IBM’s initiative to bring enterprise level solutions to small & medium businesses continues with VSC Entry product announcement at Pulse on 25th February.
With increasing speed of innovation, the need to move to new technologies is stronger than ever before. There is a growing interest among SMBs to better harness technology but they are worried about costs and having the right skills. To address the small and midsized business storage challenge IBM is now offering a smaller, less expensive and easier to use data management solution package to SMBs. SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center Entry V5.2 and SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center for Storwize Family V5.2 are now available with pricing for use in smaller virtualized data storage configurations.
SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center Entry V5.2 can be used in conjunction with two or fewer SAN Volume Controller (SVC) I/O groups, thereby consisting of up to four machine type 2145 hardware engines, for up to 250 TB of managed capacity.
SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center for Storwize Family V5.2 can be used in conjunction with Storwize family hardware engines providing the data storage virtualization, such as a Storwize V7000 control enclosure, with no restrictions on the quantity of I/O groups.
SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center Entry offers the same features and functions as offered by the SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center V5.2 for larger enterprises, but at a more cost-effective, per-terabyte license for smaller storage environments so all thepain points are covered with the additional option of upgrading to a larger storage solution as the needs grow. It enables easy migration to agile, cloud-based storage environments, enabling organizations to optimize provisioning, capacity, availability, reporting and management for virtualized storage.
With the pressure of adopting Social, Mobile, Analytics & Cloud to drive business growth and to stay ahead of competition, SMBs are realizing the importance of underlying infrastructure & it’s management system. The Entry offering enables easy adoption of enterprise level storage infrastructure management solution that holds the potential to grow & compete in this fast pace environment.
While at Pulse 2014the product has already drawn some positive reviews. Joe King, Vice President of Presales Consulting at CAS Severn (@jckingmd) tweeted: Policy based storage placement is a cakewalk with Virtual Storage Center Entry. The Power of Analytics is here today at
Don’t miss the session "Software-Defined Storage using SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center" today, 1:30pm at Expo Theater #IBMPulse. You will learn how
SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center (VSC) 5.2 makes the life of the storage administrator easier!
VSC becomes a key component in the control plane of a Software-Defined Storage (SDS) solution
VSC can add value to OpenStack-based IaaS solutions
Look into IBM announcement letter for more information. http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?infotype=AN&subtype=CA&htmlfid=897/ENUS214-072&appname=USN
Hybrid cloud was a hot topic at Pulse2014. The data intensive nature of data protection makes it a good case study for exploring the business and technical benefits of hybrid cloud.
Figure 1: Storage Press Panel at Pulse2014.
From left to right: Thomas Bak, Front-Safe; Stephen Jones, TriDatum; Ron Hess, Hutchinson Regional Medical Center; Richard Spurlock, Cobalt Iron, Ian Smith, IBM
On Tuesday afternoon, members of the press were treated to a discussion with customers and service providers using hybrid cloud data protection today. Ian Smith, Director of Storage software at IBM moderated the discussion. The panel included experts from 3 continents, including:
Richard Spurlock, CEO, Cobalt Iron
Ron Hess, Client and Infrastructure Services Supervisor, Hutchinson Regional Medical Center
Thomas Bak, CSO, Front-Safe
Stephen Jones, CEO, TriDatum
Alex.Fagioli, CEO, Tectrade
Richard Bates, CTO, Predetar
Christian Svensson, CEO, Cristie Nordic
Pétur Eyþórsson, TSM Architect, Nyherji,
Heinrich Venter, CEO, iSanity
One reporter asked how cloud data protection can deliver the required performance for backup and restore. Richard Spurlock from Cobalt Iron explained how the hybrid cloud model makes it possible for his clients to meet backup and recovery time objectives because he can install equipment in his customers’ facilities. A Cobalt Iron customer, Ron Hess from Hutchison Regional Medical Center in Kansas agreed performance has been excellent with his hybrid cloud solution. Ron explained the hybrid cloud solution frees him to handle other priorities and added, “We’re down one headcount since we began.”
