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Swapping barcodes?

ldmwndletsm

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Hi, I hunted around everywhere, and I could not find anything about this. We're using 8.1.3 on RHEL. We have a large tape library with LTO-6 drives.

1. Does TSM permit you to swap a barcode with a new, but different sequence, re-inventory the tape with the new barcode and have it update its database with the new barcode but still associate it with the same volume?

[ Reason for dilemma ]
We have a bunch of non TSM tapes with barcodes that we'd rather not use long term since they don't have the preferred sequences, but the media is otherwise fine and same type and generation. But we're low on barcodes and cannot get any more as soon as we'd like. I was wondering if we used these tapes if we could later just swap the barcodes once we get new labels? Otherwise, I don't want to have to copy data. That would be too arduous.

[ Possible Danger ??? ]
If it's possible to manually inventory a tape with TSM, I'm concerned that swapping a barcode with a new, previously unseen one, might somehow cause the database to forget about the data associated with the old barcode and maybe think the tape is now empty since the new barcode was heretofore unknown? I don't want to risk having the database lose any pointer or information or anything weird.

2. Assuming we can do this, are there any pitfalls here?

[ Background ]
This feature is supported with another backup product (EMC NetWorker) that I've used wherein if I had a volume ABC123L6, with a matching barcode, and I replaced that barcode with a new barcode, e.g. ABC408L6, and I re-inventoried the tape then it will not recognize the new barcode, of course, so it will force the tape to be loaded into a drive so it can then read the internal label on the tape, and once it sees that it's volume ABC123L6, it will now associate the volume with barcode ABC408L6, and it forgets about barcode ABC123L6. Any subsequent inventories of the tape (assuming barcode reader is enabled in the software configuration setting for the tape library/jukebox) will not force a load, even if it's in a different slot, since the software now knows that ABC408L6 refers to volume ABC123L6 -- all standard tape library behavior with barcodes. The old barcode ABC123L6 could still be used again on the same or different tape. You can do it as often as necessary. The only caveat is that you have to re inventory the tape so the database is updated.
 

ldmwndletsm

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So NetWorker (at least the versions that I've played with) cares nothing about whether the barcode matches the internal label on the volume. In our environment, it usually did, so barcode ABC123L6 was literally volume ABC123L6 wherein the 'L6' identifier on the end of the volume name makes it more obvious what type and generation of media it is as opposed to just ABC123. But there's nothing to prevent you from labeling the tape as such or even something entirely unrelated, e.g. FRED456. Just turn off the 'match bar code labels' option in the jukebox setting, use a label template instead and voila! The database will still associate the external barcode with the volume, but they don't have to match. Either way, this does make it convenient if you ever want to swap barcodes later down the road.
 

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The Spectrum Protect TLA (Three-Letter Acronym): ISP or something else?

  • Every product needs a TLA, Let's call it ISP (IBM Spectrum Protect).

    Votes: 18 18.4%
  • Keep using TSM for Spectrum Protect.

    Votes: 60 61.2%
  • Let's be formal and just say Spectrum Protect

    Votes: 12 12.2%
  • Other (please comement)

    Votes: 8 8.2%

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