Backup3G/User Guide/Initiating and Managing Backups

This page was last modified 10:58, 6 March 2008.

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This section deals with the actual execution of backups; it describes how to initiate, monitor and manage jobs, and how to archive files and directories. Managing jobs involves interacting with them to hold or release them, to load and unload media and acknowledge completion. It can also involve cancelling a pending job or killing a running job.

A backup can be run as-is, or you can temporarily change some parameters such as the run time, drive and retention period. You can also restart a failed job from an arbitrary step.

In this section it is assumed that duty3G is not being used to schedule and initiate the backup jobs. If jobs are set up as duties in duty3G, refer to the duty3G User Guide for instructions in how to manage duties. backup3G’s own scheduling facility is described in To Define Information About a Backup Job.


Background and Interactive Jobs

Jobs that you perform from the Backup console may be run in either background or interactive mode. Background jobs write messages to the log file but not to the user’s terminal; messages can be viewed in the Backup Monitor window. Interactive jobs write messages both to the log file and to the user’s terminal. This means you can monitor of the progress of a backup.

The advantage of a background job, particularly on a character terminal, is that the operator doesn’t have to wait until the job is finished to perform other tasks.

If you select Perform > Default from the Backup console, and the job you chose is a scheduled backup, it will run at its scheduled time; if it is an automatic or at-request job, it will be run in the background.

If you interrupt the backup or it fails to finish for some other reason, backup3G warns you that the backup is incomplete. You have the option of keeping the backup anyway, or marking the medium as scratch.

Queued Jobs

If a backup3G job is assigned to a physical drive that is already being used, the second job is held until the first job ends and the drive is freed. The same applies to drive pools, where a job will be held until any drive in the pool becomes free. Thus all backup3G jobs waiting on a drive are processed in turn. For further information, refer to Drive and Device Locking.

To run a backup using default parameters

  1. Start the Backup module from the backup3G menu bar to display a list of backup jobs similar to that shown in Figure 19.
  2. Choose the job and select Perform > Default. If the job is scheduled, but not currently outstanding, backup3G warns you that this is not the right time for the job. If the selected job is automatic, the warning message tells you that the job will be run from cron. In both cases, you have the option to proceed or exit without performing the job.
    Backup3G prompts you to load a backup volume: Figure 20 — Load media warning
  3. Load this tape or disk now, or select the Media key if you want to select a different volume (if, for example, this volume can’t be found). When you are ready, press Accept to confirm that the drive is loaded.

Backup3G will warn you if another job is already scheduled to use the same drive. You can still run the second job, as long as you are sure that it will finish before the scheduled job starts. Your options are:

Exit without starting the second job
Cancel the scheduled job and continue with this one
Run the second job and leave the first one scheduled.

To run a backup using changed parameters

  1. Select Backup from the backup3G button bar to display the backup console.
  2. Choose the job you want to run and select Perform > Changingparams. backup3G displays the standard parameters for this backup in a form similar to that shown in Figure 21.
    Scheduled backups default to still being scheduled. At-request backups default to ‘background’, meaning ‘run now in background mode’.
    Run on (day)
    For scheduled jobs only, you can choose to run the backup at any time. First specify a run day.
    At (time)
    Specify the time the job should start (HH:MM, 24-hour clock).
    You can choose a different drive or drive pool, for example if the usual drive is faulty or in use.
    Retention period
    Select from the list of standard retention periods.
    Load medium now?
    If you select ‘yes’ you will prompted to load a volume in the drive now. backup3G then verifies that it is valid. If you select ‘no’ this will be done when the job starts. For auto-loading devices the default is ‘no’. For manually loaded devices the default is ‘yes’.
    Start at step
    Usually the job starts running from the first step, but you can choose to start from another step. Use this to re-run a job from the step that failed in a previous run.
    Change the setting as required.
  3. Press Accept to schedule the job.

How to Manage a Backup Job

Operators can monitor and interact with a backup job between the time it is scheduled or submitted and the time it ends.

Backup Monitor

The Backup Monitor is started from the main backup3G menu or toolbar. It provides a means of managing active backup and recovery jobs and log files. The monitor displays only running jobs; scheduled jobs will not appear until they actually run. When a job has finished, it disappears from the monitor, but can still be checked via the Logfiles option.

Figure 22 — Backup Monitor

When a backup runs, step information and completion codes are written to the job’s log file. The status of each job can be checked at any time. For example, an operator can see if a job is waiting for a manual media change, or check that certain files have been backed up successfully before starting an update job.

To monitor the status of a backup job

As shown in Figure 22, the Backup Monitor lists all jobs from when they are initiated until the backup volume is unloaded from the drive. The display is refreshed about every 40 seconds.

