Archive:Admin Manual 3.6

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SEP AG has discontinued support for obsolete SEP sesam versions. Instructions are still available for these SEP sesam products, however, SEP AG accepts no responsibility or liability for any errors or inaccuracies in the instructions or for the incorrect operation of obsolete SEP sesam software. It is strongly recommended that you update your SEP sesam software to the latest version. For the latest version of SEP sesam documentation, see documentation home.

Sesam directory structure

During installation SEP sesam creates two directory structures, one for static data and one for variable data. Both directory structures can be located in the same main directory but it is not a requirement.

On Unix you will find the install directory in the file: /etc/sesam2000.ini.

SESAM_BIN Directory

In this directory you will find all uneditable files including programs, templates, etc. During installation the following directory structures are created:

Template-Files including the raw database for the initial installation SESAM_BIN/skel
Preparation files for the user programmable interface SESAM_BIN/skel/templates
SEP sesam Server-components SESAM_BIN/bin/sesam
sms- and stpd-components SESAM_BIN/bin/sms
SEP sesam Server GUI-components SESAM_BIN/bin/gui
SEP sesam Server Database-components SESAM_BIN/bin/db

SESAM_VAR Directory

Here you will find all data that can be changed or upgraded, e.g. the SEP sesam database, protocol and log files. During Setup the following directory structure will be created:

Initialization Files IV /var/ini
Database IV /var/db
Log-Top Directory IV /var/log
Temporary "Short-lived" Files IV /var/tmp
Temporary Working "Medium Life" Files IV /var/work




A typical SEP sesam directory structure after an RPM install on Linux will appear like the following list. The programs are located under: /opt/sesam, the data under /var/opt/sesam,

 barometrix:~ # find /opt/sesam/ /var/opt/sesam/ -type d
 barometrix:~ #                      


In /var/ini the following installation files are created with relevant information and program files:



Start and Stop the SEP sesam Server

SEP sesam has a simple interface to start and stop the server. Using sm_startup the system starts, any jobs in the queue will begin. After the startup command is entered all daemons and other services, especially the global "qu_all" are initialized and running. The command sm_startup checks the "SEP sesam" environment and initializes the disk drives by running the "sm_config_drives".

When using the sm_startup command to start the SEP sesam Server, the software can now check if all daemons and services are active by using the sm_main status command.

If some processes are not active use the command sm_main start to stop sm_startup to abort the initial startup and restart the system.

To halt the SEP sesam Server use the command sm_shutdown which calls sm_os_startup stop. This command calls sm_main stop to stop services and daemons.

Reboot Configuration (Autostart after Reboot)

SEP sesam is configured in such a way that whenever the system is rebooted it will automatically self-restart.

To turn-off the automatic restart of SEP sesam take the following action:

Unix Systems

Enter sm_setup unset_reboot. To reactivate the service for auto restart use sm_setup set_reboot.

Windows Systems

In Computer Management under Services and Applications deactivate the service for SEP sesam Server.

Master GUI

The Master GUI is used to control and monitor multiple SEP sesam Server environments from a single location. The location can be local or remote, and the location does not have to have an instance of SEP sesam Server running locally. In this case we refer to a server as a Location, whereby each SEP sesam Server monitors multiple clients (servers, desktops, laptops, remote tape or disk devices).

The "Sesam Master" has an embedded second control layer which includes switches and settings to allow the control and access to the multiple server farms to be controlled by the Master GUI. All local GUI's for each SEP sesam Server location are still available to the local administrator.

Main011 en.jpg

Conditions and Requirements

  • all SEP sesam Servers attached to the Master GUI must have the same main revision (e.g. 4.0.X)

After that the Master GUI administrator can add all of the SEP sesam Server locations (server and GUI subset locations) to the Master GUI topology with GUI-> Configuration->Remoteserver.

  • Note: There is no limit to the number of SEP sesam Servers, which can be added to a single Master GUI. However, experience has shown that adding more than 10-15 locations to the Master GUI becomes extremely difficult to administer.


  1. the GUI Client connects to a SEP sesam Server
  2. the names of available servers can be found in the SEP sesam database
  3. the connection to the relevant servers is performed by the Master GUI

This result in the following situation:

  • When the connection to the Master GUI is lost, all other connections are closed.
  • Permissions must be set to allow the GUI Client connection to each monitored server (Routing, Firewalls, etc.)

Problem Description and Solution

If there is a problem connecting to a Remote Server, try to make a direct connection to the device or computer.

