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Functionally IBM Tivoli Storage Manager differentiates itself from many competing products due to its integrated, relational database, which houses both the backed up data as well as the definitions and system settings. This allows a fast reconstruction of desired data, especially when dealing with individual items and small files.
Like TSM SEP sesam stores information for scheduled tasks in a relational database. In so doing it provides the customer with a useful SQL database, either PostgreSQL or SQlite, providing the basis for customer optimized queries to the database. The compilation and dissemination of data and log files using a standard, common language (Command Line) is made possible with this solution. It also serves as the basis to store the position data from the saved files in a corresponding ASCII file. A fast restore of data in the SEP sesam environment is possible.
TSM is especially noted for fast restores from both disk and tape. Due the design and mode of operation of TSM there exists only one version of every backed up file. TSM's relational database has recorded the exact location of the data on the tape, it can spool to the data on the tape and then perform the required restore. The restore of individual data from tape, depending on the tape technology, occurs within approximately one or two minutes and from disk almost instantly.
For reasons of reliability additional data regarding position data are created and stored in corresponding files from the database are also stored in ASCII files. A rapid recovery of selected data is assured since a long and time-consuming search for the positioning data is not required.
By capturing the position data using segment marks on the tape media SEP sesam spools to the known segment and can begin the restore, also in a short amount of time. Restore tasks start within a few minutes from tape, again depending on the tape technology in use.
Progressive Incremental Backups
For this backup TSM uses an operation referred to as Progressive Incremental or respectively "Incremental Forever". After an initial full backup, e.g. of a File Server, it is thenceforth possible to only backup the changes from the last backup incrementally.
The described method is provided as a standard within the SEP sesam product set. It is permissible to create any length of full plus incremental backups. SEP does, however, recommend a routine Full Backup of the data sets. This is to avoid the possible loss of data due to a defective or missing tape containing the necessary incremental backups. Further doing a full backup allows the inclusion of a Data Security plan for off-site storage of important data.
Journal Based Backup
The Progressive Incremental solution can be further enhanced with journaling (Windows und AIX).
The log file changes are recorded and this allows changes to be found easily and negates the need to spend valuable time using file scans to look for files. This shortens the backup window significantly.
SEP sesam has not implemented this functionality.
The technique "Adaptive Differential" makes it possible to transfer larger data files especially using limited bandwidth on a sub-file backup level for data and files. This will require an initial full backup of the main directories then subsequent Differential backups (only the files that were altered) will be performed and kept at the ready in the event a restore is required. This allows the transfer of only the altered, updated or new date to be transferred over the LAN/WAN connection.
This method is a basis for SEP sesam, Full, Differential and Incremental are integral parts of the software. Therefore, the limited connections available will not be unduly overtaxed. The practical solution is to perform full backups on a limited monthly, quarterly basis appropriate.
Backup over WAN
The Progressive Incremental technology used together with a Subfile Backup makes it possible to backup remote clients via a WAN connection. This methodology is used for IBM employees where the data is backed up to a Centralized TSM server located, for example, in New York or Boulder, Colorado.
SEP sesam allows for multiple backup strategies for remote servers, workstations or laptops. They are possible in the same manner that is described for Tivoli above. The possibility exists that a client-initiated backup may be started by a registered computer (employee) when he/she is at his home office, for example, or at a hotel with sufficient bandwidth (also relevant permissions) and sufficient time to complete the data transfer. In addition a Remote Server can be backed up to the central server when connected.
Tape Reclamation und Collocation
Tape reclamation is a function for defragmenting tape media. The TSM relational database monitors continually the allotment of valid or current backed up data on the tape media. When the value of this data falls below a pre-determined threshold the data is selected for transfer to other media. The original media can now again be used as a scratch volume for new backup or backup task. The functional collocation suppresses the possibility that data from individual clients is distributed across multiple media and avoids the necessity to load several tapes for a single restore.
