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LISA 2000 Abstract

Unleashing the Power of JumpStart: A New Technique for Disaster Recovery, Cloning, or Snapshotting a Solaris System

Lee "Leonardo" Amatangelo, Collective Technologies


Due to the demand of 24x7 coverage by present day data centers, the need for a proven disaster recovery plan is a must. To assist in providing disaster recovery for systems running Sun Microsystems' Solaris 2.x (SunOS 5.x) operating system, a tool was developed which captures the image of the system to one or more volumes of optical media with the first volume being bootable. The optical media used by this tool is CD (Compact Disc) with hooks put in place for DVD (Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc).

This tool was developed with the following objectives in mind: (1) no magnetic media; (2) bootable media; (3) minimal user interaction; (4) handle multiple volume sets; (5) handle environments that do not use a Network Information Service (NIS or NIS+); and, (6) handle environments that do not use Network File System (NFS). The power of this tool is made possible by utilizing two special features present in the Solaris operating system, namely the installboot utility and the JumpStart mechanism (as implemented on the Solaris 2.x Install CD).

The complete process of capturing and restoring a Solaris system's image to bootable optical media involves five phases: (1) pre-imaging preparation; (2) setup of target host; (3) capture image of target host; (4) burn image to media; and, (5) restore image to target host. Each of these phases is controlled by one master Bourne shell script. The overall tool is implemented in 26 Bourne shell scripts controlled by the 5 master scripts. This tool, known as the ``CART'' (Capture And Recovery Tool), was placed on a mobile cart and consisted of the following components: UltraSparc 10, internal CD-ROM drive, internal floppy drive, 256 MB memory, 2 network interface cards (NIC), keyboard, mouse, monitor, external SCSI 18 GB disk drive, external SCSI CD-RW, and external SCSI DLT.

This tool provides the following functions: (1) bare-metal recovery; (2) capture a snapshot of a system to optical media; (3) cloning a system; and, (4) rollout multiple clones of a system via optical media. Using the principles discussed in this paper and creating additional Bourne shell scripts, the CART has been modified to provide the following additional outputs: (1) make copies of the Solaris Install CD; (2) make customized Solaris Install CD (essentially a customized JumpStart from CD); and, (3) a specialized bootable CD for disaster recovery that assists third party Backup and Recovery utilities (Legato Networker and Veritas NetBackup).

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Last changed: 16 Jan. 2002 ml
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