Commvault will not automatically reuse media

Last post 04-09-2019, 3:07 PM by JoshCurrier. 8 replies.
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  • Commvault will not automatically reuse media
    Posted: 03-14-2019, 9:50 AM

    We have a weekly full backup to tape with 4 tape drives. The tape policy is set to 4 streams with multiplexing of 5 streams. The "Start New Media" option under the schedule policy media tab is not checked.

    The problem we are having is that Commvault never asks for the active media after it is done with it, even if the tape is not full. This occurs even when it is looking for the exact same stream number as the active media. E.g. it will ask for a new scratch of stream 2, even though there is an active stream 2 that was used previously.

    This behaviour is new. About a year and a half ago it was working correctly, where it would request the active tapes instead of a new one. Unforunately, I was both new to the job and new to commvault at the time, so I wasn't really in the loop as to what might have changed. Recently I've been poring through all the settings to try and figure out how to fix this, and am coming up blank.

    Does anyone have any ideas as to how to fix this?

  • Re: Commvault will not automatically reuse media
    Posted: 03-15-2019, 7:23 PM

    Hi kuritzo 

    This is a weird one, can we please confirm what Version and Service Pack?

    Has their been any recent changes around the time whne the issue started occurring?

    I would recommend opening a ticket with support so they can investigate further and review the different setitngs, to see if their are any new changes 



  • Re: Commvault will not automatically reuse media
    Posted: 03-25-2019, 9:32 AM

    Hi Winston,

    Sorry for the delay in responding here. We are running Version 11 Service Pack 12.

    This is definitely a later version than when the issue was not occurring. Unfortunately the issue started when I was new (over a year ago) and I don't clearly remember what changed to cause the issue. So I don't have any one setting I can point to that might be the root source.

    We do have a standalone library without a tape robot at present, so I'm wondering if it simply believes that any media that is not currently in the drives is not available, and so it never asks for them. Having said that, media which is partially uses does end up being marked as "active" in the library, so it does seem to be aware it hasn't filled them or exported them.

  • Re: Commvault will not automatically reuse media
    Posted: 03-26-2019, 7:20 AM

    Hi Kuritzo

    So reviewing your original problem, since the Tape Policy is using 4 Stream, each time a Backup is writing to Tape, a Tape will be assigned a Stream ID.

    When the next Backup is triggered, it will only select the Tape with the corresponding Stream ID. 

    As you have mentioned the Tapes in CommVault is still active and not "Marked as full". 

    If you want to use a Tape and fill it up to capacity, you can consider configuring a single Device Stream for your backup (and changing the Subclient to single Reader), if this is a Secondary Copy you can use the "Combine Source Stream"



  • Re: Commvault will not automatically reuse media
    Posted: 03-26-2019, 8:07 AM

    Hi Winston,

    So you are right, we do end up with 4 streams, and thus 4 different tapes going at any one time. I don't want to set it to one stream, since then I believe it will only use one tape device to write, and we have four. 

    The problem though is that even though there is a tape marked as active, it will not request that tape, even if it is looking for the same stream. It will instead request a new tape, and when it does this, the status of the old tape will change from active to appendable, and there is a note on the tape that says "Marked full as the archiving data path has switched."

  • Re: Commvault will not automatically reuse media
    Posted: 03-27-2019, 10:38 PM

    Hi Kuritzo 

    I am wondering whether there is a potential reservation issue to cause the Tape Media to report "Marked full as the archiving data path has switched."

    Can we please confirm when you view the contents of the Tape, does it only include Backup Job from a single Storage Policy, do you see any other Jobs from other Storage Policy being written to the Tape ?



  • Re: Commvault will not automatically reuse media
    Posted: 03-28-2019, 9:13 AM

    Hi Winston,

    I can confirm that all of the tapes contain data from only one storage policy, which is our default tape policy. While double checking this, I did notice that while most of the tapes have the message that I referred to in my previous post "Marked full as the archiving data path has switched", one of the tapes that it marked as no longer active has the message "Media was found exported when required by a backup or copy job". To the best of my knowledge, however, it never actually requested that tape before marking it as appendable/not active.

  • Re: Commvault will not automatically reuse media
    Posted: 04-04-2019, 12:40 PM

    I think I've figured out the mechanism that is causing Commvault to request new tapes, but I still can't quite figure out how to jump the final step and fix it. I'm hoping someone here has the knowledge to help me out.

    Reading through the Commvault documentation, I noticed this section regarding appendable media:

    "Mark Media Appendable

    When this option is enabled, a media will be marked as Appendable when it is not available in the library and a new media will be used by the job. (If this option is not enabled, the media will be marked as Full.) Enabling this option ensures that the media in the library is fully utilized."

    We have this option enabled. Problem is, looking at our media library, every single tape is listed as "unavailable", except for the four we currently have in our tape drives. So according to the documentation on appendable media, Commvault's behavior is to mark the media as appendable because it is not available, and requests a new media.

    I looked around to see if I can somehow tell Commvault to mark these media as available even when they are not in the tape drive, but not having any luck so far. If I try to manually assign the location of a media, the only two options are "not applicable" and "not available". 

    Does anyone have any ideas here? Is there any way in Commvault to assign a default location for partially used media other than not available?

  • Re: Commvault will not automatically reuse media
    Posted: 04-09-2019, 3:07 PM

    It sounds like the media is being exported when the job completes.  To check:

    1. edit the aux copy schedule policy or schedule.

    2. under tasks, edit the actual schedule.

    3. click advanced.

    4. click the vault tracking tab.


    If the export option is checked, it could be the cause of the behavior you're seeing.

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