At work I was tasked with upgrading our tape backup system, from old hardware running Veritas 5 to new hardware running Symantec (Veritas) NetBackup 6.5. The new server is running RedHat EL 4 and we bought it a QLogic QLE2460 Fibre Channel card for the tape drive communication. This was a horribly long, drawn out, unnecessarily complicated project. Symantec tech support is mostly outsourced to India, and mostly useless. It’s nothing against Indians, it’s just that they were obviously working from a script and poorly trained. Just one iconic example of the thought put into their software: one unforseen problem was that the new server had to be given the old server’s name, otherwise we would break continuity within NetBackup. And since the old server was still in production until we got the new server working and tested, that meant I got to be cable monkey twice daily until the project was complete.

At one point, I encountered the problem of being able to communicate with the Overland Neo 2000 tape robot, but not the tape drives. It became apparent that the device nodes for the drives were not being created. After some serious “WTFing” my coworker found some suggestions on Overland’s support site (no longer available) which led him to discover how to fix this. The trouble is that these commands had to be run at every boot. I wanted to learn Python, so I decided to create this script in Python. Critiques are welcome, but keep in mind that I’m still a python n00b.

I also used the RedHat chkconfig utility to get this to run automatically. Get the script:


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