Advanced Backup - Image Level iDataAgent

  • This product is deprecated for AIX and Linux. New installations of the Image Level Agent are no longer supported in V10, but the agent will continue to function normally. Upgrade to the latest service pack in V10 is supported. You cannot use your installed version of the Image Level Agent to perform backups in the next version of SnapProtect.
  • This functionality is now available using Block-Level Backup. We recommend that you begin backing up data by using the block-level backup method instead of using the Image Level Agent as soon as you are able to. No new license is required for Block-Level Backup. For instructions on transitioning to block-level backups, see Transitioning from Image Level Agent to Block-Level Backups.

See Deprecated Features, Products, and Platforms for comprehensive information on deprecated products.

Table of Contents

Full Backups

Full backups provide the most comprehensive protection of data.

  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to <Client> | Image Level.
  2. Right click the <Subclient> and click Backup.
  3. Select Full as backup type and Immediate to run the job immediately.
  4. Click OK.

    You can track the progress of the job from the Job Controller or Event Viewer window.  When the backup has completed, the Job Controller displays Completed.

Incremental Backups

An incremental backup contains only data that is new or has changed since the last backup, regardless of the type. On average, incremental backups consume less media and use less resources than full backups. 

The illustration below clarifies the nature of full and incremental backups. For simplicity, assume there is a file system that contains six files as represented in the figure.

Backup #1 is a full backup and therefore writes all the data, changed and unchanged, to the backup media. Backups #2 through #n-1 are incrementals and only back up those files that have changed since the time of the last backup, regardless of the type. For example, files A, B, and E changed after the full backup and were therefore backed up in Backup #2. Backup #4 backed up files A and D because both files were modified sometime after Backup #3 occurred. File F did not change; hence, it was not backed up in any of the incremental backups, but it was included in both full backups, which, by definition, back up everything.

Follow the steps below to perform an incremental backup:

  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to <Client> | Image Level.
  2. Right click the <Subclient> and click Backup.
  3. Select Incremental as backup type and Immediate to run the job immediately.
  4. Click OK.

    You can track the progress of the job from the Job Controller.  When the backup has completed, the Job Controller displays Completed.

Synthetic Full Backups

A synthetic full backup is a synthesized backup, created from the most recent full backup and subsequent incremental and/or differential backups. The resulting synthetic full backup is identical to a full backup for the subclient.

Unlike full, incremental, and differential backups, a synthetic full backup does not actually transfer data from a client computer to the backup media. Therefore, they do not use any resources on the client computer.

Synthetic full backups are media-based; they read backup data from one media and simultaneously write (restore) the result to the new active media within the same media group. As a result, synthetic full backups require that at least two media drives for the same storage policy be available at the time the job is started. Synthetic full backups cannot be performed on subclients where the storage policy is associated with a stand-alone drive.

Running Synthetic Full Backups

Synthetic full backups can either be started manually or scheduled to occur at regular intervals.

  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to <Client> | Image Level.
  1. Right click the <Subclient> and click Backup.
  2. From the Backup Options window, select Synthetic Full for Backup Type.
  3. Select Immediate for Job Initiation.
  4. Click OK.

    You can track the progress of the backup job from the Job Controller. When the backup has completed, the Job Controller displays Completed.

Running an Incremental Backup before or after a Synthetic Full Backup

An incremental backup can be run either before or after a synthetic full backup.

  • Running an incremental backup before the synthetic full ensures that any new or recently changed data is included in the synthetic full.
  • Running an incremental backup after the synthetic full ensures that any new or recently changed data since the backup that occurred prior to the synthetic full, but was not included in the synthetic full, is backed up by the incremental.

The sections below describe the steps to run an incremental backup before or after a synthetic full backup:

  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to <Client> | Image Level.
  1. Right click the <Subclient> and click Backup.
  2. From the Backup Options window, select Synthetic Full for Backup Type.
  3. Select Run Incremental Backup and then select Before Synthetic Full or After Synthetic Full options.
  4. Select Immediate for Job Initiation.
  5. Click OK.

    You can track the progress of the backup job from the Job Controller. When the backup has completed, the Job Controller displays Completed.

Accelerated Synthetic Full Backups (DASH Full)

When a storage policy copy is deduplicated, synthetic full backups can be created in an accelerated mode to significantly reduce the copy duration. This is done by identifying and transferring the data signatures (instead of the data itself) to the target wherever possible.

