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NFS Backup Help

James Topel
Occasional Visitor

NFS Backup Help

I am very new to VMS and need to backup a single alpha server to an NFS share on server 2003R2, the reason i need to do this is the tape drive that we were backing up data to decided to eat its self and we cant get the authorization to purchase a new drive.

I have the NFS share up and working using Windows Services for UNIX, another device is able to write data to an NFS share on this server
on the alpha server i have turned on NFS client but now i am stuck as to where to go from here.
Honored Contributor

Re: NFS Backup Help


welcome to the itrc openvms forum. probably best place to start would be the tcpip management guide section on nfs see here for the tcpip v5.6 copy :-


a question i would ask is what are you going to do with the data once it is there, if you are going to use something outside of the native vms backup software you may end up with issues after/if you restore it.


Honored Contributor

Re: NFS Backup Help


there is also the samba implementation for openvms you could consider if you are more familiar with that :-


Honored Contributor

Re: NFS Backup Help

If you're new to OpenVMS and haven't already done so, start by reading the User's Guide and then the System Manager's manual in the documentation set. Manuals are here:


From those documents, you'll have a better idea of what you're doing when working with OpenVMS.

To answer your immediate question, if the NFS client has mounted a volume exported by the server, copy the bits you want to preserve into the disk. That could be a backup saveset, or a file copy, or a zip archive (zip "-V"), or whatever. What files you copy into the NFS served storage depends on what files you want to preserve.

As for what I would do here, I would get a tape drive. Given this is probably an old OpenVMS box and with small disks, DLT drives are available (used) for small cash outlays. The DLT 8000 series, for instance, can sometimes be had for carrying the drive off. And the replacement drive gets you access into your existing archives from your failed drive, if you pick a compatible model with the drive that cratered.

I prefer DLT/SDLT/Ultrium drives to DDS/DAT drives given the better reliability and media lifetime with the former.

The reason for the tape drive add-on (replacement) is multi-fold, it's far easier to deal with, far more reliable, and you can perform a bare-metal install. Remote tape services don't give you this, and NFS won't give you this. (And beyond the lack of a path for a bare-metal restore, NFS storage can tend to strip off the OpenVMS RMS file attributes, making the results harder to operate with.)

Mark has an interesting idea here, though there's no SMB/CIFS client for OpenVMS; there is a command-level tool that works akin to ftp, but no client. OpenVMS provides SMB/CIFS services. (You'd have to reverse the path and have the Windows server use its client to mount the export from OpenVMS, and then use the ftp-like client to toss files into the export. It's probably easier to use sftp or ftp to simply toss the file directly over to the server; to eschew SMB/CIFS.)

I've not looked around for an rmt client, but that presumes the Microsoft SFU/SUA offers a remote tape server. (rmt is a served tape path, if the Windows box has a tape drive. If you don't have a tape on a local Windows or Unix box, don't bother with this.)

If you can't get a tape for the OpenVMS box, I'd hang some extra disk off the OpenVMS box and off the Windows box, and zip and ftp or sftp an archive over. (I'd not bother with NFS, given reasons mentioned earlier.) Replicate the data locally (using BACKUP or zip "-V" or such, then copy the saveset or zip archive file over to the target box with the big spare disk space. From there, you can choose to get the file(s) off to tape or such. Yes, this is complex and failure-prone and more steps, and it chews through disk. Which is why tape is nice(r).

But do start with the User's Guide and the System Manager's Manual. That'll save you serious time and frustration; OpenVMS is different than you're used to.