Let’s face it, although it may be rare, hardware or an OS failures still do occur on occasion. When you enter the restore and reconfigure stage after a failure, being able to quickly reload your finely tuned configuration settings can save you hours of work. Maybe not a big deal if you are monitoring say, 10 servers; but if you are monitoring a hundred, or even hundreds, then it’s a whole other ball game.

In fact, our support engineers recently assisted a customer who’s OS failed after a Microsoft update. Fearing they would have to go through an extensive re-configuration of ELM is what prompted this article. With a quick restore of their configuration files from a backup, they were up and running in minutes, not hours!

Getting Started
The ELM Server stores the majority of its configuration data in the ELM installation directory (c:Program FilesELM Enterprise Manager). Depending on your needs, some or all of the components described below should be backed up.

ELM Backup Files

The appSettings.xml file stores settings for ELM reporting options, directories, timeouts and the home/standby server settings. Updates are relatively infrequent and do not use the internal notification mechanism like with the .dat file. Therefore the ELM Server service does not need to be stopped to backup this file.

The databaseSettings.xml file has the connection string and credentials for ELM to connect to the databases, the database pruning filters as well as the pruning schedule. Just like the appSettings.xml file, the ELM Server service does not need to be stopped to backup this file, but all ELM Wizards should be closed.

The ELM Server is notified internally when its configuration changes. If no more changes occur for a fifteen second period, then the ELM Server writes the changes to its current configuration in the .dat file.

When the ELM Server is started, it loads the configuration in the server .dat file. If this loads successfully, the ELM Server then makes a .bak copy of the configuration. Stopping the ELM Server service and backing up both the .dat and .bak files provides a copy of the current configuration and the prior configuration.

We recommend backing up at least the .bak file to backup media. If many changes have been made since the last time the ELM Server service was started, then we recommend stopping the ELM Server service, making a backup of the .dat, and then restarting the ELM Server service. Note that this will momentarily interrupt data collection and notifications.

This file stores the majority of the configuration settings in ELM including:

  • Assigned Monitor Items
  • Notification Rules
  • Notification Methods
  • Include/Exclude Filters
  • Event Views
  • As well as the ELM Console snap-in security settings

If you are not actively making configuration changes in ELM on a regular basis, a good rule of thumb is to backup the files listed above at least on a weekly basis. Depending on the magnitude of your monitored environment of course, the total file size for backup of these components is likely less than 15MB.

For more details on creating backups as well as how to restore ELM Server Configuration settings we encourage you to visit the Administrator Guide section of the Help File, then Planning Guide > Backup Guidelines.

These backup guidelines also come in very handy when you are migrating your ELM installation to another server. For more details on ELM Server Migration, check out our KBA section.

We hope that you found this article on Backups – Easy to do and Priceless When Needed useful and wish you continued success with ELM.