Tivoli Storage Manager (IBM Spectrum Protect)

Tivoli is part of IBM, and they provide a suite of management products for distributed systems. TSM is now called Spectrum Protect, but I suspect most people will be using TSM for some time yet. It used to be called ADSM and works on the 'incremental backup forever' principle, which takes a bit of getting used to, compared to the more traditional 'weekly full backup and daily incremental' system. With TSM, you backup all your clients to one central data backup server. This makes administration a lot easier, but means you have to limit the amount of data you send over the network. That's why TSM needs to be incremental. A central database records all backup information, and can be used to recreate a whole server if necessary. TSM always keeps at least one backup of every on-line file.

TSM excels at 3 functions

  1. File restores
  2. Disaster recovery planning
  3. Archiving

As TSM works on the 'incremental forever' principle, it is not as fast at recovering whole servers or disks as a local tape backup would be. How important is this?
Even as recent as 5 years ago, disk failures, or full server failures were quite common, and file restores quite rare.
Today, disks are very reliable, and if configured as RAID, hardly ever fail. However, as more and more critical applications run from file servers, file restore requests are now very common. Typically, you can expect to restore several files a day, and a disk once a year if you are unlucky.
Products which backup each server individually to a local tape will recover a full server faster than TSM, but file recoveries will take longer, and take a lot more effort.

Use the right hand menu to navigate through the TSM pages

It is possible to get a qualification that demonstrates your TSM skills. Quoting IBM, 'An IBM Certified Deployment Professional is an individual who has demonstrated the ability to implement and support IBM Tivoli Storage Manager. It is expected that this person is able to perform the following tasks independently a majority of the time, and in some situations, take leadership and provide mentoring to peers. It is expected that this person will be able to perform these tasks with limited assistance from peers, product documentation and vendor support services.'

It is often a challenge to find the IBM TSM manuals. The best place these days seems to be found here
TSM 6.2 Documents
TSM 6.3 Documents
TSM 6.4 Documents
TSM 7.1 Documents