SEP Sesam Admin Manual

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System Requirements for Installation

Name Resolution - Examples




x86 operating systems, using more then 3.25 GB RAM, have to either be reduced to 3.25 GB RAM or migrated to an x64 operating system. This is necessary since SEP sesam requires 64 KB blocks for LTO (Linear Tape Open), but those systems can only write 32 KB blocks on tape drive due to the automatically activated PAE (Physical Address Extension). Also a loader cannot be accessed properly SEP sesam.


After installing SEP sesam all functions are available without limitations for 30 days. Seven days before the end of the temporary license you are reminded of the upcoming license renewal. After the 30 days time limit has passed the software's backup functions are blocked. However, restores up until that point are possible.

License Requirements

In order to create the application specific license the following information about the SEP sesam backup server is needed:

  • Hostname
  • IP Address

The information on the SEP sesam Server name and IP address can be found in the SEP sesam GUI in the menu: Help -> License Info or using the keyboard shortcut ALT + L

  • Delivery note number
  • Hardware platform (i386, x86, ppc, ia64, ...)

This information can be found in the

  • Linux console with uname -i
  • Windows command line with set (in Windows 2003 also with systeminfo)

Afterwards, send this information to or call +49 8020 180-0.

For questions during the 30 day installation support please refer to or call +49 700 737 787 7678 ( 49 700 SEPSUPPORT)

License- and Servicepapers

In addition to the license file which is sent digitally (usually via email), license certificates for the purchased modules as well as an Upgrade-/Support-Card (if an upgrade or support contract was made) are sent. These papers contain a clear summary of all relevant information (IP address, server name, license details, run time and reaction times). These documents are also sent via regular mail or, if preferred, as a PDF document by email.

Changes to an existing license

If the IP address or the server name of the backup server changes, a SEP sesam Server license transfer is necessary. This includes the adjustment of the existing server license to a changed server name and/or a new IP address. The according information of the existing and the new license have to be sent to SEP (by email to ( to make sure that there were no errors during the transfer and to verify the contact person. The transferred license is sent by email within the guaranteed response time. New versions of all existing license- and service papers are created and the customer center is updated.
With an existing SEP upgrade contract the license transfer is free of charge.

Entering a License

The license is usually sent by email. In the attachment you can find the license file, which has to be entered into the SEP sesam Server.

  • extract the file on the target machine
  • copy the file sm_lic.ini to <SESAM_ROOT>/var/ini

After this, the license can either be checked in the SEP sesam GUI (call in the menu HELP-LICENSE INFO) or in the command line.

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

Using this you can see if the license was created properly, in the console.


Before entering a new license you should make a backup copy of your existing license. In case there are any problems with the new license you can go back to a working state with this at any time.

SEP sesam Processes

SEP sesam Directory Structure

During installation SEP sesam always creates 2 directory structures, one for statical data and one for variable data. Both structures can be in the same main directory but they don't have to.

On Unix you can find the installation directories in the file /etc/sesam2000.ini.

SESAM_BIN Directory

In this directory you can find all unchanged files like programs, templates, etc. During the installation of the software kit the following directory structure is set up:

Template files incl. raw database for the initial installation SESAM_BIN/skel
Templates for user programmable interfaces SESAM_BIN/skel/templates
SEP Sesam Server Components SESAM_BIN/bin/sesam
SMS and STPD Components SESAM_BIN/bin/sms
SEP Sesam Server GUI Component SESAM_BIN/bin/gui
SEP Sesam Server Database-Components SESAM_BIN/bin/db

SESAM_VAR Directory

Here you can find all changeable data like the SEP sesam database, protocols and log files. The following directory structure is created during setup:

Initialization files SESAM_VAR/var/ini
Database SESAM_VAR/var/db
Log main directory SESAM_VAR/var/log
Short term temporary files SESAM_VAR/var/tmp
Medium term temporary files SESAM_VAR/var/work


 C:\Program Files\SEPsesam


The usual SEP sesam directory structure after an RPM or DEB installation on Linux: The programs are located in /opt/sesam, the files are in /var/opt/sesam,

