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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Storage Management Services

Test Objectives Covered:

  • Set Up SMS for SBCON and NWBACK32

  • Back Up Data with SBCON and NWBACK32

  • Restore Data with SBCON and NWBACK32

Storage Management Services (SMS) is a combination of related services that facilitate the storage and retrieval of data to and from NetWare 6 servers and workstations. The SMS backup process involves a host server, a target file system or eDirectory, and a controlling workstation (see Figure 3.24):

  • Host server—The SMS host server is where the backup program and storage device reside. (Note: SMS is a backup engine rather than an application. This means that it requires a front-end backup/restore application on the host server to communicate with modules on target devices.) You can use the SBCON software that's included with NetWare 6 or any third-party backup software that is SMS compliant.

  • Target—The SMS target is a NetWare workstation or server that contains a file system or eDirectory Directory that needs to be backed up. Target service agents (TSAs) are resident programs that run on each target server or workstation. In conjunction with an SMS-compliant backup engine, such as NetWare SBCON, these agents enable data from a specific workstation or server to be backed up and restored.

  • Workstation—The SMS workstation is a NetWare 6 client that provides a GUI interface for configuring the backup sessions and for submitting instructions to the host server. This workstation is normally a Windows 95/98 or Windows NT machine running the NWBACK32.EXE program.

Figure 3.24FIGURE 3.24 NetWare 6 SMS architecture.

The SMS server application reads the file system or eDirectory data from the target device (using TSA instructions) and sends it to a storage medium (such as a DOS read/write disk, tape, or optical drive). SMS supports the following types of information: NetWare 6 file system, NetWare 6 server DOS partition, eDirectory, Windows 95/98/Me and Windows NT/2000/XP workstation file systems, and GroupWise databases.

Understanding SMS

Before delving too far into the world of SMS, you should first have a good grasp of the major components of SMS and some common terms used when discussing network backups and restores. SMS includes the following components:

  • Storage management engine (SME)—This is the backup program that communicates with the network clients to back up and restore information. NetWare 6 includes two SMEs: SBCON and NWBACK32.

  • Target service agent (TSA)—A software module that understands how to scan, read, and write target data. The TSA packages data from the target. (Recall that a target is any NetWare 6 server, workstation, or service that has a TSA loaded. This is where the backup source material resides.) The TSA then presents the data to the SME in a generic form, which allows one SME to interact with many types of TSAs. Table 3.7 shows the TSAs provided by NetWare 6.

  • Storage management data requester (SMDR)—This component communicates between the SME and the TSA.

  • Storage device interface—This component passes information between the SME and the storage device.

  • Device drivers—These control the behavior of the storage devices.

NetWare 6 TSAs

Target

TSA

NetWare 6

TSA600

eDirectory

TSANDS

Windows95/98 workstation

W95TSA

Windows NT/2000 workstation

TSPREFS; TSAMAIN; TSAPROXY (loaded on the host server)

GroupWise data

GWTSA


The following are some backup/restore terms you should be familiar with:

  • Data set—A collection of related data records on a computer-readable medium (such as a hard disk or a tape). When using an SME such as SBCON, you can configure data sets to back up or restore specific data.

  • Parent—A data set that may have subordinate data sets (that is, other parents or children). In NetWare 6, for example, a parent would be a directory, subdirectory, container, server, or eDirectory.

  • Child—A data set that has no subordinates. In NetWare 6, a child would be a file or a leaf object.

  • TIP

    Items in a data set for either a parent or child should be items that do not frequently change.

  • Subset—A specific portion of a data set that you want to back up or restore. The SMEs included with NetWare 6 enable you to designate subsets of data by using exclude and include options.

  • Exclude—These backup options enable you to back up most of the file system structure or eDirectory tree structure while omitting only a small part.

  • Include—These backup options enable you to specify small parts of the file system structure data that you want backed up.

Real World

Everything you do not specifically include is excluded. After you've selected only part of the file system structure to include (such as a volume), all directories, subdirectories, and files under that selection are included in the backup by default. However, after you've excluded part of the structure (such as a volume, directory, or container), you cannot include any subdirectories, files, or objects beneath that excluded part.

To back up and restore NetWare servers and workstations, you can use the backup software that comes with NetWare 6 (SBCON and NWBACK32) or use a third-party program that is SMS compliant.

