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BRM-BBDA Integration Part - I

 

Hello Dear Reader,

 

I know I am updating this blog after such a long time. It was busy week for me catching up with many things at once, so that my customers and I can go on long great holiday. As we are coming to an end of 2011, BRM (BMC Recovery Manager for Databases) has really entered into era of solutions. As once said better be late than never. Similarly BRM has slowly and steadily moved its strategic base of being stand alone product to being a part of complete IT Database Management solution.

 

BRM-BBDA (BMC Bladelogic Database Automation) is one of such jumps which made it possible.

 

BBDA is a provisioning tool which helps system admins and database admins to upgrade or patch OS and/or databases through centralized console. It helps you bring down the time to upgrade or patch your IT environment. Hence reduces the down time.

 

Through this it opens lot of doors to BRM users as well as BBDA users. Today we will discuss the "Install Action" one of the features this integration provides, through this blog post.

 

Prerequisite to use 'install action': BBDA must be installed on it's supported platform and BRM product must be downloaded on your BBDA machine. Then using this install action you can perform the installation of BRM on your specific OS/machines where you want to perform backups of databases.

 

You need to use the specific SQL-BackTrack under BRM blue bundle to backup particular database (Oracle, Sybase, SQL-Server, DB2, etc). There are separate install actions depending on SQL-BackTrack. Hence you need to be careful while loading the action through BBDA.

 

You need to create this action with "scope of node". Scope is a term used in BBDA to specify how you want to spawn any action on multiple machines. Nodes here represent machines/servers. With this install action you can deploy BRM on multiple hosts. So now BBDA can do the provisioning of BRM as well.

 

In tern making provisioning of database patches and version a more secure and safe gaurded process. As BBDA will have this as very first step towards database patch and version provisioning, followed by backups. So when you apply patches to database which don't go very well sometimes, you can revert back to data which you already backed up.

 

For details on how to use this action please refer to BRM BBDA integration getting started guide. It is available on BMC site at following location:

http://documents.bmc.com/supportu/documents/35/65/223565/223565.pdf

 

I hope this was a helpful blog. Do comment if you have any questions.

 

Finally have a Great New Year's Eve and Happy New Year!!!

 

-Regards,

Akshay

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Tips & Tricks - I

 

Hello Dear Reader,

 

I know I am late to update this blog with very first tip & trick regarding SQL-BackTrack. I was wrapping up my other duties for holiday time. So here I am writing very first trip and it is for Sybase DBAs using SQL-BackTrack for backup and recovery.

 

SQL-BackTrack for Sybase backup command arguments through control file options.

 

Most of the times backups are done through scheduled jobs in database environment. Hence you need reliable tool which provides variety of options which suite your backup strategy. Yet these variety of options will not work for scheduled job environment, unless you have strong command line interface to perform backups, which can satisfy all types scenarios RDBMS can throw at you.

 

One such database is Sybase and one such tool is SQL-BackTrack for Sybase under the umbrella of BMC Recovery Manager for Databases. SQL-BackTrack for Sybase (SBT), has strong base of command line options which can address any scenario and cater to your requirement of backup job scheduling.

 

However, sometimes database backup scenario change or backup arguments already mentioned in the scheduled script and backup command need change. Sometimes you need to troubleshoot the failed backup or need some change in the backup command. Usually scheduled backup scripts are managed by Unix admin through cron or some other scheduling application. To make any changes in existing script which is there since ages is not a small task. In financial organizations like banks, insurance companies, you need to go through change management process every time if there is any change to be done in production environment.

 

For this you will need to open a ticket for Unix admin to make the necessary changes in backup script, since he is responsible for scheduled jobs. This might take more time than you anticipate. So there should be better way to avoid this hustle. SQL-BackTrack for Sybase can do just that through control file.

 

Following are the steps through which you can choose to add options in your exiting backup command without modifying backup script which is scheduled in cron or some other application:

 

1. open backtrack's database backup control file in vi editor.

