Loaders 4.4

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The DataStore
User Manual


Loaders are devices that consists of drive(s), a magazine with slots for media and a robotic mechanism that moves media between the slots and drives thus enabling automated backups. There is no dependency in SEP sesam to use specific manufacturers devices or device types. A list of supported hardware is available at Supported Storage Hardware.

Identifying storage devices and their configuration

SEP sesam can detect and automatically configure storage hardware in your environment if the hardware is supported and recognized by the operating system (it must be listed in the OS device driver directory), where the SEP sesam Server or Remote Device Server is installed.

Information sign.png Note
Verify that the operating system properly detects the storage device. On Windows, the hardware must be recognized correctly by the operating system in the Windows Device Manager (must not be shown as Unknown Medium Changer) before SEP sesam is installed! For details, see Checking hardware configuration on Windows.

During SEP sesam Server installation, SEP sesam checks the SCSI API of the operating system for connected storage devices and enters working device files (SCSI address) into SEP sesam database. This auto-detection works for most devices, but for certain types of loaders the connection between a loader and the drives cannot be recognized automatically. Such devices must be manually verified and entered into the configuration.

Information sign.png Note
If you are adding a loader later, e.g., for remote devices, you also have to configure your storage hardware manually. How you configure a loader depends on its type. For details on how to manually configure tape devices, enable persistent naming and use SEP sesam SCSI tool slu topology for detecting devices, see Manually configuring loaders and drives.

The menu item Loaders shows the configured loaders with their drives. You can add a new loader, inspect the contents of the loader, run archive adjustment, and import/export or load/unload the tape cartridges.

GUI loader.png

Loader properties

The following settings are configured automatically if a storage device is recognized by the operating system.

Loader 4.4.png

Device Name
SCSI device filename of the loader; enter the SCSI address of the physical device on Windows systems, for example Changer0, or a device filename on Linux systems, for example /dev/sg2. You can check if the devices are used correctly by SEP sesam and detect available SCSI addresses by running a slu topology command.

slu topology is a SEP sesam SCSI loader utility that provides information about the loaders and tape drives connected to the system and their relation. To be able to run the SEP sesam commands globally, you must first set up a profile as described in FAQ: What happens when I set a profile? Then run slu topology command to list all attached SCSI devices. For details on the output, see Using slu topology for detecting devices.

<SESAM_BIN>/sesam/slu topology

Enter the displayed target device name in the Device Name field.

Device Server  
Remote Device Server (RDS) where the loader is installed
Device Server refers to the server where the loader is connected. In small environments the loader or disk array is usually installed directly on the SEP sesam Server. However, more complex backup environments use RDS instead. RDS receives data during backup and writes it to the attached tape device.
The device type.
The loader type – there are different types of loaders available:
  • All loaders, which are connected by SAS/iSCSI/FC to the SEP sesam Server or RDS, and provide a robotic control of tape media.

  • A virtual loader. Only one virtual loader can exist in the entire SEP sesam configuration. This loader type is always configured with the number 0 (zero), and it serves all DISK_HARD drives and DISK_CHNG drives. Even though media are not actually moved, there are entries in specific files to control the data streams.

  • Enables you to control a pool of several hard disks. The hard disks have to be addressable by single device ID in the operating system.
Number of slots in the loader.
When inserting a cleaning tape, use the last slot in the loader and reduce the number of slots in the loader by one (or by the number of cleaning tapes loaded). Additionally, configure the auto-clean option in the tape library setup.
Number of mailslots in the loader.
Depending on whether the loader has a barcode reader or not, select yes or no.
Auto Unload function
Almost all autoloaders and tape libraries allow explicit commands to transport tapes to and from the loader mechanism. It is strongly recommended to disable Auto Unload function by setting it to no and allow the manufacturer's drive settings to perform as designed.


The Content view shows a symbolic representation of the loader. It is constantly updated and always shows the current status.

The left part represents the tapes in slots. In the right corner at the top is the drive, in the middle is the arm or selecting device (changer), below is the exit port.

