Tivoli Tool Eases Remote Backup

With Storage Manager 3.7 released late last month, Tivoli Systems Inc. is trying to help customers protect their most vulnerable data: those on laptop computers.

Regular backup procedures can't reach mobile computers, and users, typically facing long connect times at low speed, are usually less-than punctual about backing up files.

Storage Manager, the upgraded and rebranded Adstar Distributed Storage Manager (ADSM), can cut backup time by half because it targets only files that have changed since the last backup, said Tivoli storage strategist Troy Pladson.

The same process works in reverse to restore only the files that have been changed. Or, through the same graphical user interface, users can select only files they want to restore.

Although the company is initially touting the backup capability for its value to mobile workers, the same process works on servers and across LANs, WANs, storage-area networks (SAN), Internet and dial-up connections.

Storage Manager also offers multithreaded data transfer and tape resource sharing, which lets servers that are attached to a SAN, use the same tape library and drives.

Users are inching their way into the world of SANs, said Michael Adams, an analyst at Giga Information Group Inc. in Boston. "Managers may be buying new tape libraries, but they're not signing up for a whole new architecture," he said.

The Hartford Insurance Group Inc. in Hartford, Connecticut, uses ADSM to do desktop backup to mainframe silos. "I'm always interested in new ways of doing things," said John Siantilli, storage manager for the insurer.

But for now, his priorities are more likely to be in Web servers, he said.

Faster Backup

Vendors such as Legato Systems Inc. and Veritas Corp. are also adding features to their storage management software to speed backup and recovery and enable shared data access of network-attached storage devices.

ConvergeNet, bought early last month by Dell Computer Corp. in Austin, Texas, will this month release the first beta of its Storage Domain Manage, which will concentrate on heterogeneous interoperability of SAN devices and management of the enterprisewide SAN from a single console.

By giving the upgrade to most current ADSM users, Tivoli is creating a sort of test bed for users and letting them prepare for the time, likely a year away, when SAN technology will take off, Adams said.

Storage Manager 3.7 became available last week. Pricing ranges from US$920 for a Windows NT server to several thousand dollars, depending on features, options and platforms. The client costs $115 on any hardware from laptop to mainframe.

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