Chapter 13. AIX Bare-Metal Recovery

This chapter explains the procedure you would use to recover your IBM AIX operating system disk in case of a complete system failure—when you are left with nothing but bare metal.


This chapter was contributed by Mark Perino of Hitachi Data Systems. Mark tackles performance, AIX, Linux, and NAS problems when he’s not writing, hiking, or snowshoeing in Yosemite with his wife, Marissa, and kids, Steven and River.

IBM was the first Unix vendor to deliver a true bare-metal recovery tool. The mksysb command makes a complete “bootable” backup of the root volume group (rootvg) only. This allows you to perform a bare-metal recovery of an AIX host’s operating system. You can even back up using mksysb to a bootable tape, CD/DVD, or a Network Install Manager (NIM) server.

Unix Backup & Recovery mentioned using Sysback to make volume group backups. The Sysback utility has been incorporated into some commercial products from IBM and other vendors with the release of AIX 5.X. This book’s primary focus is on free methods to back up and restore, so we will not be covering Sysback.

IBM’s mksysb and savevg Utilities

The basis for a bare-metal recovery of an AIX system is the mksysb utility, which is included in AIX. It backs up all the files in the root volume group. mksysb backs up the rootvg, including:

  • Boot files

  • Base operating system (BOS)

  • System and configuration files in the rootvg

  • Additional software installed in the rootvg

It also backs up:

  • rootvg volume ...

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