1 e-promag.com web exclusive Backup Solutions for Domino on Linux B Y R E E D G E S T E L A N D The search is on to find a solution for running online backups for Domino on Linux. Lotus has been supporting Domino on Linux for more than two years since version R Every new release, including the prerelease betas for Domino 6, has had simultaneous releases for Windows and Linux platforms. No doubt, Lotus s support for Domino on Linux is unwavering, although customer adoption of this platform has been slower than forecast, according to Lotus. Without third-party companies porting their products to the Linux platform, switching to Linux is difficult. I set out to look for information about Domino-on-Linux backup solutions and found the search challenging. The only information available on the Lotus Web site was that a beta backup product from Legato exists. I hoped I d have better luck when I attended the IBM developerworks Live 2002 event in May. However, when I walked the Partner Showcase, I was disappointed to find that Legato was still the only vendor promoting a Domino-on-Linux backup solution. I approached IBM Tivoli booth personnel, but they had no available solution and didn t mention any release happening in the near future. Next, I did an Internet search. I found that many vendors have backup products that run on Linux and offer a Domino backup solution on Windows in the same product line, but they don t offer a combined solution. I discovered the following vendors and corresponding products in my search: ATempo TimeNavigator (http://www.atempo.com) BakBone NetVault (http://www.bakbone.com/products/backup_and_restore/) CA BrightStor ARCserve Backup (http://www3.ca.com/solutions/productfamily.asp?id=115) IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (http://www.tivoli.com/products/index/storage-mgr/) Innovation Data Processing FDR/Upstream (http://www.innovationdp.com/ups.cfm) Legato NetWorker (http://www.legato.com/products/networker/) It turns out that this space has only two direct competitors: Legato NetWorker and BakBone NetVault. Now, that makes writing this article a little more interesting, because I can compare two products. The other vendors offer a backup product for Linux machines, and they offer a Lotus Domino backup product, but they don t offer a product that can back up Lotus Domino running on Linux. However, because they offered products that supported Lotus Domino and Linux separately, they turned up in my Internet searches. I installed and tested the Legato and BakBone products on a Linux server with the 2.4 kernel and Lotus Domino R5, with a VXA-1 Ecrix SCSI tape drive. Because my company is familiar with RedHat Linux, I decided to use RedHat 7.2. Note that before proceeding with any installation of the backup products, you must have Linux installed and make sure the tape drive is connected. Next, you must install Domino (I used R5.0.11) and enable transaction logging in the server document in the Domino Directory. (For more information about installing Domino on Linux, see Domino on Linux: Tune Up for Peak Performance, Group Computing, April 2001, article ID 544. For more information about transaction logging, see Making Sense of Transaction Logging, Group Computing, December 2001, article ID 930.) To perform incremental backups of the Domino server, the NetWorker and NetVault products both take advantage of Domino s transaction logging capability. Now, let s look at the details of my installation and testing experience with each product. We ll look at NetVault first, then NetWorker. Bakbone NetVault Downloading the latest evaluation software version of NetVault from BakBone s Web site was simple. I filled out a form and submitted it, and then the next Web page provided links to download the software. The software consisted of the main NetVault piece, which backs up files on Linux, and the Domino piece, which is an add-on module. Installation and Configuration After downloading and unzipping the software (i.e., gunzip 6linux24_ gz followed by tar -xf 6linux24_ tar), I started the installation program (i.e., install) under the newly created folder NetVaultDistribution and was given the option for a client, server, or custom installation, as the screen in Figure 1 shows. Because I was running the Domino server on the same box that was attached to the tape drive, I selected DECEMBER 2002 e-pro MAGAZINE 1
