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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    3

    Unanswered: Informix Help Requested!

    Hi Database Experts :-)

    I have a tricky issue which I need some help with.

    I have a client who has a rather large Informix Database backup file the
    header reads:

    "Archive Backup Tape Informix Universal Server Version 9.14.UC6"

    Said client used to create these files in a folder called "/dbback/" on a
    solaris box (Unknown release/version etc), I've been asked to see if I can
    restore the archive to a new server, then extract the data from the restored
    tables into a different server not running informix.

    My problem is I'm no DBA person, I'm a dev who also happens to have time
    served server admin skills, I know enough SQL to do standard crud stuff and
    write apps around it on most platforms, but beyond that .. knowing the
    specifics is not really my strong point.

    My question is this, does anyone know of a way that I can retrieve the data
    from the backup file, even if it's all as just CSV/Ascii i really don't care,
    attaching the file back onto the original server it was generated from is out
    of the question beacuse it does not exist any more, it has shall we say met
    it's maker.

    I have the free informix developer version installed on my windows X64 box,
    and that has ontape/onbar etc (Which I believe where used to create the
    backup previously) , so would it be possible to use any thing in that install
    to assist me?

    If I have to, I really don't have a problem with writing an app to open the
    database archive directly, if someone knows of a source of technical info
    that describes the files format.

    I'm stuck against a brick wall here, any ideas to get past it would be
    greatfully welcomed.

    Many thanks

    Shawty

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Germany, Brunswick
    Posts
    55
    I think there is only one way to do this:
    Install a IDS 9.14.UC6 with same OS, restore Backup, make a DBExport, insert the export into another database.

    How big is your backup?
    WilhelmW

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    3
    I have 2 backups, but the one I'm trying to restore is 213Mb+

    I asked this question in another forum and again the answer was, you need an Identical server setup to what the file was backed up from.

    While I can understand the various reasons for this, I've got to say I do find it a bit crazy, what (as has happened in my case) the original server has died completley, and the old version of OS + Hardware combination can no longer be purchased from anywhere due to it's age, only more upto date versions are available.

    Effectively the purpose of backing up is to safe gaurd data, but it this case it's almost as useless as not backing up at all.

    Do you know of any 3rd party applications that can convert the backup file, or extract it's contents?

    Or... as I previously mentioned....

    Is the File format available anywhere, I don't mind having to write an APP to pull the back up apart if that's what I have to, but recreating any of the original setup is completley out of the question.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7
    Well for my $.02, i would definately try a restore to the same Informix version on the same OS even if you cannot get the OS version matched.

    As for the file layout of the actual archive. this is something that you would have a lot of trouble even doing let alone getting the layout from IBM. As a former Informix employee, I can tell you that the archive file is laid out in much the same manner as your disks are. When you get to the meat of the archive, it is just reading big buffers in and writing them to tape. So, w/o all of the overhead that the Informix engine does to store and retrieve you data, it would look pretty much useless.

    Sorry, not what you wanted to hear but it is what it is.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    3
    Thanks for your answer dan.

    This is looking more and more likley like it's just not going to be possible to do.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    16
    Quote Originally Posted by shawtyds View Post
    I have 2 backups, but the one I'm trying to restore is 213Mb+

    I asked this question in another forum and again the answer was, you need an Identical server setup to what the file was backed up from.

    While I can understand the various reasons for this, I've got to say I do find it a bit crazy, what (as has happened in my case) the original server has died completley, and the old version of OS + Hardware combination can no longer be purchased from anywhere due to it's age, only more upto date versions are available.

    Effectively the purpose of backing up is to safe gaurd data, but it this case it's almost as useless as not backing up at all.

    Do you know of any 3rd party applications that can convert the backup file, or extract it's contents?

    Or... as I previously mentioned....

    Is the File format available anywhere, I don't mind having to write an APP to pull the back up apart if that's what I have to, but recreating any of the original setup is completley out of the question.
    Hi... Given the content of my reply I think It's fair to say I'm an IBM employee, although the following is my personal view and I'm not acting as an IBMer etc... (standard disclaimer).

    The backup image you have is a binary format image of your system. And that format can (and have) changed through the various Informix versions.
    This is the reason why tou need a similar platform and Informix version to be able to restore it.

    I think it's not fair to say the backup is useless. You had a system for which you have no support (either OS or database) and that you're not able to restart. If that was a live system it's not a good idea. If that was a system stalled in time than you should have done other kind of information salvage (like a dbexport). The purpose of a backup image is to restore the system to an operational state (as it was). You should have at least kept your installation images (OS, Informix etc.). That would allow you to restore your system into any other box (with the same architecture).
    As it is, the only option I see is to get another server and the installation of Informix... But you mention that's not an option, so I don't think anybody can help you. It's possible that it would work with other Informix versions... But I think recent ones will validate the backup version... Maybe if you can get hold of some older (9.20, 9.30 or 9.40) version... But you would need a box to install it... If you have some kind of relation with IBM maybe you can get an older version (although such an old one would be a challenge for the regular support engineer...)

    Good luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    65
    Provided Answers: 1
    Quote Originally Posted by shawtyds View Post
    I have 2 backups, but the one I'm trying to restore is 213Mb+

    I asked this question in another forum and again the answer was, you need an Identical server setup to what the file was backed up from.

    While I can understand the various reasons for this, I've got to say I do find it a bit crazy, what (as has happened in my case) the original server has died completley, and the old version of OS + Hardware combination can no longer be purchased from anywhere due to it's age, only more upto date versions are available.

    Effectively the purpose of backing up is to safe gaurd data, but it this case it's almost as useless as not backing up at all.

    Do you know of any 3rd party applications that can convert the backup file, or extract it's contents?

    Or... as I previously mentioned....

    Is the File format available anywhere, I don't mind having to write an APP to pull the back up apart if that's what I have to, but recreating any of the original setup is completley out of the question.
    So you had unsupported hardware, unsupported OS and unsupported Informix.
    You did not upgrade ANY of those. And now you blame 1/3 of such case.
    Since I'm sure you payed all these years for support, what you should be doing is that you should upgraded your Informix to newer versions.

    Well, I'm sure you have backup of INFORMIXDIR from that machine, so you can try to restore that backup on as old as possible solaris and then you can try to restore that backup.

    Also, you can try to restore that backup to the same Informix version on other platform - but Informix must have the same page size on that platform as on solaris (2k).

    You can try to find some Informix (IBM) business partner who can do something.

    Finally, you can call IBM, I'm sure they will find a way to work it out.

    ibm.ids

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