Pulse kicked-off today with the Business Partner Summit. I attended the IBM Information Archive session where the partners attending and I learned about the Archiving Ecosystem and how IBM Infromation Archive helps: reduce costs, improve productivity / effeciency and reduce risks. Information Archive is a simplified, cloud-ready smart business system.
Some important questions to help understand whether or not an archiving solution is needed include:
What are you doing to better manage the explosive growth of email + attachments on your mail servers?
What are you doing to better manage other types of content such as files, sharepoint data, social networking, images, videos, etc.?
Have you ever had to respond to a legal discovery request?
What is your litigation and/or compliance risk (how many lawsuits and/or industry regulations are you prepared to defend) and how are you managing paper and electronic info...
The partners in the session had a lot of great comments and questions. I met a few of the partners... Bill Mansfield from Logicalis and Mike Wiseley and Bruce Wolff from Agilysys. Below is a picture of Mike and Bruce.
If you are a partner and you were unable to attend the IBM Information Archive session (or you attended but want to hear more) you can attend the other sessions that are scheduled at Pulse: A technical look inside IBM's next generation archive appliance Tuesday 3:30-4:30pm @ RM 120 IBM's Smart Archive Strategy Simplifying Information Retention Tuesday 5:00-6:00pm @ RM 120 Birds of a Feather: IBM Smart Archive Strategy Discussion Tuesday 6:00-7:00pm @ RM 120
Next stop for me is the Pulse 2010 Business Partner Summit General Session!
on my previous blog i've discussed some of the viable approaches to data protection with virtual machines, before i dwell into the pros and cons of each approach i'd like to discuss the fundamental differences between file level and block level backup (and solicit your input :-) ).
Encapsulation is one of the basic rules for software design, simply put, it's the computer geek's equivalent of the famous "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. The idea is pretty simple, let's assume our File System is component A and our Disk System is component B. Component A and B publish a public interface that others can use, but they hide their internal mechanisms from the other components. This enables us to do some nifty tricks, such as RAID, as far as the file system is concerned it is working with a "regular disk", it is unaware of the fact that our disk system had actually taken the 100GB disk space that we defined and partitioned it into multiple strips that are actually located across 5 different disks in order to provide it (the FS) with better performance and hardware fault tolerant. There are other ways where this principle is used but you have to agree that it comes in pretty handy.
But, why do i even mention "encapsulation", and how is that relevant to File VS Block level backups?
The point i am trying to make is that the Disk level is not aware of the "file contents"and the File System is not aware of the "disk layout", this actually dictates the pros and cons of those two very different approaches to data protection.
With file level backups it's really easy to define which files you want to protect, than when the time comes, someone has to access the files and move the data they contain to some sort of data repository, in order to do that you must deal with issues such as:
- Open files
- Interdependencies between multiple files
- Identifying which (sub)files have changed
- For structured data (databases etc.), do we backup the entire file (or file group) or only the portions that have changed?
Block level backups are usually pretty straight forward, there's a mechanism that keeps track of the changed in "realtime" (this usually enables CDP, but that's a whole different story) and when the time comes the data will be moved to the data repository, but this technology has its own challenges
- Minimum granularity is usually a volume
- Hard to exclude unused file data (page file?)
- Recovering files from a block level backup
- Communicating with applications (and File System) to ensure backup consistency.
Generally speaking block level backups have a "lower overhead" than file level backup, so, if you decided to virtualize your environment and keep using agents on the individual virtual machines, you would probably want to use a block level backup solution. File Level backups are still viable (especially if they skip the "indexing" process by using an FS filter or journaling and allow for "sub file" incremental backup), but you will need to be more careful when planning your backup windows in order to prevent VM sprawl.
Stay tuned, next we'll discuss other approaches such as proxy backups
On 19 March 2010, IBM will release Tivoli Storage Manager V6.2, the next in a long line of enhancements to the leader in enterprise-wide data protection, unified recovery management and effective data reduction. Highlighting this release is the addition of source (client-side) data deduplication, tighter integration with TSM FastBack, enhanced support for virtual server environments, automatic deployment of Windows client upgrades, and improved automation and performance of back-end data management processing.
Source (Client-Side) Data Deduplication: Eliminates sending over the network the chunks of data that are already managed by the TSM Server, speeding backups and reducing bandwidth requirements. This is an excellent remote office backup solution for offices with a small number of servers, where the addition of a separate backup server is not justifiable.
