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Heard in the backup/recovery forums

Bits & Bytes: What are your fellow users, experts and pundits debating in the forums? Join the discussion on TSM, point-in-time copy and much more.

As editors on we look to industry experts, authors, vendors and analysts as a major source of information. But, we know full well that great information also comes from you, the end user. We also know that the best advice is from someone that has already experienced a problem that you may be experiencing now.

Each day users of big, medium and small storage environments offer their insights in the discussion forums.

One of the areas that has commanded the most attention is backup and recovery. Every day challenges of backing up data and probably more importantly -- recovering it -- are being discussed in the backup & recovery forum.

Usually the threads are sparked by a question from a user seeking advice. Here are a few of the questions and answer pairs, comments and responses that the editors felt were the most informative and compelling.

Kudos for TSM, shame on experts?

In D's "Backup to disk to tape (unabashed TSM plug)" post, D says, "There has been a lot of talk lately with the advent of ATA arrays of backing up to disk. I have yet to hear anyone state the fact (including Tivoli!) that Tivoli Storage Manager has been doing this since inception." This person also claims they are "not an IBM employee, I just think that this is a great product that all the 'experts' at [] are ignoring."

Other posts in this thread from jukebone, and FABSTORY also claim the experts have to start giving TSM a bit more attention. (Ed. note: We hear you, guys, check back for an article or two on TSM)

400GB in two hours?

The conundrum: asmith is looking for the best way to backup 400 gigabytes in two hours. ZiggyS says, "That's an IO rate of approx 120 Mbps (60 Mbps read, and 60 Mbps write), which should not be hard for most servers to achieve. The more important challenge is whether the source disk drives and target tape drives can actually achieve these rates.

ZiggyS also recommends "using storage hardware or software with instant-split capabilities. You can create instant point-in-time copies in seconds, and run your backups from those."

This comment lead to a debate between ZiggyS, expert Joel Lovell who are proponents of point-in-time and AlexSa -- who hasn't had much success with point-in-time copy.

Get smart: Backups and offsite storage

AlexSa needs your advice. The company AlexSa works for is backing up their SAN storage systems to an SDTL library. Alex is going to organize a secured offsite storage for backup tapes. We are going to rent a safe in the bank, with appropriate capacity. It is pretty secured, considering that our company is also storing backups locally in a fireproof safe in a secured area.

However, when tapes are being moved to the bank safe, there is a threat: Tapes can get intercepted by somebody (competitors, etc). What I want is a medium-size briefcase, which is able to destroy the contents (SDLT tapes) physically (explosion) or electro-magnetically; destruction should be easily performed, but safe for the operator (a man who is carrying the briefcase).

Could someone please point AlexSa in the right direction. Which company can make such briefcases for commercial corporations (we do not relate to CIA/FBI or KGB)?

Here are some of the recommendations offered:

  • Sending your data to a secure offsite storage vendor
  • AIT is the way to go

    But, it doesn't seem that AlexSa was too satisified with the posts. Do you have a solution for him? Post it here.

    This is just the tip of the backup/recovery forums iceberg. You can always search the forums or, post your own message whenever you are looking for advice.

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