Using appliance snapshot

Appliance snapshot enables you to:

  • take a snapshot of the datastore
  • capture critical configuration files
  • support disaster recovery between appliances
  • archive snapshots off the appliance

Warning

Appliance snapshot and restore functionality can be used only with the same versions of BMC Atrium Discovery. The feature is not designed to backup and restore a complete appliance including the operating system and the BMC Atrium Discovery application. You should use the VMware features to backup or restore the entire appliance.

The following items are included by default in a snapshot:

  • From $TIDEWAY/var/tideway.db/data, the critical files of the datastore:
    • the data files
    • the log files (These are non-optional log files. Never delete or modify these files.)
  • From $TIDEWAY/etc
    • All configuration files (*.conf)
    • User information (users.db)
    • Group information (groups.db)
    • Security information (security.db)
    • Port information (portdb.xml)
    • Credentials vault (tideway.vault)
  • From $TIDEWAY/bin
    • All tideway binaries (tw_*)
    • All shell scripts (*.sh)
  • Customer data: $TIDEWAY/data/customer
  • Taxonomy extensions: $TIDEWAY/data/custom/taxonomy/extensions.xml

Any items that you want to ensure are archived as part of a snapshot that are particular to your installation of BMC Atrium Discovery should be stored in the directory provided for customer data – $TIDEWAY/data/customer.

The items included in a snapshot are configured using the $TIDEWAY/etc/archive_conf.xml file. You do not need to edit this file. However, if you make changes in this file, make sure that you add new repository sections rather than edit existing ones.

Appliance email settings

Appliance snapshot does not preserve the BMC Atrium Discovery email settings. Before making a snapshot, make a note of the settings so that you can reconfigure the email settings after restoring the snapshot.

Archive disk space limit

There is a limit to the amount of disk space that the archive can use. When this limit is passed the archive memory information is highlighted and Create on the user interface (UI) is dimmed. If this happens, you must delete some or all of the archived data in order to continue using the appliance database snapshot.
The actual amount of disk space required is at least twice the size of the database being archived. This is because a copy of the datastore is made and that copy is compressed. If insufficient diskspace is available, the error message reports the amount of space available and the amount of space required.

Creating a new appliance snapshot

To create an appliance snapshot you must place the appliance into maintenance mode and stop discovery. For more details, see Putting the Appliance into Maintenance Mode and Controlling discovery.

Warning

Maintenance Mode is not a single user mode. If you are performing any tasks which could affect other users, such as appliance snapshots, you should ensure that you are the only logged in user.

Before you create the new snapshot, view the currently active sessions to ensure that you are the only user that is logged in.

To create a new snapshot

  1. From the Appliance section of the Administration tab, click Control.
  2. On the Appliance Control page, click Set Maintenance Mode to place the appliance into the maintenance mode.
  3. Select Snapshot & Restore from the Appliance menu to display the Appliance Snapshot page.
    If discovery is still running or the appliance is not in maintenance mode at this stage, a pop-up warning is displayed. When you dismiss this warning, the Appliance Snapshot window is displayed, though all buttons are inoperative. Depending on the warning, see Putting the Appliance into Maintenance Mode or Stopping the Discovery Process for more information.
  4. In the Create New section, specify the name of the snapshot to be saved in the field for Name, and record any notes applicable to the snapshot to be saved in the field for Notes. The fields for Name and Notes are mandatory.
    Each snapshot also records the date and the time it was taken. The size of the snapshot is displayed to enable you to make informed decisions about managing the archive.
  5. Click Create.
    A confirmation screen displays.

    Warning

    This process can take a few minutes. Do not refresh or navigate away from this page during this process.

When the snapshot is completed, the Appliance Snapshot page is redisplayed showing the newly created snapshot.

Migrating your appliance snapshot to another appliance

You can move your snapshot between appliances of the same version.

Moving a snapshot to another appliance

(info) The label Download refers to copying the snapshot to a destination appliance. This may be counter intuitive.

  1. From the Utilities section, click Download.
  2. Enter the following details in the Download Snapshot pop-up window:

    Field Name

    Description

    Download Target IP

    The IP address of the destination appliance.

    Target User

    The user account to access the destination appliance.

    Target Password

    The corresponding password.

    Target Archive Root

    The directory into which to copy the snapshot. For migration this is
    $TIDEWAY/var/snapshot/snapshots/

  3. Click Download on the pop-up window.
    An operation log window is displayed indicating whether the operation was successful or not, and providing information about any errors that may have occurred.
    If successful, your appliance snapshot has now been copied to your destination appliance and can be seen in the Appliance Snapshots section of the main page.
  4. On the destination appliance, click Restore next to your selected snapshot to restore to the migrated snapshot.
  5. On the WARNING pop-up screen, select the check box for one or all of the following:
    • Create Rollback Snapshot: to create a snapshot that you can roll back to before attempting to restore a snapshot.
    • Preserve Current Config Files: to prevent the new snapshot overwriting the current configuration files.

      Note

      If you do not select the Preserve Current Config Files option, the current configuration of the target appliance will be replaced with those from the snapshot; including such items as the appliance name, SMTP settings and so forth.

