AIX 6.1 client Netbackup or TSM

Hello All

I am intersted in hearing your experience with AIX 6.1 clients and using Netbackup or TSM to perform full system backups.
Benefits / disadvantages based on your experience is appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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I don't know very much about Netbackup but have a lot of experience with TSM.

So let's talk TSM.

TSM has clients for many OSes, including AIX, all of Linux, HPUX, Solaris, Windows, Netware  and OS/X.

The server software is available for AIX, Linux, HPUX, Solaris and Windows.

The client backups (particulary AIX/Linux) are very reliable and rather fast (except when it comes to backing up hundreds of thousands of tiny files, this is not what TSM can do very speedy).

Backup techniques include "Incremental" (modified files only), "Selective" (all specified files), "Image" (e.g. raw volumes), "Archive" (long term storage).
Interfaces are available for backing up NAS, VM (e.g. VMware virtual machines).
Additional, payable interfaces include among others DB2, Oracle, MS SQL, Informix, SAP, MS Exchange, Lotus Domino, MS Sharepoint and HSM (hierarchical storage management).

Bare Machine Recovery for Windows is done via "TSM Fastback BMR" and for AIX with "TSM Sysback AIX" (see below).

The clients can be operated via GUI, command line or a background scheduler process, steered by the server's central schedules.

There is a myriad of options (customizing and run time), but the defaults are rather suitable for all day's work, so in most cases you'll not have to bother much.

Once set up and integrated into the central scheduling system the clients will do their job so that you won't even notice their presence.

Since you're interested in AIX full system backups her's a bit more about "TSM SysBack".

With this additional feature (charged) you can full system backups on CD/DVD, tape, a NIM server or to TSM virtual devices residing in TSM storage on the TSM server machine.
These virtual devices don't consume any loval space on the client, everything is done via TSM's client/server processing over the network.
The virtual devices feature tightly integrates TSM into your Bare Machine Recovery strategy.

Recovery of a bare machine is done by first booting over the net. You can use a classic network boot server (typically the TSM server is used for this) or a NIM server (if you already use such a server).

TSM Sysback has many, many more features (as well as TSM itself), so you yould consider reding the material pointed to by the following links to learn more about TSM.

This is the "Sysback" part of the Tivoli TSM5 Information center

This is for the server:

and for the Unix (AIX)/Linux clients:

Finally, this is the TSM6 Infocenter's home:

A bit to advantages/disadvantages:

Advantages: All sorts of clients available, reliable, unattended backups, fine grain customization in all imaginable ways, AIX bare machine recovery integration, extensive Database/Application support. Tight integration with AIX, because TSM and AIX are both IBM products (now, in a way).

Disadvantages: Not really cheap, a bit slow with many small files, the hosts of customization options might scare some people at first sight.

If you need more information or assistance please let me know. I'll stay tuned.


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hairylotsAuthor Commented:
Hello wmp

Appreciated the response.
You have confirmed some of my findings. With TSM how have you addressed the issue of a large number of small files, I have almost 7 million to backup?
Also with TSM to tape for offsite, how many tapes do you require, 2 tapes, 1 for data + 1 other which contains just file system structure or reclamation information?

Thanks in advance.

7 million is surely quite a lot.

My largest server has 82 million, and the initial backup actually took more than 26 hours.

There are a few options to speed things up.

Take care to set the server options MOVEBATCHSIZE and MOVESIZETHRESH to their maximum values (1000 and 32768, respectively). TSM will collect small files into "batches" which are then transferred as autonomous entities. How many of those entities get transferred in a single transaction is determined by TXNGROUPMAX, another server option.
If your backups go directly to tape you can increase this value beyond the recommended
setting of 4096 (up to 65000). This is not recommended for backups which go to intermediate disk storage, however.

TSM by default follows the "Incremetal Forever" paradigm, so subsequent backups will just process new or changed files.
However, it takes a long time to inspect all the many files in order to determine whether they must be backed up.
This time can greatly be reduced by using "Journal Based Backup".
JBB is implemented by means of a kernel extension "filepath" and a background process "tsmjbbd". JBB tracks filesystems for file/directory changes and keeps its own journal of these changes.
This journal, in turn, is used by the TSM client to determine which files must be backed up, instead of inspecting every single file. This can save hours.

TSM backup storage contains only payload data (well, basically). Metadata go to the TSM database (IBM DB2 since TSM 6.1). This means that a current database backup tape must be available to go "offsite" along with the payload tapes to provide for a true "Disaster Recovery".

TSM (Enterprise Edition) has a feature called DRM (Disaster Recovery Manager) which greatly helps with offsite vaulting.
hairylotsAuthor Commented:
Thanks, appreciated.
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