HOW TO: Use Remote Storage in Windows 2000 Server

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Summary

You can use the Remote Storage service to create virtual disk storage from a tape or other storage media. If you use this service, files that you access infrequently are moved to remote storage media. Remote Storage volumes are well suited for data that you need to access only occasionally.

This step-by-step article describes how to set up and use Remote Storage.

NOTES:
  • Remote Storage is available only on Windows 2000 Server-based networks.
  • You cannot run Remote Storage on a Windows 2000 Professional-based computer.
  • You cannot install Remote Storage on a Windows 2000 Advanced Server-based computer in a server cluster configuration. Remote Storage does not failover to the other computer node.
  • You must be logged on with administrative permissions to use Remote Storage.
  • You must verify that a sufficient number of tapes are available in a free media pool. (Use Removable Storage to perform this task.)
  • You must verify that the volumes that are managed by Remote Storage are formatted with the version of NTFS file system that is used in Windows 2000.
If you use Windows 2000 Remote Storage, you can increase disk space on a server without adding more hard disks. You may still want to use additional disk space even though hard disks are now very inexpensive. You can use Remote Storage to use tape or optical drives to extend an NTFS volume.

Remote Storage automatically monitors the amount of free space that is available on local hard disks. If the free space drops to a specified level, Remote Storage automatically moves infrequently used files to the Remote Storage media to provide the free disk space that you need. Files are still readily available after you move them to the remote storage media.

If you view the files that you store by using Remote Storage, the files look as if they are still located on the hard disk and not on the remote storage media. After you open the file, you may notice a slightly longer file load time and you may receive a message that states the file is being recalled. The data is automatically moved to faster disk drives if required.

Remote Storage manages the Remote Storage process automatically and requires intervention only if the remote storage media is offline.

How to Install Remote Storage

  1. Configure your computer to use the supported storage device that you plan to use for Remote Storage.

    NOTE: Remote Storage does not detect devices that are added after you install Remote Storage. If you add devices after you install Remote Storage, remove and then reinstall Remote Storage to configure the devices.
  2. In Control Panel, double-click Add/Remove Programs.
  3. Click Add/Remove Windows Components.
  4. Click to select the Remote Storage check box, and then click Next.

    NOTE: You may be prompted to insert both the Windows 2000 CD-ROM and the service pack CD-ROM into your CD-ROM drive. Click OK if you want to copy files from an alternate location, such as a folder or a network server.
  5. Restart the computer.
  6. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Remote Storage.
  7. After the Remote Storage Setup Wizard starts, click Next.

    The wizard detects any compatible storage devices and checks the security settings.
  8. Click to select the NTFS volumes that you want to use Remote Storage with, and then click Next.
  9. Type the minimum amount of free space that you want to have available on the managed volumes in the Desired Free Space box.
  10. Type the size of the smallest files that you want Remote Storage to move to tape if you require more disk space in the Larger Than box.
  11. Type the number of days that the file is not accessed before the file is moved to tape in the Not Accessed In box, and then click Next.
  12. Click the media that you want Remote Storage to use in the Media Types box, and then click Next.
  13. Click Change Schedule to change the date and the time that Remote Storage copies files to tape.

    If you want to use the present schedule, click Next.
  14. Verify your settings, and then click Finish.

How to Configure Remote Storage

The following sections describe how to manage local volumes and remote storage media.

How to Add Volumes by Using Remote Storage

To add additional storage volumes after you complete the initial set-up:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Remote Storage.
  2. Click the Managed Volumes folder in the console tree.
  3. Click New Managed Volume(s), and then click Next after the Add Volume Management Wizard starts.
  4. Either click to select the check box next to the NTFS 5 volume you want to use or click Manage All Volumes to have Remote Storage manage all eligible volumes, and then click Next.
  5. Type the minimum amount of free space that you want to have available on the managed volumes in the Desired Free Space box.
  6. Type the size of the smallest files that you want Remote Storage to move to tape if you require more disk space in the Larger Than box.
  7. Type the number of days that the file is not accessed before the file is moved to tape in the Not Accessed In box, and then click Next.
  8. Verify your settings, and then click Finish.