Tape reclamation and collocation place higher demands on hardware and the time required to perform such tasks. It is always the possibility that when such a conversion or migration task is being performed on a tape drive, that the tape drive is not available for its primary function - that of online backup. Further, in the event a restore is required the tape drive is likewise unavailable. A much higher hardware unavailability must be calculated into the over backup and archival strategy, whether on tape or virtual media. Together with the its storage pool design for media and backups SEP sesam delivers an automatic method to fine tune the cycle required for stored data. SEP sesam recognizes dependencies from storage requirements FULL-DIFF-INC automatically and implements the needed time increase for media retention.
The length of time client data is retained depends upon the policy set during initial installation as well as the class of data established during the same process. The retention period is not dependent upon the tape media. The last backup performed on a valid file can remain in the backup sequence without restriction or expiration date so long as the assigned backup file space is not reassigned to another task or deleted.
The SEP sesam retention concept is reliant upon the point 'reclamation' and is dependent upon the Media Pool and Media level selected. The storage design allows for the sorting and selective retention of short and long-term data storage. Using our Media Pool design structure a comprehensive preservation of data depending on legal requirements or company philosophy can be set up to fill almost any needs. In so using the flexibility of SEP sesam the storage team can, along with management input, decide which data will be sent off-site and which data will be stored to to comply with legal and regulatory requirements and which may be deleted.
In addition to its primary design function to provide backup and restore services, TSM is especially suited for long term archival of data The length of time data will be held in safekeeping depends on the policy established in the software's retention setup files. It is always possible to migrate data from older to new tape technology. In this way there is no continued need to rely upon older hardware used to originally backup and archive data.
SEP sesam delivers a comprehensive and automatic migration concept for the long-term storage of data for archival purposes, which is not dependent upon the media originally used for backup. The design allows for disk-to-disk-tape, tape-to-disk or tape-to-disk-to-tape assuring availability of data for a required restore or eventual conversion to a new tape technology when required.
Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM)
HSM is a technology that offers the possibility to move data without impacting the user to more in-expensive media such as tape. The data remains visible to the user as sub-files with a changed or new Icon. In the event a user requests the data using the Icon the data is restored quickly. Using this method there is a slight increase in data recovery but a significant overall savings in media required for storage.
SEP sesam does not offer HSM technology. The function is often performed by other operating systems (Novell OES2, GroupWise) and the use of Storage Pools allows for the transfer of less used data to be transferred to inexpensive media.
TSM has a well-designed Media Management element. Tivoli can manage tape media as well as the TSM server where a Tape Library Share has been established. When there is a tape-removal from the tape library they are monitored from the TSM server using a console alert.
SEP sesam maintains a catalog of tapes that have been removed from the tape drives, autoloaders and libraries. This allows quick access to the data stored on any media within the software storage pool. The comprehensive and flexible pool concept used by SEP sesam, using disk and tape, fulfills almost every possibility for customer requirements. Automatic rotation cycles and manual, in some cases partial manual operation including the control of single tape drives on dedicated computer systems (Databases) is easily ascertainable, easy to set up for automatic operation, without further operator action. The media control is possible throughout the SEP sesam software in all backup setup and control using central administration for unlimited control and possibilities, and is also available in LAN and SAN.
Capacity Usage of Tape Media
TSM normally utilizes the entire tape media while performing backups. The reclamation process within TSM allows, after a specified timeframe, to consolidate the current, relevant information from each tape. The technology allows for an average higher usage of all tape media.
SEP sesam can write the storage on disk or tape to 100% by using the existing compression technology from the drives' manufacturer and can also use special algorithms in SEP sesam when backing up to disk. A migration of data to disk for a storage consolidation is not required and saves a great deal of effort and time.
Migration from disk to tape
Within the TSM data can be migrated easily between disk and tape media. Called 'staging' in TSM this can be controlled by data size, administrative schedules or by user command line input.
SEP sesam allows the system administrator to create an automatic migration philosophy or concept for the storage and migration of data. This allows the data to be moved from primary to secondary storage simply and easily. Migration of savesets from disk to tape and from tape back to disk is easily accomplished.
