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Automate data migration

Ezine

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Ties to backup software
HSM software users may encounter a problem if their backup software can't recognize when a file has been migrated. If the backup app doesn't recognize or work with stub files or inodes, already migrated files could be recalled during the backup, creating a huge amount of network traffic and overhead on the server.

Of the three most-used enterprise backup applications, EMC's NetWorker and Symantec's Veritas NetBackup are HSM-aware and know how to handle stub files created by EMC DiskXtender. But IBM TSM users need to work with EMC because TSM isn't aware of stub files created by DiskXtender, and it will attempt to recall and migrate those files.

SGI's InfiniteStorage DMF HSM software integrates with EMC's NetWorker and Atempo Inc.'s Time Navigator backup software to avoid this. During backup, current versions of these two programs check the inode flag associated with each file. If the inode shows that the file has already been migrated, the backup software only needs to back up the file's inode; this dramatically reduces the backup window.

A benefit of using the same product for both backup and HSM is that the two products often share a common catalog, such as with CommVault, Symantec, and IBM TSM for Space Management and HSM for Windows. During backups, their backup software checks the catalog to see if the file has been migrated; if it has, only the stub files created by their HSM product are backed

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up.

HSM software products provide a potentially powerful alternative to the brute-force option that most organizations use to manage their data. But HSM software packages require tight links to specific backup software products and file systems. The key to a successful HSM acquisition and deployment is to identify an HSM software product's dependencies before you buy it. And if too many prerequisites exist, the time, effort and cost required to fulfill these requirements may erode the benefits it can deliver.

This was first published in November 2006

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