Medical facilities such as Hutchison Regional Medical Center aren’t typically IT pioneers. Ron Hess said data protection is the only cloud solution deployed or under consideration at Hutchison Regional Medical Center, although the current solution may expand to include Disaster Recovery as a Service.
Another service provider, TriDatum based in Atlanta, offers a data protection solution using IBM SoftLayer, IBM Tivoli Storage Manager and Frontsafe cloud portal. He said the IBM and Frontsafe infrastructure resolves scalability issues his customers experienced with old data protection solutions.
Thomas Bak, from cloud portal provider Front-safe added with a smile, “Cloud changes everything”.
Mike Barton is a Worldwide Storage Marketing Manager for IBM Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure software.
The opinions expressed herein are sorely mine
IBM’s Data Protection has all the right pieces
Jason Buffington, Senior Analyst, ESG in his interview to Dave Vellante from Wikibon, said IBM fills out the whole data protection spectrum and that it’s new UI is a great proof point to why it’s not your grand daddy’s solution. One of the top 5 problems people face in protecting a virtualized environment is lack of visibility. IBM’s new UI does a great job in adding that visibility. IBM has all the right pieces with its breadth of data protection solutions. With IBM starting to put cloud more aggressively into the mix, 2014 looks interesting.
Data Protection is a rainbow that must have all the colors
In Jason’s opinion when defining Data protection strategies, one should think of Data Protection as a rainbow with Backup, Snapshots, Replication, Archive and Availability making up for the different colors. So when have you ever seen a rainbow with no green? Mechanism of data protection should not only include the whole range of solutions but must also include a hybrid approach that includes Tape, Disk or the Cloud. Organizations can pick the color from the spectrum, according to what they want to recover and how.
Disk, Tape, Cloud – they are all going to stay
Disk is not going to be the one all and end all. Tape is going to stay, with economic advantages and new innovations like LTFS that makes tape look like disk, adding flexibility and durability. Cloud as a backup service is not the Silver Bullet either because it’s only a deployment mechanism, it does not make your back up problems go away, one still has to run it, run the admin and push the agents out. One needs to have an on premise intermediary appliance for fast recovery before going to the cloud. However when ESG looked at what were the primary use cases of cloud for the next couple of years they found Data Protection at number one and Disaster recovery at number three. Jason suggests that every solution should be considering cloud as part of it.
Data protection need not be so Hard
His advice to IT pros who are worried about cost and complexity of data protection is that it need not be so hard, there are great solutions available that allow you to backup, archive, snapshot, replicate and do an entire range of functions, from a single GUI, to a single data store from a single administrators view. People only need to wake up to the solution and start using it.
Check out other Wikibon Interviews at Pulse 2014
To follow an exciting opening day yesterday, the buzz around bold moves continued on Tuesday, starting bright and early with the day 2 general session.
The morning opened with Steve Mills, Senior Vice-President and Group Executive IBM Software and Systems, “setting the agenda” as he outlined the fundamental mantra that IBM has been delivering of Visibility, Control and Automation as more important than ever in the cloud era.
Steve then turned the stage over to Deepak Advani, General Manager, Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure, IBM Software Group. Over the next 30 mins or so, Deepak was joined by clients from Paychex, Honda Manufacturing and Red Bull Racing to discuss how they were improving business outcomes by embracing disruptive technologies such as big data, analytics, mobile and cloud.
Deepak spoke about the importance of applying analytics to IT Operations. He shared how the IBM CIO office has applied data-driven analytics to the storage infrastructure to reduce user cost of storage by 50% through the deployment of IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Centre (VSC).
Even more exciting is that this type of capability and the resulting benefits are no longer limited to large storage environments. Today IBM announced IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Centre Entry and IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Centre for Storwize. The entry editions are attractively priced for those organizations managing smaller environments, up to 250 TB of data in the case of VSC Entry. Joe King, Vice President of Presales Consulting at CAS Severn (@jckingmd) tweeted:
Policy based storage placement is a cakewalk with Virtual Storage Center Entry. The Power of Analytics is here today at
We also heard from IBM Security expert, Brendan Hannigan, General Manager, IBM Security Systems Division, who spoke about the critical nature of security in cloud. Customers often cite security as the top obstacle to cloud adoption, so Brendan’s message was timely. About being a security guy at a cloud conference, Bendan joked:
I feel like a mosquito at a summer picnic!