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


The following initialization files are stored in /var/ini


Using Storage Hardware

Detecting the Backup Hardware

  • Example

Loader-specific Settings

Initialize element status

Certain loaders require an additional Initialize element status command after the manual unloading of media. Activation in SEP sesam:

 sm_glbv w gv_initialize_loader_1 yes

Allow medium removal

Sometimes the unloading of a medium from the drive is blocked with prevent medium removal. To allow the unloading of the medium:

 sm_glbv w gv_scsi_<drive_num>  

This executes the following command:

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

SCSI Id of the drive can be set with:

 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 in on SEP sesam Client in



For details on different approaches to excluding files, see Creating Exclude List.

Ignore size change

Actually sbc issues a warning, if size of 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 backup over VSS, no file should change its size.


Starting and Stopping SEP sesam Server

SEP sesam offers a simple interface to start and stop the server. The system is started with sm_startup. After starting all daemons, i.e. services, first the general SEP sesam operational queue qu_all is initialized and then the program sm_startup is started in it. sm_startup inspects the SEP sesam environment and starts sm_config_drives to initialize the drives. If SEP sesam Server is started with sm_startup, sm_main status checks if the daemons, i.e. services, are active. If the processes are inactive, sm_main start is called and sm_startup is ended prematurely. To stop the SEP sesam Server you can use sm_shutdown which calls sm_os_startup stop, which, amongst others, uses sm_main stop to stop the services/daemons.

Reboot Configuration (Autostart after Reboot)

SEP sesam is built in a way that allows it to start automatically after booting the machine. In order to prevent this function, proceed as follows:


Enter sm_setup unset_reboot. To restart the service, enter sm_setup set_reboot.


Deactivate the service SEP sesam Server in the management console under Services and Applications.

SEP sesam Client

Client Access of SEP sesam Server

Checking the Client Access
Client Access via SSH

In order to create a connection from the SEP sesam Server to the client via SSH instead of the unencrypted ctrl connection, the SEP sesam Server has to be able to log onto the client without a password, i.e. public/private key. Setup is explained in the man Pages of ssh and sshd. To use this for a new client, set the access mode to SSH. Browsing the file system is currently not possible if SSH is selected as connection type.

sm.ini Client Settings

A <SESAM_VAR>/var/ini/sm.ini is the central configuration file, not only on the SEP sesam Server, but also on the clients.

Default Exclude-List

In addition to the options to define an exclude list inside a task, there are exclude patterns in the section [SBC_EXCLUDE] which can be used for every backup on that client. No additional settings have to be made in the backup task for this. This list can also be found in the backup protocol so the administrator knows what sections were not included in the backup. These patterns use regular expressions (RegEx), which means that complex patterns for exclusions can be created with little effort.

The default list after the installation of the SEP sesam client in Linux looks like this:


Now, if you want to exclude e.g. the paths /u01, /u02 and /u03 from the backup, you can do so with the following additional entry in the list:


These exclude patterns usually apply for full backups of a client or if one of the entered paths or files are located in a sub directory of the backup source. If, however, one or more of these paths are explicitly defined as the backup source they can still be backed up.

For details on different approaches to excluding files, see Creating Exclude List.

Ignore size change

Currently the sbc issues a warning if the size of a files changes during the backup or if a file is deleted during the backup. To avoid these warnings, a list of files (as regular expressions) can be defined for which the sbc accepts the size change or deletion. The backup status will then be shown as successful. However, the detected irregularities are still shown in the protocol.

This section doesn't exist in <SESAM_VAR>/var/ini/sm.ini by default and it has to be entered explicitly.


The examples mentioned above are interpreted like this:

All files in /var/opt/sesam/ with the file endings .log, .lgc and .lgx are ignored.
Ignores all files with the ending .lgc.
Ignores all files that contain the string .err.
Ignores all global variables of th SEP sesam Server.

This function is not necessary in Windows because files don't change their size in the snapshot when doing a backup via VSS anyway.

