Use Query/400 to Find IFS Files in BRMS
July 10, 2002 Timothy Prickett Morgan
We’re using Backup Recovery and Media Services/400 (BRMS/400) for backup, and I find locating a tape that has the correct version of an Integrated File System (IFS) file that I’m looking for is a real hassle. Do you know of any shortcuts to locate a list of BRMS tapes that were used to backup a particular IFS file?
This was a hassle for me, too, particularly when I needed to restore Domino databases from a BRMS backup and it wasn’t readily apparent which tape in a backup set contained my file. However, a reader recently clued me in to the BRMS QA1ALI file, which is a big help when you’re trying to locate a specific BRMS tape.
The QA1ALI file stores a history of BRMS IFS object link information, and it resides in the OS/400 QUSRBRM library. QA1ALI records BRMS backup information at the IFS file level, meaning that every time you use BRMS to back up an IFS file, BRMS creates a record detailing file backup history for that file. If you’re looking for backup history for a file or a group of files, you can easily produce a list of BRMS media containing your files by using the OS/400 Run Query (RUNQRY) command. Here’s how I do it.
First, use RUNQRY to query QUSRBRM/QA1ALI with record selection active by entering RUNQRY from a command line with the following parameters:
RUNQRY QRY(*NONE) QRYFILE(QUSRBRM/QA1ALI) RCDSLT(*YES)
RUNQRY will then prompt you with a record selection screen. If you press ENTER without any field selection parameters, RUNQRY will show you every IFS backup record in the entire file. Each record shows you a host of information, including an IFS file name, the date the file was backed up, the time stamp of the backup, and the name of the BRMS media volume containing that version of the file (on the results screen, you’ll have to Window over to find that field; the field name is LISVOL, Starting Volume ID). So, if you’re looking for all the BRMS records showing when a particular IFS file was backed up (say a file named joe.exe), you can retrieve that information in RUNQRY with a simple field selection Equals (EQ) statement. The QA1ALI field name that contains the name of your backed up IFS files is ‘LINAMK’, so to look for all records that provide ‘joe.exe’ BRMS backup information, enter the following field selection criteria in RUNQRY:
LINAMK EQ 'joe.exe'
And RUNQRY would return all the records containing joe.exe backup history information. Under field selection, you can also use AND/OR processing to select multiple records. On the records that appear, you can easily find the backup date you’re looking for and match it up to the BRMS volume ID of the media the file was backed up to on that date. It’s fairly easily, and it helps you avoid the clumsy BRMS search process provided with the product.
If you don’t have Query/400 on your system, you can perform the same query to QA1ALI by using a Client Access Data Transfer from AS/400 file query or any other program that allows you to query against an OS/400 file.
Here’s one final note on the QA1ALI file: This is one of a series of OS/400 files that contain BRMS history information in the QUSRBRM library. If you’re running frequent BRMS backups, this file and its brother files can become rather large. IBM recommends that you can significantly lower the size of your BRMS data files by reorganizing these files once a month. To get a list of BRMS files that should be reorganized on a regular basis, go to
IBM’s Backup Recovery and Media Services: Best Practices Web site.
Hope this helps.
On June 30, 2002,
On July 1, 2002,
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