He said security breaches cost an average of $11 million in the US, and can take up to 8 months to discover. Fortunately, new solutions from IBM provide end-to-end security, utilizing the cloud, that can reduce successful attacks to near zero.
Following the general session, the Storage track got back into full swing with client, Business Partner and IBM speakers outlining the bold moves they are making. Breakout session highlights from Tuesday included:
Bobby Karim, Unix System Administrator from Allianz Australia discussed how his organization has shifted away from multiple backup and restore tools delivered through 3rd party service providers, and has consolidated all of his organizations data protection requirements to the Tivoli Storage Manager Suite of Unified Recovery (TSMSUR). The flexibility within TSM SUR provides the comprehensive capabilities needed by Allianz to meet it’s recovery point and recovery time objectives while proving much simpler to manage.
Thomas Bak Co-Founder and CSO of Front-safe and Stephen Jones, CTO of TriDatum showcased how they are partnering to deliver private cloud data protection. TriDatum reviewed a case study where they have combined the Front-safe Cloud Portal, Tivoli Storage Manager and its consultative approach to meet it’s clients data protection requirements -- a US-based financial services provider that values of the cost of loss of data at $300,000/day/location now confidently protects data created in it’s 300 branches efficiently and cost-effectively.
Attendees were treated to a live demo of IBM SmartCloud Storage Access, a self-service portal that can reduce storage deployment time up to 95%. Nick Harris explained how SmartCloud Storage Access can work with SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center to enable self-service provisioning for multiple brands of storage systems.
The SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center development team, Ben Randall and Teresa Swingler, provided a live demo of new V5.2 features, including simplified provisioning, performance management, and IBM’s exclusive Tiered Storage Optimizer.
Fernando Dondeo, from Grupo Boticário in Brazil spoke about Data Protection for SAP analytics environments. SAP HANA is a high performance, high value analytics system for SAP. Using IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Data Protection for ERP, Boticario was able to reduce backup time by 77% while providing superior data protection for SAP data.
Finally – while all this great content was being delivered, the Storage pedestals in the Solution Center were hopping. Interested folks lined up to see how the intuitive nature of the TSM Operations Center eases backup administration, how IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Centre drastically simplifies data management tasks and how Butterfly studies continue to illustrate how clients can slash their data protection costs by migrating to the an IBM data protection platform.
I’m excited about another full day tomorrow of rich content but now it’s time to take a breather and enjoy some quality networking time with colleagues tonight during Pulse Palooza – and maybe witness a few “bold moves” of another kind by Pulse attendees on the dance floor.
Greetings from Pulse2014 in Las Vegas.
Over 11,000 attendees at Pulse this year. Can you believe it? The MGM Garden Arena was jammed to the rafters for the opening session, featuring executives from Kuuluu, Twilio, Continental AG and IBM. It's exciting the hear about advances in driverless vehicles, mobile applications and gaming - all driven by cloud.
The transition to cloud has been remarkable. Two years ago at Pulse2012, many people had cloud projects, and were proceeding with caution. Last year, there were many cloud success stories, and active discussion about how cloud might evolve. This year, it's clear that cloud-driven business and IT transformation is in full swing.
Darren Bibby, VP Channels and Alliance Research at IDC predicted that, by 2016, 25% of all software will be subscription based. Organizations must plan for this transition or risk being left behind. Or, as Erich Clementi, Senior VP of IBM Global Technology Services put it, you can, "be the next Blockbuster or the next NetFlix".
2014 Pulse attendees are a remarkable group - Not the type to be left behind by a new trend. There is an incredible amount of learning and sharing going on. It's very encouraging to see our industry is in good hands.
Storage is playing a key role at Pulse, of course. There is a good understanding that clouds run on data, and data needs storage. So, it makes sense that smarter clouds need smarter storage. The connection between storage and top business trends has never been clearer or more relevant to IT.
