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RMAN fails to allocate channel with Tivoli Storage Manager

I was recently configuring backup on the customers Exadata with IBM TSM Data Protection for Oracle and run into weird RMAN error. The configuration was Oracle Database 11.2, TSM client version 6.1 and TSM Server version 5.5 and this was the error:

[oracle@oraexa01 ~]$ rman target /

Recovery Manager: Release 11.2.0.3.0 - Production on Wed Jan 29 16:41:54 2014

Copyright (c) 1982, 2011, Oracle and/or its affiliates.  All rights reserved.

connected to target database: TESTDB (DBID=2128604199)

RMAN> run {
2> allocate channel c1 device type 'SBT_TAPE';
3> }

using target database control file instead of recovery catalog
RMAN-00571: ===========================================================
RMAN-00569: =============== ERROR MESSAGE STACK FOLLOWS ===============
RMAN-00571: ===========================================================
RMAN-03009: failure of allocate command on c1 channel at 01/29/2014 16:42:01
ORA-19554: error allocating device, device type: SBT_TAPE, device name:
ORA-27000: skgfqsbi: failed to initialize storage subsystem (SBT) layer
Linux-x86_64 Error: 106: Transport endpoint is already connected
Additional information: 7011
ORA-19511: Error received from media manager layer, error text:
SBT error = 7011, errno = 106, sbtopen: system error

You get this message because the Tivoli Storage Manager API error log file (errorlogname option specified in the dsm.sys file) is not writable by the Oracle user.

Just change the file permissions or change the parameter to point to a file under /<writable_path>/ and retry your backup:

[root@oraexa01 ~]# chmod a+w /usr/tivoli/tsm/client/ba/bin/dsmerror.log

This time RMAN allocates channel successfully:

[oracle@oraexa01 ~]$ rman target /

Recovery Manager: Release 11.2.0.3.0 - Production on Wed Jan 29 16:42:52 2014

Copyright (c) 1982, 2011, Oracle and/or its affiliates.  All rights reserved.

connected to target database: TESTDB (DBID=2128604199)

RMAN> run {
2> allocate channel c1 device type 'SBT_TAPE';
3> }

using target database control file instead of recovery catalog
allocated channel: c1
channel c1: SID=807 instance=TESTDB device type=SBT_TAPE
channel c1: Data Protection for Oracle: version 5.5.1.0
released channel: c1

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