 /opt/sesam/bin/sesam/sesam_gui -S remotesesam1


After installing SEP sesam the customer/user has unrestricted access to the entire SEP sesam product set including all options, database modules, etc. for a period of 30 days. Seven (7) days before the end of the trial period the user will be notified that the test period is approaching its end. After the 30 day period the software's ability to backup is set to 'off'. However, the restore of any of the data stored during the period is still possible.

License requirements

To issue a license the following information for the SEP sesam Server is required:

  • Server name
  • IP Address
  • Operating System

After installation the information for the SEP sesam Server name can be found in the SEP sesam GUI menu:

Help -> License Info or by typing ALT + L

  • Packing List Number
  • Hardware Platform (i386, x86, ppc, ia64, ...)

This information is found:

  • for Linux console with uname -i
  • for Windows use command line with set (using Windows 2003 with systeminfo)

If requested please forward this information to: or by calling +1-303-499-0205 or +1-303-570-9358.

If you have questions during the 30 Day installation support period please send an email to: ( or by calling +303-499-0205. (+ 49 700 SEPSUPPORT)

License- and service documents

On top of the license file which is sent digitally (via email in most cases), license certificates for the acquired modules, upgrade- and/or support contracts and an upgrade-/support card are sent as well. All the relevant information (IP-address, server name, license details, period of validity and reaction times) is summarized clearly in these documents. These documents are sent by regular mail or, if you prefer, as a PDF file via email.

Changing an Existing License

In the event the Server Name or IP Address for the SEP sesam Backup Server must be changed a license transfer must be requested from SEP.

A change of server name or IP address requires that the original license has to be reissued with the new information. The relevant information regarding the current license and new information to be included on the reissued license must be sent via email asking for a "request for change" to or

To avoid typographic or other errors the request submission must be made via email or in text form.

The license transfer will be performed and transmitted via email within the guaranteed reaction time of your Support or Upgrade Agreement. All existing licenses and service contracts will be reissued and upgraded at the customer center. For customers with existing Support and Upgrade Contracts there is no charge for this service.

Make a backup copy of the current license

In case you are overwriting a current, existing license it is recommended to make a backup copy of the current license file. In the event of errors or permissions on the new license the previous license can be reentered to avoid downtime.

Entering a License Key

License Keys are generally transmitted via email as an attachment "License File". After receipt of the attachment it must be loaded into the SEP sesam Server. To do so, please use the following commands:

  • unzip the file on the target computer/server
  • copy the file sm_lic.ini to <sesamroot>/var/ini

After copying the file the license can be verified using the SEP sesam GUI or from the command line:

  • For UNIX/Linux
 #> source <SESAM_ROOT>/var/ini/sesam2000.profile 
 #> sm_info c
  • For Windows
> <SESAM_ROOT>\var\ini\sm_prof
> sm_info c

The commands above allow the system administrator to verify that the license has been entered correctly.

SEP sesam interfaces

SEP sesam offers several user configurable interface programs. They can be adopted by the system administrator to perform specific activities and functions. Templates of these programs can be found in <SESAM_ROOT>/skel/templates. To activate them, all you need to do is copy them into <SESAM_ROOT>/bin/sesam.

Once copied to the proper directory they can be adopted by any text editor.

The following interfaces are available:

Name Command will be executed on
PRE sbc_pre Client
POST sbc_post Client
DISASTER sm_disaster Server
NOTIFY sm_notify Server
ALARM sm_alarm Server
  • On Windows computers all commands have the extension .cmd.
  • Because the SEP sesam Server is always a SEP sesam Client, the PRE/POST will be executed here too.

PRE Interface

Before a backup starts, a special action can be performed on the client. Some examples are:

  • notifications to various individuals or administrators
  • shutdown a running application, e.g. one or multiple databases
  • export a database

These activities can be accomplished with the help of the PRE command line tools.

The following example uses 10 arguments from an actual SEP sesam backup event.

Arg.Nr Meaning
1 Backup source
2 Device server name
3 Task name
4 Drive number
5 Backup type: copy, full, differential, incremental
6 Number of backups of this task on one sesam day
7 Saveset name
8 Medialabel
9 Mediapool
10 Schedule, which starts the task

Return Value: Before the end of the procedure either STATUS:OK or STATUS:ERROR {text} must be written back to standard output.

Changing backup source

If STATUS: messages includes keyword BACKUP_SRC=, it will use it as backup source, instead of defined in task.


