An IBM i Network File System (NFS) client can perform save and restore operations using a virtual optical device type 632B model 003 that uses image files located on an NFS server. The NFS server can be configured on an IBM i or another platform that supports NFS. Special setup is required in order to use an NFS server with the IBM i save and restore interfaces.
The intent of this document is to provide setup instructions for an IBM i system so that virtual media stored on an NFS server can be used during basic IBM i save and restore operations. This document does not describe or support complete system backup and recovery that uses media stored on an NFS server. The media created using these instructions cannot be used to perform an IBM i install (D-mode IPL). NFS backed optical devices are not recommended as primary backup devices. Physical tape drives, VTLs, DVDs or RDX drives should be used to store important or long-term data.
1. This document may be used as a reference point if you are using the Mass Data Migration (MDM) device which is provided by IBM Cloud Object Storage (COS). This device can be used to migrate data from an IBM i® virtual machines (VMs) to the IBM Cloud object storage.
2. The data is not encrypted while being transferred when using the virtual optical device. To add encryption you would need to setup an encrypted tunnel, such as a VPN.
3. *PUBLIC will need RW authority to the image files on the IBM i server so the data is not secure on the serving system.
4. Performance of the NFS backed optical device is limited by the network performance, traffic, and distance. As such this device is the lowest performing save/restore device. Save and restore performance can and will vary at times as network performance and traffic vary.
5. If the NFS Server is something other than an IBM i, IBM does not support or know the process required to perform exports or change authority on the NFS Server. It is assumed the customer or their NFS Server Support team knows the required process.
NFS server requirements
To share virtual optical images through an NFS server, the server must meet the following requirements:
- The NFS server must be Version 3. Other versions are not supported.
- Images must be created on the NFS server before being used by a save on an IBM i client. Save operations cannot dynamically create new images or dynamically extend the size of existing images, so some understanding of the size of the save operation is required.
- A volume list file must be created on the NFS server that contains a list of images to be used by an IBM i client. The volume list file must have the following characteristics:
- The file must be located in the same NFS server directory as the image files.
- The file must be named VOLUME_LIST.
- Each entry in the file is either an image file name with access intent or a comment.
- Image file names are limited to 127 characters.
- All characters following a hash symbol (#) are considered a comment and will be ignored.
- The order of the image file names in the volume list file indicates the order the images will be processed on the IBM i client.
- The file must contain ASCII characters
IBM i NFS client requirements
To use virtual optical images through an NFS server, the IBM i NFS client must meet the following requirements:
- The IBM i must have a Version 4 Internet Protocol (IP) address.
- During setup, the shared NFS server directory must be mounted over a directory on the IBM i client.
- Either an IBM i service tools server or a LAN console connection must be configured using a Version 4 IP address. For more information, see the 'Verify/configure the Service Tools Server' section below or Configuring the service tools server for DST https://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/ssw_ibm_i_74/rzamh/rzamhsrvtoolsrvr4dst.htm.
- A 632B-003 virtual optical device must be created using the IP address of the NFS server.
Verify/configure the Service Tools Server
This must be done for each IBM i client partition and before setting up the NFS Server and Client
The type of system and configuration determines what type of setup is required to configure the Service Tools Server.
If Operations Console with LAN Connectivity is configured, then there is no additional setup required. If Operations Console with LAN Connectivity is not configured, then a LAN adapter or IOP must be tagged, depending on the model of your system.
One way to help determine whether your client system has a service tools server for DST configured:
1. Log on to SST.
2. Select option 8, Work with service tools user IDs and Devices.
3. Press F5.
If a service tools server is configured, the following display is seen.
Pressing F5 will display the various IP addresses.
Note: If you do not see a valid IP address, then the service tools server is not configured. If you do see a valid IP address, this does not always indicate that the server is configured correctly.
Note: If you use the same port (for example, gigabit adapter) for the Service Tools Server that is used for TCP/IP, ensure that you end TCP/IP (ENDTCP) and vary off the TCP/IP line description before configuring the Service Tools Server (STS). Only gigabit adapters can be shared. To simplify the tagging process, PF13 allows selecting the resource and eliminates the need for having to temporarily configure Operations Console on the partition. The following steps allow you to select and configure the Service Tools Server(STS):
1. Start System Service Tools (STRSST).
2. Work with service tools user IDs and Devices (Option 8).
3. Select STS LAN adapter (F13) to see available adapters. If there are no available adapters that are listed and you plan to tag a gigabit adapter, press F21 to show all adapters.
4. Press Enter.
5. Enter the TCP/IP information. Have your network administrator provide you with a valid TCP/IP address when you enter this information.
