You either need to change your backup restore program to something that can do online backups and restores, or you need to use the tried and true OS/400 method of backing up to another partition/drive set on a snap during off-hours. Restores would then require a short downtime as you move the restored file from the backup area to production.
Isn't there a way to restore a file on the AS/400 using the RST command? An eight hour restore for one mail file is ridiculous.
There is also a BRMS product that will restore files much quicker, allowing you to use a sequence number to go right to the file on the tape.
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This was first published in September 2004