IBM Tivoli updates for enhanced VMware data protection

One of the other items from yesterday’s huge IBM Tuesday announcement list which gets me excited is the enhancements being made to Tivoli Storage Manager and Tivoli FlashCopy manager which increases the functionality of those products with VMware vSphere.

Tivoli Storage Manager for Virtual Environments was released as version 6.2 and it included support for the vStorage APIs for Data Protection.  6.3 was announced yesterday and the major update to that product is the inclusion of a VMware vCenter plug-in which can be used to manage backup jobs.

A new version of Tivoli FlashCopy Manager (3.1) was also announced yesterday.  This version brings support for protection VMware vSphere volumes.

Both Tivoli FlashCopy Manager and TSM for VE can be controlled via the vCenter plug-in, which shows up as the “Tivoli Data Protection for VMware” plug-in in vCenter.  The products can be used separately, or together in a single backup job.  The home-screen of the plug-in looks like this:

TSM for VE uses vStorage APIs such as Changed-Block Tracking to perform very fast and efficient incremental backups of virtual machines, which from those backups you can restore individual files, .VMDKs, or entire virtual machines.  So where does FlashCopy Manager come into play?

FlashCopy Manager, like TSM for VE, interfaces with vCenter to gain awareness of what datastore holds what VMs and before proceeding with a FlashCopy creation makes sure those VMs are prepared for backup.  It then creates a near instantaneous FlashCopy of the physical volume in which the protected VMs reside.  Incremental FlashCopies are very small and are created very quickly, shortening the backup window and the opportunity for performing numerous backups during the day.  If the backup job is configured to also use TSM for VE, the FlashCopy volume is exposed to the TSM for VE server so the protected virtual machines can also be backed up to disk or tape.

This is a screenshot from my test environment.  I am showing the restore points available for the highlighted virtual machine.  I have 7 restore points which are available from FlashCopy backups, and an additional restore point which is backed up to TSM.

These are great updates from the Tivoli family of products!

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