Major updates in a "minor" release of TSM 6.2

A press release went out today about IBM’s TSM 6.2.  Among other things, it says that TSM now has source dedupe!  As big as that news is, there’s another piece of news that is even bigger.

The press release said that not only does TSM 6.2 have source dedupe, it is available in all versions of TSM 6.2 for free!  (TSM’s previous server-side dedupe was only available in TSM Extended Edition.)  That’s right, TSM’s source dedupe is available as a standard configuration option on any TSM client.  Nice.

In addition to source dedupe, TSM 6.2 adds the following features.  I’ve put them in the order of coolness according to me. πŸ˜‰

  • Simultaneous backup, migration, and copy active-data operations
    • The press release says that “the windows for data migration, storage pool backup, and copy active-data can be combined into a single operation.” I didn’t get a briefing prior to this press release, but if I understand this correctly, this is huge. First, I’m already a fan of the active-data pool, but the problem with it was that it was yet another copy operation.  Now the copy of backups to the copy pool, the migration of disk backups to tape, and the copy of active data to the active data pool can be done in a single operation.
    • Again, if I understand this correctly, this means that they have functionality like NetBackup & CommVault’s Inline Tape Copy feature where they can copy from one backup to several disks or tapes simultaneously.  If this is the case, this is a huge benefit to TSM administrators, who have historically really struggled with the number of hours in the day.  This should save them several hours.
    • It would be nice if a reader would clarify this one way or another.
  • Automatic client deployment & update for Tivoli Storage Manager backup-archive clients for Windows
    • I think this is a big deal.  TSM has historically required touching every backup/archive client every when you installed or upgraded the client software. TSM 6.2 now supports automatically (via scheduled policies) installiing or upgrading its client software on Windows.
  • Expanded use of in-flight encryption
    • In-flighyt encryption using SSL has been expanded to Linux, Solarix, and HP-UX platforms.
  • Enhanced support for virtualized environments

    • TSM now supports discovery of VCB (which you should really be moving off of ASAP), the vStorage API in vSphere (which you should be moving to, as long as you address the snapshot issues), and Hyper-V VSS-enabled backups.
  • Faster backup of Microsoft Windows environments
    • Prior to 6.2, TSM performed a full backup of the system state of Windows every time it backed it up.  Now it only backs up the parts of the system state that have changed.  Since the system state has gotten bigger and bigger, and very little of the system state changes from day to day, this should help a lot.
  • Updated SAN support
    • Although they don’t explain what updates were made, TSM for SAN 6.2 was updated to exploit enhancements in the TSM core.

That’s quite a bit of stuff for a “minor” release.  Dude, I would have called it 7.0. πŸ˜‰

----- Signature and Disclaimer -----

Written by W. Curtis Preston (@wcpreston). For those of you unfamiliar with my work, I've specialized in backup & recovery since 1993. I've written the O'Reilly books on backup and have worked with a number of native and commercial tools. I am now Chief Technical Architect at Druva, the leading provider of cloud-based data protection and data management tools for endpoints, infrastructure, and cloud applications. These posts reflect my own opinion and are not necessarily the opinion of my employer.

3 thoughts on “Major updates in a "minor" release of TSM 6.2

  1. ValB says:

    Hi Curtis,

    FYI, In case you haven’t seen this yet, have a look at this paper covering NetApp SnapMirror-to-Tape and Snapshot-Difference-API-Integration with TSM 6.1:

  2. JWStephens says:

    Hey Curtis:

    I agree TSM 6.2 is full of features the TSM community has been waiting for, patiently. To help explain one you make reference to in the Simultaneous-write function, let me help clarify.
    You can simultaneously write data to a primary storage pool, copy storage pool and active-data pool. I would not view it as a copy process, but a multiple write function. I see its main goal as helping reduce the time required for storage pool backups. This feature is enabled thru a parameter called autocopy and only available when defining or updating a primary storage pool, not a copy or active-data pool. The most efficient method of writing data simultaneously is during the server data-migration processe, if you are migrating all the data in your primary storage pool nightly and then backing up the primary storage pools. The reason for this efficiency is that data is written simultaneously to copy storage pools or active-data pools during migration is not needing to be copied during backup storage pool or copy active-data operations. Another situation would be if you have large files to backup (image files or database files) and you are having to wait for them to be backed up to the defined copy storage pools of the primary target. It’s equivalent of doing 2 jobs in 1 process. But it is recommended for best practices to still perform your daily backup stg pool and copy active-data pool commands, to ensure no data loss.
    As with any feature, there are some limitations, the maximum number of copy storage pools and active-data pools to which data can be simultaneously written is three. For example, you can write data simultaneously to three copy storage pools, or you can write data simultaneously to two copy storage pools and one active-data pool. There are a few other limitations with simultaneous-writing but they don’t outweigh the benefits. Overall, this feature can be a real time saver and as always make the management of your data protection much easier. A good link to discover the other features you mention and a lot more of what TSM 6.2 can offer can be found here.
    http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/tsminfo/v6r2/index.jsp
    -JWS

  3. JimmyHoffa says:

    Hi,

    I believe the reason they didn’t call it 7.0 is because they wanted all these features in 6.1 but failed to deliver πŸ™‚

    Regards,
    JimmyHoffa

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