TSM new features and futures
TSM 6.4 New Features
TSM 6.4 was released on November 16 2012. The bulk of the new features are around VMware and NetApp support. Here are some of the new features. You can find the TSM 6.4 documentation here.
VMware hypervisors used to require regular full backups regardless of whether data has changed. TSM can now run incremental forever backups on hypervisors, which saves backup time and simplifies backup scheduling.
6.4 allows a more granular selection of domain objects, including Host clusters, Data Store and Wildcard characters. The domain.vmfull option at the client now includes these parameters:
specific VM hosts can be excluded with -vm=vmname and you can also exclude several hosts with wildcards, for instance -vm=vmtest*
Backups performance is improved by allowing multiple backup processes to run in parallel. A single Tivoli Storage Manager data mover node can back up multiple VMs at the same time. The following new TSM client options control this
- vmmaxparallel controls the number of overall VMs that are allowed to be backed up at a single time
- vmlimitperhost limits how many VMs are backed up from a single ESX or ESXi host at the same time
- vmlimitperdatastore limits the maximum number of VMs that are backed up at the same time for a single data store. If the VMs contain data that is distributed across multiple data stores the value is applied to each datastore seperately.
All three parameters can take values between 1 and 50 These parameters are coded in the dsm.opt file (Windows) or dsm.sys file stanza (Linux) that is defined for each Tivoli Storage Manager data mover node.
A new configuration wizard helps to automate most of the configuration and deployment of VMware TSM clients. Where the configuration is not automated, configuration status will be checked to make sure all components are ready for backup operation.
When running backups of Exchange and SQL applications, the logs need to be truncated at the end of the backup to set a consistent recovery point, but this was not done in TSM 6.3 and earlier releases. TSM 6.4 can truncate the logs, if you include the following option in your dsm.opt or dsm.sys file.
This sends a notification to VM applications that a backup is about to start and means that the application will truncate transaction logs and commit transactions so the application can resume from a consistent state when the backup completes. Note that this option is not enabled by default and must be set for every VM. You can use one include statement for each individual VM that contains the applications to quiesce, or you can use wildcards. INCLUDE.VMTSMVSS * means protect all VMs, while INCLUDE.VMTSMVSS vm???? means protect all VMs that that start with vm and contain exactly 6 characters.
Improved VM backup coverage reporting from the vCenter plugin. The Reports tab in the TSM or VMware vCenter plug-in will display progress information and space usage information for backups. The Events view shows the status of the most recent events that completed within the last three days and it is possible to drill down into an event to get more detailed information. The Recent Tasks view shows real time information on running tasks, or tasks that completed in the last hour.
The following canned reports are available when the appropriate combinations of Data Protection for VMware or Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager are installed: Backup status for all VMs, VMs without backups, VMs with a completion date more than seven days in the past, VMs with backups with status other than success, VMs that have backups but the VM does not exist in the vCenter, VMs without a Tivoli Storage Manager copy of the backup, VMs that have a Tivoli Storage Manager backup but not an Tivoli Storage FlashCopy Manager for VMware hardware snapshot.
In a restore situation, TSM 6.4 will preserve additional attribute information from the .vmx configuration file
TSM 6.4 for VMware has some support for backing up and restoring VM templates and vApps. A VM template is a master image of a VM and can include an installed guest operating system and a set of applications. A vApp is a logical entity that consists of one or more VMs and is typically used to include all components of a multitier application. A vApp also includes the operational policies and associated service levels of the application contained in the vApp.
A VM template is backed up as a single entity so it has to be restored as a single entity, though it can be restored to a different location if only part of the template is required.
VMs that are contained in a vApp can be backed up and restored, but TSM for VMware cannot select a vApp. If you restore a VM that is part of a Vapp, if the vApp is present with the original full inventory path, the VM is restored to that location, otherwise the VM is restored to the top-level default location on the target ESX host. No containers are created during the restore operation.
Enhanced NetApp Support
TSM now supports snapshot-assisted progressive incremental backup. This is usually used with NetApp's SnapMirror replication to take backups from a remote SnapMirror site and TSM can now use NetApp snapshot facility to take a progressive incremental backup.
Tivoli Storage Manager also supports snapshot-assisted progressive incremental backup operations now for vfilers. Vfilers are another name for the virtual controllers used by NetApp MultiStore. MultiStore creates multiple virtual controllers within a single storage system so that multiple users can securely share storage resources.
Improvements in Out-of-the-box IBM Cognos reporting
The IBM Cognos Business Intelligence reporting suite was introduced with Tivoli Storage Manager V6.3 to provide 'out-of-the-box' reports on TSM status. TSM V6.4 provides more out-of-the-box Cognos reports, allows users to customize existing Cognos reports or rapidly create reports with intuitive drag and drop function, ans allows reports to be generated on schedule or on demand.
SAP HANA Database (ERP) Support
SAP HANA uses in-memory databases and these can be backed up using a new TSM for ERP component called Data Protection for SAP HANA. The whole backup process is automated into a single step and all the files are managed as a logical entity.
MS Exchange enhancements
Support for Exchange 2012 Data Base Availability Group (DAG) enhanced, the management and automation of Exchange DAG active and passive database backups and restores is now fully integrated.
V6.4 supports Microsoft SQL 2012 with AlwaysOn Availability Group, with automation for database backups and restores for a high availability configuration.
Password management is now integrated with LDAP, to standardise control of access.
TSM 6.3 New Features
TSM 6.3 was released on Oct 21 2011. Here are some of the new features
TSM 6.3 Server changes
TSM client node data can be incrementally replicated from a source replication server to a target replication server. If you lose your source server and cannot get it back, you can convert the clients on the target server to non-replicating nodes and resume the backup and recovery service from your target server.
