How do I create a mksysb tape backup on AIX?

These instructions are for AIX 7.1. If you are on AIX 6.1, the steps will be similar. If you are on a previous version of AIX, you should upgrade as soon as possible.

Use Eterm, the local console or HMC to log into the server as root.

At the root command prompt (#), run:

smit mksysb

At the “Back Up This System” screen, press ESC-4 or F4 to change the highlighted fields:

* Backup DEVICE or FILE                              [/dev/rmt0]
  Create MAP files?                                   no
  EXCLUDE files?                                      yes
  List files as they are backed up?                   no 
  Verify readability if tape device?                  no 
  Generate new / file?                      yes
  EXPAND /tmp if needed?                              yes
  Disable software packing of backup?                 yes
  Backup extended attributes?                         yes
  Number of BLOCKS to write in a single output       []  
     (Leave blank to use a system default)
  Location of existing mksysb image                  []
  File system to use for temporary work space        []  
     (If blank, /tmp will be used.)
  Back up encrypted files?                            yes
  Back up DMAPI filesystem files?                     yes

When the fields have been correctly set, press Enter to begin the backup.

A progress indicator will indicate when the backup is running, and when it has completed, you will receive either an OK or Failed completion status message.

After creating the mksysb, you should verify the tape. The verification consists of reading the information stored on the tape back into the system.

How do I modify my Linux tape backup script to send its logs via email?

It’s prudent to make a backup copy before editing system files. This prevents having to restore a file from tape, and allows you to track changes.
    • Log in as root
    • Open the backup script for editing:
vim /u2/UTILS/bin/snapsave.cfg
    • Find the MAILLIST value, and add any additional email addresses, separated by commas, like so:
  • Save and quit

Related: How do I forward root’s mail to another address?

How do I view my Eclipse tape backup logs on Linux?

The standard tape backup script keeps a number of log files that are accessible to the system administrator. To view the log files, log into your server as root and run the following commands. You may also configure the backup script to send an email every time the backup is run.

/tmp/backup.err contains the output from the tape backup command

cat /tmp/backup.err

The log for a successful tape backup will show output similar to the following, which indicates that 12 GB of data was backed up.

Total bytes written: 12501135360 (12GiB, 5.4MiB/s)

/tmp/backup.chk contains the start and stop timestamps for the tape backup operation

cat /tmp/backup.chk

The following log file indicates the backup ran for 30 minutes.

Backup started at: Mon Feb 22 21:00:05 EST 2010
Backup ended at: Mon Feb 22 21:30:11 EST 2010

/tmp/snapsave.log logs database suspension and snapshot operations:

cat /tmp/snapsave.log

This log file shows whether successful snapshot and/or backup processes took place, and details the database and snapshot operations taking place. This is very useful for troubleshooting backup issues.

The following excerpt from snapsave.log is an example of a successful tape backup:

Mon Dec 12 20:00:02 EST 2011: Starting tape backup to /dev/st0
Mon Dec 12 21:33:11 EST 2011: Checking Snapshot:
  LV       VG     Attr   LSize   Origin   Snap%  Move Log Copy%  Convert
  lvol0    datavg swi-ao 512.00M u2         6.73                        
  lvol1    datavg swi-ao   4.25G pdw        0.33                        
  lvol2    datavg swi-ao   5.76G eclipse    9.42                        
  lvol3    datavg swi-ao 512.00M ereports   0.21                        
Mon Dec 12 21:33:11 EST 2011: Ending tape backup to /dev/st0

Which directories should I backup on my Eclipse servers?

The following directories contain the most critical files necessary to recover your Eclipse systems:

  • Database server (AIX, RHEL):
    • /u2 (contains your Eclipse database, UniVerse, JBoss and VSIFAX)
    • /snap/u2 (if using snapshots, this contains the same data as above, but frozen in time)
    • /etc (contains your operating system configuration files)
    • /home (contains your users’ home directories)
    • /usr/spool/uv (contains your legacy UniVerse printer configuration files)
  • Forms server (Windows):
    • C:\Program Files\EclipseForms (contains your Eclipse Forms software)
    • C:\Users\All Users\Application Data\EclipseForms (contains your Eclipse Forms configuration files)
  • Internet Gateway (IGATE) server (Windows):
    • All shared directories containing Eclipse web sites (ex IIS shared directories, etc.)
  • Imaging server (Windows):
    • All shared directories containing Eclipse file shares (ex image attachments, signature scans, etc.)

The UniVerse database must be stopped or suspended during backup to ensure data consistency. The standard Eclipse backup scripts have been modified to use snapshots to allow backups to take place on active systems.

While backing up the directories below should be minimally sufficient to recreate your system in the event of a disaster, backing up the entire system is always recommended when possible. By backing up the entire system, you protect against the loss of miscellaneous files or those inadvertently placed outside of their standard locations.