Highlights of the Monday Storage Track included sessions by Hutchison Regional Medical Center, Chesapeake Energy, and Predetar.
Alistair Mackenzie, Predatar CEO, spoke about several successful clients, including the world's largest cloud service for the education market. Predatar offers a cloud backup solution based on TSM. Predatar includes a dashboard for Line of Business managers that can significantly improve internal communications, reduce complexity and reduce costs.
Paul Conway, from Chesapeake Energy shared experiences using Tivoli Storage Manager Operations Center to manage large workloads with confidence, and without heavy reliance on scripts and experts. As Paul showed screen shots of his TSM Operations Center deployment, his mantra was, "and that was another homegrown script we were able to get rid of".
Ron Hess, Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, described his organization's transformation to hybrid cloud data protection from traditional enterprise backup. Ron said the biggest advantages were faster backups, faster restores, and a savings of 10 to 12 hours per week In administration time.
IBM-led storage sessions were excellent, as well. In the Storage Track kick-off, Ian Smith, IBM's Director of Storage Management described trends we can expect to see in storage, including:
Data location transparency
Data protection transparency
Analytics enabling hybrid clouds
Active risk avoidance
Extending Ian's comments, Rachel Dines from Forrester Research offered 3 tips for Data Protection:
Move beyond backup and Disaster Recovery ... instead, think about business resiliency
Embrace the cloud ... it's here to stay
Prioritize efficiency above all else ... because data is growing but IT budgets are flat.
Thomas Bak, CSO of cloud data protection provider Front-safe commented, "IBM is pushing change more than ever before."
If you're attending Pulse2014, please comment with your highlights of the day.
Mike Barton is a Worldwide Storage Marketing Manager for IBM Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure software.
The opinions expressed herein are sorely mine
Can you believe it, the day is final here, the start of Pulse 2014, The Premier Cloud Conference!
Today has already brought forth some great content and networking opportunities for attendees interested in the storage portfolio.
For the business partners, today was the one day Business Partner Summit where partners from around the world got to hear key messages, results of 2013, market shift analysis and even get inspired from various IBM executives like Sandy Carter, General Manager, Ecosystem and Social Business Evangelist; Deepak Advani, General Manager, Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure; Lou Atanasio, Vice President Global Sales, Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure and list goes on.
Some key storage mentions in the Business Partner Summit can be summed up in the following tweets:
#ibmstorage is a priority focus, #ibmtsm 7.1 delivered on a great user interface for clients says Deepak Advanti
@rodneyforeman promoting the great business partners @CobaltIron and @Frontsafe some #ibmstorage & butterfly tool
@rodneyforeman instills confidence in IBM data protection software.. clients that leave always come back to value of #tsm
@PredatarUK is innovative.. #ibmtsm on the mobile phone, highlighted at #ibmpulse
Mark Register announcing great incentives for partners to make more $ in 2014 at #ibmpulse
IDC, Darren Bibby says the #cloud is inevitable. Is fear or opportunity driving you Partners? #ibmpulse
For the storage client who attended today there was plenty of networking opportunities through the storage user group meeting that met for about 3 hours. At the end of the meeting these two gentlemen exchanges conversations about their storage environment.
Today started the four day offering at Pulse of Hands-on Labs and Certification Testing. Eight Storage software certification exams are available which makes up 10% of all exams that will be taken over the four day period. As for the Hands-on Labs you can explore 12 different storage labs on any one of the 48 computers, 10 more computers then 2013's Lab offerings.
Pulse 2014 promises to be a great week for the storage enthusiast starting tonight with the Solution Expo opening up at 6:00pm PT offering 4 storage peds, a Meet the Expert session, an Expo Theater session along with many partner booths.
Stay tuned for daily recaps of Pulse 2014.
Danyel Otteson, WW Storage Marketing Manager for IBM
The opinions expressed herein are sorely mine
Plan your days to maximize your time and opportunities at Pulse 2014. To get started log in to your account and access the agenda builder tool. You can find & schedule sessions and save it as “My Agenda”.
If you have not registered yet and planning to attend Pulse, here is the thing for you. You can preview Pulse sessions and save the agenda using sample agenda builder. And once you register for Pulse, you can import this agenda into the agenda builder tool.
