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Thread: Backup to vtapes with two disks

  1. #1

    Default Backup to vtapes with two disks


    I need some help with my Amanda configuration.
    I currently run backups to a external disk so I can take the disk with me home on weekends. But now I want to add another disk so I can have one disk home all week and change disks on Thursdays/Fridays.

    How should I configure Amanda for this and how should I label the tapes?
    I think I'm gonna have 5 tapes on each disk but what about labeling the tapes?
    Can it be done like this:

    What happens if I don't change the disk due to holiday or something? Will it still do backup on the fist tape it can find? For example if Disk1 is mounted and it did backup on Tape-A5 last time and expects Tape-B1, does it give me an error and doesn't do anything or will it backup to Tape-A1?
    If I then come back to work the day after and change the disk to Disk2, will it do backup to Tape-B2?
    I also need to do incremental backups on everything every time and it should overwrite the tape with the new backup so there's only one backup per tape, if you know what I mean!?

    If this is easier with Amanda 2.6, I'm willing to upgrade to it but if it doesn't matter I can stay with 2.5.5.

    I really need help with this because it wasn't me who configured Amanda the way we use now, but I still have some knowledge about Amanda and vtapes.

    Is it possible to exclude sockets from backup?

    Last edited by k1piee; March 26th, 2010 at 02:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Brisbane, Australia


    Might be something that RAIT would be good for.

    If you can set up two changers you should be able to mirror between the devices. However if I read the docs about RAIT correctly it won't write in degraded mode it (ie. if a member is missing) - have a look and see if there's a way around that.

    When you change disks you'll have to force a full dump as soon as you can. Otherwise you won't have any available in the office and if the disk that goes home is damaged you won't have any backups at all.

    Maybe :
    1) Mount each drive at a different point (may happen automatically based on media label on your OS)
    2) Set up two configs, one for each mount point with a shared disklist.
    3) Create the scheduled backup script that detects which drive is connected and runs amdump with the appropriate config
    4) When removing a disk make sure that it is disconnected for at least a full dumpcycle (so make a dumpcycle less than one week if it's being replaced weekly)

    That way amanda herself will be able to track what backups are on the disks and when the disk is reconnected she'll realise that she should force a full dump (because the old backups are outside the dumpcycle). As full dumps are being done immediately there shouldn't be issues with the old incremental lists on the client.

    There's probably a more clever way, but that's my Amanda newbie thinking.

  3. #3


    I tired to label the tapes just like I said in my first post, Tape-A1, Tape-B1 etc. and apparently its working just fine! I set the labelstr to this:

    labelstr "Tape-[AB][1-5]$"
    And labeled the tapes like this:
    Disk 1:
    Tape-A1 = slot1
    Tape-A2 = slot2
    Tape-A3 = slot3
    Tape-A4 = slot4
    Tape-A5 = slot5
    Disk 2:
    Tape-B1 = slot1
    Tape-B2 = slot2
    Tape-B3 = slot3
    Tape-B4 = slot4
    Tape-B5 = slot5
    When I change disk and run amcheck it recognizes that it has changed from Tape-A1 to Tape-B1 and vice versa. Have tried it now for two weeks without a problem!

    Hope this helps anyone who needs it!

  4. #4


    Hi, i'm also planning to perform the backup onto 2 external drives as the vtapes. What's in my mind right now is I want to have one amanda server with 1 to 2 TB of holding disk, then use 2x2TB external usb drives as the vtapes and switch them every week. Would you share your amanda.conf settings like dumpcycle, runspercycle, tapecycle and etc? I want to have like 1 weekly full backup and incremental for the rest of the week.

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