    • Restore discovery run state from snapshot: to restore the state of the discovery run that was preserved in the appliance snapshot.
      The Automatic Rollback Timer option enables you to set the time that you have in minutes before the snapshot is automatically rolled back to its previous state. There is a list on the UI where you can select 3, 5, 10, 15, and 60 minutes, where 5 minutes is the default setting.
  6. After you select your options, click Restoreon the pop-up window.

    Warning

    This process can take a few minutes. Do not refresh or navigate away from this page during this process.

    The Confirm Restore screen is displayed.
    The restore commences and the BMC Atrium Discovery software restarts. When you login again you are returned to the Home Page.

  7. From the Appliance section of the Administration tab, select Snapshot & Restore.
  8. Click either Confirm Restore in the pre-set time period to prevent Automatic Rollback, or Cancelto rollback the restore.

    Warning

    You must click Confirm Restore to keep the restored snapshot.

    If you click Cancel, it causes the snapshot to rollback. The snapshot is marked as invalid and Restore is dimmed. An Alert icon is displayed which, when clicked, shows the name and the states the reason why it has cancelled Restore. If you want to override a cancel, click Mark Valid.

  9. In the Utilities section, click Restore Log to view details of the restore operation.
    If a problem occurs during snapshot processing, an alert icon will appear next to that particular log. An alert log icon will also appear if an invalid IP Address is entered for the migration.

Uploading and downloading snapshots

In the Utilities section, Upload (copy from an SSH server) and Download (copy to an SSH server) enable you to take snapshots on or off the appliance.

Note

To use the upload and download features, your target must be an SSH server.

Downloading a snapshot from the appliance to an SSH server

(info) The label Download refers to copying the snapshot to a destination SSH server. This may be counter intuitive.

  1. From the Utilities section, click Download.
  2. Enter the following details in the Download Snapshot pop-up window:

    Field Name

    Description

    Download Target IP

    The IP address of the destination SSH server.

    Target User

    The user account to access the destination SSH server.

    Target Password

    The corresponding password.

    Target Archive Root

    The directory into which to copy the snapshot.

  3. Click Download on the pop-up window.

On completion, an operation log window is displayed indicating whether the operation was successful or not, and providing information about any errors that may have occurred.

Uploading a snapshot to the appliance from an SSH server

(info) The label Upload refers to copying the snapshot from an SSH server. This may be counter intuitive.

  1. From the Utilities section, click Upload.
  2. On the Upload Snapshot pop-up window, next to Upload Target IP, enter the IP address for the SSH server.
  3. Enter the Target User (the user account name) and the user account password next to Target Password.
    The Target Archive Root is the directory under which snapshots are saved.
    The Snapshot ID is a unique identifier created using the date and time of the snapshot creation in the form: YYYY-DD-MM_hhmmss. Snapshots are saved in a directory of this name under the target archive root directory.
  4. Click Upload on the pop-up window.

On completion, an operation log window is displayed indicating whether the operation was successful or not, and providing information about any errors that may have occurred.

Scheduled appliance snapshot

The scheduled appliance snapshot feature enables you to use the cron feature to schedule appliance snapshots. The script should be scheduled using the cron feature ($TIDEWAY/etc/cron) as the tideway user.
Appliance snapshot requires Discovery to be stopped and the appliance put into maintenance mode. For more information see Putting the Appliance into Maintenance Mode.
If the script is configured and scheduled, you can prevent it running by putting a file called .nosnap in the $TIDEWAY/var/ directory. If this file is present, the script will not perform any operations. You can also create and delete this file through the user interface. Enter the following URL:
http://appliance/ui/SetupSnapshotSchedule
where appliance is the name or IP address of the appliance. The Appliance Scheduled Snapshot page is displayed which contains an Enable or Disable Scheduled Snapshot toggle button. Click the button to enable or disable the scheduled appliance snapshot feature.

Using the snapshot utility

The snapshot utility $TIDEWAY/bin/tw_scheduled_snapshot is used to create and transfer appliance snapshots. With the utility, you can:

  • Create named snapshots and include notes
  • Transfer the snapshot to another appliance or to a remote host running SSH
  • Delete the local copy of the snapshot after it has been transferred to a remote host or another appliance

BMC Software recommends that you enable the migrate user when you transfer snapshots onto an appliance using the command line. This user has a home directory that is the default location for uploading snapshots, and it has limited access to the appliance. See The migrate user for information.

For more information about the utility and the available options, see tw_scheduled_snapshot.

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Comments

  1. Blaine Simpson

    Is there a reason why the "migrate" shell account is recommended when using tw_schedule_snapshot, but is not mentioned here?

    On my appliance I see that the default snapshot dir has wide open permissions. Bad policy.

    Feb 19, 2012 04:49
    1. Blaine Simpson

      Thank you for the page updates.

      Mar 01, 2012 11:12
      1. Bob Massa

        You're welcome, Blaine. Thanks for raising the question.

        Regards,

        Bob

        Mar 01, 2012 11:15