TSM Topics Feed

Showing posts with label Admin Interface. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Admin Interface. Show all posts

Friday, May 31, 2013


I recently attended a technical briefing from IBM of various storage related topics which included TSM. While they did have an NDA I can say that some of the items we discussed showed promise. I'll be able to discuss more after IBM Pulse this month, but what I can say is that the new Admin Center is pretty slick. It has some nice features and will finally make up for the folly that was the ISC. IBM stressed that they are listening to users and taking their requests and suggestions to try and develop a tool everyone will find useful. That was surprising news seeing as how the majority of people complained about the ISC and it took 7+ years to finally get a replacement. I will say this in defense of the TSM developers, a lot of the ISC push came from above and they were somewhat forced into that fiasco. TSM 7 DB will scale larger and handle more objects and they are really ramping up the capabilities of the client deployment module. More info to come in the next couple weeks.

One item that did come up was the issue of Export and Backup Set tapes being unencrypted from TSM due to the key issue. What I suggested was that they allow TSM servers to backup each others keys and also utilize them so Exports and Backup-Sets could be encrypted, but still shared between TSM servers. Hope they find some way to add that capability.

We did have a Protectier review and it has a lot of promise. I know I have been a Data Domain fanboy for some time. While I didn't see anything that integrated Protectier DeDupe with TSM directly it did show some nice growth capabilities. I'm excited to see how well it works, but I'm fighting a study that shows tape still is the more cost effective backup solution.

I'll post more once PULSE is complete (mid-June) so stay tuned!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tivoli Storage Manager Next Administrative Interface / Beta Programme

It'll be called: Operations Center (a bit sounds like admincenter ;-) I hope they didn't only change the design!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

STORServer Console 3.0 Released

If you are looking for a TSM management console STORServer has released v3.0 of their console. I have not had the opportunity to use it, but if any reader out their has experience with the product and would like to post a review I will be more than willing to allow it. You can read more about the STORServer Console here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011


This is to let you know tsmadm.pl v1beta RC2 has been published.

In brief, this program will make your daily TSM work easier by using the entire terminal size with colors and by redefining the existing commands or by extending the original ones.

In addition, the program can handle historical/archive data as well!!!

See details at: tsmadm.pl

Will you try it and send us your experiences or suggestions?

You can also contact us via several other ways:


Saturday, June 19, 2010

TSM Console Manager

While catching up with my e-mail I came across Spirit Software's TSM Console Manager. I had been asked to review it and did not get the e-mail until today. So I thought I would post the video describing the product and giving you and idea of how it works. Oh, and the cost isn't bad either...it's FREE!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

New! Free training for TSM v5.4 ISC

If you use the ISC (even though it wastes more time than it saves) you can get some free training from IBM. The trainings cover:

  • Installing the Admin Center
  • Using the Admin Center
  • Managing ISC users and TSM admins
If you click on this posts title it will take you to the page or you can click here to be taken directly to the IBM Education Assistant webpage.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Adventures In ISC Hell

I just tried to upgrade the ISC from 5.3 to 5.4 and it failed misserably. It gave me JVM errors and I could not uninstall the previous version. I had to reimage the windows server and install from scratch. Since installing from scratch I notice that nothing has been done to help with usability with the Admin Center. Most items go off the screen and to be honest IBM should fire the Admin Center project managers for not doing any usability testing. Most items go off the screen and the average 1024x768 user can not serious use it to help with productivity. This has to go down in the anals of App interfaces as one of the biggest blunders in recent history. Heads should be rollong but more than likely bonuses were doled out!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Sit Down With ISC Admin Developers

The wonderful people with GUI/Web development at IBM were kind enough to have a conference call with me to discuss issues with the TSM admin interface. They have read my posts and thought I might have a good idea as to why so many people dislike the interface. The truth is, a central console to manage your TSM servers is a better paradigm than a web server per TSM instance process. What was agreed across the board is the problem with WebSphere. They made it sound like they are trying to move to a TSM Express model, which TSM Express uses a WebSphere Lite, and is lot more responsive. The current WebSphere is just too big and slow for the needs of TSM admins.

