The Application Backup Center (ABC) allows installations to easily and effectively implement IBM's Aggregate Backup and Recovery Support (ABARS) methodology. Using ABARS, backups can be based upon the individual requirements of each application, providing significant advantages over traditional data center backup techniques. The Application Backup Center from DTS Software speeds the most difficult tasks associated with ABARS implementation and makes the use of ABARS practical.
Policy-Based Assignment of Aggregates - Aggregate Selection Routines, analogous to the DFSMS ACS routines, use centrally-defined criteria to specify the aggregate group to which a dataset is to belong at the time the dataset is created. Time-consuming manual analysis of applications is avoided.
Automatic Generation of Selection Datasets - Using the aggregate group name assigned to each dataset at the time it was created, the aggregate selection datasets are automatically generated whenever an ABACKUP command is issued. Aggregate selection datasets are automatically maintained and always up-to-date.
ABACKUP Log Management - At the end of each ABACKUP, the critical activity logs are automatically captured, compressed, and stored in a central repository for access by ISPF and workstation-based query facilities. Complete information on each aggregate backup is always available, even if the data center is destroyed.
ISPF and GUI-based Query and Recovery JCL Generation - An ISPF interface and a Windows interface allow instant interactive access to the status of each ABACKUP, including error messages, tape volume serial numbers, disk space required for restore, and other critical information. JCL for restoring aggregates or individual datasets can be generated and submitted. The availability of a PC-based GUI interface is particularly important during a disaster, when original activity logs and experienced storage administration staff may be unavailable.
Tape Management Bypass - In a recovery situation, catalogs and tape management systems may be corrupted or out of sync. ABC allows ABACKUP tapes to be used for restore even though the tape management catalog may not reflect the actual status of the tapes.
Facilitates an Effective Implementation of ABARS
Simplifies difficult tasks, making ABARS practical
Analyzes existing data
Collects data in real-time
Validates and builds ABARS selection datasets
Also supports FDR and DFDSS application backups
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ABC is the only DTS product that was not originally on a future products list. A friend mentioned a few problems encountered with ABARS, and how difficult it was to create accurate backups of all the datasets required to run production jobs at a remote facility. Our first question was “What’s ABARS”?
Fortunately, one of the developers in the DTS Atlanta office had a lot of experience with ABARS. After some discussion, we found that getting a list of datasets used by an application wasn’t all that difficult. ACC intercepts every allocation request performed by an application. An ABARS product could use the same technology – the product didn’t need to rely on SMF data or exits. Also, DTS already had a facility in Monitor that could process JCL libraries and scan VTOCs to simulate the application jobs.
After attending a few Disaster Recovery tests as guest observers, several things were obvious. First, companies often “locate” data that didn’t get to the DR site using a network connection. More importantly – it was obvious how critical the ABARS log files were to the recovery process, as well as knowing which tapes actually arrived at the recovery site.
DTS first wrote the ABC mainframe component that makes sure that the required application data gets written to the ABARS backup tapes. An ISPF ABARS Log Management interface was also developed to manage the log files.
Two PC-based ABC applications for use at a DR site were also developed to complement the ABC mainframe component: ABC log Managment and ABC Tape Inventory. These PC applications allow the application recovery teams to perform a great deal of preparation. By mapping available backup tapes to ABARS log files, the recovery jobs can be ready to submit well before the DR system is even available.
After several years of work, DTS released ABC in late 1999.