Latest IBM TSM Interview Questions and Answers by IBM

IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) all rounds interview questions and answers to a one candidate. Interview took place in IBM India and it took place for more than 2 hours altogether.

TSM Interview Questions and Answers in 1st Round (by Team Leader)

1) What are your daily activities ?
Ans) TSM Server DB and Log size monitoring, client and admin schedule monitoring and library media management. I also have to install and configure TSM BA clients whenever required, and troubleshoot backup/restore issues if any. More details in TSM Daily Monitoring tasks.

2) What are first * and second * in the "Query Event * *" ?
Ans) First * is Domain name, second * is schedule name

3) How to check admin schedules status ?
Ans) Query Event * t=a

4) Where/How will you see, if errors occurred in the tapes ?
1. We can check it in actlog for hardware/media & read write errors by using command  - "q actlog se=errors"
2. To determine read/write errors for a particular volume run the command "q volume <volumename> f=d". 
This output will show the number of read/write errors occurred to that particular volume.

5) What is your DB size in your environment ?
Ans) Approximately 60 GB. 
Tip: size depends on your environment

6) What is your tape model ?
Ans) HP LTO4 tape - capacity 800 GB, speed is 120 MB/Sec.

7) Have you done DR test ?
Ans) Yes, In our environment we should do DR drills for every 6 months to ensure we are ready for any disaster recovery.

8) Have you done library configuration ?
Ans) Yess, I did it once.

9) What is your library model ?
Ans) IBM 3584 library model with 4 drives

10) Can you explain how to install and configure the tdpsql ?

11) What is the use of maximum number of mount points parameter ?
Ans) Maxnummp parameter is used to increase/decrease the client backup/restore sessions. This parameter value should not be greater than available tape drives.

12) What are the TSM server tuning parameters ?

13) What is collocation ? Where will you update it ?
Ans) Collocation is the process of keeping the client backed up data in a minimum number of tapes. Collocation can be done by nodes, node groups and by Filespace. We will update collocation while defining or updating storage pool definitions.

update stgpool <stgpoolname> colloc=node

14) What is cloptset ? Where will you update it ?
Ans) Cloptset is used to define a name for a set of options which you can assign to clients for archive, backup, restore, and retrieve operations. We should first define a clioptset name by using "define cloptset" command and then define each client options to that cloptset by using "define clientopt" command. Then you should use this cloptset name while defining any client node. Generally, cloptset is used to assign extra client options for any particular node from TSM Server end without logging into client machine.

15) Have you performed TSM DB restoration ?
Ans) Yes, 

16) How will you see the errors in the tape ?
Ans) To determine read/write errors for a particular volume run "q volume <volumename> f=d". This output will show the number of read/write errors occurred to that particular volume. Video tutorial on checking tape read write errors

17) What will you do if u find errors in the tapes ?
Ans) First we have to figure it out the source of the error, whether tape drive has caused the error or tape itself has some problems. If tape drive is the culprit make sure no other tapes are mounted on that particular tape. If tape itself has problems, then audit that tape by using "audit volume fix=no" command. This will show if there are any damaged files. IF there are no damaged files move the data from that tape to another tape, if there are any damaged files then we should restore the contents of that tape from copy storage pool.  Video tutorial on how to audit tape volume.

18) Have you done manual backup ?
Ans) Yes, We can do it by BA client command line and also through BA client GUI.

19) How will you login into the client machine do you have any credentials for you separately ?
Ans) Yes, I have client login credentials with limited privileges.

20) How many servers in your environment ?
Ans) 3 TSM Servers

21) What is the TSM library manager ?

22) On which TSM Server you will define tape drives in a shared tape library environment ?
Ans) We have to define all the drives on both Library Manager and Library clients. Configuration of TSM Library Manager

23) How will you see the lanfree backup process in the server side ? 
1. By running "storageagentname:q session"
2. Quering act log for "ANR0415I" message which says that "session  101 was proxies by storage agent S1 for node N1"
 3. You can also check the backup report for total lanfree bytes transferred.