How to Change Volume Settings

To change the settings that Remote Storage uses to manage remote storage files:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Remote Storage.
  2. Click the Managed Volumes folder in the console tree, right-click the volume that you want to configure, and then click Settings.
  3. In Desired Free Space box, click the Up or Down arrow to increase or decrease the free space value.

    Enter the percentage of total volume space that you want to maintain as free space on the volume.
  4. Type the size of the smallest files that you want Remote Storage to move to tape if you require more disk space in the Larger Than box.
  5. Type the number of days that the file is not accessed before the file is moved to tape in the Not Accessed In box, and then click Next.
  6. Verify your settings, and then click Finish.
  7. Click the Include/Exclude Rules tab, and then complete any of the following steps:
    • If you want to modify a rule that specifies file types to exclude from Remote Storage, click the rule, and then click Edit.
    • If you want to delete a rule that specifies file types to exclude from Remote Storage, click the rule, and then click Delete.

      NOTE: Some rules cannot be modified or deleted.
    • If you want to add a new rule:
      1. Click Add, and then either type the folder path that you want to apply the rule to or type a backslash (\) to apply the rule to the entire volume in the Path box.
      2. Click the type of file that you want to either include or exclude from Remote Storage in the File Type box.
      3. Click Exclude Matching Files if you want to exclude files that match certain criteria from Remote Storage.
      4. Click Include Matching Files if you want to explicitly allow Remote Storage to manage files that match certain criteria.
      5. Click to select the Apply Rule to Subfolders check box if you want Remote Storage to apply the rule to all subfolders of the folder that is listed in the Path box.
NOTE: Remote Storage is optimized for copying large files. If a managed volume contains many small files that are eligible to be copied to Remote Storage, the data transfer rate may not match the rating that is given for the tape library.

How to Manage Remote Storage Tasks

The following section describes basic Remote Storage management tasks.

How to Manually Perform Remote Storage Tasks

You can manually perform certain Remote Storage tasks. To either copy files to remote storage immediately, validate files, or create free space on the managed volume:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Remote Storage.
  2. Click the Managed Volumes folder in the console tree.
  3. Right-click the volume you want to perform a task on, click All Tasks, and then complete any of the following steps that are appropriate to your situation:
    • Click Copy files to remote storage to immediately copy all eligible files on the managed volume to remote storage.
    • Click Validate files to update volume statistics and to verify that all placeholders and locally cached files are still linked to valid data in Remote Storage.
    • Click Create free space to remove all cached data from files that have already been moved to the remote storage media.

      If you click Create free space, free space is created only if there is data cached locally.
  4. Click OK.

How to View and Set Properties for Remote Storage Tasks

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Remote Storage.
  2. In the console tree, click the item that you want to view the properties of.
  3. Right-click the object in the right pane, and then click Properties.
  4. Review the settings, and then make the appropriate changes.

How to View Events for Remote Storage

  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Remote Storage.
  2. In the console tree, double-click Remote Storage, and then double-click Event Viewer.
  3. Click a log, and then double-click the entry that you want to view in the right pane.

How to View Remote Storage Tasks

Remote Storage uses the Windows 2000 Scheduled Tasks folder to manage both automatically and manually assigned tasks. You can either view or reschedule Remote Storage Scheduled tasks in the same way that you view any other Windows 2000 Scheduled Tasks:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Scheduled Tasks.
  2. Right-click the task, and then click Run to perform a scheduled task immediately.
  3. Right-click the task, and then click End Task to cancel a task.
  4. Right-click the task and then click Properties to view the properties.

    You can also change the task schedule in the task properties.

How to Change Remote Storage Task Schedules

To change the schedule that Remote Storage uses to perform tasks:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Remote Storage.
  2. Click the Managed Volumes folder in the console tree.
  3. Right-click Remote Storage, and then click Change Schedule.
  4. Click to select the Show Multiple Schedules check box to create multiple schedules.
  5. Click either New or Delete to either add or remove schedules.
  6. Click Advanced to modify advanced scheduling information.
  7. Use the Windows 2000 Scheduled Tasks folder to change other Remote Storage tasks:
    1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Scheduled Tasks.
    2. Right-click the task that you want to modify, and then click Properties.
    3. Click the Schedule tab to modify the schedule for the task.

