System Backup and Recovery from the Cloud

WARNING: If using IBM Cloud Storage Solutions for i V1.2.0 with encryption or compression, it will not be possible to recover the system data in the event of a Disaster Recovery. 

The following save data must be restored from physical media before BRMS can begin restoring save data directly from the cloud:

  • SAVSYS is required to install the operating system
  • product IBM Backup, Recovery and Media Services for i and BRMS save information is required before automatic recovery can be performed
  • product IBM TCP/IP Connectivity for i and configuration information is required to allow communications with cloud storage providers
  • product IBM Cloud Storage Solutions for i and configuration information is required to establish connections with cloud storage providers

If you need to backup and recover the system data listed above, the control group backing up this information has to use a cloud connector without encryption or compression.

BRMS provides specific control groups that can be used to automatically save this data to media in the cloud and the cloud media can be used to create physical media.  The control groups will create cloud media that is formatted so it can be downloaded and burned directly to physical optical media.  All remaining data on the system can be backed up to media in the cloud and restored directly from the cloud without a need to create physical media.

Control group QCLDBIPLnn can be used to do full backups of all data that must be recovered from physical media.  Likewise, QCLDBGRPnn can be used to do cumulative incremental saves of the data that must be recovered from physical media. 

NOTE: The Journaled objects control group field must be changed to *YES for a QCLDBGRPnn control group before the control group is used to do an incremental backup. Run the WRKCTLGBRM command and change the Journaled objects field by specifying option 8=Change attributes for QCLDBGRPnn.

Control group QCLDBSYSnn can be used to do a full backup of the data which can be restored directly from the cloud.  Likewise, control group QCLDBUSRnn can be used to do cumulative incremental backups of the data which can be restored directly from the cloud.

NOTE: The Journaled objects control group field must be changed to *YES for a QCLDBUSRnn control group before the control group is used to do an incremental backup. Run the WRKCTLGBRM command and change the Journaled objects field by specifying option 8=Change attributes for QCLDBUSRnn.

It is critical to run the these cloud control groups in the correct order otherwise all necessary media information will not be available to do a recovery.  The control groups that produce media that will be burned to optical must be run after the control groups that produce media that can be recovered directly from the cloud.  For example:

On Sunday run:

STRBKUBRM CTLGRP(QCLDBSYS01) SBMJOB(*NO)

STRBKUBRM CTLGRP(QCLDBIPL01) SBMJOB(*NO)

On Monday through Saturday run:

STRBKUBRM CTLGRP(QCLDBUSR01) SBMJOB(*NO)

STRBKUBRM CTLGRP(QCLDBGRP01) SBMJOB(*NO)

NOTES:

  • nn in the control group names is a number that BRMS assigns to the connector for which the control group was created.
  • Users should not change any of the QCLDBxxxnn control groups.  Users may copy the QCLDBxxxnn control groups described above to reflect their own backup requirements or strategies.   The new control group can be used in a similar manner as the QCLDBxxxnn control groups but care must be taken to maintain the order requirements for running the control groups, that is, the copies of the QCLDBIPLnn and QCLDBGRPnn control group must be run after the copies of the QCLDBSYSnn and QCLDBUSRnn control groups.  Additionally, copies of the QCLDBIPLnn and QCLDBGRPnn control groups must contain at least the entries that are included in the QCLDBIPLnn and QCLDBGRPnn control groups.

  • If the QCLDBxxxyy control groups in the example above are replaced by user created copies of the QCLDBxxxyy control groups, they must be named QCLDUxxxyy in order for STRRCYBRM to function correctly. For example, a copy of control group QCLDBSYS01 must be named QCLDUSYS01.

  • Load the following PTFs or their superseding PTFs to prevent failures of *SAVSYS

System recovery from cloud media

WARNING: If using IBM Cloud Storage Solutions for i V1.2.0 with encryption or compression, it will not be possible to recover the system data in the event of a Disaster Recovery. 

As with other recoveries that are performed using BRMS,  a recovery report is used to assist with successful recoveries from save media that has been transferred to the cloud.  To generate a report for recovery from the cloud, run the following command:

STRRCYBRM OPTION(*CTLGRP) ACTION(*REPORT) CTLGRP((QCLDBSYSxx 1) (QCLDBIPLxx 2) (QCLDBUSRxx 3) (QCLDBGRPxx 4)) PERIOD((<time> <date>))
    where     
        xx identifies the cloud where the media has been uploaded
        <time> <date> is immediately prior to the date/time of the last full backup to the cloud

It is important to review the recovery report to ensure it is complete.  If any of the media produced during the backup has not been successfully transferred to the cloud, it will not be included in the recovery report. The CTLGRP and PERIOD parameters that were specified on the STRRCYBRM command above will help identify objects that were saved to media that has not been transferred to the cloud.  If objects are on media that was not included in the recovery report, they will be listed in a missing objects Attention section near top of the report.  The following command can be run to verify that media is being transferred to the cloud:

WRKMEDBRM TYPE(*TRF)

Once the recovery report has been verified, the report should be stored in a safe location so it can be referred to during a recovery.