SEP sesam checks this output for the PRE activity and proceeds with the scheduled backup task according to the setting 'Backup even if Pre fails'.

POST Interface

After a backup task has been completed the administrator can perform special tasks, for example:

  • Starting one or more Database(s)
  • Sending a notification that a backup has finished
  • Erasing or clearing an export file.

These actions can be programmed freely using the Post- Interface.

SEP sesam recognizes that a backup has failed. In this even the Post- command will not be completed.

The Post command follows with 12 Arguments from the actual SEP sesam backup task.

Arg.Nr Meaning / Definition
1 Backup source
2 Name of the backup Server or (Tape server interface)
3 SESAM task name
4 Disk Drive Number
5 Backup Type: C_opy, F_ull, D_ifferential, I_ncremental
6 Backup Status (1 = ok, 0 = error)
7 Notification Text from Backup
8 Count of Completed Jobs for the Backup Day (= Number on the LIS File)
9 Saveset name
10 Label on the used Media
11 Media pool of the used Media
12 Schedule Time when the Backup was started

Before the end of the procedure either



 STATUS:ERROR {text}  must be written in standard output.

In the event the Post task ends with an error, the backup will be written with a "Warning" status.


sm_notify may be called in the following examples:

  1. Backup was halted
  2. Restore was halted
  3. Next Media is required

As opposed to sm_alarm a call can be made after a successful action. This 'call' always must follow with two parameters:

  1. Module name
  2. Message

The following module names are used


Called at the end of a backup.

taskname and result of the backup


sm_notify BACKUP "kbx11_etc: successful without warnings"


As soon as the last backup for a backup group is finished, the interface provides a complete status report for the backup group.

group name and status of the backup group.


 sm_notify BACKUP "Oracle_Server: 7, Error: 0, Cancelled: 0, Warning: 0, Success: 7"


As soon as all scheduled backups for a specific backup day 'Sesam Day' have ended, the administrator can enter a command to issue an email with the backup status, or direct the system to unmount a tape or tape drive.

Report status of the backup for this 'Sesam Day'


 sm_notify ALL_JOBS_DONE "102 backups done with 23 errors, \
 17 with warnings and 62 successfull."

Example of sm_notify:

  • Send an e-Mail with complete backup status
  • Unload of tape drive with drive number 2
   . `grep -i '^sm_ini=' /etc/sesam2000.ini|cut -d"=" -f2` 2>/dev/null
 source ${gv_rw_ini}/sesam2000.profile
 echo $0 $*
 # send mail:
 echo "$mymessage" >> ${gv_rw_lgc}/sm_notify.lgc
 if [ "$myjob" = "ALL_JOBS_DONE" ]
   sm_smtp -A sesam -s "Sesam backup status: $1 $2" -M gv_dayfile: -a gv_prot:
   sm_drive dismount 2 unload 


This is issued as soon as SEP sesam requires a different media or tape which SEP sesam cannot load automatically. For example in the case of a single tape drive, where the mounted tape media has reached capacity and another tape is required to finish the backup.

Label for the media is required.


This is issued when a new tape or new backup device is initialized.

Label for the initialized media and the tape or drive used.
 sm_notify INIT "I001-MEDIA   INIT_1 successful initialization of the Media in Drive 1 \
                 with Label DISK00004 (Selecting media according to GETOLDEST)"


sm_alarm is always called when a SEP sesam action is unsuccessful. The module names are the same as by sm_notify

When using a single tape drive an alarm is sent after 15 minutes: sm_alarm SM_GET_VOLUME. This period of time allows the system administrator while performing a Data Recovery operation to insert the required tape media, without sending out a system alarm.


sm_disaster is always called after the action SESAM_BACKUP. All information regarding the completed backup is passed on to the program. This allows the restore of the data in the event of a complete system failure.


This interface should always be configured!

Settings without GUI

Certain settings cannot yet be configured with the GUI.

Compressing SEP sesam Listing files

To save space you can compress all LIS files older than n days, in this example 3 days:

 sm_db "insert into defaults (key,user_name,value) values ('compress_lis','sesam','3')"

SEP sesam uses gzip program for compression. It is usually installed on Linux. On Windows it has to been put into <SESAM_ROOT>\bin\sesam path or it has to been found by system PATH.

Please note: after activating this option the LIS files will not be compressed immediately, as the Sesam NEWDAY Event takes care of compressing those files! The next time your NEWDAY Event will be executed, it will take care of the compression.

