59315: Acronis Backup 12.5 Advanced: Tape Sets

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Goal

Tape sets:

  • provide great flexibility of tape media utilizing
  • allow applying rules to define which tapes will be taken for a backup
  • ensure optimal tape usage and improve automatic tape rotation as well as manual tape management

How it works

A tape set is a subset of tapes in the tape pool.

A tape media that belong to a tape set can be taken for a backup only if this tape set is specified in backup options of the executed backup plan. As a result, backups are not mixed on the same tape media if backups executed with different tape set options. Even if these backups are produced by the same backup plan.

In general, a tape set is just a certain text string. You can create tape sets in one of these ways.

Creating tape sets - way 1

Specify a tape set for any particular tape media in the pool using Tape Management. Then specify the same tape set in the backup plan options. As a result, only the tape media that belong to this tape set is taken for this backup plan. Once all tapes of the specified tape sets have been taken, empty or ready to be re-used tapes are taken.

Creating tape sets - way 2

Alternatively, a tape set can be provided in a backup plan as a parameter, see list below. The software reacts on this parameter and creates a tape set accordingly.

You can combine the parameters to fine-tune Acronis Backup 12 Advanced according to your goals.

For convenience, you can choose a template for tape sets in the backup plan settings:

When a tape set has been specified in backup options, the software seeks the tape media of this tape set. If it is not found in the backup location (pool), first an empty or a ready to be re-written tape media that does not belong to any other tape set is taken from the current tape pool, and then a tape media regardless of tape set from the Free pool. The tape set from backup plan options is assigned to this media automatically.

Table of parameters for tape sets

Parameter syntax

Description

Example of a Tape Set name that will be shown in the Tape management interface

[Resource Name]

or

[Resource Name = %resource_name%]

Enables a distinct tape sets for backed up machines.

If the machine name is not specified explicitly: [Resource Name], a separate tape set will be created for each machine in the backup plan.

You can specify the name of the resource (machine) for which the tape set will be allocated.

/mail.server.Win2012R2/

[Backup Type]

or

[Backup Type = %backup type%]

Enables a distinct tape set for backup type.

If backup type is not specified explicitly: [Backup Type],

a separate tape set will be created for each backup type

/full/, /inc/, /diff/

[Resource Type]

or

[Resource Type = %resource type%]

Enables a tape set for specified resource type.

If resource type is not specified explicitly: [Resource Type],

a separate tape set will be created for each resource type.

/Server/, /Workstation/, /ServerEssenials/, /VM/, /VirtualHost/, /O365_mailbox/, /SQL/, /Exchange/, /AD/, /SP/

[Day]

or

[Day=10][Day=20]

Enables a distinct tape set for each day of month. You can specify the exact day(s) when to create a tape set.

01... 31

[Weekday]

or

[Weekday = %weekday%]

Enables a distinct tape set for a day of week.

If a day of week is not specified explicitly: [Weekday],

a separate tape set will be created for each day of week.

/Sunday/, /Monday/, /Tuesday/, /Wednesday/, /Thursday/, /Friday/, /Saturday/

[Month]

or

[Month = %month%]

Enables a distinct tape set for specified month.

If a month is not specified explicitly: [Month],

a separate tape set will be created for each month

/January/, /February/, March/, /April/, /May/, June/, /July/, /August/, /September/, /October/, /November/, /December

[Year]

or

[Year = %year%]

Enables a distinct tape set for specified year.

If a year is not specified explicitly: [Year],

a separate tape set will be created for each year

 /2017/, /2018/,...

Table of tape set templates available from UI

Use distinct tape set for each... Tape set format in backup plan
Backup Type [Backup Type]
Device Type [Resource Type]
Device Name [Resource Name]
Day in month [Day]
Day of the week [Weekday]
Month of the year [Month]
Year [Year]
Date [Year].[Month].[Day]

Note:

  • Different backup plans adjusted to the same tape location (pool) can work with the same tape set (if it is specified in backup settings).
  • In order to use the same tape set template for two backup plans and prevent mixing backups on tape media, you need to specify different locations in these backup plans.

Examples

Prerequisites:

  • Tape device is connected to the machine which Agent or Storage Node installed.
  • Tape device is recognized by the software and inventoried.
  • Necessary tape locations are created.

