Database Backups

Creating regular backup copies of your database is the foundation of database maintenance. A reliable backup copy of your database can enable you to restore the database following power failures or other system interruptions.
DX NetOps Spectrum
 offers two methods of performing backups of the SpectroSERVER database:
  • Automatically with the SpectroSERVER running.
  • Manually with the SpectroSERVER shut down.
 The database backup methods that are described in this section, Online Backup and the SSdbsave utility, are the only supported methods of backing up the SpectroSERVER database. Use of third-party backup software can result in database corruption.
Online Backup
Online Backup lets you create a backup copy of your SpectroSERVER database without having to shut down the SpectroSERVER. Depending on your requirements, you can perform online backups on demand, or you can schedule regular backups to be performed automatically. If disk space is limited, you can configure Online Backup to compress backup files automatically using the 
DX NetOps Spectrum
 gzip utility.
Online Backup saves the entire database, including the modeling catalog and models. However, neither Online Backup nor a manual backup operation saves the following information:
  • Cached event information
  • Alarms
  • Cached statistical information
  • Historical records in the DDM database (see the note below)
  • SpectroSERVER resource file (.vnmrc)
Online Backup activity is recorded as events associated with the VNM model. 
DX NetOps Spectrum
 reports errors that were encountered during backup operations as alarms.
Online Backup performs a save in two major steps:
  1. Makes a copy to preserve a “snapshot” of the database files.
    Polling, trap handling, and network management activities are suspended during this first step. The process is relatively short, but as a best practice, consider how often and when to schedule automatic save operations. The time to perform a copy operation depends on your workstation hardware and the database size.
  2. Saves the copy (and compresses it when required) using the same format as the manual database save utility, SSdbsave.
The Online Backup does not, by itself, save the DDM database. However, you can configure the post_olb_script to execute automatically and save the DDM database whenever an Online Backup of the SpectroSERVER database is performed.
 In a fault-tolerant environment, verify that you are logged on to both the primary and secondary SpectroSERVER as the same user before running Online Backup.
Backup File Maintenance
When automatic backups are enabled, backup files can accumulate in your backup directory and deplete the available disk space. To avoid backup failures, delete files occasionally or move backup files to a more permanent storage medium.
Configure Online Backup
When you configure online backup, you can specify the backup interval and the date and time of the first scheduled backup. For more advanced scheduling options, use the StartOnlineBackup application in the 
/SS-Tools directory to initiate online backups. The StartOnlineBackup application can be launched from either the Task Scheduler or the crontab for the host system. The advanced scheduling options in the StartOnlineBackup application can avoid problems where daylight savings time skews scheduled backups.
Follow these steps:
  1. In OneClick, open the Universe Topology view, and then select the VNM model.
  2. Click the Information tab, and expand the Online Database Backup subview.
  3. Configure the following settings as required:
      Automatic Backups
      If enabled, online backups are automatically performed with the Online Backup feature according to the time interval specified in the Backup Interval setting.
      Backup Interval
      Specifies the interval between automatic backups in hours and minutes. We recommend using the default interval of 24 hours and 0 (zero) minutes so that the database is backed up at the same time every day. Enter any value. For example, 168 hours and 0 minutes (for a one-week interval) and 10,080 minutes (also for a one-week interval) are equivalent.
      Next Backup Date & Time
      Displays the date and time for the next scheduled backup. You can specify a date and time for the first backup. However, subsequent backups are performed at the interval that is specified in the Backup Interval setting.
      Backup Compression
      If enabled, backup files are compressed using the compression utility before being written to disk. Compressed files are saved with a .gz suffix appended to the filename. If disabled, files are saved uncompressed. The default value is Enabled.
      Prefix for Backup File Name
      Specifies the user-defined portion of the backup file name. The default prefix is “db_”. However, you can specify any character string that creates a legal file name for the system on which you are running SpectroSERVER. If unset, no prefix is added to the file name.
      The filename suffix indicates the date and time when the backup was executed and uses the following format:
4-digit year
day of the month 1 through 31
hour of the day - 1 through 24
minute - 00 through 59
indicates a compressed backup (compressed files only)
default suffix for all database save files
Backup Directory
Specifies the directory where the backup files are stored. We recommend using a local directory. The default directory is 
    Minimum Required Disk Space (MB)
    Specifies the minimum disk space that must be available to initiate an online backup. The default threshold value is 20 MB. If an automatic backup is initiated when the available disk space falls below the threshold, a yellow alarm is generated. The probable cause indicates a backup failure due to low disk space.
Click the Begin Backup Now button to initiate a backup on demand using the current settings.
The online database backup utility first pauses SpectroSERVER operations. Then it copies and saves the database.
 The status of an in-progress online backup operation is displayed next to the Begin Backup Now button. If an error occurs, an event and an associated alarm are displayed on the Events tab and Alarms tab. For a list of the events and alarms that can be generated during an online backup, see Online Backup Events and Alarms.
The StartOnlineBackup Application
The StartOnlineBackup application lets you use the scheduling applications in your operating system to schedule regular backups. For example, you can use the Task Scheduler in the Windows environment. Using these applications avoids potential problems with daylight savings time that can skew the scheduled backup. This application is a more sophisticated alternative to using the automatic backup setup.
The StartOnlineBackup application can be launched from either the Task Scheduler or the crontab. It is located in the 
/SS-Tools directory. StartOnlineBackup uses the following syntax:
StartOnlineBackup -lh <landscape handle>
You can set backup parameters for StartOnlineBackup in the Online Database Backup subview on the Information tab of the VNM model. The following parameters are exceptions: Automatic Backups, Backup Interval, Next Backup Date & Time.
Restore Your Database with Online Backup Files
Uncompressed backup files that Online Backup generates are stored in the same format as files that were saved using the SSdbsave utility with the -cm option.
 Use the gzip utility that is included with 
DX NetOps Spectrum
 to restore compressed files that have a .gz suffix. This utility restores the files to the format that the SSdbsave utility uses.
Online Backup Events and Alarms
The following events and alarms are associated with Online Backup.
Event Code
Event Cause
Create Alarm
Database open failure
Database close failure
Any other reason causing backup failure
Automatic backups have just been enabled by the user
Online Backup started
Online Backup successfully completed
File/directory does not exist, or does not have read and execute permissions
Cannot create backup directory
Low disk space, backup failed
Database copy failure
Database inconsistency
Off-line portion of the save process failed
Resuming normal operation, SpectroSERVER was paused
Filename specified is not a valid Posix directory name
Attempts to synchronize backup server failed