date (or maybe the creation date?) of the tape. Tapes that can't be written to - like a cleaning tape - will be skipped. As far as initialization goes - unless you have BRMS set up to initialize the tapes I don't thing it will. I just looked at last night's backup job log and didn't see anything that looked like INZTAP. Regards Mike
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  • mcl
    Oh, just to clarify - the "BRMS initialization" I referred to is the INZBRM command. The INZBRM command will set up BRMS on your system and part of that is to identify you tape devices. Help on that command gives you a pretty fair description of what it can do. Regards Mike
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