To list all the storage sessions select Stream as Optimizing IT & Service management and Track as Unified Recovery & Storage Management. This track focuses on range of systems, storage, software and services designed to maximize and protect data, featuring best practices, implementation stories and case studies on unified recovery and storage.
If you find a little hard to navigate directly to the storage sessions through these tools, here is your guiding star. Search by storage session# as mentioned on the chart below to quickly add these to your activities.
And remember your all things at pulse is at #IBMPulse
Key ingredients to a great product in the market are an innovative design, a robust architecture and a good development plan. The Dev@Pulse event at Pulse 2014 provides a great platform for developers to expand their skills, knowledge and start a relationship with IBM.
IBM has opened it’s Pulse conference doors to both IBMers and non IBMers from the world of mobile app and new cloud-based platforms to talk about their experiences, designs and products in this two day FREE event.
Design, Develop, Deploy.
Designers and Developers are invited to attend sessions that cover seven major streams:
Game Design & User Interface
Designing through cloud based platforms
Design in a MobileFirst economy
Futures in Cognitive Computing and AI (Yes! We will talk about Watson)
Impact of design and technology on the world
Development in the Open World
Rapid App Development and Open Source Software
Day 1 will close with an interactive code bash while partying with the DJ at the MGM Grand’s Hakkasan Nightclub while Day 2 will end with live demos by Andrew Spyker and Jerry Cuomo, IBM Software experts, who will walk you through the historical use case that won the best application mash-up from Netflix.
What else can you do at Dev@Pulse?
Besides attending the content rich TED talk-like sessions, you can get your hands on lab with IBM products like Cloud OE, WorkLight, SoftLayer and JazzHub. And at the end of Day 2, you can walk into the Pulse trade show and attend the main key note of the Pulse Conference.
In the past two years that IBM acquired Butterfly, it generated hundreds of Analysis Engine Reports (AER) analyzing billions of gigabytes and established facts about Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) that should make competition sit up and notice.
The Backup Analysis Engine report from Butterfly Software uses light-touch, agent-less software technology to analyze existing heterogeneous data backup environment. It is a non-intrusive analysis based on empirical production data collected in minutes and incorporated into the Backup Analysis Engine report from IBM Butterfly Software.
Why is Butterfly important?
Gartner Magic Quadrant: Backup and Recovery 2013 Competitive analysis says between 2012 and 2016, one-third of organizations will change backup vendors due to frustration over cost, complexity and/or capability. To be able to say conclusively that TSM solution can save backup infrastructure costs by as much as 38% when compared to some of the other competitive products opens the door for IBM to go get these 33% of the organizations looking for a change.
AER is the Key
More demand for AERs is expected with the launch of the automated “self-service” AER generation model. Scheduled to go live at the beginning of 2H 2014, it will scale out as a service to IBM and its Business Partners. These facts drive home the fact that Butterfly AERs have metamorphosed into a well accepted and standard approach to storage infrastructure analytics.
Meet the Butterfly Storage and Backup Assessment Team at Pulse 2014
If the butterfly flutter has caught your interest, visit Pulse 2014 on Feb 23-26 at Las Vegas and meet the folks who deliver Butterfly Storage and Backup Assessments in the IT Optimization section of the IBM booth. Find out how your company can use business analytics to dramatically lower the cost of running your backup and recovery or primary storage infrastructure.
For those of you that have been thinking about leveraging hardware snapshots to protect your Windows application and file servers, I wanted to point you to some really nice videos that Sean Sperry has put together. Sean has written and recorded a series of videos about the new FlashCopy Manager 4.1 for Windows. They cover a variety of topics like Exchange Server 2013, SQL Server, File System protection, remote operation, and three separate videos about using PowerShell and its integration with FlashCopy Manager.
If you have ever wondered how FlashCopy Manager on Windows works and the new functions and features of version 4.1, you should really check out those videos.
Have a great day!
