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If you have used the i Series for a number of years, you know how solid the platform can be. Not surprising, this confidence can breed complacency where backups are concerned. You may be doing incremental or even full application backups periodically, but are you are neglecting the full system backup and IPL?  Make no mistake, a full system backup and IPL is a required bit of maintenance that you should not avoid. Some high volume users will do this critical piece of work weekly. A restore of critical data can take days to reassemble from the incremental saves done since your last full backup. Regular, periodic, full system saves gives you a solid reference point to rebuild your system in the event of a catastrophic failure. It also allows you to quickly restore certain libraries or files that may have been damaged or needed for researching a historical business problem.

A full system backup is a process that starts by restricting the system. It will then back up your entire file system to media, usually tape, including the licensed internal code, operating system, independent file system, user profiles and authorities, security objects, licensed program libraries and any other OS optional libraries. It continues to back up all application libraries, documents and folders and all user objects. It will also back up any independent ASP’s as a unit if you are utilizing them. As part of this maintenance you can choose to do a reclaim storage that will realign objects that have been moved during normal operations thereby freeing up valuable disk space you may not have realized was available. The final step is the IPL or initial program load. The IPL will reset system storage, fix some damaged objects, clear some unneeded spool and message files and give the OS a fresh start. This will also give you peace of mind.

Don’t neglect this essential but often overlooked function to keep your System i in top form!