Published: February 24, 2011

IBM TSM for Virtual Environments Closes Gaps

It was a year ago that I chided IBM for shortcomings in its VMware backup support. A lot has changed since then. IBM recently announced the introduction of IBM TSM for Virtual Environments v6.2 to help improve data backup and restore of VMware virtual machines.

TSM for Virtual Environments supports VMware vStorage APIs for Data Protection (VADP), the successor to VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB). VADP reduces the backup workload on the virtual machine and, importantly, accelerates backup. Instead of installing a TSM agent in every guest OS, the agent is placed on a proxy server. Instead of requiring a physical proxy server, it can be physical or virtual. Instead of the backup data traversing the network unnecessarily, it can be read (and written) directly from (or to) the VMware server's storage. Instead of transferring redundant data, changed block tracking (CBT) is leveraged to capture only incremental data changes at the block level (and TSM's native deduplication can eliminate duplicates further).

When it comes to recovery, there are big improvements, too. Users aren't limited to whole-VM backup/whole-VM recovery scenarios. TSM for Virtual Environments allows for file-, volume-, or VM-level recovery in a single step using a single backup of a VM image. And, with a volume-level restore, the mount point can be made available immediately to applications while the recovery happens in the background.

Other handy features include automatic discovery of and assignment of backup policies to new VMs. Management is centralized in the TSM console. TSM for Virtual Environments can also automatically detect a VM's location even when it's moved via VMware vMotion.

As organizations gain maturity with virtualized servers, environments scale and expose the inefficiencies of performing agent-in-guest-style of backup. With these enhancements, IBM TSM can maintain pace with the needs of VMware adopters-especially those looking to optimize backup and recovery.

Read more of Lauren's blog entries at Data Protection Perspectives.

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