SBCON is a series of NLMs that run on the host NetWare server. This program processes the job, creates a session, establishes communications with distributed targets, and conducts the data backup or restore. SBCON includes the following three modules:

  • User interface—Running on a NetWare 6 server, the user interface is an NLM that creates a job and submits it to the eDirectory queue.

  • Q Manager (QMAN)—This component takes the job from the eDirectory queue and facilitates multiple job loading, among other features. Loading QMAN automatically loads the backup engine. The user interface can be loaded after you load QMAN.

  • Backup engine—This is the component that processes and completes the job.

NWBACK32 is a Windows-based program that runs on the administrative backup/restore workstation (see Figure 3.25). NWBACK32 configures backup/restore jobs and submits them to the eDirectory queue.

Figure 3.25FIGURE 3.25 Getting to know the NWBACK32 SMS workstation application.

Real World

Both SBCON and NWBACK32 enable you to overwrite all existing parents or children. However, children can be overwritten only if the date on the data set on the hard disk is more recent that the date of the data set backup.

Choosing a Backup Strategy

NetWare provides four basic strategies for backing up and restoring data (follow along in Figure 3.26):

  • Full—The full backup option is the most thorough. During a full backup, all data is copied, regardless of when, or whether, it was previously backed up. Although this option is the most time-consuming, it provides fast and easy restores because you have to restore only the latest full backup. (Note: During a full backup, the Modify (or Archive) bit of each file is cleared.)

  • Incremental—The incremental option backs up only those files that have changed since the last backup. To restore all system data, you must restore the last full backup and every incremental backup since then, in chronological order. (Note: During an incremental backup, the Modify bit of each file is cleared.)

  • Differential—The differential backup strategy backs up all data that has been modified since the last full backup. This strategy often provides the best balance of efficiency and performance because it minimizes the number of restore sessions. The main improvement with the differential strategy is in the state of the Modify bit—it is not cleared. As a result, all the files that have changed since the last full backup are copied each time. (Note: Because the Modify bit is cleared during an incremental backup, be sure that you never perform an incremental backup between differential backups.)

  • Custom—The Custom strategy enables you to specify which files are backed up and to designate whether or not the Modify bit of each file is cleared.

Figure 3.26FIGURE 3.26 Understanding the three main NetWare backup/restore strategies.

Table 3.8 shows a comparison of the three NetWare backup/restore strategies. You might find one of the following three combinations useful:

  • Every day—differential

  • Once a week on Friday—full

  • Once a month—custom

Getting to Know the NWBACK32 SMS Workstation Application

Backup Strategy

Backup

Restore

Modify Bit

Full

Slow

Easy

Cleared

Incremental

Quick

Hard

Cleared

Differential

Kind of quick

Relatively easy

Not cleared

Custom

Whatever

Your choice

Doesn't matter


You can combine these three backup strategies into a custom SMS plan for your organization. Here are a few ideas:

  • Full backup during every backup session

  • Full backup combined with incremental backups

  • Full backup combined with differential backups

When you're choosing a backup strategy, consider the time required by each method to back up the data and the time required by each method to restore the data. An efficient balance of backup and restore duration provides you with an excellent solution to NetWare 6 workstation and server fault tolerance.

Now that you've learned the fundamental architecture of SMS and chosen our ideal backup strategy, it's time for action! Let's take a closer look at SMS backup/restore procedures.

Configuring SMS for SBCON and NWBACK32

We'll begin our configuration of SMS by setting things up for SBCON and NWBACK32. Follow these steps:

  1. Load the tape device driver or driver interface on the host server.

    • Device drivers are placed in the STARTUP.NCF file when NetWare 6 is installed. The following are the commands that should appear in the STARTUP.NCF file:

    • 	LOAD PATH controller_device_driver_name
      	LOAD PATH storage_device_driver_name
      
    • From NWCONFIG, select Driver Options, and then Configure Disk and Storage Device Drivers. You can select Discover and Load Additional Drivers and, if the drivers exist, they will be loaded. Alternately, you can select Additional Driver, and then select a driver from the displayed list.

    • If you've added an external device, or if you've loaded HAM drivers, enter the following at the server console:

    • 	LIST DEVICES
  2. Enter the following at the system console to register the storage device with the system:

  3. TIP

    If you load the drivers from STARTUP.NCF or NWCONFIG, you don't need to use the SCAN FOR NEW DEVICES command.