2 the server installation and chose /usr/bakbone as the main installation directory. I let the installation program do the rest, accepting the default options. F I G U R E 1 NetVault Installation Menu required to enter the directories where my Notes data and binaries were installed. I had to fill in most of the entries. The last two Notes configuration fields dealt with the transaction logs location which reemphasizes the fact that your server should have transaction logging enabled for proper backups. After finishing the Notes configuration, I double-clicked the Lotus Notes icon, and the program presented a list of items that I could mark for back up. I marked them all. The list also offered items outside Lotus Notes for back up, so NetVault offers an integrated way to manage your files and Domino backups. Next, I selected the other options on the Backup window (i.e., Backup Options, Schedule, Target, Advanced Options) to see if I needed to make any other choices before performing the backup. Everything looked good, so I clicked the stoplight, and the backup began. F I G U R E 2 Next, I ran the main program, an executable file called nvgui and located in the /usr/bakbone/bin folder. This program launched the main NetVault GUI window under my default Gnome Environment and presented a list of choices for managing my backups in one place: Backup, Restore, Job Management, Client Management, Status, Media Management, Device Management, Logs. I chose Device Management, because I wanted to make sure that NetVault recognized the Ecrix tape drive. From this new window, I was easily able to add the Ecrix tape drive to my configuration. NetVault Domino Configuration Now, I was ready to install the Domino add-on module. Just like the main NetVault program, this module was simple to install. After I extracted the files from the TAR with this command: tar -xf 6linux71_not2410.tar the program created a folder called lotus, inside which I found two files: not2410.npk and not2410.txt. In the /usr/bakbone/ NetVault6 folder, I ran the installplugin command with the parameter /usr/bakbone/lotus/not2410.npk, like this:./installplugin/usr/bakbone/lotus/not2410.npk and successfully installed the module. Performing a Backup After the installation, I ran the nvgui program again and clicked the Backup icon. My test server was listed, so I double-clicked it. The server expanded to a list of options that I could select to back up, including Lotus Notes. I right-clicked the Lotus Notes icon and selected Configure from the menu. The program presented a list of fields, which Figure 2 shows, in which I was I closed the Backup window and clicked the Job Management icon to see the job progress. The Job Management window shows any jobs that have run or are running and also contains logs of previous backups. I double-clicked the job that I had submitted, and the Job Status window, which Figure 3 shows, appeared, letting me watch as the program backed up each file. I could also see how many bytes the program was backing up. The setup process for incremental backups is similar to that of regular backups. The biggest difference is that you must create a backup set before you can submit a job, and the backup set must consist of at least one full backup before you can do any incremental backups. A backup set is simply a collection of backups of the same data. So, if you wanted to backup only the mail files on a Domino server, you could select only the mail files and save them to a backup set. All subsequent backups of the same backup set would back up only mail files. 2 e-pro MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2002
3 For an incremental backup to work, it must be in the same backup set as a full backup. If you run an incremental backup in its own backup set without first doing a full backup, the restore will fail. So I created a backup set, ran a full backup, made some changes to the my mail file, ran an incremental backup, made some changes, and then ran a second incremental backup. To run an incremental backup rather than a full backup, before submitting the job, you select Incremental Backup from the Backup Options tab in the Backup window. F I G U R E 3 NetVault Job Monitor a backup set, you must select Last Backup from the Restore Options tab of the Restore Options window before submitting the job. Accessing Help I needed to reference the NetVault documentation when trying to do incremental backups and restores. The online help was very useful. In any window, I could go to the File menu and select Help/Current Topic. This online help is interactive and full of NetVault screen shots. I could mouse over the screen shots and click areas on which I wanted context-sensitive help. For example, if you open the online help for the Backup window, a screen shot of the Backup window appears, with the Selections tab on top. You can click areas of the window, such as the Backup Options tab, and the graphic is replaced with a screen shot of the Backup window with the Backup Options tab on top. The bottom of the help screen offers selections for detailed descriptions of the area you re in. Legato NetWorker Performing a Restore Restoring files from a full backup was just as easy as backing up the same files. I clicked the Restore icon in the main NetVault window and saw that I could double-click the server icon and drill down to select a file to restore. I drilled down to the Domino mail directory and marked the administrator s