Sep 032011

What the various NetVault Backup media statuses mean

Media displayed as “Unknown” indicates that the presence of the media has been reported by the library/drive and acknowledged by NetVault Backup, but no other details are available. This condition typically occurs when using a library that does not have a drive added, or doesn’t have a barcode scanner enabled or affixed to the media. Since the library can’t report details on the media, NetVault Backup will mark it as “Unknown” until it is able to read the media header. NetVault Backup will try to automatically read any media in an unknown state during device initialization (e.g. NetVault service startup). Unknown media will not be assigned to a job until it has been read.

Media categorized as “Foreign” indicates that the media is recognized as NetVault Backup media, but it’s not currently in the media catalog (media database). Additional details are not available until a complete scan is performed. Foreign media will not be assigned to a job until it has been scanned. Rebuilding the NetVault media database will sometimes result in media being designated as foreign, since the media catalog may be incomplete.

Media designated as “Other” indicates that the media has been read and does not contain a recognizable NetVault Backup header/format. These can include tapes written using Unix CPIO, Windows NT Backup, or other software. Tapes marked as “Other” will not be assigned to a job until it has been blanked.

There are a number of conditions that can result in media being marked as “Bad”. Bad media indicates that a series of errors has occurred with the specific piece of media and/or the specific drive. As a result, NetVault Backup will mark the media as suspect until it has been confirmed by the administrator. Events such as excessive read/write errors, media alignment issues, and drive-failing ejects are just a few examples of how a piece of media can be considered bad. Although bad media can indeed be faulty, often times this media status is subsequent to hardware-related issues. Further troubleshooting of the drive and library robot should be performed to determine the root cause of bad media. Bad media will not be assigned to a job.