Inside System Storage -- by Tony Pearson

Tony Pearson Tony Pearson is a Master Inventor and Senior IT Specialist for the IBM System Storage product line at the IBM Executive Briefing Center in Tucson Arizona, and featured contributor to IBM's developerWorks. In 2011, Tony celebrated his 25th year anniversary with IBM Storage on the same day as the IBM's Centennial. He is author of the Inside System Storage series of books. This blog is for the open exchange of ideas relating to storage and storage networking hardware, software and services. You can also follow him on Twitter @az990tony.
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Comments (8)

6 SteveJackson commented Permalink

Please provide your view on Actifio and how ProtecTier and TSM compare.

7 TonyPearson commented Permalink

Steve, <br /> I will be meeting with folks from Actifio next week in Orlando for IBM Edge conference, so let me discuss with them before I respond. <br /> -- Tony

8 TonyPearson commented Permalink

Steve, <br /> I met with the folks from Actifio at the IBM Edge conference in Orlando, Florida. <div>&nbsp;</div> The short answer is that TSM and ProtecTIER are focused on backing up data at the file level, and Actifio works exclusively at the block level. <div>&nbsp;</div> Basically, through an OEM agreement with IBM, they are running their proprietary sotware on IBM hardware, providing all the basic storage hypervisor features like FlashCopy, Remote Mirroring and Volume Mirror, while adding deduplication and block-level Continuous Data Protection (CDP) capabilities from intercepting every write through the hypervisor. The basic unit is a 2U box with two nodes, and Actifio is an authorized reseller of the IBM System Storage DS3500 disk for additional disk capacity. <div>&nbsp;</div> While it is touted as a way to eliminate backups, it does not offer any support at the fileor application level like TSM does. In the event of corruption of an individual file or database, you would roll-back the entire LUN from the latest FlashCopy or CDP checkpoint, and then re-apply logs or updates as needed. <div>&nbsp;</div> There is an optional agent that runs on the host OS, which is intended to orchestrate the copies, which might be similar to the way IBM's FlashCopy Manager interfaces with DB2, Oracle, SAP and other applications to suspend write during copy operations. <div>&nbsp;</div> Meanwhile, ProtecTIER is intended as a backup repository. It can receive backups of files, databases, from backup software, over a variety of traditional interfaces - VTL, OST and CIFS. Both TSM and ProtecTIER offer deduplication, which you can use these products individually, or in combination, to manage backups, space management and archives at the file level. <div>&nbsp;</div> See their website (http://www.actifio.com/) for more details. <div>&nbsp;</div> -- Tony

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