Q

Back up your System i over the holiday

Need to make sure your System i is backed up over a holiday or long weekend? I5/OS expert Kenneth Graap helps a user set up a routine that will do a complete back up when the admins are away.

I have a nightly backup-to-tape routine that runs and is submitted from a menu selection by our help desk. This works great as long as the help desk is working. I am fortunate enough to work in an environment that gives us every other Friday off and about 13 holidays a year.

Here is my problem: No one is here over the weekend or on long holidays to perform a backup. However, there may be (and usually is) activity on the system that should be backed up on those days when the help desk is not present.

I was wondering if you have a routine that will save the system (complete backup) to a savf and name the savf according to the day it runs. Then I could let it run and when we do the next tape save, the savf lib would be saved.

Any code or direction in regards to working examples would be great.

It sounds like you aren't using BRMS for your backup, and that's too bad ...

However, if you have written a process that does what you want it to do after submitting it via a menu option, you can achieve the same results by scheduling this command to run using the i5/OS Base Job Scheduler. There is no elegant way to schedule this to run every other week using the Base Job Scheduler, but I believe you could get the results you are looking for by using the OMITDATE parameter.

For example, if you wanted your backup process to run every other Friday at 9 p.m. you could create a job schedule entry like this:

ADDJOBSCDE JOB(MYBUJOB)
CMD(CALL PGM(COMMAND))
FRQ(*WEEKLY)
SCDDATE(NONE)
SCDDAY(*FRI)
SCDTIME(2100)
SAVE(*YES)
OMITDATE(111607 113007 121407 12280 010408) <--- I omit every other Friday
USER(BUUSER)

However, you would have to remember to update the OMITDATE list on a regular basis to keep things running.

As for using a Save file, this won't work well for a multi-library backup and it won't work at all for a SAVSYS process.

However, as of V5R4, there is something called Virtual Tape that would work just fine! Anything that you can write to a REAL tape you can write to a VIRTUAL tape. IBM provides information on how to set up a Virtual Tape environment.

Keep in mind that writing your backup to disk will require that you have enough disk space to hold all your data. You don't want to get into a situation where your backup process fills up your disk storage, causing the system to shut down!

Good Luck !

This was first published in December 2007

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