  4. Load the appropriate TSAs by using the commands shown in Table 3.9: Keep in mind that TSAs can be loaded and unloaded as needed to conserve server RAM. If the TSAs remain on the system, SMDR is loaded when NetWare SBCON is activated.

  5. Load the NetWare SMS NLMs on the host server by entering the following command:

  6. SMSSTART
  7. NLMs such as TSA600.NLM, TSAPROXY.NLM, and SMDR.NLM are loaded with default configuration values.

Loading TSAs

To Back Up or Restore

From

Enter the Command

NetWare 6

Target server

TSA600

eDirectory database

A NetWare 4 or later target server

LOAD TSANDS

DOS partition on a NetWare server

Target server

TSADOSP

Windows workstations

Host server

LOAD TSAPROXY

Windows 95/98

Target workstation

W95TSA.EXE (this is installed with the Novell Client)

Windows NT/2000/XP

Target workstation

TSAPREFS.EXE, TSAMAIN.EXE (these are installed with the Novell client). Note: You must perform a custom install and select the Novell TSA component.

GroupWise data

Target workstation

GWTSA


Real World

When loading TSAs during a backup or restore procedure, keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • When backing up the eDirectory database, load TSANDS.NLM once on the server with a replica of the largest partition.

  • When backing up the file system, load TSA600.NLM for its server and on every server to be backed up.

  • When backing up workstations, load the appropriate TSA on the workstation.

You can also place the commands in the server's STARTUP.NCF file, and in the workstation's NET.CFG file, AUTOEXEC.BAT file (for DOS), or Startup folder (for OS/2.

You're now ready to start and exit SBCON and NWBACK32. Let's start with SBCON by following these steps:

  1. From the server console, enter the following command:

  2. SBCON
  3. When the NetWare Backup/Restore dialog appears, perform backup and restore tasks.

  4. When you finish using SBCON, you must exit SBCON and unload SMS modules to free memory on your host server or target. Exit SBCON by pressing Esc until you reach the main menu. Press Esc and select Yes.

  5. Unload the SMS modules at the prompt by entering the following command:

  6. SMSSTOP

TIP

If you receive a warning that says an NLM is being used by another NLM, consider keeping the module loaded. Otherwise, your server might abend.

Now let's start and exit NWBACK32 by following these steps:

  1. From your workstation, log in to the desired eDirectory tree.

  2. (Conditional) If this is the first time you've used NWBACK32, do the following:

    • Log in to the server that's running the backup engine and enter your username and password.

    • Enter the name of the eDirectory tree you'll use to back up and restore data.

    • Enter the SMDR context that you created during server creation.

    • Enter the SMDR group context that you created during server creation.

  3. Run NWBACK32.EXE (located in SYS:\PUBLIC).

    • Browse to SYS:\PUBLIC

    • Double-click NWBACK32.EXE

  4. In NWBACK32, specify the information that will be backed up (or restored) from the target server and the location where the information will be backed up. Also, select the type of backup you will perform (full, incremental, differential, or custom).

  5. Set the schedule and rerun interval. Finally, complete the configuration by providing a description for the session.

  6. Submit the job, insert the media, and proceed with the backup. Add tapes (or other media) as required.

  7. When you finish using NWBACK32, you must exit NWBACK32 and unload SMS modules to free memory on your host server or target. Exit NWBACK32 by selecting File and then Exit.

  8. Unload the SMS modules at the prompt by entering the following command:

  9. SMSSTOP

TIP

If you receive a warning that says an NLM is being used by another NLM, consider keeping the module loaded. Otherwise, your server might abend.

SMS Log and Error Files

In addition to the data files created during a backup of files and directories, a log and corresponding error files also are created on the host server for each backup and restore job. You should be familiar with these log and error files, where they are located, and how to access them from SBCON and NWBACK32.

Location of Log and Error Files

By default, log and error files for a backup session are stored in a directory such as SYS:SYSTEM\TSA\LOG. You can create your own directory for the log and error files as long as it resides on the host server. Log and error files for a restore session are stored in the SYS:SYSTEM\TSA\RESTORE directory. You cannot modify the location for those files.