The administration of the TSM Server is possible using a web-browser or Command Line Interface (CLI).
The SEP sesam Server can be administered from practically any Java enabled desktop via a user optimized graphical user interface (GUI). Access to the server can be set by the system administrator which some or all functionality to be available to specific users. The complete administration of the SEP sesam Server is also available via the Command Line Interface, including the Microsoft version.
A basis concept of the TSM Servers is to make the backup, restore and archival functionality as automatic as possible. Administrative schedules allows complex database, data migration are other housekeeping chores to be performed at the discretion of the administrator.
SEP sesam allows the free configuration by the administrator of all tasks for backups, restores and migration using the integrated full calendar in addition to event guided immediate performance of desired tasks.
For backing up Client servers and their restoration native GUI's, web interfaces and Command Line Interfaces are available. Typically, backups are performed at night and are performed based on predetermined schedules and restores set up using a GUI.
The central concept for SEP sesam relies upon the planned control of all backup and restore tasks to use all storage facilities as efficiently as possible. A client-side ersatz or complimentary task definition and activation is herewith made possible. These activities, however, are only allowed insofar as permitted by the system administrator during initial setup or later determination. Activities not allowed by the system design or architecture are not permitted, however. Data Restore is allowed via the SEP sesam Restore Wizard, and controls for unauthorized access to data are in place to protect valuable data.
TSM uses Operational Reporting for the daily control and monitoring of backups. Here there is a Snap-In in the Microsoft Management Console (MCC) for a Windows based computer. Important parameters of the TSM Servers, i.e. completed schedules and successful tape mounts are regularly cataloged and shown in HTML format. Using an SMTP server the graphical reports can be sent as needed.
SEP sesam allows for different on and offline report interfaces to be accessed and controlled by the administrator and can be integrated fully into the backup design determined by the enterprise administrator to be forwarded via any method desired, e.g. mail, SMTP, etc. The SEP database structure allows the access to log files for individual analysis. In this way, for example, it can be determined which business units, in which time frame, what and how much data has been stored and where. This is especially useful for budgeting processes where department utilizes additional storage resources and can be billed and tracked internally. Graphical overviews can be created and provided to users and management for illustrative, billing or other purposes or can be provided in a text format for easy availabililty via a simple LAN connection.
Integrated Disaster Recovery Manager
An integrated Disaster Recovery Manager allows the outsourced storage of backed up data. In the event of a disaster, i.e. system failure, the administrator can utilize the recovery plan supported by the recovery manager. The restore of the IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Server is performed using the recovered copy of data and the internal TSM database.
SEP sesam can utilize the backup utilities from various recovery requirements. The full recovery and restore of a SEP sesam backup server can be performed from CD or from tape. In addition to the basic server recovery SEP also offers Bare System Recovery for clients (Linux and Windows via CD).
IBM Tivoli Storage Manager Client offers the possibility to encrypt using 128 Bit AES as well as the 56 Bit DES Algorithm.
SEP sesam offers open-source standard encryption using the Blowfish algorithm and allows the selection of AES 256 encryptions, as well.
NDMP Backup of NAS Appliances
Data from selected fileservers or appliances can be stored directly to tape using the NDMP protocol. Herewith a Table of Contents (TOC) is used to create a Direct Access Restore (DAS) at file level. The NDMP backup procedure does not require a dedicated tape drive.
SEP does not offer NDMP.
Using a CRC algorithm allows for the control of data integrity. In the event of a hardware error or defect, e.g. in TCP/IP or in Fiber Channel network data can be damaged during transmission between the TSM client and TSM server, or during the read-write process. Implementation of the CRC methodology alerts the administrator of such problems and allows for their correction.
