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How do you create a bootable backup image on OpenVMS V8.3-1H1

 
Tom Wolf_3
Valued Contributor

How do you create a bootable backup image on OpenVMS V8.3-1H1

Hello all.

First off let me say that I'm not that familiar with OpenVMS.

 

With that said, we are running OpenVMS V8.3-1H1 on a rx2660 server.

How would we create a bootable backup of this server?

Can we run a single command to create such a backup?

 

This server has no directly attached (SCSI) tape drive.

Instead we use a SAN attached tape library and HP's Data Protector product to perform a backup of this machine.

I don't believe a full Data Protector backup of this OpenVMS server is the equivalent of a bootable backup.

We'll be updating the firmware on the internal disks of this server, which contains the OS, shortly and I'd like to have a backup of those disks before proceeding.

 

Could the OpenVMS experts out there please let me know if a full Data Protector backup, which includes all the OS and application data, would be sufficient to restore this system in case of a catastrophic failure during the internal disks firmware update or if a full Data Protector backup AND a bootable backup should be done.

 

If the later is recommended, how would be perform such a backup to a SAN attached tape library.

I don't know if OpenVMS has a feature equivalent to HP-UX's make_net_recovery, which creates bootable backups over the network.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Tom Wolf

11 REPLIES 11
Bob Blunt
Respected Contributor

Re: How do you create a bootable backup image on OpenVMS V8.3-1H1

Tom, in VMS and OpenVMS land back in Ye Olde Days we had what was called "Standalone BACKUP" on the VAX computers and that facility could be configured to boot from a variety of devices including an alternate disk, a CD, over the network and from some/most tape models.  You could, with care, build a bootable tape and then put a BACKUP saveset on it so you had a self-contained bootable TAPE image from which you could boot and restore.  A bootable image was built using SYS$UPDATE:STABACKIT.COM and it would properly configure and build that image directly on most of the media I listed above (excluding CD mainly but that speaks to other limitations).

 

When the Alpha was introduced decisions were made to limit the variety of solutions available for a bootable "Standalone BACKUP."  The main solution on Alpha became booting from the O/S distribution CD and you could select from the menu an option to execute DCL commands.  With that solution you had a very limited set of the DCL commands that would be mandatory for the regular needs of performing an "offline" BACKUP of most disks.  This facility has been improved and enhanced so you can usually perform this "offline" BACKUP of most directly- and SAN-connected devices.  Again, because many VMS people have long memories or well-established procedures cast in concrete, you can build an alternate bootable device using good ole SYS$UPDATE:STABACKIT.COM.  The devices from which you can boot IS much more limited and you're essentially building, again, a very limited bootable OpenVMS system disk on an alternate drive but there isn't a way to build a bootable tape or directly burn your own bootable CD.

 

Integrity machines can also use the same command procedure, SYS$UPDATE:STABACKIT.COM and it will build a similar limited bootable OpenVMS system disk on an alternate device AND I'm pretty sure it'll link to other command procedures to create a "procedure" on the system's EFI boot area with pointers to the device you just built.

 

Another option?  If you have setup a system as an Infoserver (using the Infoserver software available for OpenVMS) and have a bootable disk (a different one for each architecture of course) you can boot over the network from those devices instead of trying to build and boot from a device connected to the host you're backing up.

 

I know that isn't a fully direct answer to your question because, on Integrity/Itanium or Alpha, you can't really build a bootable TAPE backup.  You would need to use the distribution DVD, like using the distro CD on Alpha, boot from the DVD and use the DCL commands options from the menu, check that your disk and tape are both available and then save to tape.  Then in case you need to recover from a hard failure you boot from the DVD again and restore from the tape you made.  From my experience you always want to have some form of BACKUP made like this in case you have a major failure but the main concern will always be taking the downtime necessary to spin the tapes.  But if you don't have them you're stuck reinventing the wheel from an unfinished rock, so to speak.

abrsvc
Respected Contributor

Re: How do you create a bootable backup image on OpenVMS V8.3-1H1

I have a slightly different read of the initial question.

Are you (the original poster) asking how to create a backup of the current system that will be bootable should something happen to the original disk?
OR
are you asking how to build a bootable disk inorder to perform a backup?

Dan
Tom Wolf_3
Valued Contributor

Re: How do you create a bootable backup image on OpenVMS V8.3-1H1

Hello Dan.

To answer your question, I'm asking how to create a backup of the current system that will be bootable should some catastrophe occur during firmware updates of the internal disks that contain the OS.

