Need to restore files from a sysback aix 5.3 backup tape (created by Tivoli Storage Manager)

I have a backup tape from an AIX 5.3 system that was created via the Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) sysback utility. I need to restore some data files and application directories from it on another system that does not have TSM. This is part of a disaster recovery test.

Here is the command used to make the backup:
                                                 
sysback -hserver1 -f/dev/rmt0 -T chrp -k mp   -d "Server1 Backup on: ${DATE}" -u -b 25
6 datavg  >> /var/adm/ras/lserver1.log 2>&1                                  

I've tried reading the tape with tapeutil and smit, but apparently these tools don't understand the sysback format.

I've never used TSM before; I'm a generic Unix admin and tend to stick with tar, gz, cpio, and the like. Is it possible to restore selected files without installing TSM? Is TSM free or a for-fee product? The same company owns both machines, the main one at Plant A and the backup machine at Plant B. I'm sure they have a license for TSM at Plant A; if a license is required, is there some way for me to use the Plant A license at Plant B? If TSM costs money, how much is it? Nothing seems to be for sale online that I can find.
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packetguyAsked:
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carlmdCommented:
TSM is a purchased product from IBM. The pricing is dependent upon the number or processors in the system. Info is here: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/storage-mgr-sysback/

Yes you can restore from a sysback tape without TSM using low level commands. Take a look at:

http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21248342

Read but ignore the sections with sbread (only available with sysback). In section 9 of "Restore with low level commands..." you would use the dd command and not sbread. Typically buffer size is 64KB.

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packetguyAuthor Commented:
Thanks! I will try that out today! I had seen that doc but when the sbread command wasn't on the system I thought that doc wasn't going to work for me at all.
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packetguyAuthor Commented:
OK, I run into some problems right away. The instructions to determine the tape block size say to run these command:s

   # tctl -f /dev/rmt0 rewind
   # tctl -f /dev/rmt0.1 fsf 3

But when I do, I get this error:
   /dev/rmt0.1 fsf 4 failed: There is an input or output error.

However, I was able to determine the blocksize using the tapeutil command:

Issuing iocinfo...
devtype = SCSI Tape
devsubtype = AB
tapetype = Streaming Tape Drive
block size = 0

But then when I get to the instructions proper, and try the command to position to the first archive, I get:

# tctl -f /dev/rmt0 rewind
# tctl -f /dev/rmt0.1 fsf 4
/dev/rmt0.1 fsf 4 failed: There is an input or output error.

I can, however, position to file 2:

# tctl -f /dev/rmt0 rewind
# tctl -f /dev/rmt0.1 fsf 2

But then when I try to read any files, such as the blocksize file, I get this:

# restbyname -xvqf /dev/rmt0.1 ./tmp/...blksz
restore: 0511-133 There is a data read error.: There is an input or output error.
Ignoring data and continuing.
restore: 0511-123 The volume on /dev/rmt0.1 is not in backup format.
Mount volume 1 on /dev/rmt0.1.
        Press the Enter key to continue.

restore: 0511-133 There is a data read error.: There is an input or output error.
Ignoring data and continuing.
restore: 0511-123 The volume on /dev/rmt0.1 is not in backup format.
^C

And I have to ctrl-C out of the program.

I think this is saying that the tape is in sysback format, but for some reason the instructions are not working to read from the tape. I can't seem to get past file number 2.


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carlmdCommented:
I neglected to ask what version of sysback you are using. I believe older versions (3 & 4) had different tape formats. On the later versions you want to be at lt 4 to restore data. The fact that you cannot position to lt 4 indicates something is not right. Also, it appears that your sysback command is setting the buffer size to 256. Can you go back to the system where the tape was made (that would have sbread) and perfrom the steps in the reference to find out the exact layout of the tape. Then position the tape (tctl) and try reading the tape on the system where it was made using dd instead of sbread. You should be successful, and can then repeat the same read command on the second system without sbread. Be sure to attempt the data read with dd and not restbyname. Also note that setup for the tape drive (smit tape) is the same on both systems.
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packetguyAuthor Commented:
Alas, since this is a DR "test", I'm not allowed to go back and do anything with the old system. If I can't get this to read, the test will be considered to have failed, which won't be good for the client ;)   I will try the dd technique. The tape drives are, fortunately, identical, even though they are an older model. So the hardware parts at least seems workable.

I also have several other tapes to try, from different dates, in case this tape is actually bad. I'll know more soon.
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carlmdCommented:
Then two thoughts. If you need to go this far you can download a demo version of sysback at the url in my first reply, and put that on the target system. If you can get more info we can come up with a work around. Are you at least allowed to get the version of sysback used to created the tape on the first system (lslpp -Lc | grep sysback.rte)?

Also, be sure to use a non rewinding tape device (rmtx.1 or 3 or 5 etc) for any attempts.

FYI....

Version 3 of Sysback has four images on tape before the data images in the following order:

boot image
install image
dummy image
Sysback program image
 
All subsequent images consist of one image per volume group that was included in the backup starting with rootvg.

Version 4/5 of Sysback has five images on tape before the data images in the following order:

boot image
install image
dummy image
Sysback program image
table of contents (TOC) file

 
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packetguyAuthor Commented:
If I can find a version of sysback, I'm welcome to use it. I tried to find the TSM demo, but it appears to be just a flash animation. Is there someplace I can download the actual program? I am already registered at the servicemanagementcenter.com site.

And i have been using the rmt0.1 non-rewinding device name for all commands (except rewind ;)

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carlmdCommented:
I believe you can download the full product here, and it will work for 60 days as a trial, without license files. Note that this is version 6.1 and if that may or may not be compatible with what you have on the other system. Be sure to look at the link for H&S requirements to make sure the system you want to put it on is ok.

http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg24021808
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packetguyAuthor Commented:
OK, that requires enrollment in IBM's Passport Advantage, which seems to require certain customer information. I'm looking for that now.
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packetguyAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the delayed response. After some manipulation of file systems, I was able to read some of the archive files from tape using dd. I am awarding full points today. Thanks for your great work!

As a follow-up, though, there seems to be a 2GB limit with dd, and some of the tape archive files are larger -- 80GB. Do you know of a way to overcome this limit? I still haven't been able to get anyone at IBM to give me a demo copy of Tivoli sysback. The sign-up page always ends up in a dead-end broken link, and IBM support says they don't give out demos, "it's a marketing function."
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carlmdCommented:
I am pretty sure dd does not have a size limitation on files it deals with. It is a function of the block size and count you are using. However, AIX does have a default maximum file size set in the /etc/security/limits file. Take a look at fsize in this file. The value is in 512 byte blocks. For example, a value of 20971751 is 1GB (20971751/2048). You can change this to whatever you need and just file it for the changes to take effect. Be careful of the size you set as compared to the filesystem, vg, and physical disk size. Here is a test you can perform.
  dd if=/dev/zero of=/whereever/zerofile.tst bs=1k count=4100000
  4100000+0 records in
  4100000+0 records out
  4198400000 bytes (4.3 GB) copied, 50.7164 seconds, 84.8 MB/s
this will show that you are able to have a file size larger than 2GB when fsize is set for that.

Try the following link for what I think is a sysback download...
http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=816&uid=swg24021805

look at the bottom of the page for the download link. I am not sure if this is a complete install or just an update, but you can download and give it a try. No harm if it won't install.

Good luck!
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packetguyAuthor Commented:
Ah, that may be the problem. Here's my limits file:

default:
        fsize = 2097151
        core = 2097151
        cpu = -1
        data = 262144
        rss = 65536
        stack = 65536
        nofiles = 2000

root:

daemon:

bin:

.
.
.

If fsize is 512 byte blocks, my 2097151 value translates to one gigabyte. According to "man limits" I probably have to reboot after changing fsize. I'll just change it for root, however, so that I don't unnecessarily unlock the floodgates ;)

The link you provided only has a fix file -- it's just 9.4 MB, and the whole sysback thing is over 200 MB. It's also in PTF (program temporary fix) format, which means it can only be processed by the PTF system onto a licensed installation. But thanks for the pointer! It may give me an in with the IBM support people. ("Hey, I need the base file for this PTF... ;)

 -mel
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