Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) basic concepts and features

In this TSM tutorial, we discuss TSM basic concepts and TSM major operations. The TSM server comes with many defaults so that you can begin using its services immediately. The amount and importance of the data protected by Tivoli Storage Manager, your business process requirements, and other factors make it likely that you need to adjust and customize the server's behaviour. Your changing storage needs and client requirements can lead to regular configuration changes and monitoring.

TSM Basic Concepts and Features

TSM Backup/Archive Clients
Backup-Archive Clients introduces the functions of the TSM backup-archive client, including backup, archive, restore, and retrieve. 

Also Read: Full vs Differential vs Incremental vs Progressive Incremental Backups
  • To save copies of files and directories on workstations and file servers, use the Tivoli Storage Manager backup-archive client to store the data to the Tivoli Storage Manager server. You can recover those copies if the originals are ever damaged or lost. 
  • The backup-archive client program permits users to back up and archive files from their workstations or file servers to storage, and restore and retrieve backup versions and archived copies of files to their local workstations.
  • In addition to the backup-archive client, Tivoli Storage Manager includes the following components available on a variety of platforms. An administrative client program that you can access from a Web browser or the command line. An application program interface (API) that permits you to enhance an existing application with storage management services. A Web backup-archive client that permits an authorized administrator, help desk person, or end user to perform backup, restore, archive, and retrieve services using a Web browser on a remote system.
  • You can schedule backup operations that protect client data to ensure that the operations run on a regular basis. The Tivoli Storage Manager central scheduler allows client operations to occur automatically at specified times. When creating a schedule definition on the Tivoli Storage Manager server, schedule actions that you can take include incremental, selective, archive, restore, retrieve, image backup, image restore, command, and macro.
  • The backup-archive command-line interface and the scheduler exit with return codes that accurately reflect the success or failure of the client operation.
  • Storage management policies are rules which administrator defines in order to manage your backups and archives on the server. The data is associated (or bound) to these policies; then when the data is backed up or archived, it is managed according to policy criteria. Policy criteria include a policy domain, a policy set, a management class, and a copy group. Policies determine:
                 Whether a file is eligible for backup or archive services.
                 How many backup versions to keep.
                 How long to keep inactive backup versions and archive copies.
                 Where to place the copies in storage.
                For incremental backup, policies also determine:
                How frequently a file can be backed up.
                Whether a file must change before it is backed up again. 

Also Read: Different types of Image Backups

TSM Administrative Interfaces
Administrative Interfaces presents all of the TSM administrative client interfaces from TIP (Tivoli Integrated Portal) and the TSM backup-archive client interfaces. Tivoli Storage Manager has several types of interfaces that allow you to work with many different applications. The following interfaces are provided

Also Read: Types of TSM Server Interfaces - Video Tutorials
  • For the clients, there are graphical user interfaces for the backup-archive client and the space manager client. Web interfaces for server administration and for the backup-archive client
  • The Administration Center allows you to access Tivoli Storage Manager server functions from any workstation that is using a supported web browser.
  • The web backup-archive client (web client) allows an authorized user to remotely access a client to run backup, archive, restore, and retrieve processes.
  • The command-line interface and the application programming interface

TSM Storage Pool Operations

Storage Pool Operations describes the types of storage pools and storage pool devices. It also describes storage pool concepts including hierarchy, migration, and collocation. 
  • Configuring and managing storage for efficiency and capacity are important tasks for an TSM administrator. The server uses its storage for the data it manages for clients. The storage can be a combination of devices such as Disk, Tape drives that are either manually operated or automated, Optical drives and other drives that use removable media. Devices can be locally attached, or accessible through a SAN.
  • When you configure devices so that the server can use them to store client data, you create storage pools and storage volumes. By manipulating the properties of these objects, you can optimize the usage of storage devices. Optimize and control storage device usage by arranging the storage hierarchy and tuning migration through the hierarchy (next storage pool, migration thresholds). Reuse tape volumes through reclamation. Reuse is also related to policy and expiration. Keep a client's files on a minimal number of volumes (collocation).
  • A storage pool is a collection of storage volumes. A storage volume is the basic unit of storage, such as allocated space on a disk or a single tape cartridge. The server uses the storage volumes to store backed-up, archived, or space-managed files.
  • The server provides three types of storage pools that serve different purposes: primary storage pools, copy storage pools, and active-data pools. You can arrange primary storage pools in a storage hierarchy. 
Also Read: TSM Storage Pool Concepts (V7 Revised)
Primary Storage Pools -  When a user tries to restore, retrieve, recall, or export file data, the requested file is obtained from a primary storage pool, if possible. Primary storage pool volumes are always located onsite.

Copy Storage Pools - Copy storage pools contain active and inactive versions of data that is backed up from primary storage pools. Copy storage pools provide a means of recovering from disasters or media failures.

Active-data Pool - An active-data pool contains only active versions of client backup data. active-data pools are useful for fast client restores, reducing the number of on-site or off-site storage volumes, or reducing bandwidth when copying or restoring files that are vaulted electronically in a remote location.

Next: Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) Basic Concepts and architecture - Part 2

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