Please let me know if you need more details.

Thanks.

 

 

abrsvc
Respected Contributor

Re: How do you create a bootable backup image on OpenVMS V8.3-1H1

Thanks for the update. In order to provide an accurate response, a more detailed description of your hardware environment is needed. What drives are available to use as a "backup" system disk? Do you need only the system disk saved or will you require copies of each of the "data" drives as well?

Dan
Tom Wolf_3
Valued Contributor

Re: How do you create a bootable backup image on OpenVMS V8.3-1H1

Hello again Dan.

As mentioned in my original post, we use HP's Data Protector product to backup both the OS and application data on this rx2660 OpenVMS server.

I'm still not certain whether a restore of a full Data Protector backup would be adequate if the firmware update of the internal boot disks were to render them un-usable.

We only have two 146 GB SAS drives in this server.

These disks just contain the OS.

All the application data is on the SAN.

We don't have any spare SAS drives for this server at the moment.

I don't know if we could present a SAN LUN to this server and create a bootable backup on, and possibly restore from, that SAN LUN.

 

 

GuentherF
Trusted Contributor

Re: How do you create a bootable backup image on OpenVMS V8.3-1H1

While Data Protector can save and restore all files necessary to boot OpenVMS you do need a working OpenVMS system with Data Protector installed and configured in order to do the restore. So a standalone scenario does not work with Data Protector.

 

A simple procedure would be to boot the distribution DVD. Use OpenVMS BACKUP to save your current systemin a save set file disk to a non-system disk. If you loose your system disk you again boot from the distribution DVD and use OpenVMS BACKUP to restore the save set to your target system disk.

 

If you need details about booting from the distribution DVD or how to specify the BACKUP command... let us know.

 

/Guenther 

Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: How do you create a bootable backup image on OpenVMS V8.3-1H1

 
abrsvc
Respected Contributor

Re: How do you create a bootable backup image on OpenVMS V8.3-1H1

There still appears to be some confusion here, so I'll take a different approach:

 

 

Assumptions:

1) You require a disk copy that will be bootable should the original be unavailable.

2) You are restricted to 2 drives internally at this time.

 

Potential solution:

1) Purchase an additional drive (I believe that the 2600 series has space for 3 total)

2) Create a "backup/copy" of the system drive on this new drive.

3) Create an alternate boot option for this new drive

4) Should the initial drive fail the upgrade, use the alternate boot option to boot the backup

 

Alternative option:

1) Purchase an additional drive (I believe that the 2600 series has space for 3 total)

2) Create a "backup/copy" of the system drive using shadowing (insures drive is up to date/not require any downtime)

3) Create an alternate boot option for this new drive

 

 

Dan

 

Brad McCusker
Respected Contributor

Re: How do you create a bootable backup image on OpenVMS V8.3-1H1

Dan - BACKUP/COPY?  I think you mean BACKUP/IMAGE :)

 

Tom - Dan described creating a bootable copy of the system disk on an internal drive.   I think he and I both assume that the two internal drives you have are in use and not available to create a bootable image - so you need to buy another disk.

 

You could also present an additional LUN from the SAN to the VMS ssytem and create a bootable drive on that.  Similar steps, do the backup/image and define the boot paths.    The SAN option would probabyl be abit more difficult figuring out how to set the boot paths becuase you haven't done that. 

 

To recover from tape will require some form of bootbale media - typically the installation media is used.  This can be cumbersome which is why almost all of our managed sites have bootable backup disks.  they also come in handy for upgrades and such.

 

For all of these options, I would recommend some down time to test - before the firmware upgrade you are discussing.

 

Lastly, if you have a license for VMS Volume shadowing, then there are additional options you could take advantage of with volume sets.

 

Most of the folks answering this thread provide services that could help you with this, our firm included.

 

Brad McCusker

Software Concepts International

www.sciinc.com

Brad McCusker
Software Concepts International
abrsvc
Respected Contributor

Re: How do you create a bootable backup image on OpenVMS V8.3-1H1

Brad,

I used the quoted "backuip/copy" only to refer to other device as a backup or a copy of the system disk. Yes, the actual command used would be BACKUP/IMAGE to create the copy in that first case. The shadowing option would use the shadow copy functionality to provide the copy.

Dan
Brad McCusker
Respected Contributor

Re: How do you create a bootable backup image on OpenVMS V8.3-1H1

Dan - got it. sorry.
Brad McCusker
Software Concepts International