To enable DASH full on a storage policy copy, see Modifying a Storage Policy Copy Deduplication Settings.

Backup Oracle Instances

To facilitate the backup of data files for applications such as Oracle, Exchange and SQL, PreScan and PostScan commands can be utilized to quiesce and unquiesce the application during the backup. The PostScan command should also take an archive log volume snapshot of the Oracle instance.

Use the following steps to backup an Oracle instance:

  1. Copy and rename the PreOraScan.bat and PostOraScan.bat sample files before customizing them for a given Oracle instance (e.g., copy PreOraScan.bat to PreOraScan_<instancename>.bat and copy PostOraScan.bat to PostOraScan_<instancename>.bat).

    The readily provided scripts are samples only and must be customized to quiesce and unquiesce the Oracle instances that you are backing up. Edit the scripts to have the following variables set properly: ORACLE_HOME, ORACLE_SID, GALAXY_BASE, SQL_CONNECT, GALAXY_SQL_TEMP_DIR.

    The PreOraScan.bat and PostOraScan.bat files are commented with instructions about setting each of these values for your environment.

    For non-CXBF Image Level subclients on Unix, you must provide the appropriate PreScan scripts to run the snap and mount operations. You must also provide the appropriate PostBackup scripts to run the un-mount and un-snap operations.

    Example of a PreScan script:

    [d#!/bin/sh
    lvcreate --size 100m --snapshot --name TestLv01_snap /dev/testvg/TestLv01
    mount /dev/testvg/TestLv01_snap /vol1
    lvcreate --size 100m --snapshot --name TestLv02_snap /dev/testvg/TestLv02
    mount /dev/testvg/TestLv02_snap /vol2
    exit 0

    Example of a PostBackup script:

    [d#!/bin/sh
    umount /vol1
    lvremove -f /dev/testvg/TestLv01_snap
    umount /vol2
    lvremove -f /dev/testvg/TestLv02_snap
    exit 0

  2. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client>.
  3. Right-click Image Level, point to All Tasks, and then click New Subclient.
  4. In the Subclient Name box, type a name.
  5. Click the Content tab.
  6. Click Add, select the volume that you want to backup. Select multiple volumes by holding down the Ctrl Key.

    Alternatively, you can click Volume Explorer to select the content.

  1. Click the Pre/Post Process tab.
  2. In the PreScan process box, type the full path of the process that you want to execute during PreScan phase. Alternatively, click Browse to locate the process (applicable only for paths that do not contain any spaces).
  3. In the PostScan process box, type the full path of the process that you want to execute during PostScan phase. Alternatively, click Browse to locate the process (applicable only for paths that do not contain any spaces).
  4. In the PostBackup process box, type the full path of the process that you want to execute during PostBackup phase. Alternatively, click Browse to locate the process (applicable only for paths that do not contain any spaces).
  5. Click OK.
  6. For subclients on Windows platforms, Run As displays Not Selected.

    If you want to change the account that has permission to run these commands, click Change.

    • In the User Account dialog box, select Use Local System Account, or select Impersonate User and enter the user name and password. click OK.
    • If you selected Local System Account, click OK to the message advising you that commands using this account have rights to access all data on the client computer.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click the Storage Device tab.
  9. In the Storage Policy box, select a storage policy.
  10. Click OK.

  1. From the CommCell Browser, right click the <Subclient> for which the pre/post processes are set and then click Backup.
  2. Select Full as backup type and Immediate to run the job immediately.
  3. Click OK.

    You can track the progress of the job from the Job Controller or Event Viewer window.  When the backup has completed, the Job Controller displays Completed.

  4. Verify that the PreScan and PostScan phases succeeded. The CVVIOrascan.log will be created in the log file directory, which contains logs of snapping the Oracle archive log volume.

To verify the Oracle database is really quiesced:

In the admin bdump directory of the Oracle instance, open the alert<instancename>.log to verify that the Oracle instance was properly quiesced and unquiesced. This log file records all the activities of the Oracle instance.

Block Device Backups

Block devices  (e.g., /dev/imagedcvg/img5r5 ) need to be configured as a CXBF device first before they can be backed up. Use the following steps to back up block devices using CXBF image backups.

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to Tools | Control Panel.
  2. Double click Volume Explorer.

    Alternatively, you can access Volume Explorer from the Content tab in Subclient Properties.

