How to create a backup snapshot of WebSphere using Checkpoints

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You must have a certain role to be able to create or restore a checkpoint. Uses with the administrator or configurator role are allowed to create and restore checkpoints, because users with these roles have permission to make changes to the master repository. Users with any other role are not permitted to create or restore checkpoints.


Manually create full checkpoint

  1. In the left panel of the WebSphere web console, select System administration > Extended Repository Service.
  2. Select Repository Checkpoints.
  3. Select New.
  4. Give your checkpoint a name and description, and select OK.

In this example, a Full Checkpoint named Checkpoint001 was created. As the name implies, a Full Checkpoint is a complete copy of the entire configuration repository.


A checkpoint is a backup or snapshot of the WebSphere master configuration. A checkpoint can be used to restore WebSphere to a prior configuration. For example, lets say an application is mistakenly removed. In this example, the query application is removed.


Once removed, the query application is no longer listed.


Restore checkpoint

The prior checkpoint can be restore to return to the configuration that included the application that was removed. In this example, Checkpoint001 includes the query application. Select the checkpoint to restore and select Restore. 


Once the restore has completed, you will need to sign out and then back into the web console.


Once signed back into the web console, the query application has been successfully restored.


Automatically create delta checkpoints

  1. In the left panel of the WebSphere web console, select System administration > Extended Repository Service.
  2. Select Repository Checkpoints.
  3. Check Enable automatic repository checkpoints.
  4. Select OK.

By default, the automatic checkpoint depth is 5, which means that only the 5 most current checkpoints will be retained.


After enabling automatic checkpoints, Delta checkpoints will be created automatically after each configuration change. Unlike a full checkpoint, a Delta Checkpoint only created a before and after snapshot of the individual configuration file that was modified. One advantage of Delta Checkpoints is that they take less disk space and less time to create. One disadvantage of Delta Checkpoints is that you may need to restore multiple Delta Checkpoints, starting with the most recent, to restore a particular configuration.


For example, let's use an example where the Query application was mistakenly removed. During the removal of the application, there will be a prompt to save the configuration. This will create one or more Delta checkpoints.


There are now numerous Delta checkpoints. To restore the Query application, the Delta checkpoints will need to be restored, starting with the most current.


Archiving a checkpoint

Archiving a checkpoint is when you store backup copies of a full or delta checkpoint. When a full or delta checkpoint is created, two files will be created. One is a metadata file, and the other is the actual contents of the checkpoint. The metadata file is located at was_home/profiles/profile_name/config/cells/cell_name/repository/checkpoints/checkpoint_name/checkpoint.xml and the actual contents file is located at was_home/profiles/profile_name/checkpoints.

To archive a checkpoint, you simply will store the metadata and actual content files to a storage location. You must backup both the metadata and actual contents to be able to restore a checkpoint.

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