Tighter integration with TSM FastBack: Further delivering on Unified Recovery Management, TSM FastBack servers and TSM FastBack for Workstations clients can now be managed directly by the TSM Admin Center. From a single user interface, you can now manage your end-to-end data protection and recovery infrastructure.
Enhanced support for Virtual Server Environments: Support for the VMware vStorage API and VSS snapshots in Microsoft Hyper-V give customers more choices and greater control of protecting and restoring data on virtual servers.
Automatic deployment of Windows Client Upgrades: Configurable policies and schedules for pushing client updates will help reduce administration time as well as the risk of errors that can occur when manually updating a large number of client systems.
Improved Automation and Performance of Back-End Data Management Processes: The TSM Server can now simultaneously perform several data management processes, including data migration, copy pool backup and copy active data; this can result in freeing up server resources for other tasks, including additional or more frequent backup job processing.
The end of last year was pretty hectic for a lot of us and you might not have attended IBM's "Information on Demand Gala" but as a refresher, we introduced our Smart Archive Strategy. Several of my customers have been asking for a refresher on the topic and we've just posted a short video describing this comprehensive approach that combines IBM software, systems and service capabilities designed to help you extract value and gain new intelligence from information by collecting, organizing, analyzing and leveraging that information. For more information, watch this video, visit the IBM Smart Archive Strategy Website and meet me at Pulse 2010 by attending the Storage Track sessions to discuss your specific archiving needs.
The count down is on... with only 2 weeks left to Pulse 2010, I wanted to give you and update on additional perks you'll have access to if you register and attend. Meet the Experts! Talk one-on-one with Product Experts
Booth 80: SAN Volume Controller and Tivoli Storage Productivity Center – storage virtualization, storage resource management, data discovery
Optimizing Infrastructure: Smarter Systems, Storage and Information Retention Zone
Booth 92: IBM Information Archive and IBM Smart Archiving Strategy
Booth 93: IBM XIV: Storage Reinvented
Booth 95: IBM System Storage DS8000 Series
Delivering Business Value with Smarter Services
Booth 79: IBM Storage Enterprise Resource Planner
Check out my previous blog,The Pulse Roadmap to Storage Expertise, for information on some of the sessions that you can attend. Use the on-line agenda tool
to build your agenda and view all the sessions available (requires only
an IBM.com password - you do NOT have to be a Pulse registered attendee
to create a Pulse schedule online).
Share Your Story This year at Pulse 2010 we are scheduling video tape interviews with clients who are willing to share their thoughts on what they are doing to achieve visibility, control, and automation in their infrastructure. We will be filming client videos at Pulse starting Sunday, February 21, through Wednesday, February 24. The content will be used to produce short videos that we will leverage to tell the needs clients are addressing in their organizations. Our customers have been sharing their stories throughout 2009 as you can see below. Interested in participating? Notify me at email@example.com
The last time I blogged I was telling you about IBM Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager on Windows and just how cool it was. Well, I am working on some more neat stuff and I wanted to tell you about a beta program for upcoming release of FlashCopy Manager. It is called the Beta program for IBM Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager. If you want to test some of the new functions and features of the upcoming release of IBM Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager, please contact Mary Anne Filosa (firstname.lastname@example.org) or your IBM Sales representative to get details.
The enrollment period is ending soon, so don't wait to be a part of the action!
IBM Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack is a great continuous data
protection, backup and recovery solution for both midmarket and
large enterprise organizations, for branch offices or data centers.
For more storage sessions while at Pulse 2010 check out this blog
Live Demo! IBM Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack for Exchange Scheduled Dates in 2010
Mark Your Calendars! IBM will be presenting a series of live demonstration dedicated to showing the value of IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) FastBack and TSM FastBack for Exchange data protection products. These additions to the TSM product family offers the ability to meet aggressive Recovery Point and Recovery Time Objectives in an organization's data protection service.
The TSM FastBack family provides many advanced features including: Instant Restore allows users to access to their data or application immediately, while the restore is taking place. Continuous Data Protection sends backup data continuously which allows a recovery to be done to any point in time. Incremental Forever Backups prevents wasting time and money in performing and storing unnecessary full backups. Each backup appears to be a Full backup, but only the blocks that have been modified are copied. FastBack Mount allows access to backed up data without it being recovered. This enables data to be validated after backups, the correct data to be identified before it is recovered, or data to be opened and its contents to be recovered at a more granular level, thus reducing the size and time of the recovery. Exchange Brick-level Recovery allows individual Exchange mail objects to be recovered from a previous backup without requiring an entire Exchange Database to be recovered. TSM FastBack for Exchange does not require additional backup processing to provide IMR. Branch Office Disaster Recovery allows replication of branch office backup data to a central site. This data can be compressed and encrypted during the transfer. The replicated data at the central site can be used as the source for creating a tape copy of the data or for recovering branch office data and hosts. TSM FastBack allows the backups and replication of multiple branch offices to be monitored with a single tool. TSM FastBack Bare Machine Recoveryallows hosts to be quickly recovered, even to dissimilar hardware.
