Robot/SAVE Picks Up Where Bad Backups Leave Off
May 18, 2004 Alex Woodie
When something goes wrong in the middle of a backup, it can mean starting all over again, right from the top. With the new version of Help/Systems‘ automated backup and recovery software, Robot/SAVE 10.0, you can restart the backup right where it left off, saving you hours. Help/Systems also announced a new release of its Robot/CLIENT software that allows Windows servers to communicate with multiple OS/400 servers.
Robot/SAVE is an OS/400 utility that automates backups, recoveries, and tape management. Once the software is set up, very little human interaction is needed to perform recurring backups, the company says, and even less human attention is required if the software is paired with an automated tape library or autoloader.
But even Robot/SAVE can’t save you when tape media or tape drives fail. When tape hardware failures occur in the wee hours of the morning or during weekend backups, your operators will need to restart the backups as soon as possible. And when backups extend into business hours, your company’s productivity drops.
With Robot/SAVE 10.0, those backups can be restarted from where they left off, thereby preventing you from having to re-do the entire backup and possibly saving you hours of downtime. Robot/SAVE’s new save resumption feature works at the library level, says Tom Huntington, Help/Systems’ vice president of technical services. This means that if the failure occurred while backing up the tenth library, the tenth library will need to be backed up again, he says, but there will be no need to repeat the backups for the first nine libraries. Implementing the “save resumption” feature at the object level poses too many problems to make it reliable or worthwhile, Huntington says.
Another new feature in Robot/SAVE 10.0 has to do with backing up Domino e-mail servers. In previous releases of the software, Notes mail users would have to log off the system in order for a backup to be performed. With this release, backups can be performed on the Domino e-mail server while files are still in use. Help/Systems implemented this capability by using the latest Notes online backup APIs, available with Domino R6, Huntington says.
The new version of Robot/CLIENT brings to Windows servers a feature that has been available for Unix servers for some time. Robot/CLIENT is a systems management tool that extends certain capabilities offered by other members of Help/Systems’ Robot suite, such as Robot/SCHEDULE’s job scheduler or backup and recovery through Robot/SAVE, to be performed on Windows, AIX, and Unix servers, but controlled by the OS/400 server.
With the new release of Robot/CLIENT, Windows-based servers can now communicate with more than one OS/400 server. The new capability allows users to register a single Windows PC server to multiple iSeries systems and then rotate among them, using the Robot/CLIENT task processor and a rotation list, which is used to specify which iSeries will be included in a rotation process, the length of the rotation interval on each iSeries, and how Robot/CLIENT should handle active or pending tasks at the end of a rotation interval. During the rotation process, Robot/CLIENT connects to each iSeries in the list, performs tasks, and then disconnects at the end of the rotation.
Allowing Robot/CLIENT to connect to more than one server has benefits in high availability environments and data center operations, the company says. For example, if you need to download data from multiple iSeries servers to a Windows server via FTP, the new feature would come in quite handy, Huntington says. Also, by setting different rotation intervals for different iSeries systems, users can give higher priority to the systems that send the most tasks, the company says.
The new releases of Robot/SAVE and Robot/CLIENT are available now. Pricing for Robot/CLIENT ranges from $1,500 to $15,000, while Robot/SAVE ranges from $5,245 to $51,405. For more information, go to www.helpsystems.com.