Note that the client node data is incrementally synchronized, so once the first backup is replicated, only changed data is transferred. The amount of data transferred can be further reduced by using deduplication. If you already have a copy of a node, created by an export - import process, you can convert the nodes to replicating nodes.
Node replication applies to TSM 6.3 servers, but the TSM clients can be earlier versions.
Deduplication of data that belongs to network-attached storage (NAS) file-servers is disabled by default. To enable deduplicaton of NetApp file-server data, use the new ENABLENASDEDUP server option.
If automatic table and index reorganization is affecting server performance, you can manually schedule reorganizations.
You can automatically schedule version upgrades to TSM clients, provided that they are at least at client level 5.5. You schedule and control the updates from the Administration Center.
You can use several concurrent data streams when backing up a TSM database. You can then restore the database with up to the same number of data streams. Each data stream will use a separate tape, so it is a question of balancing backup and restore speed against resource utilisation. This feature is expected to be used for large TSM databases, say over 150GB.
One of the issues with IBM Tivoli Monitoring was the time it took for the initial
configuration. IBM has addressed this with an improved installation
wizard, and by including Cognos Business Intelligence V8 as an integrated
business intelligence suite.
The monitoring dashboard can be customised to display the items you most want to see, in a single view. The default setting shows the storage space used by node; unsuccessful client and server schedules; and details about storage pools, drives, and activity log error messages.
TSM licensing and Processor value units has been an issue for a long time.
IBM provides a new command, QUERY PVUESTIMATE that you can use to report
on the number of server devices and client devices managed by a TSM
server. IBM says that 'these reports are not legally binding, but provide
a starting point for determining license requirements'.
An SQL query, SQL SELECT * FROM PVUESTIMATE_DETAILS can also be used to extract data at node level.
It is now possible to define a library as a virtual tape library, which means improved mount-point processing to better handle large numbers of virtual drives
You can now format volumes on LINUX ext4 file systems and AIX JFS2 file systems nearly instantaneously, similar to the way Windows disks are formatted in older TSM server releases.
It is possible to migrate a TSM server running under z/OS to a 6.3 server running AIX or LINUX on system Z, and provided the tape drives are connected with FICON channels, the old tape data can be read from the new server. This requires a TSM for z/OS Media module.
The CHECKTAPEPOS server option is enhanced to check for data overwrite problems before each WRITE operation and allow Tivoli Storage Manager to reposition tapes to the correct location and continue to write data.
Persistent reservation allows tape drive reservations from other servers to be cleared, if, for example, a server crashes. In TSM Version 6.3, persistent reserve is enabled for drives that support it.
Numerous enhancements have been made to the TSM Administration Center, including the ability to monitor using IE8 or Firefox 3.5, and enhanced wizards for defining policy domains and management classes. You can also get specific performance information about TSM clients, such as processor usage, Network utilisation, data throughput rates and more.
Backup-archive client updates
You can upgrade or refresh Linux client software using the rpm commands rpm -U and rpm -F. There is no need to uninstall files before performing an upgrade.
Linux now supports journal-based backup on all local file systems.
The maximum path length that in supported by the Backup/Archive client on Linux has been changed to 4096 to match the PATH-MAX supported by the operating system.
The TDM 32 bit API is not shipped anymore, so Backup-Archive Clients and the API for Linux, MAC and Solaris SPARC are now shipped as 64-bit applications.
There is a new Windows client configuration wizard to simplify the configuration of MSCS cluster disks, and propagate the configuration to other nodes in the cluster group.
You can now perform full VM backups and full VM incremental backups and restores from a Tivoli Storage Manager agent node on a Linux computer.
In Tivoli Storage Manager version 6.3, you can now use the Filelist option with the snapshotroot option on incremental, selective, or archive operations. Using these two options, together, was not allowed in previous versions.
VMware supports pRDM, or raw device mapping disks that are provisioned in physical compatibility mode. If you tried to backup a VMware machine that used these devices with TSM 6.2 or earlier the backup failed. TSM 6.3 cannot back these devices up either, but you have a new options, VMPROCESSVMWITHPRDM which can be used to allow backups of volumes that support snapshot operations. The same principle applies to independent disks, and they have a new parameter, VMPROCESSVMWITHINDEPENDENT.
The SQL TDP has a new GUI, configuration wizards and a new dashboard that gives you a graphical picture of what is happening in your SQL estate. Statistics now include compression, encryption, LAN free and de-duplication information. Youi can also use native SQL compression with a new SQLCOMPresssion option.
The Oracle TDP can also get compression, de-duplication and encryption data from the tdposync command. Tdposync now has an option, syncdb, that can be used to synchronise the TSM database with the Oracle RMAN catalog.
Beyond TSM 6.4
Anything past this point is informed speculation - I hope.
TSM Operations Center
IBM are planning a new TSM interface called the Operations Center. There is a general consensus that the old admin center was too clunky and slow for effective use and most people reverted to using the server command line for managing their servers. The problem with that approach is that you need to run a lot of commands to get a good daily picture of the health of your TSM environment, and this can be time consuming if you run lots of TSM servers.
The new Operations Center is supposed to fix all these issues. It combines 'analytics, workflow automation and advanced visualisation', which is a long winded way of saying that it will be a GUI that gives you an overall 'dashboard' view of your system health, let you drill down into individual components to investigate problems, and lets you pass alert tickets to different people in your organisation for processing.
A couple of interesting new features is that it is web based, so you can run it from your mobile while getting the train into work, and for experts, there will be a popup window that will let us build and run those commands that we all love