These demonstrations are open to Customers, Business Partners and IBM employees.
TSM FastBack Demo Schedule for 2010: Demos will be available in English and Spanish. All English calls will be at 10:30 AM and 3:00 PM Central Time on Thursdays. All Spanish calls will be available at 1:00 PM Central Time on Wednesdays.
February: Wednesday 10th - Spanish 1:00 PM CT, Thursday 11th - English 10:30 AM CT , Thursday 25th - English 3:00 PM CT
March: Wednesday 10th - Spanish 1:00 PM CT, Thursday 11th - English 10:30 AM CT, Thursday 25th - English 3:00 PM CT
April: Thursday 8th - English 10:30 AM CT, Wednesday 14th - Spanish 1:00 PM CT, Thursday 22nd - English 3:00 PM CT
May: Wednesday 12th - Spanish 1:00 PM CT, Thursday 13th - English 10:30 AM CT, Thursday 27th - English 3:00 PM CT
June: Wednesday 9th - Spanish 1:00 PM CT, Thursday 10th - English 10:30 AM CT, Thursday 24th - English 3:00 PM CT
July: Thursday 8th - English 10:30 AM CT, Wednesday 14th - Spanish 1:00 PM CT, Thursday 22nd - English 3:00 PM CT
August: Wednesday 11th - Spanish 1:00 PM CT, Thursday 12th - English 10:30 AM CT, Thursday 26th - English 3:00 PM CT
September: Wednesday 8th - Spanish 1:00 PM CT, Thursday 9th - English 10:30 AM CT, Thursday 23th - English 3:00 PM CT
October: Wednesday 13th - Spanish 1:00 PM CT, Thursday 14th - English 10:30 AM CT, Thursday 28th - English 3:00 PM CT
November: Thursday 4th - English 10:30 AM CT, Wednesday 10th - Spanish 1:00 PM CT, Thursday 18th - English 3:00 PM CT
December: Thursday 2nd - English 10:30 AM CT, Wednesday 8th - Spanish 1:00 PM CT, Thursday 16th - English 3:00 PM CT
There are Web Conference and Audio Conference components to this demonstration. Web Conference www.sametimeunyte.com Conference ID is FASTBAK Prior to the web conference, we suggest you do the following: 1) go to www.sametimeunyte.com 2) click on Support 3) click on Lotus Sametime Unyte Meeting System Check 4) Select attendee type and click Next 5) Proceed with the system check and install any plug-ins required.
English Live Demo Audio Conference: Title: TSM Fastback LIVE Demo Passcode: FASTBACK Toll Free: 800-857-4143 Toll: 773-756-0845
IBM will be providing a series of live web-based demonstrations dedicated to showing you the value of IBM Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager. It will also show you how the product works. These will be DEMOS of live code.
Organizations seeking to improve protection for Business Critical Application Data can leverage Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager to simplify management through integration with IBM Storage Hardware Advanced Snapshot technology. As the first event in a series of Customer Web Conferences we will focus on demonstrating the features of Tivoli FlashCopy Manager for the Microsoft Exchange Environment.
