Home > Articles > Operating Systems, Server > Solaris

  • Print
  • + Share This
Like this article? We recommend

LAN-Free Backup Procedure

This section contains general operational issues and a procedure for performing a LAN-free backup.

General Operational Issues

You will need to establish general operational procedures, automated or otherwise, to employ the point-in-time copy technology. You will also need to decide when the backup snapshots occur, how often they occur, and how the backup software is notified when the snapshot is available.

In most cases, a point-of-data-consistency needs to be reached before a point-in-time can be established. This ensures that the snapshot image is logically consistent (that is, the application can recover from any incomplete transactions).

The following list contains the general steps for creating a point-in-time copy that can then be accessed by a test application.

  1. Make sure that the master application has reached a point of consistency (that is, it has flushed all data to the disk).

  2. Create a PIT copy of the data.

  3. Export the PIT copy to a backup server by using the deport shadow capability.

  4. Initiate tape backup.

  5. When required, resynchronize the PIT copy with the master volume data by using the Rejoin and the Fast Resynchronize functions.

To Perform a LAN-Free Backup

This procedure describes how to make a PIT copy and export that copy over the SAN to a backup server. The following steps assume that the Instant Image 3.0 software is installed on all of the computers that have access to either the master or snapshot image.

  1. Log in to the system as superuser.

  2. Determine which volumes are the master volumes and which volumes you will use for the independent shadow volumes.

    It is key that the shadow volumes be on SAN-attached or dual-ported storage so that other servers can access these volumes.

    This step typically requires some planning. The idea is that the master volumes and original bitmaps remain available to the application server at all times. The PIT copy and its newly created secondary bitmaps should be available to the second server or backup server. Therefore, put the master and bitmap volumes in a diskgroup separate from the shadow and secondary bitmap volumes. This enables the deported shadow and its associated secondary bitmap volume to be deported and imported as a single diskgroup.

  3. Calculate the maximum amount of raw volume to be duplicated.

    For an independent copy, you need a duplicate amount of usable storage to store the point-in-time copy. Take your existing diskgroup and volumes and duplicate them to another diskgroup. The online or master volumes can be any RAID level supported by the Solaris OE or by a volume manager. The PIT, or shadow volumes, does not have to be the same RAID level as the master. The independent shadow volumes must be at least as large as the master volumes.

  4. Make both the master and shadow volumes available for the Instant Image software.

    1. Create two diskgroups, one for the online production volumes and another for the snapshots.

      Any volume that is available to the Solaris OE is eligible to be used with the Instant Image software. If the shadow volume is to be exported to a second server, the shadow volumes must be in their own diskgroup. This enables the shadow disk group to be exported as a single entity using VxVM.

    2. Create a volume for the bitmaps that can be export and imported along with the snapshot.

      The easiest way to do this is to create a volume within the diskgroup.

  5. Use VxVM or the format(1M) command to allocate space for the Instant Image software to keep track of the differences between the master and the shadow volumes.

    This is the bitmap associated with the master volume. The Instant Image software requires approximately 8 Kbytes for each gigabyte of raw disk space, plus space for header information (24 Kbytes).

    One bitmap is required for each Instant Image volume group (a group contains one master and one shadow volume). It is recommend that raw volumes be used for the bitmap volumes.

    The following is an example of the bitmap volumes used in this document:


    Additionally, the same bitmap volumes should be created in the backup diskgroup. It is these bitmaps that are used on the secondary server.

  6. Prepare the application and/or file system to be backed up.

    Any data that is in the server page cache should be flushed to disk. For the UNIX_ file system (UFS), use the lockfs(1M) command. Databases have different procedures for flushing the page cache. For example, The Oracle_ database software uses the SQL commands BEGIN and END BACKUP. The Informix database software uses its onmode command. No matter which method you use, get all of the data to be backed up to the disk.

  7. Enable the point-in-time volume sets.

    For manageability, all of the volumes that belong to this server-application should be grouped in an Instant Image software I/O group.

    This enables you to manage this backup as a single set.

    # iiadm -g Backup1 -e ind /dev/vx/rdsk/production/vol01 /dev/vx/rdsk/
    backup/vol01 /dev/vx/rdsk/production/vol01.bmp 
    # iiadm -g Backup1 -e ind /dev/vx/rdsk/production/vol02 /dev/vx/rdsk/
    backup/vol02 /dev/vx/rdsk/production/vol02.bmp 
    # iiadm -g Backup1 -e ind /dev/vx/rdsk/production/vol03 /dev/vx/rdsk/
    backup/vol03 /dev/vx/rdsk/production/vol03.bmp 
    # iiadm -g Backup1 -e ind /dev/vx/rdsk/production/vol04 /dev/vx/rdsk/
    backup/vol04 /dev/vx/rdsk/production/vol04.bmp 
    # iiadm -g Backup1 -e ind /dev/vx/rdsk/production/vol05 /dev/vx/rdsk/
    backup/vol05 /dev/vx/rdsk/production/vol05.bmp

    The above commands create an Instant Image software I/O group called Backup1 and inserts each master and shadow volume set into that group. You can now manage the snapshot as a single entity. Although, you have enabled all of the volume sets into the same I/O group, at this time, they all have different PITs. To set a single PIT, you must invoke an Instant Image software update operation.