  3. From the Hosts pane, select the host connected to the block device you want to configure.
  4. Right-click the desired block device in the Volumes pane, and then select Configure CXBF device.
  5. Click Configure.
  6. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client>.
  7. Right-click Image Level, point to All Tasks, and then click New Subclient.
  8. In the Subclient Name box, type a name.
  9. Click the Content tab.
  10. Click Add, select the CXBF device created earlier that you want to backup.  Click OK.

    Alternatively, you can click Volume Explorer to select the CXBF device.

  11. Click the Storage Device tab.
  12. In the Storage Policy box, select a storage policy.
  13. Click OK.
  14. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to <Client> | Image Level.
  15. Right click the <Subclient> and click Backup.
  16. Select Full as backup type and Immediate to run the job immediately.
  17. Click OK.

    You can track the progress of the job from the Job Controller or Event Viewer window.  When the backup has completed, the Job Controller displays Completed.

Increase Logging during Backups

By default, backup operations are logged in the CVVIBackup.log file. You can include additional logging, such as extent information in the CVVIBackup.log file. Extent size specifies the number of bytes represented by a single bit in the bitmap used to identify the changed data on a disk volume.

Use the following steps to add additional logging:

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to Client Computers.
  2. Right-click the <Client>, and then click Properties.
  3. Click Advanced and then click Additional Settings tab.
  4. Click Add.
  5. In the Name box, type dEnableIBackupLog.

    The Category and Type fields are populated automatically.

  6. In the Value field, type 1.
  7. Click OK.

Enabling Empty Block Backups

By default, only blocks that contain data are backed up; empty blocks are not backed up, with the following notes:

  • For FAT16/FAT32 volumes, all blocks on a drive are backed up, even if the blocks contain no data.
  • CXBF devices on AIX do not support online file system expansion or shrink using the chfs command. If a volume or file system controlled by a CXBF block-filter driver is extended or shrunk, it will fail. Therefore, you must de-configure the CXBF device before using chfs.

For Image Level on Unix iDataAgent, this functionality can be turned off. Use the following steps to enable backing up empty blocks also:

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to Client Computers.
  2. Right-click the <Client>, and then click Properties.
  3. Click Advanced and then click Additional Settings tab.
  4. Click Add.
  5. In the Name field, type dDisableDataBlock.

    The Category and Type fields are populated automatically.

  6. In the Value field, type Y.
  7. Click OK.

Enhancing Backup Performance

You can increase the backup performance using the following methods:

Skip Metafile Creation for a Specific Job

Selecting the Skip Metafile Creation option will increase performance but disables the ability to restore data using a File Level restore. This will also apply to any Synthetic Full backups created from such a backup.

  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to <Client> | Image Level.
  2. Right click the <Subclient> and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced, and then click Media tab.
  4. Select the Skip Metafile Creation check box.
  5. Click Yes in the Confirm: Skip meta-file creation dialog box. 
  6. Click OK.

Skip Metafile Creation for All Backups

If File Level restores will never be used for the client, instead of manually selecting the Skip Metafile Creation option for each job, you can automatically skip metafile creation for all backup jobs using the following steps:

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to Client Computers.
  2. Right-click the <Client>, and then click Properties.
  3. Click Advanced and then click Additional Settings tab.
  4. Click Add.
  5. In the Name field, type SkipMetaFileCreation.

    The Category and Type fields are populated automatically.

  6. In the Value field, type 1.
  7. Click OK.

Scheduling a Backup

  1. From the CommCell Console, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | File System | defaultBackupSet.
  2. Right click the default <Subclient> and click Backup.
  3. Click Schedule.
  4. Click Configure.
  5. Select the appropriate scheduling options.  For example:
    • Click Weekly.
    • Check the days you want the run the restore job.
    • Change the Start Time to 9:00 PM
    • Click OK to close the Schedule Details dialog
    • Click OK to close the Backup Options dialog

    The backup job will execute as per the schedule.

See Scheduling for a comprehensive information on scheduling jobs.

Managing Jobs

Jobs can be managed in a number of ways. The following sections provide information on the different job management options available:

Restarting Jobs

Jobs that fail to complete successfully are automatically restarted based on the job restartability configuration set in the Control Panel. This configuration can be changed at any time; however, changes to this configuration will affect all jobs run in the entire CommCell.

It is also possible to override the default CommServe configuration for individual jobs by configuring retry settings when initiating the job. This configuration, however, will apply only to the specific job.

Backup jobs for this Agent are resumed from the point-of-failure.