mail file for restoration. When I clicked the stoplight, the restore process began. When I closed the Restore window and opened the Job Management window, I checked the status of the restore process and watched as the program restored the file I had marked. Restoring files from an incremental backup is a little more complicated than restoring from a full backup. To restore from an incremental backup, you must first restore from the most recent full backup in the same backup set. Then you need to incrementally restore from each incremental backup until you reach the last incremental backup you want to restore from. In the example incremental backup I described previously, the backup set included one full backup and two incremental backups. In such a scenario, to restore to the latest backed up data, you must first restore the full backup, then restore the first incremental backup, then finally restore from the second incremental backup. You can t jump from the full backup to the second incremental backup, skipping the first incremental backup. The restore will fail. When restoring the last backup of Legato NetWorker is a completely different animal from BakBone NetVault. The Lotus Notes backup software on the server side isn t GUI-based but, rather, is command-line driven. Also, the Lotus Notes backup software doesn t integrate with the main NetWorker software, which you must install first. The main NetWorker software is GUI-based, like NetVault. NetWorker s distinct advantage is that you can restore to a backed up file individual documents that have been modified or deleted. This is a convenient option, and it makes the recovery process efficient. Also, if you re a Linux power user, the command-line driven environment is handy, especially if you re remotely administering the server via Telnet or OpenSSH. Installation and Configuration Over all, installing NetWorker was more tedious than installing NetVault. During the NetWorker installation, I was prompted repeatedly to start and stop the NetWorker services as each option was installed, and I had to confirm the paths where the files were going to be installed. Furthermore, I was instructed to add environment variables to the logged on user s.bash_profile to enable the software to run. Let s look in more detail at the installation process I went through. I went to Legato s Web site to download the evaluation software and was a little surprised that the software was not available for immediate download after I submitted the download request form. The site said that a salesperson would contact me with the download information. Although I received the download information within a day or two, I prefer an immediate download. On the up-side, Legato s method of making evaluation software available puts you in direct contact with a live person who can help troubleshoot a problem or help you in other ways before you purchase the software. DECEMBER 2002 e-pro MAGAZINE 3
4 After downloading the software, I proceeded to install it. I unzipped the files and extracted all the files from the resulting TAR files. The files extracted into the current directory (i.e., gunzip nw_linux86.tar.gz, followed by tar -xf nw_linux86.tar), so I had to move them to a new directory, which I named legato, and put them under the /usr directory. I found two installation files: NWinstall and NMLinstall. I ran Nwinstall and was presented with the installation options, which Figure 4 shows: Client, Driver, License, Man, Node, and Server. The bottom of the menu said to enter "all" to install all the options at once, so that s what I did, because I thought that this would be the easiest way to ensure that all the proper software would be installed. F I G U R E 4 Networker Installation Menu With the main software installed, I was ready to install the Lotus Notes module. I ran the NMLinstall program, which prompted me for the Lotus Notes username and group name (notes and notes, respectively, in my installation), then listed the Lotus executable folder s path. The installation, which appeared to use the RPM installer, then proceeded without a hitch. Now that the software was installed, I wanted add my tape backup device to my NetWorker configuration. To do this, I needed to start the NetWorker program, so I looked for some command files in the /usr/legato directory. I couldn t find any appropriate files there, so I looked in /usr/bin, which contained a few files that might be the NetWorker startup file: nwadmin, nwrecover and nwbackup. I decided to try running nwadmin. I did so and was presented with a NetWorker configuration window, which Figure 5 shows. I chose the option to add a new device, then added my tape backup device. F I G U R E 5 Networker Administrator When NetWorker began installing the client files, it asked for a directory to install in (the default is /usr). I wanted to install in /usr/legato, so I entered that path. NetWorker confirmed