Some long, quasi-trivial questions: (I'm using Retrospect Desktop 5.1 on MS
Windows 2K with a LaCie external Sony AIT-2 drive)
Am I right in assuming that the "Members" tab on the properties dialog for a
backup set shows the amount of data sent to the tape device *before* any
hardware compression take place? Or, is the amount displayed derived from
some count of the actual number and size of blocks written by the device to
the media (which some devices' SCSI mode pages would show), i.e. the actual
media capacity used?
Reading the relevant parts of the manual's "Management" chapter hasn't
decided the question for me.
Where is the actual total of hours of tape use displayed? Retrospect can
remind when a device needs cleaning--so the data must be saved somewhere.
The AIT-2 drives are largely self-cleaning according to the Sony manual, but
will set the CLN bit in a Request Sense command if the drive needs treatment
with a cleaning cartridge (as well as blinking the drive's LEDs, etc.). Does
Retrospect write some kind of warning log message when that bit is set? Is
there any way short of manually totalling backup session logs to find the
number of hours a given backup member has been in use?
Also, most tape drives maintain pretty elaborate counts of soft/hard
read/write errors. These are useful statistics to display in log files,
since a consistent increase in these numbers on a series of backup sessions
may show that the media is ripe for retirement. Is there any access to these
in Retrospect? (Maybe I'm just too used to all the redundant statistics that
ARCserve so obsessively displays! ARCserve vs. Retrospect: an East coast vs.
West coast thing? I should probably relax more.)
// Michel Joly de Lotbinière
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