IBM Automates Backup Of DB2 Files

The initial version of the software requires a pSeries server, the AIX operating system, one or more instances of DB2 database files, a dedicated Tivoli Storage manager server and a DS4000 series storage array. Customers can buy a software key that allows them to set policies for automated backup of the DB2 files.

It's a great application for midsize businesses with that setup, said Harold Pike, product marketing manager for midrange disk systems at IBM, Armonk, N.Y. "Large enterprises are probably already backing up their DB2, but at many smaller companies, they are not doing this," he said. "This automates their policies."

Most customers that require a pSeries environment already have the server hardware in place, so IBM doesn't expect the new software to push hardware sales, according to Pike. Instead, the company plans to use the software to test its ability to offer policy-based data backup automation on a wide range of systems for midsize and small companies, he said.

"We expect to bring out a host of different iterations, and because it's all automated, it needs to be tested very carefully," Pike said. "Customers won't need a cookbook on how to do [the backups], just to answer a few questions."

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For the next version of the backup automation tool, IBM hopes to automate the backup of Microsoft Exchange files, Pike said. Other possibilities include automated backups of Oracle and SQL files, as well as adding automation to third-party backup software from vendors such as Veritas Software and EMC, he said.

All versions of the tool will be aimed at users of IBM's DS4000 midrange storage arrays, including the 4300, 4400 and 4500 models, Pike said, adding that many of those customers are SMBs that lack automated backup policies.

Future automation tools won't be tied to the pSeries servers. "The Exchange tool, I know, will be for the xSeries," Pike said. "And since the xSeries is an Intel-standard server, this will not just be limited to IBM servers."