that the installation would go in /usr/legato/usr, which is not what I wanted. I tried other combinations, but NetWorker always appended /usr. So I gave up and chose the default and continued. After that, the Legato client software reported a failed dependency with Libncurses.so.4, so I had to abort the installation. I downloaded the appropriate RedHat Package Manager (RPM) from installed it on the server with this command: rpm -i ncurses i386.rpm and reran NWinstall. This time, the program successfully installed the client software, as well as the rest of the software, without an issue. The only additional steps during the install process occurred when I was asked for the tape device and the backup server names. I simply defaulted to none and proceeded, because, at this point in the process, I wasn t sure what to enter. Also, when NWinstall was installing the Man software, it issued a warning message: Please update the MANPATH environment variable to include the path /usr/share/man. The process for adding the device wasn t as straightforward as it was in NetVault, because I had to manually select VXA (the Ecrix tape drive type) from the driver list that Figure 6 shows and assign it to the /dev/nst0 default device. Then I could use the nwbackup program to perform a backup of the files on the test server. The configuration window didn t offer an option to back up a Lotus Notes device, so I decided to crack open the manual. I learned that I needed to run nwadmin again and use a special evaluation code (given in the manual) to register the Lotus Notes module to the main NetWorker software. This, however, still didn t give me access to the Lotus Notes devices via the NetWorker GUI. Further reading explained that, in order to run a backup and restore of Lotus Notes from the server, I needed to run one or more of the following commands: nsrnotesv, nsrnotesrc, nsrdocrc, and nsrfile. I also needed to manually add the following environment variables to my.bash_profile file: Notes_ExecDirectory, NOTES, and LD_LIBRARY_PATH. 4 e-pro MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2002
5 Plus, I had to add additional Lotus Notes directory paths to the PATH variable. F I G U R E 6 NetWorker Administrator Devices the Lotus Notes module into the main NetWorker software. NetWorker s command-line driven environment, however, is a feature that Linux power users will enjoy. And NetWorker s ability to restore modified or deleted documents is a powerful feature that is, I believe, hard to find on any platform. Reed Gesteland is president and CEO of Computer Architechs International Corporation. He has been working with Lotus Notes and Domino since 1994 and holds CLPs in R5 Application Development and R5 System Administration. You can reach him at and you can visit his company s Web site at Reprinted from December 2002 e-pro Magazine Penton Media P.O. Box 3438 Loveland CO The manual indicated that, due to a limitation in Domino s transaction logging methodology, restores can t occur until more than 64 MB of data have been backed up. The NetVault documentation didn t mention this Domino limitation, however, and I never encountered this problem with NetVault. Performing Backups and Restores I followed the instructions in the documentation and ran the commands I mentioned previously to perform Domino backups and restores. I successfully backed up Domino files and restored Domino files that were incrementally backed up. To restore at the document level, the manual instructed me to use the nsrfile and nsrdocrc commands. The former command lets you select a date code for a particular backup you want to restore from, and the latter command uses that coded date to perform the appropriate restore. My Verdict Although my experience with these two products isn t applicable to a production environment with a lot of servers, the information from my tests should help you understand what your Dominoon-Linux backup options are, and how to install them. My experience indicates that NetVault is the easier of the two products to install. It requires minimal Linux command knowledge, and its integrated GUI control center for managing backups is slick. NetWorker is a powerful backup tool, but you have to get through the tedious installation and getting the program running and understanding the commands for backing up Domino are more challenging than I think they need to be. NetWorker would also be easier to use if Legato integrated Try it for yourself and see how easy it is to manage backups with NetVault. NetVault provides the most comprehensive support for databases and applications in the market today. For your free download evaluation copy, go to: For more information on BakBone Software and NetVault, please visit us at: Corporate Headquarters BakBone Software Pacific Heights Boulevard, Suite 500 San Diego, CA T: F: DECEMBER 2002 e-pro MAGAZINE 5
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