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Monday, November 24, 2008

LAN-Free Unknown Feature

My boss brought this article to my attention so I thought I would pass it on. It discusses an unknown or little discussed capability of LAN-Free to act as a "pass-thru" server for other clients. In other words a normal client can connect to TSM through the LAN-Free agent that resides on another server. Basically the Storage Agent becomes a dummy TSM server. This can be helpful when you have backups that need to go to tape directly but the network connection between the client and the TSM server is hurt by inadequate bandwidth between switches, or firewall issues. You can check the article out here. I remember seeing this discussed on ADSM.org before, but have never attempted to try it.

5 comments:

  1. As I understand it - it's like a netbackup media server..

    Common for netbackup, and rare (from what I've seen) for TSM.

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  2. For LAN-free to work you'll need a dedicated HBA in the TSM Client computer. When this is not possible (for example, a blade server with no spare fc slots) you can install and use the data mover (a stripped TSM server) on a seperate machine. This data mover can serve multiple TSM Client machines at the same time. I don't think that this functionality is really that 'unkown', as it is described very good in several RedBooks.

    Tommy Hueber
    http://www.tsmblog.org

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  3. Hi Chad!
    The idea of having a TSM storage agent working as a proxy between a LAN Client and the SAN attached devices is very common in fully virtualised AIX environments.
    Imagine an AIX LPAR sending lots of data thru the very fast "internal virtual ethernet" of a POWER5 oder POWER6 box to the one and only LPAR that has FC adaptes to access the tape drives.
    This works great and saves a lot on hardware since one does not need a tape adapter per LPAR.
    BTW - NPIV (N-Port Virtualization) now available in AIX will allow for virtualized FC Adapters in LPARs building on one physical adapter in a VIO.
    Regards,
    Michael

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  4. this feature is explained very well in the redbook........tsm concept's 5.4.............anyway's ........thnkx for the info!!!

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  5. I have been using storage agents for years and I must admit I was completely unaware of this feature. It is something that I will have to try out and see how it goes. The only issue is separating the data from the normal storage agent and its' policy domain.
    Thanks for the post.

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