The other problem with the ISC that is very apparent is the inability to view selected content in the viewable area. See when you select certain commands the results of selecting that command many times will not appear on the visible screen, but below requiring scrolling. Let's face it not everyone managing TSM is an expert so they might miss it and think something is wrong with the interface. The good (and some consider bad) of the old interface was that a selection or command was instantly seen in the results frame. It wasn't perfect but it was more functional than the current model. The other issue, I believe was agreed upon, was the resolution used for the screens. The resolution needs to either be fluid like this blog (meaning resizing itself for various screen resolutions without going beyond the borders of the browser) or set to a specific resolution. The recommended resolution for the web to meet 99% of the users out there is 800x600. I know many of you might think that 800x600 is low, but it can be shown in almost every user’s browser. The ISC however seems built for a resolution of 1280x1024. This doesn't work because many people can't go beyond 1024x768 (like me with my laptop). With items off the screen it makes it harder to use the interface since things like the collapsible section button (minimize) are off the screen. I also suggested that the Libraries for All Servers section be a separate tab that changes color if one of the libraries is having issues. It gets in the way having it there at all times. Sure you can minimize it, but if you select another function it resets itself. I would also like to see the TSM servers easily definable. One of the issues I had is that every admin has to define their own servers to the ISC. So the same server ends up being defined multiple times when a single definition would do. If you can’t login who cares if you can see it? I also think they need to move the servers to an expandable list along the side frame so that you can select the server you want to work with and the context frame switches to that server content.

Another example of how they made the selection more complex is working with client scheduling. Tivoli took away the scheduling link and changed it so that to access client schedules you first select domains, then select the server you want to work with, choose the domain where you think the schedule is, then below the domain list you will see multiple options you can select and one of those will be Client Node Schedules, select that then you can choose the schedules you want to work with. Now after selecting the schedule you want to work with that took 5 selections to get to the schedule you need. And they are under domain so you don’t see a full list of schedules like before. So if you choose the wrong domain…start the process over. I also think they need to add an color coded error window like TSM Manager has. It is so helpful its amazing!

I would like to thank the IBM people who listened to my suggestions. I find it refreshing to see IBM working hard to fix issues to make the users experience more productive. I will admit I really want a central management console (that's why I love TSM Manager) and a streamlined, fast, and simple ISC will definitely win me over. Especially now since my new work place doesn't have TSM Manager! :(

Note: Please leave your own feedback in the comments section so that the TSM ISC Admin Development team can hear what you have to say. I know they would like feedback from more than me.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

TSMManager 4.1

Back in June of 2005 I posted a review of TSMManager 4.0. When I was with IBM I had convinced management to purchase the product and we got a sweetheart deal to boot. I was initially drawn to the nice admin console window. As you'll see in the picture below when you open an admin console you are presented with a tabbed window that has a number of different views, one per tab. The first tab is the ALL MESSAGES tab that is basically an active view of the TSM servers activity log. The second tab is the most useful and important tab within TSMManager, in fact it is what makes TSMManager my favorite tool to use. This tab is the ERROR MESSAGES tab and it basically filters the TSM activity log to show only WARNING, ERROR, and SEVERE ERROR messages. Why is this the most important piece to TSMManager? Because, with this one tab 95+% of the time I can deduce a problem within in a minute or two. For example in the provided screen shot you can see we had a number of drive errors, but look closer and you see it's one tape causing the problem. This took me a minute to figure out and I easily resolved it by removing the tape. The next tab I rarely use but it can come in handy. It is the SPECIAL MESSAGES tab and it covers ALL the servers not just the one you have selected to manage at the moment. It really lists the processes and there start and end times. You might use the tab to lookup processes and how they ran, but I haven't found a real use for this tab yet. The next tab is the actual TSM Admin command line. You can issue commands or use the quick commands provided on the side. TSMManager will store the last 20+ commands in a buffer for recall. Overall this window and its tabs are worth the cost of the product in its productivity enhancement.

