6 thoughts on “Metadata Time Travel with SAS 9.3”

  1. Great post Paul.

    Does 9.3 intergrate the other SAS components in the Backup process, ie the Content server, and table server (if it still exists). It is all well and good backing up the Metadata, however if you haven’t backed the other components you’ll strugle to get a proper restore point… Ie if the content you created was a WRS report (rather than a STP) and then deleted would your example still work?

    Barry

  2. Hi Barry,

    Thanks for your comment, and a very perceptive one at that!

    My understanding is that this new backup facility is only for the metadata and you are still responsible for separately organizing backups of the SAS Content Server, the SAS Framework Data Server (which I believe is the SAS 9.3 replacement for the SAS 9.2 Table Server), and any appropriate file system content.

    To quote, in part, the SAS 9.3 Intelligence Platform: System Administration Guide, Backing Up and Restoring Your SAS Content, Best Practices for Backing Up and Restoring Your SAS Content, About Backups and Restores

    “It is important to back up all of the following content items at the same point in time so that related information will be synchronized if a restore becomes necessary …… the SAS Content Server, the SAS Framework Data Server, and the physical content that is stored in files and databases. Because the metadata server’s backup facility does not back up these files, you must use operating system commands or third-party tools to back them up.”

    There is more information on this in the other section “Best Practices for Backing Up Your SAS Content“, specifically:
    * Back up the SAS Content Server
    * Back up the SAS Framework Data Server and its databases
    * Back Up Data That Is Stored in File Systems
    * Synchronize metadata backups with SAS Content Server, SAS Framework Data Server, and physical file backups

    I suspect you are right in that, had I tried the test with a web report, the metadata would have been restored, but not the .srx WebDAV component. When I get a moment, I’ll verify it and report back.

    Whilst this roll-forward recovery has it limitations, I’m still very glad to see this enhancement for those situations where a metadata-only recovery is still better than no recovery. I think it’s still a big step in the right direction :) Maybe sometime in the future we will see an overarching fully integrated backup process that would encompass all of the SAS components: including the Metadata Server, the Content Server, and the Framework Data Server. Perhaps a suggestion for the SASware Ballot?

    Cheers
    Paul

  3. Hi Paul.

    I total agree that even with it’s limitations is is a great leap forward :) .

    Keep up the good work on the blogs, very useful. SAS is very lucky to have user(s)/partner(s) like you who have a good perspective on real world uses.

    Regards

    Barry

  4. Hi Paul,

    Defintely it is a very interesting post when I am currently working for 913 to 93 upgrade. Thanks for this.
    Scheduling Metadata backup in SMC require LSF Scheduler? If LSF not licensed, then is there any way of scheduling like CRON
    where we may require backup script? In the back end, all these SAS 9.3 backup features are running based on any script which we
    can customise as we need like changing logging directory etc..

    Thanks,
    Rambill

  5. Hi Rambill,

    Thanks for your comment.

    With regard to scheduling SAS metadata server backups in SAS 9.3, this does not need to be driven from an external scheduler, such as LSF, as the metadata server manages the scheduling of the backups itself internally (unless you turn it off). If you ever need to, then you can also trigger an ad-hoc backup from a script – see the Using the MetadataServer Command or backupServer.sas to Run Ad Hoc Metadata Server Backups page in the SAS 9.3 Intelligence Platform: System Administration Guide for more info. It also has a section on Using Third-Party Scheduling Software to Run Metadata Server Backups if required.

    Since a metadata backup is just one part of the whole backup strategy, you will still need to use a scheduler to backup SAS content that resides outside of the metadata repository, such as SAS Content Server content, SAS Framework Data Server databases, and other SAS related file system resources such as configuration files, SAS datasets, catalogs, source code etc. You can read more about this in the SAS 9.3 Intelligence Platform: System Administration Guide on the Best Practices for Backing Up Your SAS Content page.

    Cheers
    Paul

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