6. Press F7 (Store).
7. Press F14 (Activate).
NFS server setup
Setup of the NFS server is platform-specific, see the platform's NFS documentation. The NFS server should be active and have the following configuration:
- The directory (or a parent directory) that will contain the virtual optical images must be exported with the following characteristics:
o Share with the following IP addresses:
1. IP address of the IBM i client.
2. IP address of the IBM i client service tools server or the LAN console connection.
o Share for read and write.
Note: The example in this document assumes the image files will be in a directory named /nfs/share01 on the NFS Server. It can be named differently but it is important to replace references to /nfs/share01 with the directory that contain the images on the NFS server.
IBM i NFS client setup
Setup the IBM i client to use virtual optical images stored on an NFS server. The command examples below assume that NFS server SERVER01 with IP address '22.214.171.124' has exported directory /export/ibmshare:
1. Create a mount directory for the NFS server.
2. Mount the NFS server root directory over the IBM i mount directory.
MOUNT TYPE(*NFS) MFS('126.96.36.199:/export/ibmshare') MNTOVRDIR('/NFS/SERVER01')
3. Create image information on the NFS server in the Portable Application Solutions Environment (PASE):
i. Enter PASE.
ii. Create a directory to contain the virtual image files.
iii. Change to the virtual image file directory.
iv. Create image files. The number of images and the size of the images cannot be changed during a save operation so they must be created large enough to hold all the save data. This example creates 3 10GB images. Note: Creating large files may take several minutes. Do not exit PASE until all the commands send a message that indicates they have completed.
dd if=/dev/zero of=IMAGE01.ISO bs=1M count=10000
dd if=/dev/zero of=IMAGE02.ISO bs=1M count=10000
dd if=/dev/zero of=IMAGE03.ISO bs=1M count=10000
v. Create volume list file VOLUME_LIST. The W at the end of each line indicates that image allows write access.
echo 'IMAGE01.ISO W' >> VOLUME_LIST
echo 'IMAGE02.ISO W' >> VOLUME_LIST
echo 'IMAGE03.ISO W' >> VOLUME_LIST
Verify the list.
The cat output will show a line for each of the image file names with the corresponding access intent.
vi. Exit the PASE by pressing F3.
Note: This image creation process is completely unique and separate from the usage of the image files by the Virtual Optical Device. The Virtual Optical Device does not use the Mount Over directory used with PASE for the access of the image files.The Virtual Optical Device uses the native directory created on the NFS server. This directory must be exported to the Service Port IP address with the proper R/W permissions.
4. Create a device description for a virtual optical device.
CRTDEVOPT DEVD(NFSDEV01) RSRCNAME(*VRT) LCLINTNETA(*SRVLAN) RMTINTNETA('188.8.131.52') NETIMGDIR('/export/ibmshare/iImages')
Note: Replace 184.108.40.206 with the IP address of the NFS server. Replace /nfs/share01/iImages with the directory on the NFS server that contains the volume images.
5. Vary on the virtual optical device. Note: If the images or VOLUME_LIST file is changed on the NFS server, the virtual optical device must be varied off and then varied back on to use the virtual images.
VRYCFG CFGOBJ(NFSDEV01) CFGTYPE(*DEV) STATUS(*ON)
6. Use the device to initialize the image files as volumes.
LODIMGCLGE IMGCLG(*DEV) IMGCLGIDX(3) DEV(NFSDEV01)
INZOPT NEWVOL(IVOL03) DEV(NFSDEV01) CHECK(*NO)
LODIMGCLGE IMGCLG(*DEV) IMGCLGIDX(2) DEV(NFSDEV01)
INZOPT NEWVOL(IVOL02) DEV(NFSDEV01) CHECK(*NO)
LODIMGCLGE IMGCLG(*DEV) IMGCLGIDX(1) DEV(NFSDEV01)
INZOPT NEWVOL(IVOL01) DEV(NFSDEV01) CHECK(*NO)
7. Virtual device NFSDEV01 can now be used for native IBM i save and restore operations. Volume IVOL01 (image file '/nfs/share01/iImages/IMAGE01.ISO') is mounted on device NFSDEV01. To test the device, do the following to verify that a message queue can be saved and restored. Messages from the save and restore commands will indicate that one object was saved and one object was restored.
SAVOBJ OBJ(MSGQ) LIB(QTEMP) DEV(NFSDEV01) CLEAR(*ALL)
RSTOBJ OBJ(*ALL) SAVLIB(QTEMP) DEV(NFSDEV01)
The save contents of the virtual optical volume can also be displayed:
DSPOPT VOL(IVOL01) DEV(NFSDEV01) DATA(*SAVRST) PATH(*ALL)
04 October 2021