How to Set the Runaway Recall Limit

Remote Storage provides a default value for the maximum number of successive file recall processes that either a user or a program can make on any managed volume in the same session (this number is called the runaway recall limit). After a file recall process is completed, if either the user or the program requests another recall within 10 seconds, the count is increased. File recall processes copy the data back to local volumes, and decrease the available free disk space on your computer. Virus checking, data backup, indexing, and search programs typically read all files on your computer and can also cause a large number of file recall processes.

You can use the Runaway Recall Limit feature to prevent programs that are not compatible with Remote Storage (for example, backup programs, antivirus programs, and search programs) from recalling data from Remote Storage.

To configure the Runaway Recall Limit:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Remote Storage.
  2. Click the Managed Volumes folder in the console tree.
  3. Right-click Remote Storage, and then click Properties.
  4. Click the Recall Limit tab.
  5. Type the number of successive recalls that take place within 10 seconds of the last recall process that you want to allow before further recall processes are stopped.

    If the users frequently perform mass copy operations and you use Remote Storage-aware programs, set this limit higher; otherwise, leave the limit alone or reduce it as required.
  6. Click to select the Exempt Administrators From This Limit check box to exempt users with administrative privileges from this limit.

    NOTE: If you click to select the Exempt Administrators From This Limit check box, you can run a program that is not compatible. If you run a program that is not compatible, files may be recalled from Remote Storage unless you explicitly prevent this behavior from occurring.

How to Protect and Recover Data from Disaster

The following sections describe how to protect and recover data. Please note that the information in this section is not comprehensive.

If you use either the Backup program in Windows or another data backup program to restore files on a managed volume, consider the following information:
  • You cannot restore Remote Storage files to a different computer.
  • You cannot restore Remote Storage files to a volume that is not formatted with the version of NTFS that is used in Windows 2000.
  • You should not restore Remote Storage files to other NTFS volumes on the same computer unless you are sure that those volumes are also managed by Remote Storage.
Data protection is particularly important for remotely stored data because tape devices are not capable of fault tolerance. Plan a strategy for data protection so that you are prepared to recover your data if a major disaster occurs.

For more information about advanced backup topics, such as tape libraries and media pools, refer to Windows 2000 Backup Online Help.

For additional information about advanced backup topics, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
249120 How to Maintain Fully Populated Windows 2000 Backup Catalogs

How to Create Media Copies

Remote Storage can back up the data on tapes that it uses. The original tape collection that is used to hold all files that are copied from local storage is called the media master set. Remote Storage can automatically create copies from the media master. The collection of copies for a media master is called a media copy set. You can specify up to three media copy sets.

NOTE:
  • Files that are copied to Remote Storage are not protected by mirroring or striping. The only way to obtain redundancy for data in Remote Storage is to create copies of your media masters.
  • Media copies can be created only if two drives are available for use in a tape library.
Remote Storage uses available tapes in the Remote Storage media pool for media copies first, and then uses tapes from a free media pool. The free media pool is a collection of unused media that can be used when there is not enough storage space available in the Remote Storage media pool.

To specify the number of media copy sets you want to use:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Remote Storage.
  2. Click the Managed Volumes folder in the console tree.
  3. Right-click Remote Storage, and then click Properties.
  4. Click the Media Copies tab, and then specify the number of media copy sets that you want to create for each media master set.

How to Remove Media Copies

You can use the procedure that is described in the "Creating Media Copies" section of this article to decrease the number of sets that Remote Storage displays and accesses. However, you must delete the media copies if you want to free media space because the media is not deallocated when you decrease the number of sets.

To remove media copies:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Remote Storage.
  2. Click the Media folder in the Remote Storage console tree.
  3. Right-click the media master that is associated with the media copy that you want to delete, and then click Media Copies.
  4. Click Delete Copy for any media copies that you want to delete.

How to Validate Files

Validation ensures that all the files that are located on your managed volumes point to valid and correct data in Remote Storage. It also recalculates volume statistics. Validation is automatically performed two hours after you use a backup program to restore a Remote Storage file. Validation also detects files that either have been moved from one local volume to another or have been modified.

