Managing Media in a Library - Overview

Table of Contents


Several features to automate the process of managing media within the library are provided. The following sections provide a detailed discussion on each of these options.

You can automate the media discovery process in the  library using one of the following methods:

  • When you configure a library, select the default media type and then click Yes in the Discover Media Options dialog box to automatically discover the media in the library.
  • If you have already configured the library and have not enabled the automatic media discovery during configuration, you can enable the Auto Discover Media option in the Media tab of the Library Properties dialog box.

Once the automatic media discovery process is enabled you can use the following mechanisms to manage media:

The following sections describe each of these options in detail.

Manage Media Using Barcode Patterns

This automated method of distributing media can be used when you have different barcode schemes or specific barcode ranges associated with specific purposes in the library. For example:

  • When you have a library with different drive types, you could have specific barcodes for media associated with each drive type. We highly recommend this method when you multiple drive types in the library. This will help you to easily manage and administer the media in the library.
  • When you have media that are not used by the MediaAgents in this CommCell (referred to as Foreign media in the software) stored in the library and use Vault Tracker to manage the media movement of such media, you can use specific barcode patterns or ranges for foreign media.
  • If you already manage media using barcode patterns, you can use this method to automate the process.

Setting Up Media Management Using Barcode Patterns

When you use one or more standard barcode pattern(s) in the libraries in the CommCell, you can define from the BarCode Patterns tab in the Media Management Configuration dialog box. This dialog box is accessible from the CommCell Console Control Panel. (See Add/Modify Barcode Patterns for Media in a CommCell for instructions.)

(You can add, modify and if necessary, delete existing barcode patterns in the CommCell from this dialog box.)

Once the specific barcode patterns are defined, you can associate the barcode patterns for the following Media Groups:

  • Default and <user-defined> scratch pools
  • Cleaning Media group
  • Foreign Media group

See Associate (or Disassociate) Barcode Patterns to a Media Group for instructions.

Once this barcode pattern scheme is setup in the library, the system will automatically move the existing media in the library to the appropriate media groups. Media which do not belong to an existing pattern will be moved to the default scratch pool.

Similarly whenever media is imported or recycled, the system will automatically move the media to the appropriate media group.

Note that at any point you can also manually move the media between the media groups, if necessary.

Manage Media Using Priority Schemes

This automated method of distributing media can be used to ensure that high-priority operations always have the necessary media. For example, assume that you regularly back up both a file server with a large database containing mission-critical data and a number of user PCs. You may want to prevent situations in which data secured from less important user PCs use up all available media, causing vital data protection operations on file server to fail. You can do this by creating a scratch pool specifically for the storage policy copies that conduct data protection operations on file servers. Once the scratch pool is setup you can setup a priority scheme for media as explained in the following section.

Setting Up Media Management Using Priority Schemes

Create appropriate scratch pools for each category of data protection operation. Associate each scratch pool to an appropriate storage policy.

Create the priority scheme as follows:

  • Establish a Watermark for each of the media pools.
  • Indicate whether new media or recycled media should be used first.
  • Establish the Priority for the media group.

For example, in the sample image, since the scratch pool is associated with mission critical jobs, the low watermark is set to 10 and the priority has been set as High. This will ensure the following:

  • That a minimum of 10 media will always be available in the scratch pool. (When the minimum falls below the established watermark, the system generates an Event message and also generates an alert, if configured.)
  • When new media is imported, or when existing media is recycled, the system will always assign media to media groups priority set to high until the Watermark is reached, before assigning them to Medium and Low priority media groups.

For Spare Media Selection Criteria, the system chooses the media as follows:

  • If the Use most reused media first option is chosen, the media is selected based on how many times the media was reused - the media with the highest value is selected. For example, if you have two media, one media that has been reused three times and another two times, the media that has been reused three times is selected first. If more than one media has the same value, the media that is discovered the earliest is used.
  • If the Use least reused media first option is chosen, the media is selected based on the discovery time. The media that is discovered the earliest is selected. If there is no unused media, then the media with the smallest number of reuses is selected. If more than one media has the same value, the media with the most recent discovery time is selected.

Excess media (beyond the watermark established in each media group) is moved to the default scratch pool.

You can move the media between the media groups manually at any time.

Manage Cleaning Media in the Library

Most cleaning media have a standard barcode pattern. For example, many of the cleaning media have the alphabets "CL" in the beginning. Such specific barcode patterns on cleaning media can be used to discover cleaning media and automatically move them to the Cleaning Media Pool, when the automatic media discovery option is enabled in a library.

Cleaning media can also be automatically moved to the cleaning media pool as described in Manage Media Using Barcode Patterns. Also, read the information in Cleaning Media for complete information on managing cleaning media.