How to take Windows Systemstate backup in Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM)

According to Microsoft, System state backup is a collection of system-specific data maintained by the operating system that must be backed up as a unit. It is not a backup of the entire system. The System State data includes the registry, COM+ Class Registration database, system files, boot files, and files under Windows File Protection. For servers, the System State data also includes the Certificate Services database (if the server is a certificate server). If the server is a domain controller, the System State data also includes the Active Directory database and the SYSVOL directory. If the server is a node in a cluster, it includes the Cluster database information. The IIS Metabase is included if Internet Information Services (IIS) is installed. 

So the system backup refers to these system components as the System State data. The exact system components that make up your computer's System State data depend on the computer's operating system and configuration.

For Windows XP Professional
The System State data includes only the registry, COM+ Class Registration database, files under Windows File Protection, and boot files.

For Windows Server 2003 family operating systems
The System State data includes the registry, COM+ Class Registration database, files under Windows File Protection, and system boot files. Depending on the configuration of the server, other data may be included in the System State data. For example, if the server is a certificate server, the System State will also contain the Certificate Services database. If the server is a domain controller, Active Directory and the SYSVOL directory are also contained in the System State data.

Also Read: How to take online image backups

In order to perform a complete system restore, a complete backup is needed. The backup must include a complete backup of the system drive, and a backup of the system state (the term system objects is used for Windows XP, but is referred to generally as system state for the remainder of this document.) You may also need to backup additional drives besides the system drive if they exist on your system.

Taking System state backup using IBM TSM BA client

We can  manually backup the Windows System object by either using the command.
backup systemobject

Or by specifying an ALL-LOCAL domain in the dsm.opt file. The ALL-LOCAL domain includes the system object. Exactly what you backup will depend on the release of Windows, and what Windows components are installed.

The full list of system objects is
  • Active Directory (domain controller only)
  • Certificate Server Database
  • Cluster Database (cluster node only)
  • COM+ database
  • Registry
  • System and boot files
  • System volume
  • Event logs (system, security and application)
  • Removable Storage Management Database (RSM)
  • Replicated file systems
  • Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) repository
If you expand the System Object container in the Windows B/A GUI, you can see which system objects are active for a given client. Alternatively, you can issue the undocumented command.

One way to check that the system object is being backed up, is to look for a 'SYSTEM OBJECT' file space on the TSM server.

Also Read: Full vs Differential vs Incremental vs Progressive Incremental Backups 

The main issue with system object backups is that they are always backed up every night, and the amount data can be about 2GB. You may want to restrict the number of backups held, by binding the system object files to a management class that keeps relatively few versions. Use this with the following include statement in the dsm.opt file, or in include/exclude file if you keep these separate.

If you don't want to backup your system object every day, you can exclude the system object in the dsm.opt file by prefixing it with a '-' (minus) sign. (If you are running TSM 5.1 or higher).

Then once a week, you would run a special schedule to execute the 'backup systemobject' command. You can't do this directly, you need to create a macro file that contains the command.

in a file called something like C:\Program Files\Tivoli\TSM\baclient\backsobj.mac and then create a schedule like

Since version 5.2.2, TSM will use the Microsoft Volume Shadowcopy Service (VSS) on Windows Server 2003 to back up all system state components as a single object. This will provide a consistent point-in-time snapshot of the system state.

Changing the Management class for only System Objects

If you want to change the management class for System Objects, you need to add a line to dsm.opt. ALL system objects must be bound to the same management class.
include.systemobject ALL <new-class-name>

Also Read: Understanding Management Class Binding and Management Class Rebinding

If the system object won't rebind to new mgt class, try deleting the filespace, and it should rebind on the next backup. The command to do this from the server is
delete filespace nodename "SYSTEM OBJECT" nametype=unicode

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