Accessing Tape Drive on another linux system

Rick Stevens rstevens at
Fri Dec 23 18:59:05 UTC 2005

On Fri, 2005-12-23 at 22:50 +0400, amar_padhi wrote:
> Hi,
> requirement is simple. Two servers exist on RHEL 3.0. The tape drive is
> connected to server B. The databases are on server A. We want a direct
> access to the tape drive on server B from server A. This way we will be
> able to do online backups direct to the server B tape drive from server
> A databases. Redhat support informed that this is not possible, i.e.,
> tape drives cannot be shared across the network.

As DEVICES, no, they can't be shared.

> I am very sure this is possible. This is a requirement which every
> multi-server organization will have and linux is more than capable of
> doing this!
> Do provide your inputs. Bottom line, how do I share my tape drive on the
> network (for linux servers only).

You can't share a device.  You can share filesystems via NFS, Samba,
etc., but not devices.

Now, if you were using something like cpio or amanda, then yes, you can
use the tape drive on another machine by specifying (for cpio):

	-O user at host:/dev/st0

or something along those lines.  Note that you're using cpio to move
the data and cpio knows how to do the remote tape thing.

- Rick Stevens, Senior Systems Engineer     rstevens at -
- VitalStream, Inc.              -
-                                                                    -
-                  Heisenberg _may_ have slept here                  -

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