Re: [Bacula-users] How to properly recycle in case
a tape was not inserted

> Hello,
> I'm using a schedule with weekly full backups (Fri->Sat) and daily
> incremental backups (Mon-Thu) with three volume pools
> The tapes are labeled corresponding to the day/week they are used - so
> DAY-1 for Monday, WEEK-1 for the first weekend of the month etc. On the
> last weekend of
> the month, the corresponding MONTH tape is used for the monthly full
> backup (e.g. MONTH-JanJul, etc.).

Hello, Rainhard: this is counterproductive since Bacula has its own selection
tape algorithm and will not respect the label name specified.
The only way to ensure Bacula will write a specific tape in a given day is
creating a Pool for each day.

> The problem is, the customer does not want to invest into an
> auto-changer, so tapes are changed manually from monday to friday. This
> all works fine, until a
> backup cannot be exercised because no one inserted a tape for that day -
> which unfortunately happens on a semi-regular basis.

Since what I think empirically it's most risky for tapes jam is loading and
unloading; since daily backups are usually smaller differential or incremental;
since changing tapes manually is expensive and a pain; I would use a scheme
where Bacula uses the same tape for daily backups the whole week, and another
tape the next one.
I would use 4 days of Volume Use Duration and 9 days of Volume Retention for
Daily Pool. I called that advanced GFS years ago, but I might think of a more
suitable name.

> What I did until now, is simply cancel the backup jobs for that day.
> However, this often led to problems with automatic recycling, like in
> the following scenario:
> Week 1: Tape "WEEK-1" required, but not inserted -> jobs cancelled
> Week 2: Tape "WEEK-2" planed for backup, but even though it has been
> inserted, it's not recycled by Bacula as "WEEK-1" has not been used the
> week before

The best way to ensure a tape will be able to be recycled at a given time is to
use the Volume Use Duration.

> I often manually recycled tapes (purge jobs, update status) to get the
> backups to run, but that led to even more problems (volume retention not
> applied correctly, as
> FirstWritten value of manually recycled tapes is not reset).
> What's the correct way to handle this? I thought about just scrapping
> the current scheme and instruct the customer to just insert the next
> available tape (e.g. WEEK-1 hasn't
> been used because not inserted -> WEEK-1 will be inserted next week.)
> but I fear this might cause too much confusion (as mentioned the tape
> operator is not all that reliable).
> Any advice is much appreciated!
> Kind regards,
> Rainhard

Heitor Medrado de Faria - LPIC-III | ITIL-F | Bacula Systems Certified
Administrator II
Do you need Bacula training?
+55 61 8268-4220
Site: FB: heitor.faria

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