PnP (Plug and Play) Disk Libraries - Overview

Table of Contents


In locations where it is difficult to configure and manage tapes because of operational issues, Plug and Play (PnP) storage devices (for example, FireWire, USB, SATA storage devices, and so on) can be used for storage instead of tapes. Once the PnP disks are configured, they are treated like tapes in a stand-alone drive.

Disk devices that do not retain the operating system drive letter when they are disconnected or unloaded can be configured as PnP disk libraries (for example, USB flash drives, and so on).

Support for devices like USB, FireWire, and SATA storage devices is not dependant on any specific vendor make or model. These devices are considered supported as long as the host operating system detects the devices as disk targets. Therefore, these device types are not listed within the Hardware Compatibility Matrix.

Configuring PnP Disk Libraries

To use a PnP disk, you must first configure a library on the MediaAgent where you plan to use the device. Only one PnP library can be configured per MediaAgent. Although multiple drives can be configured, only single-streamed jobs are supported. (Multiple drives provide the ability to span across multiple media for a single-streamed job.)

See Configure a PnP Disk Library for instructions.

PnP Disk Libraries and Storage Policies

Once a storage policy writes to a PnP disk library, no other policy can write to that PnP disk library. You must wait until the data retention expires, and the PnP disk returns to the Scratch pool.

However, you can use GridStor® to configure your library for alternate data paths. In that situation, if a library fails on one MediaAgent, the MediaAgent will fail over and use the other available libraries.

Supported Features

Once configured, PnP Disk Libraries are similar to a stand-alone drive and all the features, including the following are supported by these libraries:

In addition, the following options specific to PnP Disk Libraries are also available in the Library Properties - Media Usage tab:

  • Only use PnP disk when it is blank

    Enabling this option ensures that blank disks with no other data is used for data protection operations and allows you to use disks exclusively for data protection purposes. (See Enable (or Disable) Option to Only Use Blank PnP Disks for instructions.)

  • Use disk only when the size is greater than (n) MB

    Enabling this option and specifying the minimum disk size ensures that data protection operations use disks with a specific size. Depending on the size of your data protection operations, you can avoid using smaller disks which may result in a job spanning multiple disks.

Data aging and media recycling are supported. In addition, the following operations that are similar to the stand-alone drives are supported:

Since most of the operations that are supported by tape libraries are supported for PnP disk libraries, refer to the following topics for specific information about library operations:

See also: