As400 - Remote Journaling on system journal

Hi,
Our shop has not used journal until a couple months ago when I added them to a couple master files for audit trail purpose. So, my experience with journaling is very limited. I don’t mind digging but would like to not chase my tail for hours on something that is not possible if I can help it.

Can I add remote journaling to a system journal? Specially, QAOSDIAJRN (Journal for DIA files). I have been researching how to setup a remote journal and thought I read somewhere remote journals could not be done on ‘Q’ files outside QGPL. Has anyone done a remote journaling on this system journal before? Any tips?

Thank you in advance!
Lynn
lynn_harrisAsked:
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Gary PattersonVP Technology / Senior Consultant Commented:
Lynn, I suggest you make it a habit of posting the OS version you are dealing with when you post questions.  As I recall, you're dealing with at least a couple of very old systems, and some things have changed significantly over time.  Remote journaling was introduced in V4R2, I think, and if I recall correctly you're dealing with V4R4 and/or V4R5.  Is that right?

No, you should not attempt to use system journals, even if you can find a way to do it.  It could interfere with the normal operation of the system, and it could cause recovery problems if you ever have to restore you system, or reinstall the operating system or OS components.

When in doubt, here's a good rule: don't mess with system objects.

Remote journaling can be a fairly complex topic if you're starting from scratch, and you'll want to take some time to study and understand the relevant documentation for your OS release.  For recent releases, the IBM Knowledge Center is where the documentation is found.  Here's the link to V7R3 Knowledge Center Remote Journal documentation:

http://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/ssw_ibm_i_73/rzaki/rzakirconcepts.htm

And here's a link to the Journal Management PDF, which I prefer.  Same info as the Knowledge center, but in traditional manual format:

https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/ssw_ibm_i_73/rzaki/rzakipdf.pdf

In older versions, journaling and remote journaling were covered in the Backup and Recovery guide.  Here's a link to the V4R5 guide, for example (I found it by searching the IBM Publications Web Site):

http://publibfp.dhe.ibm.com/epubs/pdf/c4153044.pdf

In general, configuring remote journaling involves the following steps:

Plan

  • Figure out your journal and journal library naming strategy, if you don't already have one.  For example, during a full-system restore, journals need to be restored before the files that depend on them.  Due to differing backup and recovery requirements, many shops segregate journals and journal receivers in one or more different libraries from the libraries that contain the objects that depend on them.  See the appropriate documentation for information on naming strategies for journal libs, journals, and journal receivers.
  • Determine if any additional network configuration is required between the two hosts, as described in the documentation for your release.
  • Determine if you have a fast enough link between the systems to support the volume of remote journaling activity you expect.
  • Determine if you need to journal after images, or before and after images.
  • Determine the type of journal to use: *TYPE1 or *TYPE2 (http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/tips0629.html?Open)
  • Determine the journal receiver management strategy that you plan to use.
  • Determine disk space availability and expected disk utilization on both systems.  Journal receivers can get big very fast in busy environments, or when used to replicate large objects.
  • Determine if you need synchronous delivery to the remote system (which reduces performance of INSERT/UPDATE/DELETE operations on the source system, but ensures that file operations don't complete until remote journal is updated), or if async delivery is acceptable.
  • Determine if you need library redirection on the target system.
  • For V4 releases, determine if you need to apply PTFs to enable and fix problems with remote journaling, as outlined in the documentation for that release.

Configure

Configure network
Configure the local journal,
Configure remote journal

Note; Additional considerations apply if you plan to journal objects other than database files an associated logicals.  Journaling documentation for your OS version provides details.

- Gary
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Gary PattersonVP Technology / Senior Consultant Commented:
Lynn,  one more thought.  You may be able to safely use remote journaling with library redirection with QAOSDIAJRN, but proceed with caution, of course.  Take a full system backup before-hand, test on a non-production system, and make sure you have a good understanding of journaling and remote journaling first.  On a current system, I'd suggest talking to IBM Support first for guidance, but with an older system that probably isn't an option.
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lynn_harrisAuthor Commented:
Hi Gary,

You are correct the is on the old systems. I will be sure to include it next time.

First, thank you for all the information and links.  As always you help is much appreciated. Having the 'plan' is great! I have read the first manual and a bunch of other stuff I found. I did not have the v4r5 link and will save it for sure  I have been very reluctant to jump in because it of my lack of experience with journals in general and the fact it is a system journal. We back up nightly and the usage on the email system is much lighter on the weekend.  So, if I'm going to give it a try over the weekend is best. I'm not sure if I will proceed or not.  I would love to play and learn but either as a source or target I'm messing with production. The v4r4 is not production but v4r5 is our main inhouse Email.

Question on the RDB.  When I do wrkrdbdir the system rdb on both have the same local name .... will that cause a problem? With normal file journaling (or  system).

Another thought was to FTP the current receiver (I'm starting doing a  chgjrn each night at backup so the receiver has the current days info only .. plus I send the prior receiver to our main system for backup) to the remote system with a savrstobj and use apply journal changes with it. The users, configure, libraries, folder/files etc would be synced first. The recovery don't have to be real time but just at throughout the day until we more to Notes.

Thanks!! again Gary.
Lynn
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Gary PattersonVP Technology / Senior Consultant Commented:
Just assign an alias on the ADDRDBDIRE command to deal with the identical RDB names.

Replication of more than just application data between systems can be a fairly complex topic.  Most shops that have this requirement use a third party replication tool Mimix / ODS/OMS / iTera / qedd, etc.  

Those that do it manually usually use some combination of remote journaling / remote apply, object shipping (SAVLIB / SAVOBJ / SAVCHGOBJ / restore on target), and or full system save/restore depending on replication requirements, downtime tolerance, etc.  It is important to develop processes to determine that you key objects are in sync, and to occasionally test failover to the backup system (we like to see it done at least twice a year).  I don't have any clients that do replication on as old a system as yours.  OS releases being different complicates the picture, too.  Generally you want the target system to be at the same release as the source system, or newer, since forward compatibility is less likely than backwards compatibility, in general.
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lynn_harrisAuthor Commented:
Thank you Gary.

Lots to think about. Our plan is to keep the systems sync manually for everything but email and document changes. We don't make changes to the info that often. New users, name changes, etc.  Then the plan would be to apply the changes each day via one of the methods (provided I can get it to work). Thanks again.
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Gary PattersonVP Technology / Senior Consultant Commented:
If the requirement is just daily sync, I would just use save and restore.
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lynn_harrisAuthor Commented:
I with that were the case. We need recovery throughout the day but does not need to be real time.
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lynn_harrisAuthor Commented:
Thank you Gary.
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