Frequently there will be other applications also using media in a loader, especially in the case of large tape libraries. In such case, you have to know which subset of media is reserved for SEP sesam (media that are added to the SEP sesam media pool). When running an archive adjustment (scanning a loader to update the SEP sesam information about the tapes in the device), you can limit the scanning to specific SEP sesam loader areas. If the media have barcode labels, this is taken into account for the backup process. Direct verification of the media label is possible.

The archive adjustment can also be performed for inventory purposes to provide the overview of the media available in the loader, irrespective of which pool was selected for the adjustment.

The following table lists the icons used for displaying various media and loader status.
Loader legend.png

Barcode as label 
If available, a barcode will be used instead of the media label.

Archive Adjustment

An archive adjustment makes a comparison between media in the loader carousel or magazine and the SEP sesam media archive database. It is mandatory whenever the contents of a loader carousel have been altered. Typically, it must be performed after inserting new media or used media that have not yet been registered (initialized) by SEP sesam. It must be run after successful installation of a loader, as described in the following section First archive adjustment after new loader installation. For more details on archive adjustment and how to create a media event for it to run automatically, see Setting up Archive Adjustment.

Information sign.png Note
When selecting the option Archive Adjustment, make sure that the autoloader being realigned is selected in the GUI window, i.e. that the target device is at the top of the adjustment task. When using the command line, the task must include the name of the target autoloader or tape device.
Loader archive adjustment.jpg

Media Pool  
Select a media pool where you want to perform the archive adjustment.
If the selected media pool has storage pools assigned to it, you can select it here.
Drive Group  
The drive group is automatically defined by the media pool.
Drive (opt.)  
Optional input of a single drive.
Slot Range
Offers the possibility to limit the synchronization to the selected segment of the autoloader.
Automatic Introduction
If unknown media (without SEP sesam label) are found within the loader, they will be added to the specified media pool.
Tape Type  
Selected media type for automatic new media entry.
Handling of unknown SEP sesam media
  • Accept without initialization: Foreign SEP sesam media, e.g., from another SEP sesam Server, will be entered into the new media pool without initialization.
  • Overwrite:
Information sign.png Note
Any media from a competitive manufacturer will be entered into the target media pool and will be overwritten! In other words, any media not recognized by the SEP sesam Server will be overwritten and a new media pool label will be written to the tape.
Check label on tape 
Every tape label is read again and verified. Bar code information is ignored.
Adjustment by barcode only 
SEP sesam does not unload the tapes from the drives and checks only the barcodes of tapes within the slots.
First archive adjustment after new loader installation

After the complete installation of a loader, the tapes must first be included in a media pool for use. This is done by running the archive adjustment.

  1. First, configure a media pool that will be used for backing up directly to tapes which are assigned to this media pool. For details, see Configuring media pools for loaders.
  2. Insert new tapes into the slots of the loader; in our example, we use the slots 3-6.
  3. Start the archive adjustment with the following settings:
    • Select the media pool to which you want to assign the tapes.
    • Specify the slot range for the newly introduced tapes; in our example, slots 3-6.
    • Select the check box Automatic Introduction to enable the tapes to be added to the specified media pool.
    • By default, Accept without initialization is enabled under the option Handling of unknown SEP sesam media. Select the check box Overwrite only if the respective tape has already been registered by SEP sesam.
    • Click Start to start your archive adjustment immediately.

Running archive adjustment results in automatically adding the tapes to the specified media pool, which can now be used for backups.

Loader Action

Selecting Loader Action is the simplest (limited) way to achieve direct access to disk and loader controls. The import or export (load/unload) of a single tape can be initialized in the SEP GUI as well as the sorting of media within the library. The use of port slots depends on the hardware installed.

Loader action.png

Transport of tape cartridge through the input/output port into the magazine.
Transport of tape cartridge from the magazine through the input/output port – exit from loader.
Load from slot
Move tape cartridge from the specified magazine slot into the specified drive.
Load via label
Move tape cartridge with certain ID (e.g., S00001) into the specified drive.
Move tape cartridge from the specified drive back into its slot.
Loader Number
Selection of a defined loader.
Drive Number
Selection of a defined drive (within the loader).
In case of Load via label instead of slot number.
Start the corresponding action.
Cancels the dialog without performing any action.