TSM Backup Introduction

Questions and problems with backups and archives should be sent to help-backups-l@lsv.uky.edu.


TSM (Tivoli Storage Manager) is a client/server tool for backing up, or archiving data from various machines to a central server.

All of the data backed up, the databases for each machine being backed up, etc., are stored on the backup server. The client software, OS, and even the machine can be replaced without losing the backups of that machine.

Backups, by default, copy everything from your system to the backup server. This behavior can be changed by configuring rules to explicitly exclude files or folders from the backup.

Restores can be of the entire backup, or any portion, including a single file. Restored files can be placed back in the same place they were backed up from, anywhere else on the machine, or a different machine entirely, assuming you have access to do so.

No temporary space is needed on your machine for the backup file. It is created remotely on the backup server as the backup progresses.

There IS a charge for the service.

To request new backup service, a UK requisition should be sent to:

Work Order Desk
04 PKS2 0198
or FAX to  257-9400
or on the web

You should be sure the requisition specifies "Central Backups" and include:

  • Server name. (ex pop.uky.edu)
  • IP number (ex.
  • Operating System (ex. Novell, Win NT, HPUX, etc.)
  • If it is a desktop or server and if it is a server how many processors and if you are going to use SAN, database, or mail (exchange) TSM modules.
  • Name and Email address of contact person
  • Dept #
  • Account #
  • Requesters name
  • Approval name and signature

To Get Backups Started

To start using the central backup server, there are a few things you need to do:

  • Your machine must have an entry in the campus name server. If not, you can send mail to getip@ncc.uky.edu to get it.
  • Download the TSM client for your machine from downloads.uky.edu (search for TSM)

and install it. Just use as simple an install as you can, no custom installs are needed. A Windows client installation guide is available. Generalized Unix/Linux installation instructions are also available.

If you need to install or re-install the TSM Windows Scheduler service, instructions are available for that as well.

There is also support on Windows for a service to back up files which are in use at the time of the backup. An Open File Support installation is available and is not required but is extremely useful. It is recommended that you install Open File Support on all Windows TSM clients.

If you do not see a client or installation guide for your OS, contact local TSM support at help-backups-l@lsv.uky.edu.

If network services will be doing the install and setup you do not need to do this step or the next.

  • after you receive notification that your machine has been added to the backup server, you will need to setup what is to be backed up on your machine **. When you start your TSM client it will ask for the name of the central server, which is backups.uky.edu, your TSM server userid, and your TSM server password.
  • make sure your machine is left running and the TSM scheduler service/daemon is running so that backups can be performed.

** TSM will do a full backup of your machine the first time, and from then on, only backup what has changed.


Restores are generally very quick. This is attributed to several things.

  • Most restores are a result of user error causing damage to data files.
  • Generally people only need a file or folder restored.
  • When backups are made they are sent to the server file by file, and retrieved in the same manner.
  • The tape with the needed file is mounted by a robot on the first available tape drive, and the file is restored to a disk holding area automatically.
  • After the file needed for your restore is brought back from tape, only it is downloaded to your machine.
  • Since compression is usually turned on, and we average 2:1 compression on most machines, if you were to ask for the restore of a 100 KB file only about 50 KB of data will have to be transferred over the network, thus speeding up the restore even more.

Administrator Notes

Backups and restores can be performed any time of the day, but be aware that when backups are running, other services on your machine may be slower. Be aware that if your backups are running when the TSM server is trying to make offsite copies, or a copy of it's database, and you need a restore, it may be incomplete. At this time we start these processes at 8:00 am. each day, and generally finish by 11:00 am.

Generally backups are kept for 15 days, offsite copies are made each day.

One important exception:

Backups tapes for the mail databases on our Exchange system are normally retained for 7 days. The retention period may be extended to as many as 14 days when the University is closed over the Christmas holidays. These backups are kept only for recovery from a catastrophic failure. We do not restore individual mailboxes under normal circumstances. NOTE: Exchange admins can restore deleted items within Exchange without recourse to TSM. The time window within which this can be done is set inside Exchange. Consult Exchange admins and documentation for more information.

Backup schedules may be changed by administrators of the backup server in order to balance the load on the backup server, or network. If at all possible these changes will be discussed with the person who maintains a site or machine before being made.

Each system, or site with several machines, must have a backup administrator. They are to answer questions, install new releases of the client software, and perform restores.

Passwords must contain at least 8 characters, chosen from A-Z 0-9 _ . - + &.

859-218-HELP (859-218-4357) 218help@uky.edu

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