Different types of Exclude options which can be used to save storage pool space

It is often required to exclude unimportant files and directories from IBM Tivoli Storage Manager client backups/archives. In this post we will see how can we exclude different types of files and directories by using TSM EXCLUDE option. 

The most common files which should be excluded from backup/archive are temporary files, local caches of network files and operating system files. sometimes restoring old OS files along with your backup data might results in system corruption, so it is always a better option to exclude unnecessary files and directories. It is also a good practice to exclude the directory containing the Tivoli Storage Manager client files. By doing so you can also save some TSM server storage space. On windows machine, if you want to backup important OS files, use TSM System state backup method instead.

Also Read: Why is it important to use DIRMC option during backups ?

In IBM TSM all the files and directories are by default included in the backup/archive unless you specifically exclude them. You also have an option to exclude individual files or only directory structure. you can also exclude files/directories from compression, deduplication and encryption. Configuring TSM include-exclude list can be done in different ways
  • Using include-exclude file, you can list all the files/directories that need to be excluded in a separate file and use that file in dsm.sys or dsm.opt.
  • Entering each exclude file/directory that need to be excluded separately in client option files (dsm.opt in windows & dsm.sys in unix).
  • Using TSM cloptset and client optionset setting from TSM server side.
  • Using TSM Client BA client GUI >edit> client preferences
You can always check which files and directories are excluded by running QUERY INCLEXCL command from client side and change them according to your requirements.

Types of Exclude Options in IBM TSM

exclude, exclude.backup, exclude.file, exclude.file.backup
Use these options to exclude a file or group of files from backup services.The exclude.backup option only excludes files from normal backup, but not from HSM.
exclude /tmp/*
exclude.backup /home/user1/
exclude.file /usr/tivoli/tmp.txt

Excludes a file or a group of files that match the pattern from archive services only. EXCLUDE.ARCHIVE only excludes files not directories. During an archive, all the directories will be archived, but not the files that match the pattern in the EXCLUDE.ARCHIVE statements. IN TSM you cannot exclude directories from archives.

Excludes files from compression processing if the compression option is set to yes. This option applies to backups and archives.
  exclude.compression /home/tsmusers/*

Excludes files from client-side data deduplication. To control a client-side data deduplication operation, specify ieobjtype as the value of the exclude.dedup option. Valid ieobjtype parameters are File & Image. The default is File.
  exclude.dedup /home/tsm/.../*

Excludes a directory, its files, and all its subdirectories and their files from backup processing. If you exclude a directory that was previously included, Tivoli Storage Manager expires existing backup versions of the files and directories beneath it during the next incremental backup. EXCLUDE.DIR is only valid for backups and not for archives. 
   exclude.dir /home/anil/tmp

Excludes the specified files from encryption processing. This option does not affect whether files are excluded from backup or archive processing, only whether they are excluded from encryption processing.
  exclude.encrypt /users/home2/file1

Excludes file systems that match the specified pattern from backup, incremental image backup, and archive operations. If files from the excluded file systems were ever backed up, then management class rebinding and deleted file expiration does not occur. However, existing backup versions remain on the server subject to associated management class settings. The files that were previously archived from the excluded file system remain on the server as archive copies. when you exclude a file that was previously included, existing backup versions become inactive during the next incremental backup.
   exclude.fs /opt/tivoli/

Excludes file systems on the NAS file server from an image backup when used with the backup nas command.
   exclude.fs.nas volumes/vol/vol0

Excludes mounted file systems and raw logical volumes that match the specified pattern from full image backup operations. This option is valid for AIX, HP-UX, all Linux clients, and Solaris only. Use exclude.fs to exclude file systems from incremental image backup operations.
   exclude.image /usr/*

Use this option to exclude a file or a group of files that are symbolic links from backup processing. If necessary, you can use the include.attribute.symlink option to include symbolic links within broad group of excluded files for backup processing.
  exclude.attribute.symlink  /.../*

Use  this option to exclude file systems from NAS image backup processing.
  exclude.fs.nas */vol/vol1

Use this option to exclud a VMware virtual machine disk from backup operations.
The EXCLUDE.VMDISK option specifies the label of a virtual machine's disk to be excluded from a Backup VM operation. If you exclude a disk on the Backup VM command, the command-line parameters override any EXCLUDE.VMDISK statements in the options file.
EXCLUDE.VMDISK vmname vmdk_label
EXCLUDE.VMDISK "vm1" "Hard Disk 2"

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