It is a standard best practice for any administrator to make regular backups of critical software and data. LISTSERV® Maestro archives a consistent backup of the data collected in the application so that it can be restored in the event of a system failure.
LISTSERV® Maestro gives the Administration Hub component the responsibility of creating a backup master to avoid any problems that might arise from having different components that store data independently and reside on different servers. If different components initiate backups at different times, inconsistent data sets between components can result. If both backups were then to be restored, the data sets would be inconsistent, invalidating the backup.
The Administration Hub will centrally trigger a backup on all connected components (including itself) in order that the backup data saved by each component is consistent with the backup data of all other components. This backup is initiated based on the values entered in the Global Component settings for the Administration Hub.
The application wide backup is triggered once per day. Each day at a certain time, the Administration Hub (backup master) will start a backup of each component. To assign backup settings, click the Administration Hub link. Set the time to start the backup master by entering the desired time of the daily backup in the form "hh:mm" with values from 00:00 to 23:59.
Click OK to save settings and return to the Administer Component Settings screen.
Each component has a backup location. This is necessary because the components may reside on different servers. The backup default location is the folder "backup", which is in the home folder of the component in question (for example "\Program Files\L-Soft\Application Server\lui").
It is possible to use a different folder if desired. The folder configured may be either an absolute path, such as "C:\MyFolder\backup", or a relative path, such as "myFolder\backup", which is then interpreted as being relative to the home folder of the component. Enter the path name in the "Backup folder:" text box at each of the following locations:
For the Maestro User Interface component, click the Maestro User Interface link to open the Maestro User Interface subsection. Next, click General Settings.
For the Maestro Tracker component, click the Maestro Tracker link to open the Maestro Tracker subsection.
Click OK to save all entries.
To lessen the risk of restoring a backup containing corrupted data, LISTSERV® Maestro provides the opportunity for administrators to create a backup history. Each component can be configured to keep a number of previous backups. Each time a new backup is made, it is saved into the backup folder configured for the component (see Section 6.2 Configuring the Backup Location).
If the component is also configured to keep a number of previous backups, then the folders containing the older backups will be kept under names like "NAME1", "NAME2" … "NAMEn", where "NAME" is the name of the standard backup folder and "n" is the number of previous backups that the component is set to keep. For example, if a component is configured to keep three previous backups, than the backup history of each day will look like this:
Keeping a backup history can help ensure against corrupted backup data. However, as the amount of application data grows, it may not be possible to keep many old backups, which take up space on the disk. Also, keeping older backups on the same disk does not ensure against failure of the disk itself (head crash for example). Always save the backup to an external backup medium as described in Section 6.4 Saving a Backup to an External Medium.
Note: if daily backups are saved to an external medium routinely, it is acceptable to set the number of old backups to "0".
Once LISTSERV® Maestro has finished its backup, the configured backup folder of each component contains the data that is required to restore this component to the state of the moment when the backup was triggered. To prevent catastrophic loss of data, save these folders to an external backup medium such as a backup tape or other storage device. Utilize whatever standard backup tool is used by the organization to configure a daily backup of the designated folders. Schedule this daily backup to occur at a time after the time when the Administration Hub itself triggers and completes the backup of each component. There should be a long enough period between the backup triggered inside of LISTSERV® Maestro and the backup to the external medium triggered by the backup tool to ensure that all components have enough time to complete their backups. Otherwise partial data would be backed up to the external medium.
For small installations, the backup inside LISTSERV® Maestro will not take more than a few minutes. However, as the data in the LISTSERV® Maestro installation accumulates over time, backup will naturally take longer. Periodically check the backup logs to see how long the backup actually takes and schedule the external backup accordingly, at a safe time after the LISTSERV® Maestro backup finishes.
Remember that the backup tool must be configured such that it backs up all backup folders of all components. A LISTSERV® Maestro installation will have three backup folders to save to an external medium. These folders may also reside on different servers, depending on the installation, one for the Administration Hub, one for the Maestro User Interface and one for Maestro Tracker.
Because the LISTSERV® Maestro components store their backup data into separate folders, it is necessary to know which of the folders belong together, in case a backup history is kept or it is necessary to retrieve a backup from an external medium. This is done using the backup ID. Each backup gets a unique ID that is shared by all components participating in the backup. Each component also writes a "readme.txt" file into the backup folder. Stored in this text file is the ID of the backup that saved the data in the particular backup folder, together with output about backup start time, end time and its success or error state.
