Tuesday, May 23, 2006

LAN-Free In A Shared Library Environment

I had to setup a LAN-Free client recently and ran into some trouble with the tape environment.  As you all know I use a shared library environment where multiple TSM servers share a single large library through a library controller TSM instance.  This works great since it allows for a shared scratch pool and TSM can be bounced faster since the DB is less than 2GB.  The problem arises when trying to setup a LAN-Free agent in this complex environment.  If you have ever read the directions for LAN-Free you’ll notice they can be quite confusing since they switch the client port to 1502 to accommodate the LAN-Free agent’s default of 1500.  Now understand 1500 makes sense because the LAN-Free agent is really just a stripped down TSM server. Since the TSM server uses 1500 by default so does the agent.  I decided to use port 1502 for the agent but forgot to change it in the dsmsta.opt file. This kept me from being able to connect to the agent from the client since it was looking at port 1502 and the agent was still using port 1500.

Another issue the directions don’t fully explain is where to point the LAN-Free agent when setting it up.  I will explain how here and hopefully make it easy to understand.

1. Setup the dsm.sys client file with the following lines

LANFREETCPServeraddress <loopback, DNS name, or IP>
LANFREETCPPort          1502

2. Define the agent to the node’s TSM server and the library controller as a server

define server storagent serverpassword=passw0rd hladdress=<loopback, DNS name, or IP> lladdress=1502

Also don’t forget to register the node if not registered already.

register node <nodename> <password> domain=<domain name>

3.  On the TSM library controller instance path the drives seen by the node/LAN-Free agent machine.  I am assuming you have connected the client node to the SAN environment and zoned a number of drives to the node.  When seen in the OS you can define the path. Make sure you map the paths correctly. In AIX this can be done by running the lscfg –vp | more command and noting the drive serials and noting them to their corresponding drive in TSM.

DEFine PATH STORAGENT <Drive Name> SRCType=SERVER AUTODetect=YES DESTType=DRIVE LIBRary=<Library Name> DEVIce=/dev/rmtX ONLine=YES

Note:   For ACSLS libraries more configuration parameters need to be set. I am showing an IBM hardware example since I would never use anything else!

4. On the client node go to the storage agent’s folder and update the dsmsta.opt file with the following

     tcpport 1502

5. Now from that storage agent directory run the following command

dsmsta setstorageserver myname=storagent mypassword=passw0rd myhladdress=<loopback,DNS name, or IP> servername=<node’s tsm server IP or DNS name> lladdress=1500 <or port used by node’s tsm server>

Note:  Notice I am pointing the agent to the node’s TSM server. Even though it is a library client and does not control the drives, by defining the agent to both the client TSM server and the controller instance a handoff from the library client to the library controller will occur automatically.  If you do not define the LAN-Free agent to the library controller the agent will fail.

You should now be able to test the configuration by starting the dsmsta in the foreground and then from another telnet window start a TSM command line client and run a backup(if using Windows open a dsmc client). If setup correctly you’ll see the agent contact the controller for a drive and mount a tape and commence a LAN-Free backup.


  1. Can you use "sandiscovery on" with lan-free agent...since lan free is strip down version of tsm server?

  2. I don't think that would work Atif, but good try! ;D

  3. #1# Where is the end of this entry? The last sentence is: "If setup correctly you’ll see the agent contact the controller for a drive and".

    #2# We're plannig to implement the same config in a month here in Budapest but we have problem with the main TSM server so we posponed the implementation.

    #3# Does anyone know a place (Europe, States or in IBM itself) where there is a TSM server with 5T daily data from nodes (+5T copy of course), more than 500 nodes and about 200G TSM database? I'd like to visit them to see how they run that system.

  4. Flex

    5T is not that bad I have one TSM server that does over 15TB per day (SAP groups only does fulls daily on multiple 2+TB DB's) and they don't even use LAN-Free!!! My main TSM servers have 5+ backup network connections (all gigabit ethernet) and are connected to a 9 frame 3584 LTO3 library with 54 drives. This environment supports 1200+ clients over 5 TSM servers (we have a library controller instance but I don't count it). Overall I support 56 TSM servers in the US enterprise and over 4000 clients. Due to the cost of SAN ports/switches we only use LAN-Free on extremely large or critical servers.

    As for the best practice to get the 5T offsite I would recommend you use the duplexing feature in TSM. When the SAP servers backup to the primary tape pool they are backing up to the copypool at the same time. Although it requires twice the # of drives it allows me to get the data offsite in the morning after the backups have completed and we don't have to wait for the whole copy pool creation process.

  5. In this case you are my man ;-) so we should continue this discussion in the future. I'm realy, realy interested in how you cope with that many TSM servers. I have only 45 small + 3 big servers so you're the winner ;-)

    I made the LibraryManager + LibaryClient + StorageAgent config so I'll write my experience (hopefully) tomorrow.

    Did anybody try it?

  6. I tried this configuration but the Storage Agent couldn't come up with a connection to the TSM media server with the warning

    "ANR0456W: Session rejected for CTIZMCCTSM01 server name at localhost 1500 does not match."
    (CTIZMCCTSM01 is my media server)

    The missing piece is that in the devconfig.txt file, the connection parameters for both servers, media and node's, are needed. So, I ran the dsmsta setstorageserver twice, one for each server, then I edited the dsmsta.opt file to comment the SERVERNAME entry corresponding to the media server, so the node first "speak" to the server where is registered.

    Fire up dsmsta and, voilà! got my dsmsta up and running and my backups getting done to the speed of SAN.


  7. Thanks for the added info. There is always the chance I'll leave something out so you readers act as my editors. So was this LAN-Free in a shared library environment?

  8. Yes, I actually have one shared library scenario:
    * One machine running 2 tsm server services, one is the media server and 'light' clients, the other has the heaviest applications and uses shared libraries from the first one.
    * Since A LOT of my data is in NetApp NFS exports, I backup them using an HP-UX 11 server and this is where I configured the LanFree Agent since SAN is available and I'm backing up about 20, 1Tb, 95% full, filesystems.
    * A second machine in a remote location with its own library for primary pools and using copy pools in the media server of first machine.

  9. Did you, or do you recommend, a separate fiber connection for the tape drives apart from those already utilized for typical data traffic...?

  10. Dan,

    I don't recall hearing anything about TSM supporting fiber redundancy with tape drives. I'll look into it. I think that it would be a waste of costly SAN ports if it doesn't.

  11. Here's a technote with a big picture on the subject :

  12. Hi,

    Can you show me the screenshot of configuring lanfree if possible.


  13. Well thanks for informative site, keep it up.