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Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Cannot write to device (JSONizer error: Invalid inputs)

I ran into the following problem at a customer site running 9.01 with all the latest patches. In context it was fairly obvious what was going on. But I pity anyone running into this cold because it would have been a very long and slow debugging process.


[Critical] From: VBDA@linux1.ifost.org.au "linux1.ifost.org.au [/home]" Time: 26/11/2014 4:03:41 PM
[80:1031] Received ABORT request from NET => aborting.

[Major] From: BMA@backup.ifost.org.au "LinuxBackupStorage [GW 4464:0:11286004362757246666]" Time: 26/11/2014 4:03:41 PM
[90:51] \\backup.ifost.org.au\LINUX_OS\1f00010a_54755f1f_06cc_0099
Cannot write to device (JSONizer error: Invalid inputs)

[Critical] From: VBDA@linux1.ifost.org.au "linux1.ifost.org.au [/home]" Time: 26/11/2014 4:03:41 PM
Connection to Media Agent broken => aborting.



The relevant part of the datalist file (in /etc/opt/omni/server/datalists on a Linux-based cell manager, and C:\programdata\omniback\config\server\datalists on a Windows-based cell manager) looked like this:

HOST "linux1.ifost.org.au" linux1.ifost.org.au
{
   -trees
      "/"
   -exclude
      "/home/scratch"
      "/home/pgdumps"
}
There's nothing wrong with that: it will work correctly when writing to a tape device. The same structure (host with exclusions) would probably work on a Windows box. But a Linux client backing up to a StoreOnce store causes the BMA to crash.

This also occurs when you split it into filesystems.

FILESYSTEM "linux1:/" linux1.ifost.org.au:/ {
}
FILESYSTEM "linux1:/home" linux1.ifost.org.au:/home { 
   -exclude 
      "/home/scratch" 
      "/home/pgdumps" 
}

Both of these backup specifications will work correctly when written to tape. Presumably one day a patch will be released to fix this. Contact HP support if necessary, and I'll try to update this posting when it's fixed.



Greg Baker is an independent consultant who happens to do a lot of work on HP DataProtector. He is the author of the only published book on HP Data Protector (http://x.ifost.org.au/dp-book). He works with HP and HP partner companies to solve the hardest big-data problems (especially around backup). See more at IFOST's DataProtector pages at http://www.ifost.org.au/dataprotector