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Centralized backup service

Through this service, the Computer Centre aims to provide all the Facultad de Informática's departments with a centralized, easy-to-use, safe and reliable system for making backup copies of the most critical information on their department servers.

The whole system has been set up on a hardware platform composed of an IBM/RS6000 (Raticulín), Fibre Channel IBM FastT600 disks and an Overland NEO 400 tape library. The RAID disk unit has a capacity of 504 GB.The tape unit has two loaders. It can load up to 28 tapes, each with an average capacity of approximately 1.6 TB.

On the software side, the base operating system is AIX. The IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) has been installed on top of this system.

All the machines that subscribe to this service will have to have the respective backup client (supplied by the CC) installed.

What is TSM?
Differences between BACKUP and ARCHIVE
Service Features
Client Needs 
Operating Mode
Basic Recommendations
Service Statistics

What is TSM?

TIVOLI Storage Manager (TSM) is an IBM tool for managing, making and retrieving backups of different network machines on a TSM central system or server. Multiple platform clients can connect to the TSM server.

This tool contains a range of components, including:

For this tool to work, all the components that you wish to connect to have to have a server and a client part. Focusing on the Backup/Archive component, there are clients for multiple environments, including:

Initially all client backup operations are dumped on the disk unit. Above the prescribed unit occupation limit, the information is sent to the tape robot. Thanks to this mechanism, the backup operations can be carried out without any supervision. On the other hand, there is a some likelihood of retrieval operations having to be supervised from the Operators Room.

The administrator has the possibility of defining many system parameters, including:

This parameter indicates the maximum number of copies of a file that can be stored. Every time a client makes a backup, it checks whether any changes have been made to the files. If so, a backup will be made. The server will store as many versions of the file as specified in this parameter. These copies will be called extra copies.

This parameter specifies how many days the extra copies will be kept for.

After a user intentionally or unintentionally deletes a file from their machine, all the extra copies are deleted from the server when a backup is made and the file is not found on the client. Only the last copy made is retained.

This parameter specifies how many days that file will be kept in the system for possible retrieval. After this time has expired, this file will be deleted from the server.

Using this parameter the administrator can force clients to automatically compress the information before it is sent.

Differences between BACKUP and ARCHIVE

The TSM tool can be used for both backup and archive.

The aim of backup is to make backup copies of the information on a machine, as well as retrieve this information if necessary.

Archive is viewed as the remote storage of a definite piece of information that is unlikely to be needed for a period of time, but has to be maintained on a number of grounds.

Service Features

This service was initially designed to support a maximum of two or three machines per department, subject in all cases to the volume of disk space available on each of these machines, as well as the daily mean change rate.

The necessary hardware requirements will be sized from the above parameters combined with the daily statistics supplied by the system.

The backup and archive services are made available to the departments under the specifications indicated by the Computer Centre.

Client Needs

The respective system client part will have to be installed on each of the systems that are to be connected to this service. The updated software versions for clients are available in the following directories:

This directory contains the clients that IBM has developed or supports. From this directory, access the v5r4 directory for the current software version. This directory contains the directories for each of the supported platforms.

This directory contains the versions of clients not developed directly by IBM.

The system administrators will be responsible for properly installing and setting up the clients required for backup.

Operating Mode

After a department submits a Centralized Backup Service subscription application to the CC, endorsed by the departmental head, the department's backup needs will be examined, planning how this service is to be provided and received.

This analysis will specify the files or file types that should and should not be backed up, and the maximum permitted space occupied by each machine. In principle, all a machine's operating system files, and software applications and tools that can be reinstalled at any time from their original support, will be excluded. It is possible, though, to make backups of systems files that contain environment-specific configuration information.

A TSM server client will be assigned to each system. Each department shall have to appoint a single backup service manager. This manager will be acquainted with the TSM users defined for his or her machines, as well as the user access passwords.

The CC will define the backup time windows in which each machine will be able to start backup, meaning that the scheduling option will have to be specified in the clients.

Initially, the backup policy is based on the following parameters:

The backups will take place in CC-defined backup time windows.

The Computer Centre takes responsibility for keeping the system operational, save in cases of force majeure and subject to the limitations on the resources available for this service.

Service users will be responsible for checking that the backups are made correctly and regularly. Periodically, the CC will issue system use check-up reports and will try to warn users of any detected problems.

As mentioned above, backup operations are unsupervised. To do this, the tape robot will have a big enough supply of tapes to guarantee service provision. On the other hand, there is a chance that you may require staff assistance for information retrieval from backup copies. For this reason, you should notify the Operators Room before starting a retrieval process. The Operators Room phone number is 7468. On this ground, the retrieval service will only be available in working hours.

Basic Recommendations

All clients have a configuration file where you should indicate the preferred options for each machine and most importantly:

For a more detailed description of the Exclude and Include parameters, see the respective manuals.


TSM Clients
Product Information http://www-3.ibm.com/software/tivoli/products/storage-mgr
Mailing List Messages http://www.adsm.org/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=1


Operators Room Phone Number: 7468

For more information, contact Lucía Bruno

Computer Centre