BRMS Cloud Solutions FAQ

What customer environments best fit the BRMS Cloud solution as a full system recovery solution?

The BRMS cloud solution requires physical ISO format media to do a full system recovery.  To produce the correct format, the virtual optical images that are generated have to use an image size of *DVD4700.  If the size of the contents of any of the sequences in the QCLDBIPLxx default control group exceeds 47Gb (ten 4.7Gb volumes), BRMS does not recommend using the BRMS Cloud as a full system recovery solution.

What customer environments are best suitable for BRMS Cloud?

The BRMS Cloud solution was introduced as a solution for small environments saving less than 2TBs of data per day.

Is a cloud backup comparable to backup to a VTL devices?

No. Although backup times to the cloud appear similar to a VTL device, it is important to be aware that a BRMS cloud backup is a two stage process.  The first stage is a backup to an internal tape or optical virtual image which can be resource intensive and does consume space on the backup system.  The second stage is the transfer of the virtual images to the cloud.  Even though the data has been backed up after the first stage, the backup is not a safe and complete backup until the image has been transferred to the cloud.

Does the BRMS Cloud solution offer data deduplication?

No, BRMS does not manage data in the cloud, that is managed by the IBM Cloud Storage Solutions for i (5733ICC) product.

Is the BRMS cloud solution integrated with replication?

No, BRMS does not know when data is moved or replicated from one cloud location to another.  Users have to manage replication on their own.  There is no option to save directly to SAN disks, replication of storage is not a backup solution.

How many volumes does a customer need to manage in the IFS?

BRMS Cloud backups are designed with turnkey in mind. This means customers do not have to worry about creating volumes.  BRMS creates virtual images to use for a cloud backup and automatically transfers them.  The virtual images are deleted after the transfer is successful.  There is a setting available to retain virtual images on your system for a user specified number days after a transfer but this requires extra space.  It is recommended that you have at least the same amount of free space on your system as the size of your backup.

Can a cloud backup be used to perform a Full System Restore?

BRMS provides specific control groups that can be used to automatically save the operating system and critical data needed to be able to initiate cloud operations again from media in the cloud.  This cloud media needs to be downloaded and formatted so that it can be burned directly to physical media.  It is important to be aware that this process requires physical ISO formatted media to do a D mode IPL to load the base operating system and critical cloud configuration data.

What other considerations do I need to consider when choosing the BRMS cloud?

Don't forget to think about restores.  The cloud transferred images are a whole file.  If you need to restore a single object from the cloud, you have to retrieve the whole image the object was saved on.  A single object cannot be restored until after the full image has been transferred back to the system.  Restore performance in these cases will take considerably longer.

Can I run Cloud Backups using Parallel Processing?

In IBM i 7.3 and later releases, parallel backup and restore support has been introduced with the following PTFs:

How does the BRMS Cloud control group with a SAVSYS manage cloud transfers with restricted state processing?

When using the BRMS supplied cloud control groups named QCLDIPLxx the backup always goes to virtual optical and the transfers are not initiated until after the control group is finished.  This is because BRMS uses leave processing during the backup and appends to the optical volume set.  Optical does not have an exit program available to call to initiate a transfer when a volume is full.  By default, the QCLDIPLxx control group attributes for option 9 'Subsystems to process' value is set to Restart *YES or when using restricted state batch processing, the subsystems will start and allow automatic transfers to happen after the control group completes.  If the Restart value is changed to *NO, BRMS does not do any special processing to start any subsystems and the automatic transfer request will fail.  The volumes will stay in *TRF state until the problem is resolved.  When the subsystem is started again, running STRMNTBRM will find and transfer any volumes left in *TRF state.

How does the BRMS Cloud control group with a SAVSYS manage transfers when the control group is set to IPL after the backup?

If the control group is set to IPL after the backup, the volumes are not automatically transferred.  The user needs to run media movement to transfer the volumes after the system is back online.  There could be a small timing window where the transfer might be initiated while the system is coming down, but the transfer would fail and leave the volume in *TRF state.  Like any other failed transfer, once the system is back online and cloud communication is reestablished, running STRMNTBRM will find and transfer any volumes stuck in *TRF state.