Physical Backups Without a Storage Manager: ontape

If you do not have access to a storage manager, ontape might be the perfect tool for you. This section covers ontape ’s basic usage, then shows you how to automate it using shell scripts. Many environments without storage managers use ontape to automate their backups.

Despite its age, many people continue to use ontape for several reasons:

Informix version

ontape does not require a storage manager. If you are not running Informix 7.3 or greater, you do not have ISM. That means that you will need to purchase a storage manager and its interface to onbar. If you are running a version older than Informix 7.21, you don’t even have access to onbar.


ontape is free. Although onbar itself is free, it will cost as much as $7000 per host [65] to purchase the interface to onbar, even if you already have one of the commercial storage management applications (e.g., those discussed in Chapter 5).

Ease of use

ontape is a breeze to learn. It has four required options, -s for archive,[66] -c for continuous backups, -a for automatic backups, and -r for restore. That’s it. In contrast, onarchive is a nightmare of complexity. Its manual spans 436 pages, compared to ontape ’s 49 pages or onbar ’s 125 pages. onbar is much simpler to use than onarchive, but adding a storage manager into the picture still makes it more complicated than ontape. (The slight increase in complexity does come with greatly increased functionality, though.)

ontape is easy to ...

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