Addendums to recovery reports for cloud media

Some media listed in the recovery report must be recovered from physical optical media.  Media images that are stored in the cloud can be used to create the physical optical media before continuing to steps in the recovery report that use media directly from the cloud. In the above example, the images for QCLDBIPL01 and QCLDBGRP01 will need to be recovered from physical media.  BRMS stores media in the cloud as files under directory QBRMS_XXXXXXXX, where XXXXXXXX is the name of the system that performed the backups.  The files under directory QBRMS_XXXXXX will have the same name as the media volume identifiers listed in the recovery report.  An .iso extension may need to be added to the file name if it is required by the image burning software that is used.  See Burning CDs or DVDs for Fix Central Bin Files for information about burning DVDs that can be used during IBM i recoveries.

Use the Volume Identifiers column from each of these sections in the recovery report to determine which volumes must be burned to physical optical media before starting a recovery from media stored in the cloud:

  • Recover Licensed Internal Code
  • Recover Operating System
  • Recover the BRMS Product and Associated Libraries
  • Recover User Profiles
  • Recover Configuration Data
  • Recover Required System Libraries

Section Recover User Profiles

Before restoring from media in the cloud, the BRMS media database must be updated.   The following Attention block should be updated in section Recover Required System Libraries to ensure cloud exit program interfaces are correctly registered before the database is updated:

-----  Attention  -------------------------------------------------

After the libraries have been restored, TCP/IP must be started so BRMS can transfer media required by a

recovery from the cloud.

If you wish to continue the recovery in restricted state, run the

following commands:

  • STRTCP STRSVR(*NO) STRIFC(*NO) STRPTPPRF(*NO) STRIP6(*YES)
  • STRTCPIFC INTNETADR('nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn')

  Where 'nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn' is the internet address of the

  recovery system.  nnn is a decimal number ranging from 0

  through 255.

NOTE: Use of restricted state TCP/IP requires that 5770SS1
option 3 was installed when the backups were run.

Otherwise, start all subsystems by running the following commands:

  • STRSBS SBSD(QCTL)
  • STRTCP

This report contains items from a CLOUD backup.

Please run the following program call to set up the CLOUD volumes:

CALL QBRM/Q1AOLD PARM('CLOUD     ' 'FIXDRVOL  '

                      'xxxxx1' 'xxxxx2' 'xxxxx3' 'xxxxxn')

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Section Recover User Profiles contains an Attention block to set Restore Command Defaults.

An entry to set the Create parent directories prompt to *YES should be added to the Attention block as follows:

----- Attention ---------------------------------------------------

Press F9 on the Select Recovery Items display to go to the Restore

Command Defaults display.

__ Ensure the device name or media library device name is correct

for the Device prompt.

__ Ensure *SAVLIB is specified for the Restore to library prompt.

__ Ensure *SAVASP is specified for the Auxiliary storage pool prompt.

__ Ensure *YES is specified for the Create parent directories prompt.

If you are recovering to a different system or a different logical

partition, you must specify the following:

__ *ALL for the Data base member option prompt.

__ *COMPATIBLE for the Allow object differences prompt.

__ *NONE for the System resource management prompt.

__ Select *NEW for Restore spooled file data to recover saved

spooled files concurrently with restored output queues.

Press "Enter" to return to the Select Recovery Items display.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

Section Recover All Remaining System and User Data

At this point the recovery, physical media is no longer required, media will be downloaded from the cloud.

BRMS will automatically download media required for the recovery from the cloud. Since the system is in restricted state, TCP/IP must be started so BRMS can transfer the media.  The following Attention block should be added to section Recover All Remaining System and User Data:

----- Attention ---------------------------------------------------
 

If done in a previous step, this is not required to be run again

TCP/IP must be started so BRMS can transfer media required by a
recovery from the cloud.

If you wish to continue the recovery in restricted state, run the
following commands:

  • STRTCP STRSVR(*NO) STRIFC(*NO) STRPTPPRF(*NO) STRIP6(*YES)
  • STRTCPIFC INTNETADR('nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn')

  Where 'nnn.nnn.nnn.nnn' is the internet address of the

  recovery system.  nnn is a decimal number ranging from 0

  through 255.

NOTE: Use of restricted state TCP/IP requires that 5770SS1
option 3 was installed when the backups were run.

Otherwise, start all subsystems by running the following commands:

  • STRSBS SBSD(QCTL)
  • STRTCP

This report contains items from a CLOUD backup.

Please run the following program call to set up the CLOUD volumes:

CALL QBRM/Q1AOLD PARM('CLOUD     ' 'FIXDRVOL  '

                      'xxxxx1' 'xxxxx2' 'xxxxx3' 'xxxxxn')

-------------------------------------------------------------------

The Restore Command Defaults should be used to specify the correct Device parameter and change the Create parent directories prompt back to *NO.

The following Attention block should be added to section Recover All Remaining System and User Data:

----- Attention ---------------------------------------------------

Press F9 on the Select Recovery Items display to go to the Restore

Command Defaults display.

__ Ensure *MEDCLS is specified for the Device prompt.

__ Ensure *NO is specified for the Create parent directories prompt.

Press "Enter" to return to the Select Recovery Items display.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Section Verify System Information

While system information is being verified, TCP/IP should not be active.  The following Attention

block should be added to section Verify System Information:

----- Attention ---------------------------------------------------

TCP/IP must be ended so system information can be verified. Run the

following command:

ENDTCP

-----------------------------------------------------------------------