[What (else) is new in v12 - VII] TAPE - Linux Tape Server


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With VBR v12 Linux proxy server can get a new role! A Linux server can become a Tape Server.

We will see more details like supported Linux distributions and versions with general availability of v12.

But I would bet on one thing: Linux Hardened Repository Server will be excluded from this feature – for security reasons.


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Thank you @vNote42 

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Been using windows. I don’t know if there would be much a performance difference as even running 8 LTO8 drives, the drives are always the bottleneck for me. If I keep pushing it, then the network would be the next bottleneck. I could install larger cards, more ports, or additional proxies to handle this. 

 

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Hello guys, any feedback from the field for Tape Server on Linux?

Have you noticed any difference in performance from a windows?

Did you encounter any errors?

I’m planning to change some tape servers next year to new hardware and it could be a good opportunity to change the OS :)

I tested a VTL on Linux and it seemed to work ok but did have disconnect issues.  I was not able to test an actual tape library connected to Linux which may run much better I would assume.  I know Windows works fine as we have a few of those running.

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Hello guys, any feedback from the field for Tape Server on Linux?

Have you noticed any difference in performance from a windows?

Did you encounter any errors?

I’m planning to change some tape servers next year to new hardware and it could be a good opportunity to change the OS :)

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Yes a good new option, for sure. But I think I would personally stay with Windows here for some time. Do not know how easy it will be to troubleshoot tape specific problems in Linux. Maybe @BertrandFR has some inputs here?

Hey, 

At the moment Veeam Backup & Replication uses the MTF (Microsoft Tape Format) industry format to write data to tape. I don't know if there is an equivalent on linux.

For my experience on tape server with an old backup software.

Every drives will put in /dev/tape, you can sort it by-id or by-path.

I think my bad experience was also due to the way my old backup software handled links via a conf file that didn't update with changes.

It happened several times during a SAN incident or an intervention to lose the confs and the link between the OS and the software was bad.
From what I can tell you so far, it is that since I use the tape server on windows part with veeam, I have not encountered this problem.

Windows easily reports changes to veeam and it’s quite transparent for backup admin. By default from my knowledge linux don’t automatically rescan iscsi bus.

I think tape linux server with veeam deserves more tests to have honest POV about it.

A cool article about tape and linux:

https://blog.benjojo.co.uk/post/lto-tape-backups-for-linux-nerds

 @JMeixner can have some feedback too?

edit: if someone a tool to test write speed on tape on linux, feel free to share it.

windows tool used: Full Write - IBM Documentation

Good point about the format Veeam will write to tape. After a (very very) short research I found just open-source projects that enable reading MTF. 

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It will be interesting to see how the Linux tape server performs compared to Windows. If the throughput is equal or better then with Windows, it could be a good alternative.

But I also see problems in terms of administration or maintenance of Linux. It's a completely different world, and, in my opinion, it's much easier to do mistakes or mess up everything. Learning some Linux basics doesn't hurt, but for the more complex stuff we should have someone we can rely on.

 

I guess performance comparison will be interesting in library-environments. Multiple LTO-drives with generation 8 and later will generate quite some traffic to handle! 😀

I personally like the idea that Linux minded admin can now choose “their” OS.

 

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Very exciting stuff. I wonder how easy it will be to maintain, view logs etc. 

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Yes a good new option, for sure. But I think I would personally stay with Windows here for some time. Do not know how easy it will be to troubleshoot tape specific problems in Linux. Maybe @BertrandFR has some inputs here?

Hey, 

At the moment Veeam Backup & Replication uses the MTF (Microsoft Tape Format) industry format to write data to tape. I don't know if there is an equivalent on linux.

For my experience on tape server with an old backup software.

Every drives will put in /dev/tape, you can sort it by-id or by-path.

I think my bad experience was also due to the way my old backup software handled links via a conf file that didn't update with changes.

It happened several times during a SAN incident or an intervention to lose the confs and the link between the OS and the software was bad.
From what I can tell you so far, it is that since I use the tape server on windows part with veeam, I have not encountered this problem.

Windows easily reports changes to veeam and it’s quite transparent for backup admin. By default from my knowledge linux don’t automatically rescan iscsi bus.

I think tape linux server with veeam deserves more tests to have honest POV about it.

A cool article about tape and linux:

https://blog.benjojo.co.uk/post/lto-tape-backups-for-linux-nerds

 @JMeixner can have some feedback too?

edit: if someone a tool to test write speed on tape on linux, feel free to share it.

windows tool used: Full Write - IBM Documentation

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Nice @vNote42 ! I will probably never use this in a short period, because we are not a Linux-minded MSP… but as @Chris.Childerhose also mentions, I need also work on my Linux skills, because they are not good 😏, my weakest point...

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It will be interesting to see how the Linux tape server performs compared to Windows. If the throughput is equal or better then with Windows, it could be a good alternative.

But I also see problems in terms of administration or maintenance of Linux. It's a completely different world, and, in my opinion, it's much easier to do mistakes or mess up everything. Learning some Linux basics doesn't hurt, but for the more complex stuff we should have someone we can rely on.

 

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Yeah Linux skills are something I am working on using it at home in my lab with Veeam. Hopefully I will get sharper. 😂

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That not to say I don't plan on learning the linux side....it's just been been when time permits.

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@wolff.mateus agree with what you’re saying, though I also appreciated @dloseke’s input. I’ve had customers say no to hardened Linux repository because they don’t have the skills to effectively maintain, and I believe some people will have a sudden realisation that Linux doesn’t fix environmental issues magically and that troubleshooting can be slower in unfamiliar territory.

 

Having both options is a win win for all though!

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I just want to see Linux as much as possible on Veeam environments.

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As a general IT guy, I love this idea.  As a Windows guy that only has basic understanding and usage of Linux, it’s not a feature for me…at least not yet.

Userlevel 7
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Ooh this does look interesting

Guessing if the tape drive is able to be seen under mount /dev/sda* then it should be fairly straightforward. AS @vNote42 mentioned, will need to see what distros are supported and tape drives. 

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Yes a good new option, for sure. But I think I would personally stay with Windows here for some time. Do not know how easy it will be to troubleshoot tape specific problems in Linux. Maybe @BertrandFR has some inputs here?

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Yeah, having more Linux options is great to see especially for tape.  Not sure how different it is from Windows but will need to test it. 😁

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