Tivoli fix for "number of unavailable volumes too high" issue

tsm small I get this error once in a while on my TSM 5.5 server:

“The number of unavailable volumes is too high Condition (3 > 2) Recommendation: Issue: Q LIBVOL F=D at a TSM command prompt for details.”

Resolution:

q vol * acc=unava for the list of the unavailable volumes… if you want to update their access status to readw;
upd vol volumename acc=readw for each unavailable volume or
upd vol * whereacc=unava acc=readw for all

If those 2 volumes are to an offsite location or vault then:
upd vol xxxxx access=offsite

See ADSM.org for more info.

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About EMC Celerra NAS checkpoints

Here is a good intro on EMC Celerra NAS checkpoint technology. Checkpoints, also known as snapshots, are point-in-time images of a file system. These can be used for a quick system recovery in the event of file system corruption or loss:

How IBM Tivoli Storage Manager works with Microsoft VSS

vsscomponentsThis is a great article from IBM on how TSM operates with Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS):

http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/tivoli/library/t-tsm-vss/index.html

About IBM Tivoli Storage Manager, TSM

tsm smallHere is an article from SearchDataBackup.com: it is a brief overview of the flagship backup storage server, Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM). Tivoli has an “incremental forever” architecture that eliminates the need for full backups on a regular basis, which saves time and space on storage systems.

Read it here.

IBM Tivoli command reference

iscbanner-mosaicThis is a compiled list of command commands for administering Tivoli Storage Manager 5.5. First, have a look at this library at IBM:
http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/tivihelp/v1r1/index.jsp

Here are some commands that I use on a daily basis:

CHECKIN LIBVOLUME TAPELIB search=BULK checklabel=barcode status=SCRATCH WAITTIME=0

q vol st=full stg=vtapedata – lists full vols from the storagepool vtapedata

move data (volumename) – moves data from a low-utilized drive to another drive in the same storage pool to free up the space on that drive and convert to scratch

update (volumename) acc=readw – changes a drive that is “unavailable” to read/write status

q copy – shows each policy domain, mgt class and versions of data exist and retention.

q mgmt – shows your management classes

q drm – what’s going to the offsite vault

q event * * – shows the current state of all node backups (real-time process stats)

q mount – what tapes are mounted in drives

q san – shows your libraries and drives

q assoc – shows associations of nodes to schedules

q occ %nodename% – queries the stored backup data occupancy (size, date, etc)

Tivoli backup client VSS errors

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I get this a lot within backup client logs:
 

01/07/2010 07:59:05 ANS1327W The snapshot operation for ‘servername\SystemState\NULL\System State\SystemState’ failed with error code: 4353.
01/07/2010 07:59:05 ANS5258E An error occurred initializing a VSS request. For more information, see the TSM client error log.
01/07/2010 07:59:05 ANS1375E The snapshot operation failed.
01/07/2010 07:59:05 ANS5258E An error occurred initializing a VSS request. For more information, see the TSM client error log.

After some research, I found that the error is caused from the Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS). The Microsoft definition of this service is thus:

“With the release of Windows Server 2003 and Windows Storage Server 2003, Microsoft has introduced an exciting and valuable infrastructure to it’s already robust operating system; Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS).  VSS provides the ability to create snapshots, or point-in-time (PIT) copies of volumes.  These snapshots are images of the data as it looks at a particular instance in time.  By maintaining these timely images of data, users and administrators can quickly recover individual files or whole volumes directly from disk as they appeared at the time the snapshot was taken; similar to restore from tape but much faster” (Microsoft, 2010).

Sometimes, the TSM client and VSS interfere with one another, resulting in the error posted above. To resolve this, Microsoft has distributed a sequence of patches that is available from IBM at http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?rs=663&uid=swg21242128. (Reference #:​ 1242128) I have used KB940349 and KB934016 with success on 32-bit Windows 2003 SP2 servers.

Reference:
Microsoft. (2009). Microsoft Virtual Shadow Copy Service. Retreived January 7, 2010 from http://download.microsoft.com/download/5/d/a/5da1f7ab-a102-4e5e-ab1e-493259102888/Microsoft%20Volume%20Shadow%20Copy%20Service.doc

An economical DR plan – a case study

network2This is a review of a disaster recovery case study I did in an enterprise storage class in grad school:

I have found a case study of an economical DR plan that contains a bi-coastal partnership between two universities. Bowdoin College in Brunswick Maine had partnered with Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and created a plan to host one another’s DR sites. The recovery sites are identical and linked with a high speed VPN. Each recovery site is an active asynchronous secondary site: “If a disaster or outage hits either school, the hosting campus will initialize the other’s hot site and run it for the duration of the emergency” (Cox, 2007). The secondary sites will be operated for the duration of the disaster. Each site will maintain the recovery systems that have been purchased by the other. During a disaster, the administrators would remotely administer the recovery site – a logical data center. Such systems as emergency web sites would be in operation continuously, as well as some DNS elements and a program that distributes an emergency notification through various content delivery systems such as pager, IM, cell phone, and email.
According to the CIO’s at each location have discussed, it would be more affordable to do this within similar organizational environments. To keep cost down, virtualization was implemented at the start – less hardware was needed which also will conserve energy cost. With two organizations working together each could share expertise which was mutually beneficial, and two organizations with similar infrastructure would also be beneficial to the initial design of the recovery site architecture, further reducing cost. Another caveat is that the collaboration between organizations would produce an ‘informal help desk where managers and staff can reach out for advice, brainstorm and troubleshoot problems with their colleagues a continent away.”I can send an instant message to Dan and say ‘have you seen this [problem]?’ and he IM’s back ‘we saw this three weeks ago and here’s what we did.. .’” (Cox, 2007).
Most vital to this methodology is relationship-building between the two organizations, as your data is moving off campus and into another organization.

Reference:
Cox, John. “The case of the great hot-site swap; Colleges create a bicoastal disaster-recovery plan by hosting each others hot sites.(Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine). .” Network World. (August 3, 2007): 1. Academic OneFile. Gale. BCR Regis University. 14 May 2009