VTL is not the same as TSM....
Let me preface this by saying that we still use TSM w/BRMS on some of our IBM i servers, so I am familiar with TSM challenges for IBM i backups.....open systems, PCs, Windows backups not so much.
TSM communicates with the IBM i over network interfaces therefore you cannot do a restrictive save or backup any part of the OS to TSM. When TSM is involved there is no concept of tape as far as the host OS in concerned. This can be a good thing because there is no physical or logical media management involved with TSM. BRMS records a unique identification record (assigned by TSM) for each respective back up item, sort of like a file name. Whenever you need to restore BRMS will use that record to retrieve the data set from TSM. The host system doesn't know or care whether or not the TSM data is on disk or tape.....that is TSM's concern.
VTL is a backup appliance with firmware that presents itself to a host IBM i as a typical tape library. In my case it looks like a 3584 to the iSeries. Virtual libraries, drives, and tapes are nothing more than directories and files on the VTL appliance, but they look the same as their respective physical device to the host. Media management functions in BRMS work the same way. The difference is not having to deal with physical media and reducing your storage footprint when you factor in deduplication. Most VTL appliances have a function built into the file system that will index blocks of data, therefore ignoring blocks that are already on disk. (This happens in memory as raw data is being sent to the VTL). So while your raw backup might be 1TB, after 20:1 deduplication you may only write 50GB of "deltas" to the VTL file system. Another thing to remember is that a typical VTL will agnostically manage the data sent to it. In other words, if you have multiple partitions that all backup to the same VTL and some of those partitions share the same data patterns the deduplication engine would index block ABC from System3 if that same block of data had been previously saved from System1. As for protecting the data in case of a disaster, you can replicate to a remote VTL appliance (or in multiple directions). In most cases the replication software will only replicate the deltas therefore your synchronization time after a large save can very quick.
As for PCs and Windows/Linux servers.....most of these VTL appliances have NFS/CIFS functions that are typically used with host side backup software like EMC Avamar. VTL is just one of many tools a typical enterprise backup appliance can offer.
Operating Systems Engineer
Technology Infrastructure Services
Wells Fargo Bank l 200 Wildwood Pkwy l Birmingham, AL 35209
Tel 205-938-1999 l Cell 205-826-2834
Wells Fargo Confidential
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From: midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:midrange-l-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of rob@xxxxxxxxx
Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2013 8:48 AM
To: Midrange Systems Technical Discussion
Subject: VTL Was: Fireproof cabinets for tape storage
I am trying to grasp this VTL concept better.
I keep thinking in terms of how we use BRMS with our physical library (and Iron Mountain). We don't keep any tapes with data written on them onsite for 24 hours. Once the save is done we remove the tape the next morning and ship it off to Iron Mountain. When BRMS asks for tapes we get them
back from Iron Mountain. BRMS keeps track of expiration, etc.
However, is a VTL more like how we use TSM (Tivoli Storage Manager)? It backs up our PC's and PC type servers to disk. Some are copied over to 'near line' from disk to local tape which stays in the tape library. Daily we remove a few tapes and send to Iron Mountain and we retrieve some back from Iron Mountain. However a bulk of the restores we've done have come from just using either disk or near line. I don't think we've ever used the offline. TSM does all the hierarchical storage management.
I think the offline is just to have enough to rebuild TSM in case of fire.
Our BP totally manages TSM. Sure, our help desk knows how to restore someone's spreadsheet or whatever from it. And our operator runs some simple steps to manage the offline transitions.
We may have around 50 tapes in the library dedicated to TSM, of which only about a half of a dozen are scratch tapes at any particular time. We're upgrading from LTO 3's to 4's next quarter.
IBM Certified System Administrator - IBM i 6.1 Group Dekko Dept 1600 Mail to: 2505 Dekko Drive
Garrett, IN 46738
Ship to: Dock 108
Kendallville, IN 46755
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