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TCP/IP-Based Customized Computer System Automated Rebuild Tool Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013977D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-19

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Disclosed in this invention is a means of rebuilding computer systems following significant error events via the usage of TCP/IP networks. As modern computer environments become ever-more complex, with large disk arrays, shared data, and wide-spread user bases, recreating a system environment following a catastrophic failure has become an ever-more difficult task. Rebuilding AIX* images, in particular, requires an awareness of many system parameters, including printer configuration, tty definitions, network interfaces, user id's, and passwords. Failure to maintain awareness of these parameters may result in the inability to rebuild a system following such a catastrophic failure. Furthermore, even if an awareness is maintained of these parameters, the reconstruction of such system specifics can be both time consuming and prone to administrator error. Therefore, a desirable innovation would not only preserve data about these parameters, but would also provide reconstructive services in the aftermath of such a disaster. Finally, a particularly convenient feature would also permit these rebuild operations to occur across TCP/IP-based computer networks, such that physical proximity to the damaged system would not necessarily be required, and that all the transmission and communication confidences associated with various TCP/IP protocols could be used to guarantee the successful rebuild. By use of the widespread TCP/IP family of protocols, this innovation is extendible and applicable to a broad range of platforms. Furthermore, remote operations would be permitted whether the functional host machine and the damaged target machine are on the same subnet within the same building, or across the globe and reachable only by Internet connections. An innovation which has been developed by that solves the problem of post-failure rebuild for many system parameters, and utilizes TCP/IP connectivity in the manner described above. Specifically, a set of comprehensive scripts have been painstakingly constructed to record many facets of a system's configuration, including printer definitions, tty definitions, network interfaces, user id's, and passwords. Furthermore, the outputs of these scripts can be fed into their reconstructive counterparts, another series of scripts which have the ability to automatically reconstruct lost or destroyed system parameters back onto the 1 "damaged" computer. Thus, if any of the aforementioned parameters are lost via hardware, software, or administrator error, they can be easily reconstructed using the mechanisms laid out here. Note that although these scripts were written for AIX-based systems, the principles here can be extended to other architectures as mentioned above.