 

2. You should see content like following in it. Even if you are on lower version of SQL-BackTrack some of the options or at least 'dumpcommand' options are not changed.

 

begin options

  type=-physical

  server=-server sqlbt

  dumpuser=-user sa

  dumpepass=Y68HBZ7PUBBJPLQZ5FDFBDU265UDPCBH

  loaduser=-user sa

  loadepass=YN9C6TTZTURDYV7BDWS8BQ69GNBYUJ77

  default_backup_pool=p1

  cloneoptions=-no_cloning

  generations=2

  automatic_backup_expiry=True

  dumpcommand=dtsdump $type $server $database    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> This is the parameter where you can provide extra/specific backup comamnd arguments

  dumpoptions=-compress

  loadcommand=dtsload

  run_pre_post_backup_ops=False

  run_pre_post_restore_ops=False

  automatic_catalog_backup=False

  incrementals=y

  database=-database ajay

  auto_expire_staged_location=False

  last_full_backup_status=A

  active_backups_counter=9

  active_generations_counter=2

end options

 

3. Here I will modify the control file to add option of debug in the backup command. For this purpose I will need to create a new key word in the control file which I will use in dumpcommand parameter with '$' sign before the keyword. So changed control file will look like:

 

begin options

  type=-physical

  server=-server sqlbt

  dumpuser=-user sa

  .

  .

  .

  generations=2

  automatic_backup_expiry=True

  debug=-DEBUG /path/filename                    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Notice the additional keyword in this control file than above.

  dumpcommand=dtsdump $type $server $database $debug >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Along with additional keyword with '$' sign before the keyword.  

  dumpoptions=-compress

  .

  .

  .

  active_generations_counter=2

end options

 

4. SQL-BackTrack for Sybase will always refer to this control file before backup command is issued. With the options specified in the actual command it will add -DEBUG /path/filename option on and above already included options in control file.

 

This way you avoid modifying actual backup script and command.

 

======================================================================

 

I hope this helps some of those who need to make changes to their scripts as per requirements and cannot wait to go through change management process.

 

-Thanks for reading.

Akshay

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Hello Dear Reader,

 

If you are a database admin and managing either of Oracle, SQL-Server, Sybase, DB2 or Informix, you might want to go through this blog.

 

Through this blog, you will find many tips and tricks to manage database backups and recoveries through BMC Recovery Manager for Databases (BackTrack).

 

Sole purpose of putting this blog up is to share some of the tips and tricks, which will help you leverage all that it offers and get rid of those sleepless nights caused due to bad dreams of backup failures and errors in recovery.

 

Tips in tunning backtrack for better performance in backups, tricks to help maintain multiple policies to keep copies of backups, how to monitor your backup and recoveries by getting notifications on emails and ending up creating Remedy tickets if you would like. I will discuss it all one by one. We can utilize this platform to answer some of your queries as well regarding tips discussed for a week.

 

If you need any specific tip to be discussed, just reply to blog post and I will consider the request. There will be 1 tip or trick every week. Hence you get lot of time to try it at your environment, test it, ask questions or give suggestions.

 

Keep yourself tuned in for more...

 

-Cheers

Akshay

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With version 7.5.50 BMC Recovery Manager for Databases has provided functionality to integrate with BMC Bladelogic Database Automation. This helps IT and DBAs to work on provisioning of database patches and upgrades in risk free environment.

 

BMC Recovery Manager for Databases 7.5.50 comes with templates which can be used directly with BMC Bladelogic Database Automation. Such templates include backup of databases from BMC Bladelogic Database Automation console. Creation of catalogs and control files which are needed to perform backup using BMC Recovery Manager for Databases. It also provides template to perform installation of BMC Recovery Manager for Databases through BMC Bladelogic Database Automation.

 

Watch this space for more details on this integration. Everyday there will be an article which will discuss about how you can integrate and leverage this integration.

 

-Akshay

Getting started guide on integration is available at:

http://documents.bmc.com/supportu/documents/35/65/223565/223565.pdf

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