How to backup when there is no tape available?

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Operating Systems Solaris How to backup when there is no tape available?
# 1  
Old 03-18-2014
How to backup when there is no tape available?

Hi All!

Letīs say there are a few solaris servers connected to a NetApp storage device, but with no tape library or tape device attached to none of them. Assuming the O.S. is installed on the root disks, how to recover if the O.S. failed in one of the systems? Please share your ideas.
# 2  
Old 03-18-2014
Smilie Buy a tape drive Smilie

Okay, seriously, you can use something equivalent to NIM (AIX) or Kickstart (RHEL) I think for Solaris, it's called Jumpstart, but I'm not sure how flexible it is and whether your can restore your OS with all your customisations, or if it's just an installation tool. At worst, perhaps you could store an fsdump (or is it ufsdump) somewhere on another server, so after a basic install and network config, you could restore from that. The problem may be storage space on disk though. You would need a dump of each filesystem on the boot disks and information to create suitable partitions. It's been over 10 years since I had a Solaris server (it was Sol 2.6!) so I can't remember all the things we had to do for our DR, but that was using 8mm tape.

Something else I'm aware of, but have not had time to investigate yet is a product called Storix which seems to offer network-based equivalent to the AIX mksysb It says it allows you to restore to dissimilar hardware, or even virtualise (or return to physical, or move from one virtual host to another, e.g VMWare to Zen) Apparently it is available for most OS, including Solaris 9, 10, 11 & 11/11.

Storix Solaris Support

Like I said, I haven't spent time on it, but the glossy management information seems good. If anyone has experience of it, I'd be grateful of any comments before I get into it myself.


Last edited by rbatte1; 03-18-2014 at 02:59 PM.. Reason: Added Storix Solaris support web-page
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# 3  
Old 03-18-2014
With no tape available the obvious answers are USB connected storage or backing up to NFS storage on another node.

What version of Solaris is it? UFS or ZFS filesystem?
# 4  
Old 03-18-2014
Compression of the output on a pipe (|bzip2 -9 >mount_path) helps with size and speeds network or other media speed. Before any media limits, generally compress is faster than gzip -1 is faster than gzip -9 is faster than bzip2 -1 is faster than bzip2 -9. There are a lot of tools out there:
Lossless compression - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Compression Tools Compared | Linux Journal

Another way to get compression implicitly is to mount a zip as a file system. All writing to the zip, wherever it is, is compressed data, no pipes needed.

Last edited by DGPickett; 03-18-2014 at 04:12 PM..
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# 5  
Old 03-18-2014
I have stopped using Solaris. But while I did, I used flar to do bare metal installs. I would install the OS, my favorite patch bundles, Freeware, and local utilities. Then I would do a flarcreate. The resulting flar gets stored on a NFS server (netapp in my case). Then when I need it, I would just do a Solaris install, and pick the options to use an NFS mounted flar image.

I remember reading that Oracle planned to drop flarcreate. Don't know if they did. Also don't know if a replacement utility is available.
# 6  
Old 03-18-2014
flarcreate is still there for Solaris 11.1 - I use it.
# 7  
Old 03-19-2014
My interpretation of the OP was how to quickly recover the O/S (slice or pool) if the system won't boot not how to backup and recover the whole system. Hence my questions. Perhaps I misunderstood the question.
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