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Imaging products for iSeries

ISeries expert Ken Graap discusses imaging on the iSeries platform.

Are there any "imaging" products that work with the iSeries platform that are similar to what Norton's Ghost does for the Windows platform?
I'd usually recommend that any imaging of an iSeries platform be done following the BU Recovery procedures for a FULL SAVE and RESTORE of the system. However, there is a command called Save Storage (SAVSTG) that was created to dump an image of Auxiliary Storage to disk.

Here is the HELP Text for this command:

The Save Storage (SAVSTG) command saves a copy of the licensed internal code and the contents of auxiliary storage (except unused space and temporary objects) to tape. This function is intended for disaster recovery backup. Individual libraries or objects cannot be restored from a save storage tape.

This command issues the PWRDWNSYS (Power Down System) command with OPTION(*IMMED) and RESTART(*YES) specified. While the system is powered down, a dedicated service tool (DST) that saves all system storage is called. At that time, a standard labeled tape volume must be placed in the tape device. Additional volumes are requested as needed. Hardware data compression is used if it is supported by the tape device. After the save system storage function is complete, an initial program load (IPL) takes place.

During the IPL after a save storage operation, a completion message is sent to the system operator message queue. The save history information for the data area QSAVSTG in library QSYS is updated with the date and time when the system storage data was saved. To show the information in this data area, use the Display Object Description (DSPOBJD) command with DETAIL(*FULL).

The restore storage operation is done using the appropriate option on the DST menu. During the IPL, after a restore storage operation, a completion message is sent to the system operator message queue, and the last restore date and time history information in the QSAVSTG data area is updated with the current date and time. In addition, the data portion of the QSAVSTG data area is updated with the date of the save storage tape used in the restore system storage operation.

Note: Because media errors cause the save operation to start over from the last tape volume, use of this command is recommended for smaller systems only.


  • You must have save system (*SAVSYS) special authority to run this command.
  • The system cannot be running any other jobs; run the End Subsystem (ENDSBS) specifying SBS(*ALL) or run the End System (ENDSYS) command to end all other jobs except the job running the SAVSTG command.
  • Tapes created using this command that will be used for installation should be initialized with a density that is supported by the current alternate IPL device. If this is not done, the current IPL tape will have to be changed to a tape device that supports the density of the created SAVSTG tapes before installation can begin.
  • Tapes created using the SAVSTG command should not be used for automatic installation.

There are a couple of other considerations (Quote from the iSeries BU Recovery Manual):

The disk configuration of the restoring system must be the same as the disk configuration of the saving system. There must be at least as many disk units on the restoring system as there were on the saving system. Each disk unit capacity on the restoring system must be equal to or greater than the capacity of the disk unit on the saving system. Serial numbers and physical addresses do not have to be the same. All disk units that were saved are required for the restore operation.

If your system has mirrored protection now, when the restore storage procedure runs, your system will not have mirrored protection on any Auxiliary Storage Pool (ASP).

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