This is the error tab. Click on it and you'll see how it consolidates all errors into a simple interface. Great for those times you're having server issues. Posted by Hello

Thursday, August 31, 2006

How Tivoli Can Fix The ISC

I thought about it and instead of just complaining I figured I'd offer my two cents. The beauty of the old web interface was that it was simple and fast at refreshing (usually). The new ISC is slow in this regard, and that is where the problem lies. The idea of a central monitoring tool is wonderful. The problem is in the response time. OK! So how can they fix it? AJAX! Yes with Asynchronous Javascript And XML there would be no reloads. Updates would happen dynamically and the ISC Admin Center would actually be amazing! Don't believe me? Look at what a lot of the Web 2.0 apps are using, that's right AJAX! It's turns a ho-hum web app into a true desktop app that you would forget is running in your browser. Is it in the works? My bets are on NO! But, hey someone has to have dreams!

Monday, August 28, 2006

TSM Admin Center Blues!

OK so I used TSMManager when I was with IBM and at the new account, I must say, I see the headaches involved when you don't have a central management tool. I am trying to configure my servers on the ISC Admin Center and it is a piece-o-crap! I don't think anyone at Tivoli or IBM did a usability study. If so they would not have moved to the new interface, or they would have made it a lot better. Granted the ISC gives you a central management tool, but it is so unintuitive and slow I find myself grinding my teeth together using it. Now we are almost two years into the ISC and it still sucks so what gives? Anyone have anything positive or hints to make it somewhat useable? It's slow, clunky, and not intuitive. Use the Operational Reporting tool you say? Forget it! It doesn’t even look like they are moving forward with it on 5.3 since it still has a web option. I just have one question for developers? What is going on?

Monday, November 14, 2005


Many people have been complaining about the ISC+TSM AC and I have been one of them.  The concerns have been plentiful, “We have to learn a new interface”, “There’s no DRM functions”, and “It requires a server just to support it!”  All these are valid protests and the one that bothers me the most is the fact that in a DR situation you would have to rebuild the ISC system/instance along with the TSM server to have web accessibility.  This adds time to an already urgent situation.  So what good does the ISC+TSM AC provide?  For starters a single interface for accessing all your servers, a single login, more functions when it comes to hardware management, and in the event of a disaster it forces you to learn the command line.  I know the last item might frustrate a lot of people but the truth is you need to know the command line to be a proficient TSM administrator.  I love the web interface and I recommend TSMManager, but when in a DR situation you have to be able to handle the command line if you want to get back up and running. Granted you have no other choice than command line until the system comes back up and is running again, but afterwards you’ll need to do typical admin work and the ability to do it through the command line will increase you rebuild speed helping you meet SLA time frames.  I don’t think Tivoli had this in mind when they went to the ISC+TSM AC but in my opinion too many people rely on the web and don’t learn the commands needed to be truly proficient.  I find it amazing how many don’t even know how to use the HELP command.  So I could complain about the change in interface but change happens and although we don’t always like it (I don’t care for this one) we have to be able to change and adapt with it if we want to last in this work force.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Web Interface And The ISC

I recently was informed that the LTO3 format setting was never added to the old web interface. Is this true? I guess you can use the command line or ISC but was a little saddened to hear there was so update for that. What can I expect, they are trying to get rid of the interface. Does anyone know why the DRM feature was/is not in the ISC interface?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

TSM 5.3 Server And The Return Of The Web Interface

There has been such an uproar over TSM 5.3 dumping the web interface that IBM/Tivoli quietly released documentation on how to turn it back on for 5.3 servers. The sad thing is that Tivoli in their push to integrate websphere did not look at the problems faced when you take a critical process like backup and turn the tables on system and storage administrators overnight. The truth is that the new interface is clunky and adds time to the whole rebuild process if your people are not capable of using the command line. I have used the ISC but not enough to have a solid verdict. It looks like it has some nice features but by not making it somewhat similar to the old web interface they have only made a lot of people angry. Here is the documentation for turning back on the web interface on 5.3 servers. For now it works, we'll have to see how long they allow it.