After the Backup

The Saveset-ID

Every backup is saved in a so-called saveset. This saveset is given a unique identifier that makes sure that there are no two savesets with the same UID. In the course of development the saveset ID was expanded step by step. The current structure looks like this:

 1 2    3       4     5  6      7
  1. Letter of the type of event:
    S = Backup
    R = Restore or the Restore of a Migration
    X = Remote Command
  2. Letter of the backup type:
    F = Full Backup
    D = Differential Backup
    I = Incremental Backup
  3. Date of the start of the event
  4. Time of the start of the event
  5. to the millisecond
  6. @ is a divider
  7. An 11 digit random string. This is created with an API for generating random strings of the operating system (base64url).

Administration Data for the Savesets

The names of the savesets are calculated by SEP sesam unambiguously from the backup time. For the restore a table of contents, which lists the saved files, is created for every saveset and managed under the according backup name and date (listing). In addition, there is the backup protocol which contains messages about the run of the backup as well as a list of files that could not be saved due to the system.

The following administration data is kept in the SEP sesam database for every executed backup:

  • Name from the time stamp as definite identification of the saveset
  • Task name
  • Date of the backup day
  • Execution counter of the task per backup day
  • CFDI type Copy,Full,Diff,Inc
  • Media counter - Distribution of the saveset on media
  • Labels of the media that were used
  • Drive number
  • Client from which the files were backed up
  • Backup source
  • Start and End time
  • Success state
  • Amount of saved data
  • Keyword if the backup was done with encryption

The success state of a backup is displayed in the column State in Backups by State. This information can be displayed in the SEP sesam interface with the help of various filters for analysis (backups by state, calendar sheet, etc.).

Results State

A Sesam task will be in one of the following states:

'working' SM_NEWDAY - special state for Sesam day change, 'w' is used instead of 'a' active to let newday task be invisible by concurrent running sm_break
'queued' - job is submitted in resource queue of SM_QM_MAIN but not yet started
'cancelled' without data transfer, usually a job with state 'q' is aborted then the state is changed into 'c'
'active': job is running
'error': job finished with detected error
'cancelled': SM_BACKUP was cancelled after beginning of data transfer
'empty LIS': SM_BACKUP finished without retrieving any data, may be in case of a DIFF or INCR backup and no data was changed since last referenced backup.
'with warnings'

SEP Sesam Log Files and their meaning

SEP Sesam Server Components SESAM_VAR/var/log/lgc with extension .lgc for current and _{date}.lgx for older log files.
SMS and STPD Components SESAM_VAR/var/log/sms, extension .log.
SEP Sesam Server GUI Component SESAM_VAR/var/log/lgc/sm_gui_server.lgc for current log file and sm_gui_server_{date}.lgx for older log files.

SEP sesam in the Network

Several Network Interfaces

Problems in Environments with Firewalls

SEP sesam Interfaces

SEP sesam offers several interfaces that can be configured by the user. They can be programmed freely. The Templates of the programs are located in <sesamroot>/skel/templates. To activate them the files first have to be copied to <sesamroot>/bin/sesam. There they can be adjusted with any text editor.

The following interfaces are available:

Name Command is executed on
PRE sbc_pre Client
POST sbc_post Client
DISASTER sm_disaster Server
NOTIFY sm_notify Server
ALARM sm_alarm Server
  • On Windows machines, all commands have the ending .cmd or .ps1 when using Powershell.
  • Since SEP sesam Server also implicitly functions as a backup client, this is where the PRE/POST interface is executed.


Before starting a backup special measures can be taken on the client.

  • Messages,
  • Quitting programs, e.g. databases
  • Certain actions, e.g. exporting a database

These actions can be programmed freely with the help of the Pre interface. You can enter anything that is executable on the according operating system.

