FTPING i5/OS Files to a Unix Server
January 13, 2010 Hey, Joe
Can I use FTP to back-up i5/OS libraries to a Unix server? Management wants to save money by not purchasing an LTO 4 tape library. Instead, they want to use Unix boxes to store i5/OS back-ups, and later send the data to tape. I’ve tried FTPing files between i5/OS and UNIX, but I can’t read the data when it’s transferred back. How do I approach this?
The answers to your questions are “yes” and “no”. Yes, you should be able to easily back-up and save production libraries to a Unix box. No, automated back-up to a Unix box may not be the answer to all of your back-up problems. Here’s my take on the subject along with a few ideas you can try.
1. If you have enough disk space on your AS/400, you can save your production libraries to one or more save files and then FTP those files to a Unix box. To put this together, try consulting the following articles that you might be able to use as a template for automatically FTPing a save file (or files) from an i5/OS box to a Unix server.
Read this article to get information on how to back-up your AS/400 system files and libraries to disk instead of to media. Modify this code as needed for your circumstances.
Read this article to get information on how to set up an automated FTP to download files from an AS/400 to a Windows server on a nightly basis. You may be able to adapt this technique for use with your UNIX box. However, try making the following changes when adapting this technique for UNIX downloads.
First, the Windows article transfers AS/400 files to Windows by using the ‘ASCII’ FTP sub-command. For a save file transfer, change the ‘ASCII’ sub-command to ‘BIN’, which performs a bit-by-bit transfer of the file from one machine to another. By doing this, you can store your save file in the exact same bit format on the Unix box as you have on the AS/400, without modifying any of your saved information. This might take care of the issues that you said you were having with reading i5/OS information that you FTPed back from your UNIX box to your i5/OS partition.
Next, in the article’s FTP sub-commands, change the GET statement so that the FTP transfer sends your save file rather than the file in the example. If I’m trying to FTP a save file called SAVEFILE in Library JOE to my UNIX box, I would write my FTP client code to look something like this.
OPEN Server Name FTPUSER GOFTP QUOTE SITE NAMEFMT 1 CD /QSYS.LIB/LIB_NAME.LIB LCD UNIX_LOCATION BIN GET FILENAME.SAVF (REPLACE QUIT
The UNIX box would be the FTP client running this script. The FTPUSER and GOFTP literals in the code refer to the hard-coded user ID name and password that the UNIX client uses to establish an FTP session with your i5/OS box. For transferring a save file, it’s important to specify the file extension as .SAVF to transfer the file correctly.
And that might do it for you. The nice thing about this technique is that you can use it to save more than your data files. Whatever can be saved to the Save file can also be transferred to the UNIX box during the FTP session.
2.There was one thing you mentioned that bothered me. In your email, you said that you were working on this project because “…management wants to save money by not buying an LTO 4 tape library.” I want to stress that just because you can FTP iSeries, System i, and Power i files to a UNIX box, that doesn’t eliminate the need to perform full system back-ups to media that can also function as an alternate IPL device.
If you’re not taking regular full system back-ups to tape, for example, and you have a total system failure where your i5/OS load source is trashed, you won’t be able to reIPL your machine from tape in order to rebuild the system. Just backing up production files to tape isn’t enough. Full system back-ups are also used for emergency restoration in case of a disaster. If you’re planning on replacing tape back-up with off-site back-up of production files to a Unix box, you will lose that ability. Hopefully, your shop is retaining a regular full system back-up schedule to an alternate IPL device in addition to your Unix backup plans.
Good luck with this project. Hope this info helps.