Notes Backup and Recovery

Using TSM to backup of Notes Documents

While the operating system knows nothing of the internal structure of a Notes database, the Notes Backup Agent interfaces between the TSM API and the Notes API, so backup can take place at document level. This means you do not backup the whole database just because one document gets updated.

Exactly how you run your backups is dependent on how you have your Notes archive logging defined. If you are not using archive logging, or if you are using circular or linear loop logging then you cannot use archive log backups. If you use standard archive logging, then you can backup those logs to your TSM server andf use them to forward recover databases. This means that you don't need to run full database backups so often.

The archivelog command is used to manage this. It queries the Domino server and if it finds any archive log extents that are ready for archiving, they are backed up to the TSM server and the backup is recorded in the Domino server so it knows they are available if required for recovery. You can also specify high and low thresholds to check how full archive logs are. If you schedule the achivelog command to run frequently, then you will clear down the archive log once it hits a high threshold, but you won't run the archive if the file is not very full. If your databases have a high update rate, you would run the command frequently to make sure that the archive logs do not fill up.

If you do not run archive logging, then you need to run regular full and incremental backups. To do this you would run commands like

domdsmc selective "*" /subdir=yes
domdsmc incremental "*" /subdir=yes

The databasename can be '*' for all databases, a specific database including the path name, or several databases as selected by wildcards If you are running circular archive logging, then you can apply updates to the restored database from the transaction log if the log has not wrapped since the backup was performed. If the log has wrapped, the attempt to apply logs fails.

If you are running non-circular archive logging, then you can take less frequent fulls backup plus transaction log archives.

domdsmc archivelog

When a DBIID for a logged database changes, the database cannot be recovered until another backup of that database is performed. An incremental backup will do the job as the incremental detects the changed DBIID. Domino issues a warning message when the DBIID changes, so it is a good idea to monitor the Domino log and trap that message, so you know when this happens.
Database replicas that are stored locally on a Notes clients, rather than on the Domino server are not protected by Data Protection for Domino. You can either back these up from the client or just rely on replication if the client replica becomes lost.

Important Notes Files

Some of these important files are not databases, so they need to be backed up using standard backup techniques. Database link files have an nsf extension but are not considered databases and are not backed up by Data Protection for Domino.You may not have all of these files if you are running an older version of Notes.

Files contained in Notes\Data directory
bookmark.nsf - Contains your saved bookmarks and Home Page information.
busytime.nsf - Contains your local free time information.
desktop6.ndk - This is your Workspace that maps to your bookmarks.
headline.nsf - Contains your Application Subscriptions information.
internet.nsf - Contains information from your newsgroup subscriptions (NNTP).
names.nsf - Contains your contact entries, mailing groups, connections, and locations.
perweb.nsf - This is your Personal Web Navigator application that contains Web browser information.
user.dic - Contains all of the words you have added to your personal dictionary through the Add to Dictionary option in the Spell Checker.
yourname.ID - This is your User ID file. You need this to access Notes.

Files contained in the Notes program directory
notes.ini - Contains the information you provide when you set up Notes, including the options you select in User Preferences. May also contain information created by your administrator. This file gets deleted when you uninstall Notes.
install.log - Contains the configuration information based on the options available when you install Notes. This file is used for comparison when you upgrade to new versions of Notes.

Notes Restores using TSM

The first issue is that you cannot restore an individual individual Notes document directly, you must restore the entire database to an alternate name. Once you restore the database from a suitable backup, copy the desired document using the Notes client.

There are 2 stages to restoring a Notes database. First you have to get the data back and then you have to 'activate' it or bring it online to the Domino server. You can also run both restore stages at once by adding the /activate=yes parameter to the restore. This will roll the database forward through the archive logs and bring it online.
A typical restore command would be

domdsmc restore databasename
domdsmc restore databasename /activate=yes

Where the second command will restore then activate the database. If you want to run the 2 steps separately, run the first command, then

domdsmc activatedbs

you can add a parameter /applylogs=date,time then the logs will just be applied up to that date and time

domdsmc activatedbs /applylogs=10/17/2014,12:00

One useful parameter for restores, if you are not running too many databases, is the pick option

domdsmc restore "*" /pick

This will list out all the backups for every database, and let you pick out the one you want to restore

You may occasionally see Domino server crashing, and it this happens, you may not be able to get it started again. The problem could be that some Notes processes may continue running after the crash and they are preventing the application from being restarted. They will need to be killed manually.