Contents of Log Files

Log files contain the following information:

  • Session date and time, along with a description you enter

  • Target from where the data was backed up

  • Target that was backed up and the location on the server where the data was restored to during a restore session

  • Media set identification information

  • Area of the file system that was backed up or restored

  • Names of the files that were backed up or restored

  • Numerical location of the data on the storage media

Contents of Error Files

Error files contain the following information:

  • List of errors that occurred during a backup or restore session

  • Session date and time, along with a description you entered

  • Target from where the data was backed up

  • Target that was backed up and the location on the server where the data was restored to during a restore session

  • Media set identification information

  • Area of the file system that was backed up or restored

  • Number of parents and children backed up or restored

  • Names of the files that were not backed up or restored, along with error messages or information

  • Skipped data sets (that is, any file that is open when a session begins is not backed up or restored)

Accessing Log and Error Files

You can access log and error files through the SBCON main menu by using the Log File Administration option. To access these files through Windows 95/98, 2000/NT, you can use the NWBACK32 Report menu and select Session or Error.

SBCON and NWBACK32 keep a list of all log and error files. This list includes the description you enter for the session, the date and time you started a backup session (or, in the case of a delayed session, the time the session was scheduled), and the name of the target the data was backed up from.

Now, what would all this knowledge amount to without a bit of guidance? Let's review some general SMS guidelines just for safekeeping.

SMS Guidelines

Before performing a backup or a restore, ensure that you meet the following guidelines:

  • Load the NetWare backup/restore software on the NetWare server on which the backup device is attached (that is, the host). Keep in mind that SMS operates on the server, not the workstation like most backup software systems.

  • Verify that you have enough disk space on the host server's SYS: volume for temporary files and log files. 1MB should be sufficient.

  • Confirm that the designated media has enough storage space. Be aware that security can be compromised if the scheduled backup session does not fit on the media. If the data doesn't fit, you'll be prompted to insert another tape (or other medium) when the first one is full. If another medium is not inserted, the backup will not finish and the program will not terminate. To reduce this risk, set Append to No, attend the backup so that you can insert the next tape, or use a tape loader backup device.

  • Limit access to the NetWare SBCON NLMs to maintain the security of your NetWare 6 server and to ensure data integrity.

  • Remember that the error and backup log files display both the DOS-equivalent name and the name space (such as FTAM, DOS, Macintosh, or OS/2) used to create the directory or file.

  • Monitor the size of NetWare SBCON temporary files. These temporary files may become quite large if there are extended attributes or linked Unix files.

  • Do not mount or dismount volumes or unload drivers during a backup session. You might corrupt data or abend the host server.

  • The backup administrator will need Read and File Scan [RF] access rights to the directories and files that she plans to back up. The administrator will also need additional rights (that is, [RWCEMF]) for restoring data.

  • The backup administrator will need the Browse [B] object right and Read [R] property right to the entire tree for backing up eDirectory information. He will also need the Create [C] eDirectory right to the tree for restoring eDirectory data.

  • The backup administrator must know the password on all servers that act as hosts and targets. In addition, the backup administrator must know the password to a workstation if a password has been used with the target software.

  • Create an electronic label for the storage medium before backing up data. If the medium does not have an electronic label, SBCON displays a message indicating that the medium cannot be identified.

  • If you're using a tape storage medium and appending a backup session to a set of two or more tapes, use the tape having the maximum space first.

  • Exit all utilities before unloading drivers. If you unload a manually loaded driver before exiting the backup utility, the host server might abend.

TIP

Study the SMS guidelines carefully. Pay particular attention to the management of log files, name space, and SMS volumes. Also, remember the backup administrator security requirements for eDirectory backup ([BR]), eDirectory restore ([BCR]), file system backup ([RF]), and file system restore ([RWCEMF]).

There you have it! That wasn't so hard, was it? In this section, we explored the fundamental architecture, backup strategies, and detailed steps of NetWare 6 SMS backup and restore. After you've completed these procedures, you'll find a certain peace of mind in knowing that your server and workstations are protected.

Vro-o-o-o-m!

In this chapter, we focused on the NetWare 6 server as a vehicle for cruising the information superhighway. We learned a little about server console management, and a lot about how to supercharge the server using Remote Manager, iMonitor, and iManager. In addition, we explored two powerful file system and backup strategies: Novell Storage Services (NSS) and Storage Management Services (SMS).

Now what? As I said earlier, "This is only the beginning." In the next chapter, we'll continue this advanced management journey with a discussion of advanced NetWare 6 client management.

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