As song writer, Andy Williams says in what is know as one of the top 10 holiday songs, "It's the most wonderful time of the year with kids jingle belling and everyone telling you "Be of good cheer", It's the most wonderful time of the year...". While the holidays maybe over, one of the most wonderful times of the year is the new IBM Premier Cloud Conference, Pulse 2014. There might not be kids at the conference ringing bells, nor people telling you to be of good cheer, but there will be plenty of excitement with your peers and experts as everyone is learning the latest strategy/product developments along with wonderful networking opportunities, so that everyone can all make bold business moves in 2014.
For those of you who have a passion for Storage you will be pleased to know that IBM Pulse 2014 will host the Unified Recovery and Storage Management Track within the Optimizing IT & Service Management Stream. The Unified Recovery and Storage Management track will focus on sharing best practices, success stories and roadmaps with regards to systems, storage, software and services.
Let me take a few moments and give you some answers to some FAQs.
Question: Will there be enough storage sessions to fill three days worth in the Unified Recovery and Storage Management Track?
Answer: Yes! 24 sessions showcasing trends like Cloud, Analytics and Open Stack along with sessions on Tivoli Storage Manager, Virtual Storage Center and more!
Question: Client breakout sessions are always a highlight of the conference, what could I expect?
Answer: We have 7 client sessions along with 2 Partner with clients sessions. You could attend client sessions by China Bank, National Grid, Hutchinson Regional Medical Center and even TD Bank.
Question: Besides the storage breakout sessions what other opportunities do I have to gain knowledge and network?
Answer: 1 - BOF (Birds of a Feather) session, 2 - Expo Theater talks, 4 - IBM pedestals in the Expo Center and many business partner booths, 4 - Meet the Expert Sessions, Labs, Certification and so much more!
Question: I'm interested in previewing some sessions. How can I learn more?
Answer: IBM Pulse is offering the sample agenda builder for anyone not registered for the conference. If you are already registered for Pulse 2014 you can build your agenda
Question: Pulse 2014 sounds great, how can I justify attending?
Answer: Download the Business Justification Letter and share it with your business today
On a personal note, what a privilege it has been to participate in the IBM Pulse conferences for the past 6 years along with the many other "Tivoli" conferences prior. One of my highlights has always been the opportunity to see friends and co-workers who share the same passion for this world of IT. IBM Pulse will be "one of the most wonderful times of the year" and a conference where you can truly network and learn so that you can make those bold moves. Learn more by checking out the IBM Pulse website.
Hope to see you at IBM Pulse 2014 in Las Vegas, February 23-26
Danyel Otteson, WW Storage Marketing Manager for IBM
The opinions expressed herein are sorely mine
I am often asked... "When can I use FlashCopy Manager with my EMC disk array?" (substitute "EMC" with your favorite vendor)
With FlashCopy Manager for Windows, you can leverage hardware snapshots for any disk array that has a VSS Hardware Provider. This is because Windows has a built-in architecture (referred to as "VSS") that enables pluggable snapshot support. We wrote a developerWorks article that explains how this works and how it integrates with TSM a few years ago. (Note: This article refers to "TSM for Copy Services" instead of "FlashCopy Manager" because it was written before the product name was changed.)
But, with FlashCopy Manager for UNIX and Linux and FlashCopy Manager for VMware, you must wait until support is added for your desired disk array. Last year, IBM partnered with Rocket Software to develop a device adapter pack that plugs in to FlashCopy Manager for UNIX and Linux and FlashCopy Manager for VMware to extend support to more storage devices. You install it on top of an existing FlashCopy Manager (version 4.1 or later) installation on the application server being protected by FlashCopy Manager for UNIX (or on the proxy backup server in case of FlashCopy Manager for VMware) and configure it to talk to the storage device. After that, you are able to leverage the power of FlashCopy Manager snapshot protection for the hardware device supported by that device adapter pack!
At the end of last year, Rocket Software released support for EMC Symmetric (VMAX and DMX). They are planning to add more disk arrays in 2014. If you have devices that you want to see added, contact Rocket Software.
Have a great day!
IBM recently published reference architecture blueprints to simplify Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) sizing and deployment, “Blueprint and Server Automated Configuration for Linux x86". Feedback from IBM Business Partners has been positive. In December 2013, Version 1.2 was released for free download.
