Disk Imaging Tools for UNIX

Posted on 2006-06-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-06
Are there disk imaging tools for Unix? I'm currently doing a disaster recovery plan for our network, which include 2 HP UNIX servers.
Question by:CMORAZA

Accepted Solution

devrick0 earned 200 total points
ID: 16828113
I've always used dd for linux and solaris imaging.

man dd


LVL 20

Assisted Solution

Gns earned 200 total points
ID: 16829964
dd will indeed work, but.... For a disaster recovery ploy, why not check what HP recommends? I'm guessing they'll point you toward yuor off-site backup copies and either some "system only dump" or the install media.... Most unix vedors do;-)

-- Glenn
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Expert Comment

ID: 16830058
... and reading this very forum gives the answer to the question inherent in my comment above: The "dump system tool" seem to be named ignite (make_recovery, make_net_backup, make_tape_backup etc etc)...
Seem to fill the same function as mksysb on AIX etc etc.

-- Glenn
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Assisted Solution

robertfwoods earned 200 total points
ID: 16835206
I have been impressed with CommVault as an archiving tool.

Once the client is installed on the HP server, the full backups are sent to the CommVault server and can be archived to LTO style tapes.

The only thing you will need to recover is a HP bootable tape to initialize the system and to reinstall the client for CommVault. Then once the connection is made to the CommVault server the full restore can be started.

In our environment, we do a bootable backup once per week and rely on the CommVault backups for the day to day backups. We use some full backups daily and some incremental for other less dynamic servers.

This would be a complete solution for all servers on your network. CommVault has clients for Microsoft servers, RedHat Enterprise, AIX etc.

Other options are Veritas, Arkeia, HP StorageWorks Rapid Backup Solution, IBM offerings ---- etc

LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 16835922
.... Not to mention the other heavywaight in the backup arena (Since you mention Veritas....:-) EMC Networker... that used to be Legato.

But basically, that is to complement and make a "total solution". One has to assume (from the Q) this is all about how to facilitate the first step "getting the system initialized from scratch";).

-- Glenn

Expert Comment

ID: 16836789
True true.

However, it is only necessary to disk image the OS and it's directories and a means to re-establish the filesystem structure. Then you can use the daily backup to recover user / database files. --- Then --- we get into the larger picture of database recovery. -- All of which indicates a disaster recovery plan :-)...

mmm guess I'll go write a book.

Seriously there are several resources for disaster recovery plans, sometimes called Business Continunity Plans.


2nd one of 100 million from google.

But then I am straying further off topic.
LVL 20

Expert Comment

ID: 16837190

Being somewhat offtopic, one can say that it's at least a fairly easy thing to restore a unix computer/park, compared to the slightly ludicrous situation for a certain other OSmentioned in the Q.... at least if one employs the AD thing.... talk about a bad situation, when the perfectly good system backups are to be treated as having a rather short "best before" date.... or hopping through silly hoops to "fix" it.... shudder.

Anyway, I digress.... Back to my celebratory beer (tomorrow is Swedens version of july 4:th:-).

-- Glenn
LVL 19

Assisted Solution

jools earned 200 total points
ID: 16861291
Use Ignite as GNS mentioned, I believe this is still a free download and it is very easy to use, just make sure you read the man pages and select the right options, I can't remember them at the moment.

This will recovery your root VG with no problems, depending on the hardware you are restoring to, it's best if it's similar BTW you should have a working OS in no time.

Then its just a matter of rebuilding your Volume Groups and restoring the rest of the data, there are loads of backup tools out there, depending on budget your could go with the bundled tools (cpio, tar, fbackup) or a Free or Commercial offering.

Nearly all our customers use Ignite or Ignite servers to recover their systems thought there are some diehard HPUX types that prefer recovering the long way round.

Assisted Solution

JJSmith earned 200 total points
ID: 16881244

Ignite is the way to go for HP-UX systems, particularly if you are using HP's LVM.

The only caveat I have on it is that it does not deal with mirroring of disks. Following an ignite recovery you will need to re-mirror any volumes. Alternatively you can introduce your mirror commands or script when making the recovery so that you can automate the re-mirroring, basically:

$ make_tape_recovery -p -x inc_entire=vg00 # check man page for full options

That will prepare a number of config files used to transfer the 'image' to tape. Located under /var/opt/ignite/recovery/latest

look in the directory /opt/ignite/share/doc for the file diskmirror.pdf for details on how to add post_config_cmd hooks to do this. As you will see you are not limited to just mirroring. You could for example edit system.cfg to change the sizes of volumes!.

make sure you fully understand and test the ramifications of messing with these files as you may 'break' your re-ignition.

when you've finished your changes run:

$ make_tape_recovery -r   # this resumes from where your prepare left off.

2 caveats for automirroring:

1. Most people prefer to get a system up and running as soon as possible - you would have to wait for all the mirroring to complete! - this is a complete resync of all the volumes

2. The re-ignite will still put all the physical volumes into volume groups so the mirror disk(s) for the boot disk will not have a reserved boot area - so your auto script will need to remove the disk from the volume group and pvcreate -B , then add it back to the volume group, mkboot etc; before you start to mirror volumes to it.



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