System Cleanup: My QUSRBRM/QA1ALI2 File is Large

Backup, Recovery, and Media Services (BRMS) is a great tool for backing up your system and keeping track of what data lives on what backup media. You can quickly look up libraries that you have backed up, see what day they were backed up on, what time, and the volume number they are on. As well, you can look up the times that you’ve backed up the Integrated File System (IFS), and if you tell BRMS to do so, it will keep track of all the objects you have backed up – every single one of them! While being able to look at every backup and drill down to a specific IFS object for a restore sounds FANTASTIC… it does come at a cost:  disk space.

Each day, your system should be running BRMS maintenance, which expires any volumes that have reached their expiration date.

When volumes expire, BRMS deletes the records it was keeping on that now expired volume. Because of this, you should also be running BRMS maintenance with a file reorganization as least once a week and at most once a day alongside maintenance (RGZBRMDB parameter in the STRMNTBRM command). The file reorganization will remove deleted records from the BRMS database files, which will return space back to your system.

Where BRMS can often chew away at your disk space is when you have a BRMS backup that runs often, backs up the entirety of the IFS, and then retains that data for a long time due to a long expiration date. Over time, this can cause your BRMS IFS database file (QUSRBRM/QA1ALI2) to swell to an enormous size. To control whether or not BRMS keeps information on IFS backups, you must look in your control groups you are using. Find all the items in your backups that are *LINK (all of IFS) or have a List Type of *LNK (often a subset of IFS data). Take a look at the Retain Object Detail column. If this is set to *YES for these items, then BRMS, by default, is keeping track of everything backed until it is cleaned up during maintenance. This adds up to hundreds of thousands to multiple millions of records per backup.

Retain object detail inside a BRMS control group. A copy of the *SYSTEM control group will have this set to *YES by default.

My recommendation for anyone that has lengthy retentions of …

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