Perform validation on a regular basis to both validate all files on a given volume and correct any inconsistencies. Perform validation after you restore files on a local volume or after disk errors have occurred on a volume. The validation operation is integrated with Scheduled Tasks. You can use Scheduled Tasks to monitored validation.

How to Check the Status of Media Copies

To check on the status of a media copy:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Remote Storage.
  2. Click the Media folder in the Remote Storage console tree.
  3. Right-click the media master that is associated with the media copy that you want to view, and then click Media Copies.
  4. View the status information of the media copies.

How to Synchronize Media Copies

If you either update or synchronize media copies on a regular basis, you ensure that data on a media copy matches the data on the media master. Synchronization updates media copies for all the media masters; however, you can only synchronize one media copy set at a time. Files cannot be managed or recalled while a media copy set is being synchronized, even if additional drives are available. You can synchronize media copies later if they are removed from a library.

To synchronize media copies:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Remote Storage.
  2. Right-click Media in the Remote Storage console tree, and then click Synchronize Media Copies.
  3. Follow the steps in the Synchronization Wizard.

How to Remove Remote Storage

You may want to remove Remote Storage for the following reasons:

  • You want to perform a complete reinstallation of Windows 2000. If you recall the data from Remote Storage, you can either leave the data intact on the drive while you reinstall Windows or back up the data using a backup program that is not Remote Storage-aware.
  • The storage media is full and you do not want the Remote Storage database to span multiple tapes. You can stop Remote Storage from managing a volume. If you do so, Remote Storage stops adding files to Remote Storage but it does not recall the files that are already being stored remotely.
Before you remove Remote Storage, click Recall copied files from remote storage in the Remove Volume Management wizard to discontinue all volume management. Otherwise, you may lose your file data. Use the Remove Volume Management Wizard to remove a managed volumes from Remote Storage:
  1. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Remote Storage.
  2. Click the Managed Volumes folder in the console tree.
  3. Right-click the volume that you want to remove from Remote Storage, click Remove, and then click Next after the Remove Volume Management Wizard starts.
  4. Click to select Recall Copied Files From Remote Storage to recall all files from remote storage and place them back on the managed volume.

    NOTE: The managed volume must have enough free disk space to hold all of the recalled files.
  5. To stop Remote Storage from adding files to remote storage but to allow it to continue to manage the files that are currently being remotely stored, click to select Maintain Copied Files In Remote Storage, and then click Next.
  6. Click Yes, verify your settings, and then click Finish.

Troubleshooting

  • Issue: You cannot install or remove Remote Storage.

    Cause: Remote Storage requires that you have administrative permissions.

    Solution: Verify that you are logged on with administrative permissions.
  • Issue: You cannot find the Remote Storage snap-in.

    Cause: Remote Storage is not installed by default the first time you run Windows 2000 Server Setup.

    Solution: Use Add/Remove Programs to install Remote Storage on your computer.
  • Issue: Remote Storage could not find any valid media type to use.

    Cause: Either Removable Storage has not detected the media type yet or you do not have a supported tape library.

    Solution: Wait until the available media that can be used is displayed in the Removable Storage snap-in.

    Solution: Verify that you have a supported tape library. Remote Storage supports all small computer system interface (SCSI) class 4mm, 8mm, and digital linear tape (DLT) tape libraries. Remote Storage does not support QIC tape or optical disc libraries.
  • Issue: Remote Storage cannot manage a particular volume or cannot find a volume that you want to manage.

    Cause: Remote Storage can only manage nonremovable (fixed), local NTFS volumes; other file systems or volumes are not displayed in the Remote Storage Setup wizard.

    Solution: Use the Windows 2000 NTFS file system to format all volumes that you want to manage.
  • Issue: You have set a file-copying schedule but no files have been copied to remote storage.

    Cause: There may not be any files that meet the specified criteria.

    Solution:Change the file rules and other file-copy criteria as necessary.
  • Issue: You can no longer recall files from Remote Storage.

    Cause: Remote Storage uses the runaway recall limit to prohibit a user or program from recalling files from Remote Storage more than a specified number of times in succession. Virus checking, data backup, indexing, and search programs typically read all files on your computer, and can cause the runaway recall limit to be quickly reached.