What is a Reference Architecture Blueprint?
A reference architecture blueprint is a detailed hardware specification designed to manage a specific workload. In this case, the blueprints specify hardware requirements for small, medium and large TSM workloads, using Best Practices for data protection.
Why Use Reference Architecture Blueprints Instead of Sizing?
Traditional backup server sizing is extremely flexible and recommended for unique workloads or where precision is critical. Most of the time, however, a reference architecture blueprint can reduce time and complexity, and improve data protection through standardization and automation.
IBM reference architecture blueprints for TSM have companion configuration scripts that set up TSM for the requested workload quickly and consistently.
I supported TSM for 5 years as an IT Specialist Manager, and have seen many clients struggle with traditional backup server sizing. Even if you can capture details about the current backup workload, which is often impossible, you have to estimate the data growth rate. Sizing errors can result in unhappy application owners or an inability to meet recovery objectives. In contrast, a reference architecture blueprint takes you to a known destination quickly and safely.
Recently, TSM experts had a TSM sizing discussion on ADSM.org. Baltimore-Washington TSM User Group Member Wanda Prather, Stefan Folkerts, and Sergio Fuentes discussed sizing variables: Workload, hardware, storage features. As Wanda says, sizing is, “both an ‘it depends’ and a ‘what not to do’ answer.” I recommend reading her post if you’re interested in backup server sizing.
Reference Architecture Blueprint Details
These reference architectures are based on x86 hardware running Linux and are optimized as disk only storage using TSM data deduplication technology. They have been tested to determine the optimal workloads and limits for each size: Small, Medium or Large. The blueprint includes a document, or “Cookbook”, that describes the three reference architectures in detail, including IBM hardware model numbers and configuration requirements.
IBM also includes two scripts to speed up the installation and configuration, increasing time-to-value:
The first script does a configuration check that will verify the hardware configuration meets the blueprint specifications, validate Linux kernel settings, and verify the configuration of required file systems prior to running the standard TSM Server installation. The script also configures the TSM Server using best practices and: creates a DB2® instance, defines deduplication storage pools with optimal performance settings, defines administrative maintenance tasks optimized for de-duplication scalability, defines TSM database backup to disk, creates a dsmserv.opt file with best practice option overrides, creates policy domains for database, mail and file servers with management classes for 30-, 60- and 120-day retention, and defines backup schedules for all client types that can be easily selected when deploying the desired client workloads.
The second script runs simulated TSM database and storage pool workloads and provides performance measurements that can be used to compare as a reference against those measured on the blueprint configuration.
Please share your experiences with TSM reference architecture blueprints and backup server sizing. What works for you?
Mike Barton is a Worldwide Storage Marketing Manager for IBM.
The opinions expressed herein are sorely mine.
IBM is looking for customers and business partners to participate in the Beta and Early Access Programs for IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center.
Both the Beta and Early Access Programs (EAP) will start later this month and provide participants with an opportunity to influence the design of future Virtual Storage Center enhancements by providing feedback directly to development.
Virtual Storage Center includes all Tivoli Storage Productivity Center functions plus Advanced Analytics such as Storage Tiering Automation, VMware Integration (Clustering support and vSphere Plug-in), Self Service Provisioning and more.
Tivoli Storage Productivity Center and Virtual Storage Center customers are all invited to participate in these programs. As topics are introduced the facilitator will define the boundaries between what is included in Virtual Storage Center versus Tivoli Storage Productivity Center.
To request enrollment in the Beta program, submit the VSC/TPC Beta Signup form.
To request enrollment in the EAP program, submit the VSC/TPC EAP Signup form.
For any questions, contact Mary Anne Filosa: email@example.com
For information, see the Downloads page.
IBM is looking for candidates to participate in a beta program for an upcoming release of Tivoli Storage Manager.
The beta program is planned to start in late January 2014 including worldwide participation to obtain customer and business partner feedback on the release.
If you are interested in enrolling in this beta program, please submit a sign-up form here:
For any questions, please contact Mary Anne Filosa, firstname.lastname@example.org.