Configure Job Restartability at the CommServe Level

  1. In the CommCell Console, click the Control Panel icon, then double-click Job Management.
  2. In the Job Restarts tab of the Job Management dialog box, select a job type from the Job Type list, and then select the Restartable check box.
  3. To change the maximum number of times the Job Manager will try to restart a job, select a number in the Max Restarts box.
  4. To change the time interval between attempts by the Job Manager to restart the job, select a number of minutes in the Restart Interval (Mins) box.
  5. Click OK to save your changes.

Configure Job Restartability for an Individual Job

  1. From the Backup Options dialog box, click Advanced, then select the Job Retry tab and specify the following as desired:
    • Total Running Time - The maximum elapsed time, in hours and minutes, from the time that the job is created.
    • Number of Retries - The number of times that Job Manager will attempt to restart the job.
    • Kill Running Jobs When Total Running Time Expires - Option to kill the job when the specified Total Running Time has elapsed, even if its state is "Running".
  2. Click OK.

Controlling Jobs

The following controls are available for running jobs in the Job Controller window:

Suspend

Temporarily stops a job. A suspended job is not terminated; it can be restarted at a later time.

Resume

Resumes a job and returns the status to Waiting, Pending, Queued, or Running. The status depends on the availability of resources, the state of the Operation Windows, or the Activity Control setting.

Kill

Terminates a job.

Suspending a Job

  1. From the Job Controller of the CommCell Console, right-click the job and select Suspend.
  2. The job status may change to Suspend Pending for a few moments while the operation completes. The job status then changes to Suspended.

Resuming a Job

  1. From the Job Controller of the CommCell Console, right-click the job and select Resume.
  2. As the Job Manager attempts to restart the job, the job status changes to Waiting, Pending, or Running.

Killing a Job

  1. From the Job Controller of the CommCell Console, right-click the job and select Kill.
  2. Click Yes when the confirmation prompt appears if you are sure you want to kill the job. The job status may change to Kill Pending for a few moments while the operation completes. Once completed, the job status will change to Killed and it will be removed from the Job Controller window after five minutes.

Backup jobs for this Agent are resumed from the scan phase if the backup job is suspended either by the user or the Job Controller during metadata collection.

Additional Options

The following table describes the available additional options to further refine your backup operations:

Option Description Related Topics
Startup Options The Startup Options are used by the Job Manager to set priority for resource allocation. This is useful to give higher priority to certain jobs. You can set the priority as follows:
  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | Image Level.
  2. Right-click the <Subclient> in the right pane and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced and click Startup tab.
  4. Select the Change Priority checkbox.
  5. Enter a priority number - 0 is the highest priority and 999 is the lowest priority.
  6. Select the Start up in suspended State check box to start the job in a suspended state.
  7. Click OK.
Refer to Job Priority and Priority Precedence.
Alerts This option enables users or user groups to get automatic notification on the status of the data protection job. Follow the steps given below to set up the criteria to raise notifications/alerts:
  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | Image Level.
  2. Right-click the <Subclient> in the right pane and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced and select the Alert tab.
  4. Click Add Alert.
  5. From the Add Alert Wizard dialog box, select the required threshold and notification criteria and click Next.
  6. Select the required notification types and click Next.
  7. Select the recipients and click Next.
  8. Click Finish.
  9. Click OK.
Refer to Alerts and Notifications.
Data Path Options Data Protection operations use a default Library, MediaAgent, Drive Pool, and Drive as the Data Path. You can use this option to change the data path if the default data path is not available. Follow the steps given below to change the default data path:
  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | Image Level.
  2. Right-click the <Subclient> in the right pane and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced and select the Data Path tab.
  4. Select the MediaAgent and Library.
  5. Select the Drive Pool and Drive for tape library.
  6. Click OK.
Refer Change Data Path.
Start New Media The Start New Media option enables you to start the data protection operation on a new media. This feature provides control over where the data physically resides. Use the following steps to start the data protection operation on a new media:
  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | Image Level.
  2. Right-click the <Subclient> in the right pane and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced and select the Media tab.
  4. Select the Start New Media check box.
  5. Click OK.
Refer to Start New Media.
Mark Media Full This option marks the media as full, two minutes after the successful completion of the data protection job. This option prevents another job from writing to this media. Follow the steps given below:
  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | Image Level.
  2. Right-click the <Subclient> in the right pane and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced and select Media tab.
  4. Select the Mark Media Full on Success check box.
  5. Click OK.
Refer to Export Media.
Allow Other Schedules To Use Media Set The Allow Other Schedules to use Media Set option allows jobs that are part of the schedule or schedule policy and using the specific storage policy to start a new media. It also prevents other jobs from writing to the same set of media.
  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | Image Level.
  2. Right-click the <Subclient> in the right pane and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced and select the Media tab.
  4. Select the Allow Other Schedules To Use Media Set check box.
  5. Click OK.
Refer to Creating an Exportable Media Set.
Reserve Resources Before Scan Media is reserved for a job when the job is ready to write data. You can use this option to reserve the media during the initial phase of the job. Follow the steps given below to reserve media:
  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | Image Level.
  2. Right-click the <Subclient> in the right pane and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced and select the Media tab.
  4. Select the Reserve Resources Before Scan check box.
  5. Click OK.
 