The call is done with 10 arguments from the current SEP sesam backup task:

Arg.Nr Meaning
1 Backup source
2 Name of the machine you want to back up (Tape server interface)
3 SESAM task name
4 Drive number
5 Backup type: Copy, Full, Differential, Incremental
6 Execution counter of the task in the backup day (= number of the LIS file)
7 Saveset name
8 Label of the used medium
9 Media pool of the used medium
10 Schedule that started the backup

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

Changing backup source

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


SEP sesam checks this output of the PRE activity and proceeds with the scheduled backup task according to the setting 'Start backup despite Pre error'.


After finishing a backup special measures can also be taken on the client, e.g.

  • Starting a database
  • Messages that the backup is finished
  • Deleting the export file

These actions can be programmed freely with the Post interface.

SEP sesam evaluates the status of a backup before the Post processing is started. If the status is failed, post processing is only started if the option Start despite backup errors is set for the task.

The call is done with 12 arguments:

Arg.Nr Meaning
1 Backup source
2 Name of the machine you want to back up (Tape server interface)
3 Task name
4 Drive number
5 backup type: C_opy, F_ull, D_ifferential, I_ncremental
6 Status of the backup ( 1 = ok, 0 = error )
7 Message concerning the backup
8 Execution counter of the task on the backup day (= Number of the LIS-file)
9 Saveset name
10 Label of the used medium
11 Media pool of the used medium
12 Schedule that started the backup

Before the end of the procedure either




has to be written to standard output.

If the Post procedure ends with an error, the backup state says Warning.


sm_notify is called in the following cases:

  1. Backup is finished
  2. Restore is finished
  3. Medium is requested

Unlike sm_alarm the call is also done for successful executions of the action. The call is always done with two parameters:

  1. Module name
  2. Message

The following module names are used:


Is called at the end of a backup.

Task name and state of the backup.


sm_notify BACKUP "kbx11_etc: successful without warnings"


As soon as the last backup of a backup group is finished the interface is called with an overall status for the backup group.

Group name and state of the backup group.


sm_notify BACKUP_GROUP: "haus: 9, Error: 1, Cancelled: 0, Warning: 3, Success: 5"


As soon as all scheduled backups for a sesam day are finished. Here you can e.g. send an email with the backup state or unload a tape drive.

Overview of the backup state on this sesam day


 sm_notify ALL_JOBS_DONE "102 backups finished with 23 failed, \
 17 with warnings and 62 successful."

Example of a sm:notify:

  • Sending an email with the backup state
  • Unloading the tape drive with the 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 started as soon as SEP sesam requires a different medium and can't load it by itself, that is, mainly for single tape drive.

Label of the medium which is requested


This is called whenever a medium has been initialized.

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


Is triggered after each migration job

Status of migration
sm_notify COPY_SAVESET "SESAM_BACKUP: 20130317175323791: I006-COPY    Migration of save set SC20130316131509562@BZu4ShasV46 finished sucessfully"


Is triggered after last migration of migration task finished

Overview of all migrations from single migration task
sm_notify COPY "I008-COPY    Migrate task MIG-20130521_12260396 (20130501100014759) successfully finished: 5 save sets: 5 successful and 0 failed"


sm_alarm is always called if a SEP sesam action fails. The module names are the same as for sm_notify

For a single tape drive tape change the sm_alarm SM_GET_VOLUME is started after 15 minutes. This way you have enough time to e.g. insert the requested medium for a restore without causing an alarm.

  # Example
    source `grep -i '^sm_ini=' /etc/sesam2000.ini|cut -d"=" -f2` 2>/dev/null
     ## Set mail subject
     mail_subject="Sesam $1 $2"
     ## Send Sesam status file as mail body
     sm_smtp -A "sesam" -s "$mail_subject" -M "gv_dayfile:" -a "gv_prot:"
     ## Set mail subject
     mail_subject="Sesam $1 $2"
     ## Send Sesam not file as mail body
     f=$( echo $2|cut -d ':' -f 1)
     echo $f
     sm_smtp -A "sesam" -s "$mail_subject" -M "$( ls -tr ${gv_rw_lis}/$f*not|tail -1 )" ""
  #--------------- MAIN ----------------------
  source "${gv_rw_ini}/sesam2000.profile" >/dev/null 2>&1
  echo "$0" "$*" >> "${gv_rw_lgc}/sm_alarm.lgc"
  case $1 in
           #send_mail "$1" "$2"
           send_mail "$1" "$2";;
           send_backup_mail "$1" "$2"
           send_mail "$1" "$2" "$3"
           send_mail "$1" "$2"


sm_disaster is always called after the task SESAM_BACKUP is finished. The program is given all information on the last sesam self backup. This makes the restore of SEP sesam in case of a disaster possible.