Audience: IBM Customers and their associated IBM and Business Partner Sales representatives
Key Features of Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager include:
Near-instant application-aware snapshots
Improved Application Availability and Service Levels through near-instant restore capabilities reducing application downtime
Integration with IBM Storage Subsystems --- SVC, and all supported IBM and Non-IBM Disk Subsystems, DS/8000, XIV, and DS/5000, DS4000, and DS3000 arrays
Application support for IBM DB2, SAP, Oracle, Microsoft Exchange and SQL Server
Support for clustered Application Environments
Optional Support for Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) Integration for more advanced Data Management
Hosts: John F. Miller, IBM North American Sales Executive Neil Rasmussen, IBM Software Designer for Tivoli Software
Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager Demo Schedule All calls will begin at 12noon ET for 1 Hour
Tuesday February 9th 2010 --- Microsoft Exchange
Wednesday March 10th 2010 ---- Microsoft SQL Server
I don't know about you, but I have been virtualizing like crazy over the last few years, humongous servers have been turning into medium sized virtual machines, test and lab environments had turned into small files running on my laptop from a flash drive. My IT department have been virtualizing even more, consolidating servers, sharing storage resources among multiple machines and converting NICs (Network Interface Cards) into virtual switches (I still haven't figured out how they did that). The move into a virtualized environment is very useful for reducing energy consumption, decreasing physical server and storage foot print and driving up processor and storage utilization but it also has some side effects when it comes to data protection. The problem begins at the same place that drove us into virtualization to begin with, resource sharing, You may now have 10 virtualized servers running on the same physical host, if your backup process consumed only 5% CPU and IO on your physical server, imagine what would happen if all 10 virtual machines kick off the backup process at the same time... There are multiple valid approaches for providing data protection to those virtual machines and I’ll try to address each and every one of them in upcoming blogs…
File based VS block based backups
Keep your existing backup methodology (Agent-based backup)
Perform the backup through the host (VMware console/hyper-v host OS)
Hardware based snapshots
Utilize vendor specific APIs that provide "agentless" or off-host backup (VMware's VCB and vStorage)
Other enhancements that might not necessarily be backup related but have to be seriously considered when virtualizing include
Deduplication (client side or target side)
Stay tuned, I’ll be going into more details around File Based VS Block Based backups in my next blog.
It's great to see that IBM Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack will be
showcased as the back-up and recovery solution for Midsized
businesses and included in the Service Management for Midsized
Business Track at Pulse 2010. Also be sure to check out the Expo to
see the IBM Comprehensive Data Protection Solution Express
With only 4 weeks until Pulse 2010 - The Premier Service Management Event - Optimizing the World's Infrastructure, I thought it might be helpful to provide some details around the sessions and activities that will be available to all of you storage and information infrastructure enthusiasts out there.... Here are a few sessions that you can attend each day. Sign up for these sessions and others today (requires only an IBM.com password - you do NOT have to be a Pulse registered attendee to create a Pulse schedule online)! (Mon, 22/Feb)
The Data Juggernaut Meets IBM -- Storage & Information Infrastructure Track Kickoff
How Principal Financial Group Upgraded to TSM 6 in a Veritas Clustered Environment
Sprint Storage Virtualization Success with SVC
How France Telecom Benefits from SVC Management and Thin Provisioning
TSM 6 Upgrade Experience at Brookshire Grocery Company
How Pacific Northern Gas and Tourism Australia achieved near instant recovery while reducing costs and risks with TSM and TSM FastBack
How A Major Dutch Insurance Company Got the Most from Its Storage Environment with SVC and TPC
How OhioHealth and VCU Health Systems Leverage IBM Data Protection Software and Storage Systems to Scale for Growth
A Technical Look Inside IBM's Next-Generation Archive Appliance -- the IBM Information Archive
AT&T Automates Server and Storage Provisioning with Tivoli Provisioning Manager
Reduce your Data Storage Footprint to help Survive the Data Tidal Wave
Implementing TSM FastBack at the US Department of State
The Oakwood Healthcare System's Virtualization Story
Shipping Portal INTTRA Supports the Global Supply Chain with a World-Class IT Infrastructure from IBM
Solving the Business Challenge with Excellence: An IT TotalSolutions Approach Success Case
Go to the on-line agenda tool to see additional Storage and Information Infrastructure sessions that may be of interest to you. There are also sessions in the Expo Theater Stream. Register and attend Pulse to take full advantage of all that will be offered:
Yesterday, in discussing IBM's fourth quarter 2009 financial results, IBM CFO Mark Loughridge had this to say about Storage Software:
"Tivoli storage continued its robust growth as customers manage their rapidly growing storage data. Data Protection as well as Storage Management grew double digits, with broad-based geography and sector growth."
Cloud storage technologies made impressive strides in 2009, and the trend looks to build on that momentum in 2010. IBM is expecting steady growth in cloud storage deployments, especially in the areas of test environments, Web serving, and other non-mission-critical scale-out storage needs.
Standards in this area are just beginning to be discussed and will also be evolving in 2010. Standard file protocols such as CIFS and NFS are obvious starting points for cloud storage access, but other approaches utilizing object storage techniques have also been proposed.
To prepare for cloud storage within the data centers, IT managers will need to determine a small number of focused areas to use as starting points. In the short term, cloud storage is a technology that will be deployed to address specific and unique requirements across the enterprise. Therefore, it is recommended to carefully choose areas to pilot the technology where managers can gain insight into where they can extend usage into other areas and build skills for when it becomes more widely deployable.
Watch this video to gain important insight into what it takes to deploy and manage high available Cloud Storage environments.