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Shrinking the BRMS backup window

ISeries backup and recovery expert Ken Graap discusses how to cut the time it takes to complete a BRMS backup.

I took over a position where they use BRMS. Their weekly backup contains SAVSYS, SAVLIB *IBM and save *ALLUSR. This backup takes 12 hours!

I carefully checked the log to see how long the SAVSYS took. It was only 45 minutes, but I did notice a message indicating interactive users are allowed to stay active.

The save *IBM took one hour. The rest of the time was for the save *ALLUSR.

I have two questions:

1. Doesn't a SAVSYS require the system to be in a restricted state? So how does this work based on the message that says "Interactive users are allowed to stay active."

2. Is there a way to cut this time? This is a 24/7 warehouse operation, so I don't understand how they got away with this for so long! I most likely will have to cut up the backup process. I tested SAVWHILEACTIVE with two libraries (4009 objects -- it took 4.5 hours). There are 30759 objects with just the save *ALLUSR.

You don't have to live with a 12-hour backup window! I back up a 2 TB system with a requirement to recover to the last transaction and my system is only down for about 20 minutes a night and just a few hours once a month for a FULL system backup plus an IPL to apply PTFs.

IBM has published whitepaper that will walk you through how to shrink your backup window. You can view it a here.

IBMer Debbie Saugen presented a great session on shrinking backups, at several technical conferences. You can view her presentation slides here.

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