Release Resources During Meta Data Collection The reserved media can be released while the system is collecting meta data for the backup job. This is useful in cases where the system is collecting data on a large volume and you want the resources available for other jobs:
  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | Image Level.
  2. Right-click the <Subclient> in the right pane and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced and select the Media tab.
  4. Select the Release Resources During Meta Data Collection check box.
  5. Click OK.
 
Skip Metafile Creation If selected ,a metafile of the data on the specified volume will not be created as part of the backup, saving some time. The data can only be restored using Volume Level restore. The metafile is required for File Level restore.

If cleared, a metafile will be created, and the data can be restored using either File Level restore or Volume Level restore.

  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | Image Level.
  2. Right-click the <Subclient> in the right pane and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced and select the Media tab.
  4. Select the Skip Metafile Creation check box.
  5. Click OK.
 
Extended Data Retention This option allows you to extend the expiration date of a specific job. This will override the default retention set at the corresponding storage policy copy. Follow the steps given below to extend the expiration date:
  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | Image Level.
  2. Right-click the <Subclient> in the right pane and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced and select the Media tab.
  4. Select one of the following options:
    • Infinite - Select this option to extend the expiration date by infinite number of days
    • Number of day - Select this option to specify the number of days to extend the expiration date and then enter the number of days.
  5. Click OK.
Refer to Extended Retention Rules.
Vault Tracker This feature provides the facility to manage media that is removed from a library and stored in offsite locations. Depending on your Vault Tracker setup, select the required options. Use the following steps to access and select the Vault Tracker options.
  1. From the CommCell Browser, navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | Image Level.
  2. Right-click the <Subclient> in the right pane and click Backup.
  3. Click Advanced and select the Vault Tracking tab.
  4. Select the required options.
  5. Click OK.
Refer to Vault Tracker.
CommCell Readiness Report The CommCell Readiness Report provides you with vital information such as connectivity and readiness of the Client, MediaAgent, and CommServe. It is useful to run this report before performing a backup or a recovery operation. Follow the steps given below to generate the report:
  1. On the CommCell Console menu bar, select the Reports tab.
  2. Click Readiness.

    The Report Selection dialog box appears.

  3. If necessary, select Reports | CommServe | CommCell Readiness in the left pane.
  4. Select the Computers tab, and then click Modify below the Computers list.
  5. In the dialog box that appears, clear Include All Client Computers and All Client Groups.
  6. Select the appropriate client from the Exclude list, and then click Include >.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Select the MediaAgent tab, and then clear Include All MediaAgents.
  9. Select the appropriate MediaAgent from the Exclude list, and then click Include >.
  10. Click Run.

    The report appears in your default Web browser.

Refer to CommCell Readiness Report.
Backup Job Summary Report The Backup Job Summary Report provides you with information about all of the backup jobs that are run in last 24 hours for a specific subclient. You can get information such as status, time, data size, and so on for each backup job. It is useful to run this report after performing the backup. Follow the steps given below to generate the report:
  1. On the CommCell Console menu bar, select the Reports tab.
  2. Click Summary.

    The Report Selection dialog box appears.

  3. If necessary, select Reports | Jobs | Job Summary in the left pane.
  4. On the General tab, select Data Management.
  5. Select the Computers tab.
  6. Select Subclient, and then select the Edit sub tab.
  7. Navigate to Client Computers | <Client> | File System | Backup Set | <Subclient>.
  8. Click Run.

    The report appears in your default Web browser.

Refer to Backup Job Summary Report.