Backup without using archive bit on Windows

Instead of using the archive bit SEP sesam can also use an internal timestamp. This is especially useful if other programs also use and reset the archive bit.

 sm_db "insert into defaults values ('with_archive_bit','sesam','no')"

For Unix Systems

Switch off the use of the timestamp file for UNIX backup. Instead select the timestamp from the SEP sesam DB.

 sm_db "insert into defaults values ('with_timestamp_file','sesam','no')"

Environment for SEP sesam processes

Especially for database backups it is necessary that specific environment variables are set. This can be done through entries in sm.ini file under the section [ENVIRONMENT].


These settings will be read/set during SEP sesam start up. All processes started by SEP sesam will inherit these settings.

Disable the Alivetest

The SEP sesam alive test checks periodically access to the client during backup. It can be disabled by following command:

 sm_glbv w gv_ctrlc_no_alive ON

Re-activated with:

 sm_glbv R gv_ctrlc_no_alive

Loader specific settings

Initialize element status

Some loaders need an additional Initialize element status command after changing media manually. To switch this on in SEP sesam:

 sm_glbv w gv_initialize_loader_1 yes

Allow medium removal

Sometimes unload of medium from a drive is locked by prevent medium removal.

To allow media removal again:

 sm_glbv w gv_scsi_<drive_num>  

Sends command

 slu {SCSI_ID-von-gv_scsi_{drive_num}} -a

SCSI Id of drive has to set before by

 sm_glbv w gv_scsi_2 4050

Drive number 2 with SCSI Id 4050

Client side configuration

Default exclude list

A default exclude list of items to be skipped during backup can be specified on the SEP sesam Client in <SESAM_VAR>/var/ini/sm.ini


Ignore size change

Currently sbc issues a warning if the size of a file changes during backup. To avoid this warning a list of items (as regular expressions) can be specified, where sbc accepts size change.



This feature is not available on Windows because during backups over VSS files can't change in size.

Remote access

Configuration of a SSH client

To access a client from a SEP sesam Server using ssh instead of the unencrypted ctrl-connection, SEP sesam Server has to be able to log onto the client without a password. This can be achieved by using public/private authentication. The configuration is described in the man pages of ssh und sshd. Using the Sesam GUI the access mode has to be changed to SSH.

Command calls

Start a Backup from the Command Line

The easiest way to start a single backup task is using the program sbc_com_interface:

 sbc_com_interface -b openjob:none -I backup -C <Sesam Server> -j <task> \
                   -m <mediapool> -l <Level (C|F|D|I)>


 sbc_com_interface -b openjob:none -I backup -C buildfix -j TEST_BACKUP -m DISK -l F

Starting the GUI

 sesam_gui -S <Sesam Server>[<:port>] -M [0|1|2]

-M N
shut down the Master GUI (N=0), connect directly with several SEP sesam Servers (N=2)

Treatment of the archive bit

Windows OS uses the archive bit (A-Bit) in the data properties to manage data changes. The A-Bit is set to 1 if the file is altered. Generally SEP sesam does not use the archive bit although it can be forced in options with -o clear_archive if needed. Normally, the time information for FULL, DIFF or INC Backups is saved in the SEP sesam Database because the archive bit can be changed by other programs.

Influence on the A-Bit by backup type:

  • Full backs up all files and sets the A-Bit to 0
  • Diff only backs up files with A-Bit = 1 and leaves the A-Bit unchanged
  • Inc only backs up files with A-Bit = 1 and sets the A-Bit to 0
  • Copy backs up all files and leaves the A-Bit unchanged

Administrative data for the savesets

The names of the savesets are calculated unambiguously by SEP sesam from the time of the backup. For the restore an index is created for every saveset that lists, creates and administers the backup names and dates of the backed up files (listing). Additionally, there is the backup protocol which contains messages about the backup and a list of files that could not be backed up due to the OS.

Following administrative data is saved with every completed backup:

  • Name from the timestamp as a definite identification of the saveset
  • Task name
  • Date of the Backup day
  • Execution count of the task per Backup day
  • CFDI-Type Copy, Full, Diff, Inc
  • Media counter - Distribution of the saveset to media
  • Label of the media in use
  • Drive number
  • Client from which the data is backed up
  • Backup source
  • Start and end time
  • Success state
  • Size of backed up data
  • Password if backed up with encryption

The success state of a backup is visible in the column State in Backup by State.

This information can be shown through various filters in the SEP sesam GUI (Backup by state, calendar sheet, etc.).


See: Troubleshooting guide