    The following is an example of an update operation.

    # iiadm -g Backup1 -u

    In versions 1.x and 2.x of the Instant Image software, it was necessary to register the volumes into the storage volume software. This is no longer necessary. The iiadm -e command performs all of the needed storage volume registrations.

  8. Bring the application back online, if necessary.

    In most cases, this step is not necessary because the application was never taken offline. For databases, you must take the database out of backup mode, clear any onmode command, and unlock any file systems, if previously locked.

  9. Export the shadow to another server.

    After the initial copy has been completed (only done once), you can export the shadow volumes to a secondary server. You can monitor the enable progress by using the iiadm -i command. If you are using scripts, the iiadm -g Backup1 -w command enables the script to wait until the copy is completely established.

    The following is an example of how to export the shadow copy:

    # iiadm -g Backup1 -E 
    # iiadm -E shadow_volume (for each volume) 
    # svadm -d shadow_volumes 
    # vxdg -g backup stopall 
    # vxdg -g backup deport (only necessary if using VxVM)


    It is necessary to disable the volumes from the storage volume software when they are going to be deported. This is volume manager specific. If no volume manager is used, removing the volumes from storage volume may not be necessary, but it is a good practice to follow. Logical volume managers require that volumes to be deported have no open processes.

  10. Import the shadow disk group and snapshot volumes to the backup server.

    Mount the file systems, if necessary. The shadow disk group and snapshot are imported by using the following commands:

    # vxdg -g backup import 
    # vxdg -g backup startall 
    # iiadm -I /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol01 /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol01.bmp 
    # iiadm -I /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol02 /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol02.bmp 
    # iiadm -I /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol03 /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol03.bmp 
    # iiadm -I /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol04 /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol01.bmp 
    # iiadm -I /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol05 /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol05.bmp 
    # svadm -e shadow_volumes

    The next step is to mount the file systems, if any, that reside on the above volumes. The snapshot volumes can be put back into the Instant Image software I/O group, if desired, by using the following command:

    # iiadm -g Backup1 -m shadow-1,shadow-2, &.. shadow-n

    It is necessary to insert the volumes into the storage volume software to track all of the changes that occur to the shadow volumes while they are being used by the secondary server.

  11. Start the backup process.

    The only difference from a normal backup is that the data is now local, instead of out on the network. After the backups have successfully completed, the PIT can be removed from the backup server by using the following commands:

    # iiadm -g Backup1 -d 
    # svadm -d shadow_volumes
    # vxdg -g backup stopall 
    # vxdg -g backup deport startall
  12. Rejoin the master and shadow volumes.

    The Instant Image software logs the changes that are occurring on the master volumes as well as the shadow volume.

    1. When you are ready to update the snapshot, export the bitmap from the second server back to the where the master database resides.

      The Instant Image software determines which blocks need to be updated. This is referred to as a join. You do not need to recopy the entire volumes to update the shadow volumes. Only the modified data needs to be copied.

      Next, ready the snapshot to be brought back to the master.

    2. On the secondary server, stop the application, remove the volumes from storage volume, and deport the volumes by using the volume manger, as in Step 9.

      To reattach the snapshot to the master, use the following commands on the master:

      # vxdg -g backup import 
      # vxdg -g backup startall 
      # iiadm -J /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol01 /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol01.bmp 
      # iiadm -J /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol02 /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol02.bmp 
      # iiadm -J /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol03 /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol03.bmp 
      # iiadm -J /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol04 /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol04.bmp 
      # iiadm -J /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol05 /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol05.bmp 
      # svadm -e shadow_volumes

      The above commands take the changes on the secondary server, recorded in the bitmap volumes, and merge them with the changes done on the master-production server.

  13. Resynchronize the master and shadow volumes.

    1. Put the application into a known state (see Step 6).

    2. Execute the following commands to update the shadow volumes:

      # iiadm -g Backup1 -u s (for an atomic case) 
      # iiadm -u s /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol01 
      # iiadm -u s /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol02 
      # iiadm -u s /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol03 
      # iiadm -u s /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol04 
      # iiadm -u s /dev/vx/rdsk/backup/vol05

    If this procedure executes from a script file, the Instant Image software can wait for the updates to complete before allowing any other commands. Use the iiadm -w command in the script.

    You can apply the same scheme to applications that are on file systems; the Instant Image software works at the raw device level. Therefore, if the application resides on a file system, follow the these steps:

    1. Quiesce the application (put the application into a known state).

    2. Flush the page cache, if necessary.

      For example, use lockfs /mount_point on UFS filesystems

    3. Establish or update the PIT copies, as described above.

    4. Unlock the file systems, if previously locked.

    5. Use lockfs -u /mount_point.

    6. Mount and export the backup snapshot.

    If you add more volumes and partitions in the future, follow the steps described in this document to enable the Instant Image software. Adding table spaces and data files to volumes that are already being used with the Instant Image software does not require changes to the Instant Image software.

    You must modify the preceding for each particular installation. For repetition and ease-of-use, the sample commands used in this document should be put into a script. It is highly recommended that error checking be inserted as well. If an error should occur, the script should stop, and the error should be addressed.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020