Status Email

Summary

CNS provides some email feedback to local TSM admins about the status of their backups. This document is the first resource for explanation of that mail.

What's being reported

The status mail reports on filespaces; not individual files. This means, among other things, that if you've never backed something up for a given filespace, it won't appear on the report. For example, if you define a machine to the TSM server, but never ever back it up, you'll never get a complaint from the status message about it. You can avoid this possible problem by doing just a little bit of backup work, even just a few files, at the time that you make password arrangements; then the TSM server has something to work with.

Periodically, take a look at your logs, and get a sense of what, if any, errors are happening, and wether they are of a type that would concern you. Check the FAQ for more information on this.

Above all, and after all: TEST YOUR BACKUPS. Every report is a synthetic attempt to answer the question "Can we get it back"? You MUST satisfy yourself about this question. We can help you do it, but the judgement has to reside in your mind.

Mail with no exceptions to report

The status message reports exceptions; problems; errors. This means that most times you would hope that there would be nothing to report.

 

Subject: Backup status: 2004-07-09, 12:08; (no exceptions)
Date: Fri Jul 9 12:08:11 EDT 2004
To: backups@hp.ufl.edu
cc: osg-nsam-l@lists.ufl.edu
From: OSG NSAM <osg-nsam-l@lists.ufl.edu>
Reply-To: osg-nsam-l@lists.ufl.edu
Message-id: <root.92170.1089389317@tsm2en1.cns.ufl.edu>
X-generated-timestamp: '2004-07-09, 12:08:11'
X-intended-for: backups@hp.ufl.edu


['2004-07-09, 12:08:11: No exceptions for backups@hp.ufl.edu ]

 

Mail with some exceptions to report

However, not uncommonly there will be some machine or another which falls out of spec. In that case, the message will look more like this:

 

Subject: Backup status: 2004-07-09, 12:08; 1 nodes, 3 FS
Date: Fri Jul 9 12:08:11 EDT 2004
To: bb@stat.ufl.edu
cc: osg-nsam-l@lists.ufl.edu
From: OSG NSAM <osg-nsam-l@lists.ufl.edu>
Reply-To: osg-nsam-l@lists.ufl.edu
Message-id: <root.35372.1089389318@tsm2en1.cns.ufl.edu>
X-generated-timestamp: '2004-07-09, 12:08:11'
X-intended-for: bb@stat.ufl.edu

server 'ext', FLOUNDER.STAT.UFL.EDU
tolerance age(days) filespace
1 14.8 /export1
1 10.8 /var/run
1 10.8 /

 

Subject:Backup status: 2004-07-09, 12:08; 1 nodes, 3 FS

The date and time of the message generation, and a summary of how many exceptions are going to be reported.

server 'ext', FLOUNDER.STAT.UFL.EDU

The TSM server and node being reported. CNS has deployed several TSM Servers and it is possible that a given reportee might see reports about machines associated with different servers.

tolerance

There is a 'tolerance for late backups' associated with each filespace covered by TSM. For most, the default is one day; if an incremental has completed less than 24 hours go, all is deemed well.

This tolerance is set by OSG staff in the reporting back end, and may be configured on a per-domain, per-machine, or per-filespace basis.  Contact osg-nsam-l@lists.ufl.edu  to request changes.

age

Age, in days, since the filespace has had attention. For most filespaces, this is the time since the last incremental backup completed. Different measures are used for database filesystems.

If you see some absurdly large number of days in this column, then it should be interpreted as 'Never completed an incremental backup'. In most cases, this is a problem, but your local backup design could find this acceptable.

Showing all filespaces

Occasionally, we'll send out a status message which every filespace recorded, not just the exceptions. This message will be prefaced by a header like so:



-----
SHOWING ALL FILESPACES
-----

in an attempt to distinguish it from the normal status mail.

Custom Headers

We've tried to make the status messages as amenable as possible to automatic processing. Some of this is reflected in the formatting discussed above, some of it in custom headers and content.


From: OSG NSAM <osg-nsam-l@lists.ufl.edu>

The 'From' header will include the string 'OSG NSAM'. The actual email address will be subject to change.


References: <ipm.ufl.edu@NSAM-cookie>

The 'References' header will be set to a constant value related to the destination of the mail. This permits many email clients to 'thread' all of the messages together without explicit user intervention or sorting.


Subject: Backup status: 2004-11-30, 10:32; 1 nodes, 7 FS

The 'Subject' header will include the phrase 'Backup status', and a timestamp in regular format. This is intended to permit easy sorting and visual scanning of the status.


X-generated-timestamp: '2004-11-30, 10:32:14'

The 'X-generated-timestamp' header is a custom header similar to the the Subject: timestamp. If parsing the Subject is undesirable for some reason, this header can serve in its stead.


X-intended-for: ipm@ufl.edu

The 'X-intended-for' header contains the destination to which the backup system initially sent the message. If there are intermediate steps (forwards, lists) between this initial recipient and the final destination, this header will aid in identifying the mail path.