Configuring a Media Pool

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Any form of reproduction of the contents or parts of this manual is allowed only with the express written permission from SEP AG. When compiling and designing user documentation SEP AG uses great diligence and attempts to deliver accurate and correct information. However, SEP AG cannot issue a guarantee for the contents of this manual.

Docs latest icon.png Welcome to the latest SEP sesam documentation version 4.4.3/4.4.3 Beefalo V2. For previous documentation version(s), check Documentation archive.


Media pool is a group of media of the same type that you use for backups. How you configure a media pool depends on the type of the used storage device. With loaders, you set up a media pool that will be used for backing up directly to tapes. For backing up to disks (disk storage) you have to set up a data store first, but still have to create a dedicated media pool for it.

Once a media pool is configured SEP sesam automatically labels each medium with a unique media label during initialization. Media labels are stored in the SEP sesam database. The labels consist of the pool name and a 5-digit number assigned by SEP sesam within the pool.

Media pools are the base for building a backup strategy. Each media pool stands for a set of media, foreseen for a specific purpose. For example, media pools can be created and managed for work days, weekends, certain locations, certain types, databases, etc. You may have different kind of media pools for different types of backup data, backup sources (e.g., file backup, DB backup) or drive types.

It is possible to configure special GFS media pools for storing a data to tape according to the GFS (Grandfather-Father-Son) retention strategy. For details, see GFS Backup Retention Strategy.

Note that the Options tab for configuring a special set of options to allow sharing of media across media pools is only available when configuring the media pools for tape media.

Configuring media pools for tape media

After you configure your backup hardware and create a new drive group, you have to create a new media pool and assign it to the drive group which contains your newly created drives. With loaders, you can configure a media pool that will be used for backing up directly to tapes. The way you set up your backup strategy depends on the data that is being backed up. Typically, you would create at least three media pools. For details on how to set up loaders and drives, see Configuring Loaders and Drives.


  1. From Main Selection -> Media Pools, click New Media Pool. The New Media Pool window appears.
  2. In the Media Pool window, specify the required fields:
  3. Media pool tape Beefalo V2.jpg

    • Name: Specify a name of a media pool, for example, MP_tape_day (for daily backups), MP_tape_week (for weekly backups), etc.
    • Description: Optionally, insert the description of the pool.
    • Drive group: From the drop-down list of all available drive groups, select the relevant drive group to which a media pool will be attached (e.g, Tape_Drives, RDS_LTO_Dives, etc.). For details on drive groups, see Drives.
    • Retention time [days]: Specify the retention time for media pool. The retention time period starts with the date a saveset is written to the media and lasts for the period defined by media pool's retention time (in days). The expiration date of the retention time is the EOL of the saveset. When a saveset is stored on tape, every stored saveset has its own saveset EOL, however, the expiration date of the tape corresponds to the maximum retention time (the longest EOL) identified on it. For details, see tape media EOL.
    • Set media pool inactive: You can deactivate a media pool that it is not available for use.
    • Information sign.png Note
      In the case of a clone media pool, the option Set media pool inactive controls not only whether a media pool is available for use but consequently also whether the upload – synchronization with the S3 cloud is performed. If you deactivate a clone media pool by selecting the option Set media pool inactive, the data will no longer be synchronized with the S3 cloud. For details, see Configuring replication to S3 cloud.
  4. Readability check is used to check the readability of data on tape and its structure, and to ensure that the backup sets on tape are recorded in the database and vice versa. Use the following options to specify the readability check settings:
  5. Media pool readability Beefalo V2.jpg

    • Readability check limit [days]: By default, the value is 0 (zero) and the readability check is switched off. If you set a number > 0 , a medium is checked after the specified number of days and marked by status Readability check needed. Note that readability check can only be applied if a medium EOL has not expired and is not applicable for EOL-free media. For details, see Managing EOL.
    • Expiration of read check overdue [days]: Specify the number of days when a readability test will be overdue. This calculation is based on the readability check limit [days] and the value of expiration overdue.
    • Repeat rate for readability check [times]: If you select Unlimited, the medium is checked according to the specified frequency. If you define Execute, the check is repeated as many times as specified.
    Information sign.png Note
    To perform the readability check, you have to set up a schedule and link a media event to it. When creating a media event you have to select readability check option and a media pool for your event. For details, see Configuring a Readability Check.
  6. In v. ≤ 4.4.3 Grolar, the Options tab is available when configuring a new media pool. As of v. 4.4.3 Beefalo, the Options tab is only available in the media pool properties (Main Selection -> Media Pools -> double-click a media pool). Under the Options tab, you can configure a special set of options (according to your strategy) to allow sharing of media across media pools. The following media management options may be useful if media from the respective pool are not available for backup. In this case a system requires new media.
  7. Media pools options Beefalo V2.jpg

    • May use empty, foreign media: If you select this option, SEP sesam will use unknown or blank tapes for backup when no tapes are available in the respective pool.
    • May use EOL free media: If you select this option, you may use other EOL free media than the requested one in a single tape drive (without a loader).
    • May use SPARE media: This option can be used if you have configured media pool SPARE_ before (see below section). By enabling the SPARE media option, SEP sesam automatically uses the media from the SPARE pool if there are no available tapes in the target media pool. For details, see Spare Pools.
    • May use media from another pool: This option enables SEP sesam to use available tapes of other media pools if there are no available tapes in the target media pool.
    • Another media pool may use media from this pool: If you select this option, you enable another media pool that runs out of its own tapes to use the available tapes from the respective media pool.
  8. Click OK.

Configuring spare pools

You configure a spare pool in the same way as you any other media pool except for the name of the pool - SPARE_. The name of the spare pool must follow the rule to use SPARE_ as the naming convention. This way, SEP sesam is able to identify this pool as a spare pool.

Media pool spare pool Beefalo V2.jpg

Configuring media pools for data stores

With data stores, you configure media pools to be used for backing up to disks (disk storage). First you have to configure a data store, and then you create a dedicated media pool for it. For details on how to configure a data store, see Configuring a Data Store.


  1. When you configure your data store, you are prompted to configure a media pool immediately. You can also configure a media pool later from the data store properties -> click Create Media Pool, or from Main Selection -> Media Pools, click New Media Pool. New Media Pool window appears.
  2. Media pool data store Beefalo V2.jpg

  3. As described above, enter a media pool name, select a drive group and set up the Retention time. Media pool retention time is specified in days and defines how long the backed up data on media remains protected after the data is written to the medium. The retention time period starts with the date a saveset is written to the medium. The expiration date of the retention time is the EOL of the saveset. After the protection has expired, saveset is deleted while purge is running on the data store and the memory space is released. For details, see retention time of media pool.
  4. Information sign.png Note
    Before backing up to S3 cloud, you also have to create one clone media pool by selecting Clone as a media pool type. For details, see S3 Cloud Storage Backup.
  5. Click OK.

You can check which media pools are configured with a data store in the data store properties: from Main Selection -> Data Stores -> double-click the selected data store -> select the Media (previously Areas) tab. By clicking the media pool in the list, its properties are displayed.

Data store media tab Beefalo V2.jpg