This interface should always be configured! - The SESAM_BACKUP always has to be executed as FULL or COPY !

SEP sesam CLI

The SEP sesam Command Line Interface (SEP sesam CLI) is used for the automatic configuration of the SEP sesam environment without having to use the SEP sesam GUI. Furthermore it can be used to start preexisting tasks. This lets you implement script-controlled processes in the SEP sesam environment.


Starting a Backup

The backup task TEST_BACKUP is supposed to immediately be started as a Full backup to the media pool DISK.

 sm_cmd backup -j TEST_BACKUP -m DISK -l F

Tips & Tricks

Compressing SEP sesam Listing Files

In order to save space all LIS files that are older than n days (here 3) can be compressed.

Enable LIS file compression in the GUI: Configurations --> Defaults --> Extras --> Compress LIS fils

Lis komprimieren.png

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.

Starting the GUI without Icon

If there is no icon available on the Linux desktop, the GUI can also be started with the command line.

 sesam_gui -S <SEP sesam Server>[<:port>] -M [0|1|2]
-M N
turn off the Master GUI (N=0), connect directly to several SEP sesam Servers (N=2)

Master GUI

The Master GUI is used to easily manage several SEP sesam Servers. The servers are independent SEP sesam Servers. The sesam Master interface includes several additional buttons and adjustment options that let you access the user interfaces of the other SEP sesam Servers. All local GUIs of the distributed SEP sesam Servers run parallel and can still be used autarkic.

Main de.JPG


  • all SEP sesam Servers have to have the same main version (e.g. 4.0.x)

Afterwards servers can be added via GUI->Configuration->Remote server.


  1. the GUI client is located on a SEP sesam Server
  2. the names of the other servers are determined from the database
  3. the connection to these servers is created

The effect of this is that:

  • if the connection to the Master GUI server is lost, the other connections are closed as well.
  • the access from the GUI client to every server has to be possible (Routing, Firewall..).


In case there are problems during the activation of the connection to a remote server you should always try to create a direct connection first.

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

Adjustments without GUI

Some special adjustment can't be done from the GUI at the moment.

Backup without using the Archive Bits in Windows

Windows operating systems use the Archive Bit (A-Bit) in the file properties to manage file changes. It is set to the value 1 whenever the file is accessed and changed. By default, the Archive Bit is not used by SEP sesam, however it can be forced, if necessary, in the options with -o clear_archive. Normally the time information for a FULL, DIFF or INC backup is saved in the SEP sesam database since the Archive Bit may also be altered by other programs.

Influence of the backup types on the A-Bit:

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

Instead of the Archive Bit SEP sesam can also use a time stamp that is saved in the internal DB. This is mainly interesting if other programs also use the Archive Bit.

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

For UNIX Systems

Deactivating the timestamp file used by UNIX for a UNIX backup. Instead, the timestamp of the SEP sesam DB is used.

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

Environment for SEP sesam Processes

Especially for database backups it is important that certain environment variables are set. This can be done with entries in sm.ini file under section [ENVIRONMENT].


These entries are read and set by SEP sesam at startup. All processes that are started by SEP sesam then maintain these settings.

Disabling the Alive-Test

The SEP sesam Alive-Test, which periodically checks if the backup client is still available during a backup, can be disabled with the following command:

 sm_glbv w gv_ctrlc_no_alive on

It can be reactivated with:

 sm_glbv R gv_ctrlc_no_alive


See: Troubleshooting Guide