Adding RDX device to Backup Exec 2012, 2014, and 12.5

Overview: The business was using a tape drive to back up data from various systems using Backup Exec. The tape drive was experiencing problems, so rather than purchasing another tape drive the decision was made to purchase SSD drives.

Purchasing SSD drivers for backup purposes is considered the norm. However, there are a few considerations before moving from a tape drive to a RDX device.

  1. If the organization needs to be SOX (Sarbanes – Oxley) compliant and are currently using a tape drive, the tape drive will need to be in working order for audit purposes since the previous seven years’ worth of backups are on tape.
  2. RDX devices do not provide the data compression of tapes. If the data being backed up to tape was 200 GB with a compression ratio of 2:1 the backup takes 100 GB on tape but will take 200 GB on an RDX device.
  3. The up-front costs of implementing a RDX solution is lower that a tape system, but the SSD disks tend to be 2 to 3 times the price of comparable tapes. Expect to get one year out of the SSD disk before it needs to be replaced, so over a period of time the costs associated with a RDX solution will equal the cost of the tape solution.
  4. Many RDX solutions are USB in nature where tapes drives are generally SCSI, so the backup will be limited by the USB speed. As the SSD disk becomes fragmented, expect the backup to take a longer period of time to complete.

Process: Here are some steps I took to add a Tandberg RDX USB Device so Backup Exec could see and use the device as a backup location.

  1. Plug the RDX “caddie” device into a USB port and install any software required for Windows to see the device as a static drive letter.
  2. Inset the first disk into the caddy. You should be able to see and access the disk in Windows Explorer.
  3. In Backup Exec go to Devices – Removable Backup-to-Disk Folders, right click and create a “New Removable Backup-to-Disk Folder” Go through the setup process and apply any configurations required for the environment. The difference between a Backup-to-Disk Folder and a Removable Backup-to-Disk Folder is the Removable Backup-to-Disk Folder points at a drive letter as opposed to a folder.
  4. Once the removable folder is created right click on the new folder and select “scan.” This will scan the device and insert the Changer.cfg and Folder.cfg files on the disk and add a device called FLDR000001 to the removable folder configuration. Once that has been accomplished, eject the first cartridge, insert the next cartridge and select “scan” again. You want to do this for all the disk and ensure you are labeling each disk with a day of the week it is to be used.
  5. Once that has been completed insert the first disk in the rotation into the RDX caddy and run an inventory of the disk. Now, if you receive the message, “Ready; no media servers are available” go ahead and restart the server. The problem is that Backup Exec still retains the information for the last disk scanned and is confused at this point, so restarting the server should get everything back in-line again.
  6. Edit the backup job to point to the new Removable Backup-to-Disk Folder created in step 3, save the settings and you should be good at this time to start using the RDX disks for the backups in Backup Exec.

Note: Certain version of Backup Exec will not be able to automatically eject the disk in the RDX device, so ensure email is being sent to the backup administrator when the job finishes.

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