Use case 1

You want to use distinct tapes for each day of week (separate tape(s) for Monday, Tuesday etc…).

Workflow:

  1. Create a backup plan, choose tape location for backup.
    Make sure that the pool contains a number of tapes or it is allowed to take tapes from the Free tapes pool.
  2. Go to Backup options, and then to Tapes.
  3. Mark the Use tape sets within a tape pool chosen for the backup plan check-box.
  4. In the drop-down list, choose Use distinct tape set for each: Day of the week.
  5. Once the backup plan is executed, the tapes taken for backup are assigned to the corresponding tape set (Monday, Tuesday and so on).
  6. You can check it in the Tape Management view: go to Settings -> Tapes -> Tape pools -> Acronis (or any other pool specified in your backup plan).
  7. If the first backup is written to a tape marked with Monday tape set, after a week, the same tape will be taken for backup (unless otherwise specified in the settings).
  8. If there is not enough free space on the tape, another empty tape is taken.
  9. For standalone drive: if the tape belonging to another tape set is inserted, the software asks to insert the tape of the correct tape set or a new empty tape.

 

Use case 2

You want to define a specific list of tapes (using barcodes) to be taken for a backup on the certain weekday. The list is provided to a technician who has to insert a tape on a respective weekday.

Workflow:

  1. Go to the Tape Management view: Settings -> Tapes -> Tape pools.
  2. Fill the pool that will be used for backup to tapes (move them from Free tapes pool).
  3. Drill down to the pool, choose the first tape(s) that will be used for Monday backups.
  4. Click the Info button, Click the link to add tape set, type in the text field – Monday, click Done.
  5. Perform the same operation for all necessary tapes – specify desired tape set name (weekdays) for them.
  6. Create a backup plan, choose tape location for backup.
  7. Go to Backup options -> Tapes, choose a template for tape sets: Day of the week.
  8. Once the backup plan is executed, the tape belonging to the previously specified tape set (Monday) will be taken for backup.

Use case 3

You need to divide tapes with full backups from incremental and differential. Tapes with full backups will be kept for long-term secure storage. Tapes with incremental and differential backups will be permanently rotated and overwritten.

Workflow:

  1. Create a backup plan, choose tape location for backup.
  2. Go to Backup options -> Tapes, choose a template for tape sets: Backup type.
  3. Once the backup plan is executed, the tapes taken for backup will be assigned to the corresponding tape set (full, inc or diff).
  4. You can check it in the Tape Management view.

Note: for GFS backup scheme, the tape set parameter [Backup Type] is enabled by default.

Use case 4

You have heterogeneous environment with different machine types – Servers, Workstations, Virtual Machines, Business Critical Applications. You want to write backups of different machines to separate tapes.

Workflow:

  1. Create a backup plan for multiple machines, choose tape location for backup.
  2. Go to Backup options -> Tapes, choose a template for tape sets: Device type.
  3. Once the backup plan is executed, the different tapes will be taken for backup of each different device type. Corresponding tape set will be assigned to the tapes taken for backup.
  4. You can check it in the Tape Management view.

Use case 5

You want to keep only full backups of a specific (the most important) machine on a separate tape media.

Workflow:

  1. Create a backup plan that includes the machine whose backups you want to keep on a separate tape (the backup plan can also include other machines); choose tape location for backup.
  2. Go to Backup options -> Tapes -> Specify your custom rule for a tape set, type: [Resource name = mail.server.Win2012R2][Backup Type = full]
  3. Once the backup plan is executed, the separate tape will be taken for Full backups of the specific machine, specified in the backup options/tape set.
  4. Backups of other types as well as all the other machines in the backup plan will be mixed up on another tapes without any tape sets.

Use case 6

You prefer to specify your own tape set name with parameter (say, separate tape set for each month). For example, the tape set can include information about a unit of your organization etc.

Workflow:

  1. Create a backup plan of multiple machines, choose tape location for backup.
  2. Go to Backup options -> Tapes -> Specify your custom rule for a tape set, type: Finance team workstations, [Month]
  3. During backup plan execution, tapes taken for backup will be assigned to the following tape sets:
    • Finance team workstations, January
    • Finance team workstations, February
    • etc…
  4. You can check and manage it in the Tape Management view.
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