24) How will you clean the drive ?
Ans) Generally tape library will have separate cleaning drives, we have to just mount that drive through Library GUI. OR From TSM Server we can run "clean drive" command, this will also mounts the cleaning cartridge/tape onto the drive and starts cleaning.

25) How to label the volume ?
Ans) If new tapes are kept in I/O exit port, run this below command
label libvol <libraryname> search=bulk labelsource=barcode checkin=scratch 

26) What are the parameters in the copy group ?
Ans) version exist, version deleted, retention extra, retention only, serialization, destination, mode, frequency …… etc.

27) What is the use of reclamation ?
Ans) Reclamation makes the fragmented space on volumes usable again by moving any remaining files from one volume to another volume. This action makes the original volume available for reuse. 

28) Is there any chance of moving inactive data from one volume to another using reclamation ?
Ans) No, reclamation will move both active and inactive data.

29) What is audit volume ?
Ans) Audit volume command is used to check the inconsistencies between database information and a storage pool volume.

30) What is fix=yes/no in audit volume command ?
Fix --- Specifies how the server resolves inconsistencies between the database inventory and the specified storage pool volume.
Fix=No --- Tivoli Storage Manager reports, but does not delete, database records.
Fix=Yes --- The server fixes any inconsistencies as they are detected

31) what is migration ? use of migration ?
Ans) Migration is used to move client files from one storage pool to the next storage pool in the storage hierarchy. Migration will make some empty space in disk pools which can be used for taking backup of the client machine. 

32) Have you done upgradation ? which method you have used ?
Ans) Yes, we used Same System Media Method

33) Have you done upgradation for client machine ?
Ans) Yes, First we have to copy all the important client configuration files, disconnect the connection with TSM Server and then uninstall/install new client version.

34) Have you done installation of  TSM server ? tell me the procedure ?

35) Explain the log flow in the 6.3 ?

36) What are the details available in the dsmsched.log and dsmerror.log ?
Ans) dsmsched.log  & dsmerror.log will contains the client schedule status details and any schedule error details.

37) Will the lanfree data go to the disk pool ?
Ans) No, Lanfree data will go directly to tape/tapepools. If we have a disk library in a SAN, then we can send lanfree to disks but we need another supporting softwares.

TSM Interview Questions and Answers in 2nd Round (Team Leader)

1) How to see the DB size ?
Ans) Query db f=d

2) How to check the paths ?
Ans) query path f=d

3) How to update path ?
Ans) update path sourcename destinationname srctype=server desttype=drive/library device=devicename online=yes

4) What is difference between search=yes and search=bulk in LABEL command ?
YES - Specifies that the server labels only volumes that are stored in the library
BULK - Specifies that the server searches the library entry/exit ports for usable volumes to label

5) In tdpsql what does tdpsql.cfg file contains ?
Ans) It contains all the tdpsql performance monitoring parameters like Buffers, Buffers size, sql buffers, sql buffer size, data stripes, and log file etc.

6) How to install tdpsql in the client machine ?

7) Any idea on TSM Offsite Reclamation ?

8) What is the use of storage pool backup (copy stgpools) ?
Ans) If there are any read/write errors on the primary pool volumes, we can restore them from copy pool volumes.

9) Explain how to do Lanfree configuration ?

10) Explain about policy management ?

11) What are the parameters in the copy group ?
Ans) version exist, version deleted, retention extra, retention only, serialization, destination, mode, frequency …… etc

12) Explain about Serialization ?
Ans) It specifies how Tivoli Storage Manager processes files or directories when they are modified during backup processing.

TSM Interview Questions and Answers in 3rd Round (Project Manager)

1) What is your company setup ?
Ans) We have total 4 TSM servers connected to 2 tape libraries........ etc.

2) How to do labeling ?

3) Have done up-gradation ?
Ans) Yes

4) What are your responsibilities ?

5) What is your team size ?
Ans) 3

6) What are the servers in your environment ?
Ans) AIX & Windows

7) How many clients ?
Ans) 10

8) How to find errors in the tapes ?

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