The final and deciding data integrity determinant is the successful restore of backed up data. Using scheduled restores SEP sesam offers the
ability to restore either short or long term backups from tape or disk. As a test restore, for example, data can be scheduled for a six-month (or any period for that matter) to verify the accuracy of the data. The data is read from the data store and rewritten to the target client for automatic comparison to the original data. All transaction logs and the restored files are journaled. In addition, the tape is rewound and conserved for a longer storage period; herein the data can be further protected against over-writing and over use. Using the pre/post commands during the scheduled restore can be fully automated, performed and verified without any administrative interaction. The notations and records created by SEP sesam are a substantive legal record to verify the validity of backed up and stored data that if more and more often required by government regulation. A further enhancement of performance test methodology is already underway for the intention of providing even more data for evidential requirements.
Backup sets are an optional method for writing backed up data for a secured client to tape media. This backup can then be resent to the client or carried via the tape media to the client location and restored to the client using the TSM server.
SEP sesam offers several methods for the restore and recovery of client data. This is covered from authenticated data to Bare System Recovery in the event of a system disaster connection with the backup server (protection against unauthorized recovery) to silent methods using recovery from local tape to recovery without assistance from service personnel.
The backup can occur over a local network (LAN) or LANfree, over a Storage Area Network (SAN). This method is selected within the TSM Server attached storage components. A LANfree backup is especially useful for databases, groupware solutions and mySAP applications. For such applications there are some specialized backup agents available.
The described TSM functionality is basically the way SEP sesam works. A combination of various backup solutions can be combined to work both on the LAN and LANfree using the SAN environment. SEP sesam offers multiple possibilities to backup data within the SAN.
Online Image Support
For Windows 2000 und 2003 TSM offers Online Image und Open File Support. With these tools data directories can be secured and restored online. This method is especially useful, for example, when a weekly extension to incremental backups is desired. In the event a data volume is lost a Point-in-Time Restore is made possible with this option.
In SEP sesam all methods for a Windows system recovery is possible, also from CD-similar to imaging. The restore of basic system configuration, including a check of changes in hardware and drivers is possible using SEP BSR for windows.
Tape Library Sharing
The Tape Library Sharing option makes multiple TSM Server tape resources available for other TSM servers without requiring a partitioning of the tape library. One of the TSM serves in this example designated as the TSM Library Manager, and it manages the tape robotics, the drives and the tapes themselves. All other TSM servers act as TSM Library clients, that means that they are only allowed access to the drives. When a library client wants to write data a request is issued to the Library Manager to present a media for backup. Tape Library Sharing functions within heterogeneous environments so that TSM Server can be used for many different operating systems.
The SEP sesam control concept allows all functions as described above. The management of the library hardware environment is also available within the SAN without direct access from the backup server. A multi O/S environment using Remote Device and Remote Device server is also possible.
TSM can write to these tapes, although they are handled with a special routine.
Supports both WORM Tapes and WORM Disk-selection during setup is optional.
Mixed Media Support
Within any Tape Library different hardware versions of any specific tape media technology can be supported. It only requires the user to specify device type when configuration is taking place.
SEP sesam supports a wide range of user selectable media and disk drive types used by various OEM's within their product offerings. SEP sesam supports almost every type of storage and storage solution from every manufacturer by using straightforward logical standard protocols.
Server Recovery and Protection from Disaster and System Failure
SEP sesam makes it possible to provide reliable, efficient and fast backup for diverse and backup infrastructures and demanding requirements to provide data availability for company locations or network segments. A standby SEP sesam server can also, for example, be a Remote Device Server that acts as a secondary server in the event the primary server fails. It can take over the complete functionality of the SEP sesam backup server until the latter is re-installed or recovered. Once the SEP sesam server is back online the Remote Server transmits the data back to the primary server and falls back to its secondary or backup status. In normal use the Remote Device Server serves as a data mover.
An example of the SEP sesam's flexibility is the fact that data can be moved from a Windows server to a Linux server and vice-versa without losing any data integrity. The many strengths and advantages of SEP sesam is incomparable adaptability and configuration flexibility requiring only minimal administrative effort. A standard training effort to become familiar with the main functionality of SEP sesam takes between 1 and 3 days, after which a test and certification process leads to a SEP Certified Administrator status.
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