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Specifying a particular volume

Specifying a particular volume

We're implementing BRMS on one of our machines. I am writing the code for the daily incremental backups. We have 31 tapes pre-assigned for the task -- one for each calendar day. What I need to do is append the daily information to the tape every month. Meaning, that tape volume e00002 will be written to on the second day of each month, tape volume e00019 will be written to on the nineteenth day of each month, and so on. We use a tape library and the required volumes will be loaded into the library on a daily basis.

I have two questions: How do I specify a particular volume to write to using the BRMS commands in my CL program, and what command/syntax do I use to display the volume ID of the tape volumes that are in the library to a variable so I can check for the correct volume?
Your media pool (a group of tapes) is defined by the tape device and type of cartridge used. Since you are using a media library, all your tapes will most likely be in one pool. Where BRMS writes backup data is controlled very much like single level storage space is controlled by OS/400 for your disk drives. The point being, you shouldn't have to worry about where your data is stored. BRMS will take care of those details for you. All you have to do is make sure tape cartridges that are available for use, are mounted in your media library before a backup process is started. BRMS knows where all the data is and can easily find it no matter where it was written. In fact finding data so it can be restored is the best feature of BRMS!

So, in my humble opinion, wanting to force BRMS to write specific data to a specific tape on a specific day is just making this process more complicated that it has to be. Let BRMS keep track of where data is saved and let BRMS protect this data until it expires. If your tape library can't hold all your tapes at one time, then I guess the operator could mount specific tape volumes on specific days and that could get you close to what you want to accomplish.

That said, I don't know of a way to configure BRMS to request the mounting of a specific tape volume. It will select the next available tape in the media library drive and use it or skip to the next tape if it can't. The only time you would get an inquiry message from BRMS is when it can't find any tape in the media library drive it can write on.

Also, you may want to consider defining "control groups" within BRMS to save your data as opposed to writing code to perform your backups (i.e. using BRMS SAV* command within CLP's). The control group feature of BRMS allow for a lot of flexibility in how a backup is defined and even allows you to specify *EXIT entries when you need to execute an OS/400 command.

Good luck with your project!

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This was last published in October 2004

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