I recently saw an interesting cry for help on the Internet. A Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) customer had a situation where his company was creating millions of new files every day, and the process of scanning the file system to look for incremental files to back up was becoming a real issue.
In the case of extremely large file systems, the time it takes to look for new or changed files can certainly dominate the amount of time it takes to perform an incremental backup – even if the amount of actual new data is relatively small, the total backup window will be extended as the file system grows.
Many customers resort to FlashCopy
or Snapshot technologies to avoid this situation, and IBM’s storage systems certainly support this approach.
Another interesting solution, if the file system is on Windows or Linux, could be Tivoli Storage Manager FastBack, which performs block-level, incremental backups without the need for a file system scan. It identifies new and changed blocks of data as they are written to disk, and backs them up in the background either continuously or on a scheduled basis, depending on the amount of data you want to leave at risk (Recovery Point Objective).
TSM FastBack is totally integrated with TSM, so it would fit seamlessly into this customer’s environment, with the added benefits of being able to provide granular file-level recovery, as well as FastBack’s unique near-instant restore of the entire file system should that be needed (Recovery Time Objective).
If you have problems meeting your backup windows because of massive file system scans, have a look at TSM FastBack
– it could eliminate your backup windows while improving RPO and RTO.
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