In the unfortunate event of having to restore a backup, follow this procedure:
This usually is the most recent backup, but it also must be a successful backup. If there were errors during the most recent backup, revert to the next most recent backup, which may have to be retrieved from an external medium.
To find out if a backup was successful, check the backup log in the folder:
\Program Files\L-Soft\Application Server\hub\logs
For each backup triggered by the Administration Hub, a report named "backupReport_ID.txt" where "ID" is repleaced with the ID of the backup in question, is saved into this folder. The IDs are assigned in alphanumeric order; the most recent backups have higher order IDs (in an alphanumeric sense). Use the file date of the report file to locate the most recent backup.
If the backup was successful, an entry like this will appear at the end of the file:
"The backup was completed successfully
If the backup was unsuccessful for any reason, then the report will contain entries detailing the errors that occurred.
If the "logs" folder cannot be accessed (because a disk crash destroyed the disk of the Administration Hub installation, for example), it is still possible to locate the most recent successful backup by opening the "readme.txt" file in the backup folder of each component. The "readme.txt" file lists the backup ID and the success state of that particular backup. If no errors are reported in that file, then the backup of this component was successful. If successful backups with the same ID of all the other components are located, then a complete and successful backup set exists and can be restored.
Once the backup to be restored has been identified and the backup ID is determined, the next step is to find all the backup folders of the individual components that contain data for this backup. Check the "readme.txt" in the backup folder of each component. If it contains the same ID, the right backup folder for this component has been located.
This includes uninstalling old versions (if necessary) and installing the components on the servers where needed. Do not start the components after installation. Some program files and INI files need to be edited. To edit INI files see Section 14 Editing LISTSERV® Maestro INI Files. Instead, proceed as follows:
Remove the existing versions of the file "hub.ini" and the folders "accountreg" and "hubreg", including their contents, from the Administration Hub home folder:
\Program Files\L-Soft\Application Server\hub
Replace them with the versions from the backup folder of the Administration Hub component.
Remove the existing versions of the files "lui.ini" and "my.ini" and the folders "luidata" and "registry", including their contents, from the Maestro User Interface home folder:
\Program Files\L-Soft\Application Server\lui
Replace them with the versions from the backup folder of the Maestro User Interface component. Next, add a new entry to the "lui.ini" file like the example below:
The "path_to_backup_folder" is replaced with the path name that leads to the backup folder from which the files and folders, as described above, were copied.
This path name may either be a full path name including driver letter, or it may be an absolute path without driver letter starting with "\" or "/", which is then interpreted as being absolute on the drive/root where the application server is installed (for example, in the default case, the same drive where "\Program Files\L-Soft\Application Server" is located). Or a relative path without a driver letter may be used, and not starting with either "\" or "/", which is then interpreted as being relative to the home folder of the Maestro User Interface component (for example, in the default case, that would be the folder "\Program Files\L-Soft\Application Server\lui").
Forward slashes "/" or backslashes "\" may be used as the filename separator. However, if backslashes are used, then use double backslashes. Example, either write:
This entry to the "lui.ini" file will be automatically removed during the first startup of the component. It is only present to signal to the component that it should restore all required data from the given folder, which happens automatically during the next startup, whenever this INI file entry is present. For more information on editing INI files, see Section 14 Editing LISTSERV® Maestro INI Files.
Remove all "*.dat" files from the folder called "data" inside Maestro Tracker home folder:
\Program Files\L-Soft\Application Server\trk\data
Replace then with the "*.dat" files from the backup folder of the Maestro Tracker component. Also remove the file "tracker.ini" from the Maestro Tracker home folder, (but not into the "data" folder) and replace it with the same file from the backup folder.
If components are being restored on different servers or a different combination of servers than the original backup was taken from, it may be necessary to edit the respective "*.ini" files of the components. This would include restoring a backup to a server with a different name, using a different port number, or changing how the components are grouped on a server or servers. For example, if components that were all originally on the same server are moving to different servers, or taking components that were originally on different servers and moving them to the same server.
It might also be necessary to make changes in some of the settings configured in the Administration Hub itself. However, before this can be done, the hub and the components in question must first start. They may not start up correctly at first, but after the configuration changes in the hub, and probably a restart of the components, they should then start up correctly.