Sunday, October 30, 2005

Managing RAW Volumes

Well I was recently called by another IBMer and asked how to use RAW volumes. The person called to ask why sometimes DSMFMT will format quite fast on one machine then take forever on another machine. Well one thing you have to understand about DSMFMT is that it's taking that file and making the space within it RAW. If you've ever looked inside an unused TSM volume you'll see it is a text file filled with ADSM over and over (they might have changed the fill but when I was teaching TSM thats what we saw). So why use RAW instead of actual files (other than files being a redundant process)? FAST! EASY! and when speed in DR is key it's the only way to go. It's actually easier than one would think and with a little script you can manage your RAW volumes and hdisks easily. I'll post the script along with a script to querry the serial and WWN of your tape drives. These two scripts come courtesy of Hari Patel my co-worker who is a PERL mad man. (Download tar/zip)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Free Web Trainings!

I am providing this link for those of you unaware of some free TSM training available from IBM.  They have a number of web based training classes available like TSM 5.3 Overview and Differences for TSM 5.3. You can find the site here.  They are also providing a free TSM concepts poster for those that request it.  I would also suggest the free Linux trainings available on the IBM Developer Works website for those that would like to learn more about it.  You can find a list of web based trainings here, and personally if you can’t become a proficient Linux user with these trainings then you need to look for a new job!

Friday, October 14, 2005

NetApp TOC Issues

We have recently found out that the TOC file creation in TSM can fail when the NetApp volume has special characters in the filename.  The has led people to believe that the backups are unsuccessful and our group would be unable to restore data. That assumption could not be farther from the truth.  We can still restore an individual file, we just can’t load a graphical representation into the web based TSM client. Anyway, the response by Tivoli was that we could identify the file with the problem because an error will report when the TOC creation fails stating the filename that caused the problem.  So we would have to do this hundreds of times since we have, on our own, identified at least 400+ files with special characters. So I have good backups just can’t restore them easily, then the question is how does TSM react when trying to restore files with special characters?