For each job it lists Job ID and name, status, drive and media number, who initiated it and when. In addition, a detailed, dynamically updated monitoring of selected jobs can be achieved as follows:

  1. Choose the running job to be monitored
  2. Select Jobs > Monitor. backup3G displays the detailed information on the progress of the job and updates that display as new information comes available.

Job status

Backup3G shows the current status, which is prefixed Scd, Run, End, or Attn. For scheduled jobs it shows when the job is due to start. For running jobs it shows the current process ID and step number, so you can see how far along the job is. For jobs that have ended it shows the return status.

Jobs that require some action show Attn: and a short message in the status field. Example: Attn: Change media indicates that the job is waiting for an operator to load a new tape through the Change media option.

To hold a backup job

Backup jobs that have not yet started can be ‘held’, meaning that they will not start until released by an operator. You can use this, for example, to run an urgent job before other jobs that are waiting on the same drive. You can hold all the queued jobs, then release them when the urgent job ends.

  1. Start the Backup Monitor.
  2. Choose the job(s).
  3. Select Jobs > Hold.

The status for these jobs in the Backup Monitor changes to ‘Held’.

To release a held backup job

  1. Start the Backup Monitor.
  2. Choose the job(s).
  3. Select Jobs > Release.

The status for these jobs in the Backup Monitor changes back to what it was before it was held, e.g. ‘Scd’ for scheduled jobs.

To cancel a backup job

Once a job starts running it can’t be held. If you can’t wait for the current job to complete, you must cancel it and resubmit it later.

  1. Start the Backup Monitor to list details of backup jobs running now or scheduled to be run.
  2. Choose the job(s).You can only cancel one interactive job at a time.
  3. Select Jobs > Cancel.
  4. Backup3G will warn you now if the job has already started running, in which case you can elect to kill it. If it is scheduled, but not yet started, you can elect to cancel it.
    Press Kill to confirm that you don’t want to run the job.

Backup3G prompts you to unload the backup volume and reminds you to acknowledge the job to remove it from the monitor.

To acknowledge completed jobs and remove from monitor

The only way to remove a completed job, whether successful, cancelled or failed, is to acknowledge it by choosing the job and selecting Jobs > Acknowledge. backup3G displays a dialog similar to that shown in Figure 23 where you can choose the appropriate action.

If the backup job did not complete successfully, backup3G will also notify you of this and offer you the option of keeping the backup media with current expiry date or of marking the media set as scratch.

Figure 23 — Acknowledge job completion dialog

Finally, you are prompted to unload the backup volume from the drive, at which point you can opt to leave it in place if it is to be reused or remove it to the appropriate storage area.

To check the log of completed backup jobs

There are two ways to check the status of a completed job:

  1. From the Backup Monitor, choose the job and select Logfiles > Display to see a list of all completed jobs and whether they worked or failed. You can then select one of the jobs to display its log of messages.
  2. From the Backup Monitor, choose the job and select Jobs > Acknowledge. backup3G displays a dialog similar to that shown in Figure 23 from where you can select the Log option.
    Backup3G displays a log similar to that shown in Figure 24, which contains start and end times, step completion codes, and error and warning messages.
Figure 24 — Log file of completed backup job

If there is no information in the log, backup3G displays the message

scroll: No data to display

How To Archive Files and Directories

An archive is used to copy files from disk to a cheaper offline storage medium such as tape, in case they are needed later.

Archives versus backups

A backup copies active directories, filesystems, or database files so they can be restored if a file is corrupted or if there is a hardware fault. The main purpose of a backup is disaster recovery. Backup jobs run to a regular schedule. Job details are saved so that the backup command and other information don’t have to be reentered each time the job is run.

An archive copies files (usually inactive) from disk to a cheaper storage medium such as tape. An archive is only run once, so the archive details are not saved. Files can be removed from disk when the archive finishes.

Multi-volume archive is not supported. Each archive job must fit on a single output tape.

To archive files

  1. Start the Archive Files module.
  2. Select Interactive mode to display progress messages on your terminal, otherwise select Background mode.
    Select the name of the host on which the directory is stored.
    Base directory
    The base directory is the lowest level directory that contains all the files and subdirectories you will archive.
    Enter the list of files and subdirectories you want to archive, separated by spaces. To archive the whole base directory leave this field blank.
    Select a logical drive or drive pool.
    Select a retention period. The archive volume will be available to be reused after this period.
    Select an archive method.
    Indicate whether backup3G is to automatically acknowledge the completed archive job.
    Select ‘yes’ to create an online index of this archive.
    Select ‘yes’ to remove these files from disk after they have been archived.
    This description will be written to the media table as the contents of this volume.
  3. Press Accept.

You are asked to load the backup medium and confirm that the job can now be started.