Goodbye Backup Agents….Goodbye VCB

I’ve been quite busy the last couple weeks, so busy that I’ve neglected for far too long!  Today I’d like to tell you about an exciting upcoming release for IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) and NetApp SnapMirror users.

NetApp announced a couple weeks back the integration of NetApp SnapMirror to Tape and Snapshot technologies with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) 6. As a result, NetApp and IBM customers using TSM 6 will experience enhanced backup capabilities for data stored on NetApp FAS storage devices.

TSM 6 leverages NetApp SnapMirror to Tape technology, enabling customers to use TSM Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP) support to back up FAS volumes directly to tape or across the network to any tape device managed by TSM. This can be done without having to scan each volume to find new and changed files, helping reduce the amount of time customers need to back up their FAS systems, which can make the backup process up to 12 times faster.

TSM 6 also leverages NetApp Snapshot technology to reduce progressive incremental file backup time by comparing the current backup Snapshot copy with the previous backup Snapshot copy to identify new, changed, and deleted files. Traditional backup scans of large file systems can take hours. However, TSM 6, together with NetApp Snapshot technology, completes the identification of new, changed, and deleted files in seconds, drastically reducing the amount of time customers need to complete NetApp file system backups with TSM.

For those of you that may have noticed, the above paragraphs came from the direct NetApp press release. This is exciting news for me, currently an NDMP copy from our NetApp filer to our TSM managed tape drives requires a “full backup”, with 4-6TB of storage this can be time consuming.  This will change to a simple incremental type backup, only pushing the snapshot deltas to the tape drives.  Restoration will be as simple as a “snap restore” command on the filer.

So, goodbye VMware VCB and goodbye TSM Agents on every VM guest.  Now I can simply rely on NetApp SnapManager for Virtual Infrastructure (SMVI) for my D2D daily backups, and now SnapMirror to Tape with the upcoming release of TSM 6 for my D2T archives.

Also, you should already know about VMware’s Site Recovery Manager direct integration with NetApp SnapMirror to handle your disaster recovery automation. For those of us with a second datacenter, you can put another NetApp FAS system out there and use SnapMirror to replicate your virtual machines to that site, then use SRM to automate the process.

Created on February 19, 2009 by Rick Scherer

Posted under Backup & Recovery, NetApp, Storage.

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7 Comments so far

  1. Andrew Miller
    11:50 am on March 13th, 2009

    Fantastically cool stuff — I’ve got a location where I’ll hopefully be helping implement this (existing TSM/NetApp shop).

    If/as you implement this, I’d love to hear details.

  2. Rick Scherer
    2:16 pm on March 13th, 2009

    I was going to deploy using our existing TSM 5.5 server, but after further analysis it appears that the NDMP copy would be a full copy every single time. With TSM 6.0 (to be released this month), it will utilize Snapmirror and only push differentials to tape, which is a LOT better. So, as soon as we can upgrade our TSM server to 6.0, I will implement.

  3. FloydATC
    12:01 am on June 3rd, 2009

    We are just in the process of purchasing a new storage and backup solution, NetApp+TSM was already on our shortlist. If this actually works, nothing else even comes close.

  4. Russell Malenchek
    11:57 am on July 17th, 2009

    Are any of you familiar with the Avamar/Netapp integration? I see that EMC offers a NDMP accelerator, but I have to believe there is a decent way to do this without another piece of hardware.

  5. Rick Scherer
    4:27 pm on July 20th, 2009


    I’m not too familiar with EMCs product offerings (NDMP, Avamar) but one thing I’ve learned about them is that everything requires additional hardware and/or licenses.

    One thing I love about NetApp is how NDMP is already built into the product and all I need to do is enable it. And with their TSM 6 integration it becomes even easier to manage.

    I’m pretty sure Chad Sakac would be more than happy to talk about EMC’s offerings.

  6. Reality
    10:05 am on October 21st, 2010

    Do you realize that SM2T (SnapMirror to Tape) is a low-level copy of the entire volume? Also it does not allow for file-level restores. If you need to restore, you bring back the ENTIRE volume, which are now capable of reaching 100TB in DataONTAP v8’s 64-bit WAFL volumes. So although it is “neat” that NetApp can now send NDMP requests over to sm2t, there are some major operational issues with using that utility. Beware…

  7. Ivor-John Ross
    3:18 am on April 20th, 2011

    Has anyone got this working yet with TSM 6.2.3?

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