    Solution: Increase the runaway recall limit as necessary or close the program that is causing the excessive recall processes.
  • Issue: File recalls are slow.

    Cause: Remote Storage uses tape-based libraries to store data. It may take five minutes or longer to recall a file.

    Solution: Set the desired free space value lower so that data in the cached files is not removed as often. If you do so, data does not have to be recalled from Remote Storage as often.
  • Issue: There are excessive file recalls occurring.

    Cause: Virus checking, data backup, indexing, and search programs typically read all files on your computer. In particular, if you use Find (on the Edit menu) in Microsoft Office 95 or later to search for content on a managed volume, all files in Remote Storage are automatically recalled.

    Solution: Consider the programs that cause excessive files recalls on your managed volumes when you plan your activities.

    Cause: If Microsoft Word (.doc), Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt), or hypertext markup language (HTML) files have been copied to Remote Storage, all files in Remote Storage are recalled if you install Microsoft Office 97 on the computer that is running Remote Storage. This behavior occurs at the end of the Office 97 installation.

    Solution: To stop the recalls, use Windows Task Manager (press CTRL+ALT+DEL) to end the Findfast.exe task.
  • Issue: You cannot perform a media copy by using two libraries.

    Cause: Remote Storage may try to use a tape for a media copy from the same library as the media master. This behavior can occur if media of sufficient capacity is not present in the Remote Storage media pool and tapes are used from a free media pool instead.

    Solution: Use Removable Storage to move tapes in the second library from the free media pool to the Remote Storage media pool.
  • Issue: Client computers that are using Windows File Manager (such as Windows 3.x or Windows 95-based computers) cannot access files that are managed by Remote Storage.

    Cause: This issue can occur if you are using Exabyte 8200 tape libraries. Do not use Remote Storage with Exabyte 8200 tape libraries. Remote Storage does not support any QIC tape libraries or optical disc libraries.

    Solution: Remote Storage supports all SCSI class 4mm, 8mm, and DLT tape libraries.
  • Issue: You cannot recall or copy data to Remote Storage while you are synchronizing media copies.

    For best results, try synchronizing the media copies after hours.
  • Issue: You need to recreate a Media Master because the media master is damaged or lost.

    Solution: If data on a media master becomes corrupted or is lost, you can re-create the media master from a recently synchronized media copy.

    NOTE: Use the following procedure only if you are experiencing errors. After you complete this procedure, you lose all data that has been migrated to remote storage since the last time you synchronized the media copy unless the data's local cache has not yet been erased.
    1. Verify that there is enough space available in the remote storage media.
    2. Click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Remote Storage.
    3. Click the Media folder in the Remote Storage console tree.
    4. Right-click the most recently synchronized media copy for the media master that you want to re-create, and then click Media Copies.
    5. Click the Recovery tab, and then click Re-create Master.
  • Issue: While you are recalling a file from Remote Storage, you receive the following error message:
    Path\filename.doc. The file can not be accessed by the system.
    Solution: Refer to the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
    235469 How to Restore the Remote Storage Database
  • Issue: While you are accessing Removable Storage, you receive any of the following error messages:
    Backup cannot connect to Removable Storage. This service is required for use of tape drives and other backup devices.
    -or-
    REMOVABLE STORAGE: Server execution failed.
    -or-
    The removable storage database failed to load. Check the event log.
    Solution: Refer to the following Microsoft Knowledge Base article:
    235032 Problems with a Damaged Removable Storage Manager Database


References

For more information about Remote Storage, refer to Windows 2000 Help and Windows 2000 Resource Kit. Windows 2000 Resource Kit contains advanced information about how to configure, administer, optimize, and troubleshoot Remote Storage. The full version of Windows 2000 Resource Kit is a complementary product to Windows 2000. However, the Windows 2000 compact disc set contains a subset of the full Windows 2000 Resource Kit.

For additional information about Removable Storage Manager terms and definitions, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
240856 Removable Storage Manager Terms and Definitions






Properties

Article ID: 317369 - Last Review: January 28, 2013 - Revision: 2.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server
Keywords: 
kbhowto kbhowtomaster KB317369

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