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Tips for successful disaster recovery

Backup and recovery expert Deb Saugen answers users questions on disaster recovery.

During a live webcast on Nov. 5 -- Disaster recovery for the iSeries -- backup and recovery Deb Saugen reviewed tips and techniques for testing your OS/400 disaster recovery plan. We weren't able to address all the questions submitted, but Deb took a look at them offline and now we have some answers for you.

We want to do parallel saves with BRMS. What feature of BRMS do I need to order?
To perform parallel save with BRMS you only need the Standard (Base) BRMS product.

Whom do we contact for the $1,500 test of our backups?
The System restore test offering is for iSeries and AS/400 systems with 250 GB of DASD or less, a single IBM tape drive and for full system saves performed using Save menu option 21, equivalent CL commands as an option 21 or BRMS. Here is a link to the Web site with more information and where you can sign up for the offering:

Is there any CMD that can be run that would list all libs or objects not backed up (such as IFS) so that we could determine if our backup strategy is complete?
There is no system command that will list libraries and objects not backed up. The BRMS product produces backup and recovery analysis reports that will provide this information.

What is the typical agreement made with third-party software vendors that are serial number specific so that you can run their software on the recovery AS/400? Do they typically give you a security override in advance that you can vault, or is it given during the disaster?
The agreement for license keys between vendors to run on another system with different serial number varies greatly. Some vendors provide a grace period, some provide you with an additional key ahead of time, while others will not provide any additional keys until recovery test time or at time of disaster. It is a good idea to work with all you software vendors ahead of time to understand what their requirements for additional keys are.

What I need is a database on all tapes that have been used for all partitions. So that when I do a save on P! the information is sent BRMS on P2, P3, Pn. In other words, does BRMS support redundant database?
Yes, with the networking feature of BRMS you can share tape media and history information about saves on other systems or logical partitions.

I'm running a weekly backup to save all my data, as there is no one on site to run the go save options. What is the best way to recover my data?
If you are using the weekly backup function of the Go Backup menu, you will need to use the individual system restore commands like Restore User Profiles (RSTUSRPRF), Restore Configuration (RSTCFG), Restore Library (RSTLIB), Restore Document Library Objects (RSTDLO) and Restore Object (RST) to recover your system.

Can a go save option 21 be fully automated (no user Intervention from start to finish)?
There is no way to automatically schedule and submit a full system save to batch. BRMS allows you to automate a full system save with no user intervention required with its built-in Console Monitor function. You can also set up an Option 21 Save to run unattended by using the Start time parameter. It still requires a person to initiate the Option 21 Save from the System Console, but the save can be initiated up to 24 hours prior to when you want it to run. For information on how to set up an unattended option 21 save, refer to the iSeries online information center at the following link:

Click on Systems management->Backup, recovery and availability->Backing up your server->Saving your server with the GO SAVE command->Save you whole server with GO SAVE: Option 21

Do you have any tips on how to create and maintain a company disaster recovery manual?
It is best to have a disaster recovery planning team that is represented by every major area of the company. You should have executive sponsorship from senior management who can work issues with other senior management during the planning process. Keep in mind that your disaster recovery manual is a living document and needs to be kept up to date on a regular basis. It is not something you do once a year and forget about.

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