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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Vienna, Austria
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    Default TSM vs. Backup Exec


    does anybody know Backup Exec AND TSM? I need some competitive information, and why TSM is "better". I need that for a customer who has Backup Exec, and is asking for advantages with TSM.

    Any help is appreciated!
    Regards, bonobos

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Geneva, Switzerland
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    I found this on another forum :

    IMHO, NetBackup and TSM are so different, that they are hard to
    compare. If one comes from one environment and then tries the other,
    the other will look bad.

    I come from a dozen years with TSM and its predecessors and have now
    used NBU for about 3 years.

    IMHO, TSM and NetBackup are both fairly well funded products designed to
    work in a myriad of settings. To me, the biggest difference is that TSM
    can be setup to run totally automatically, with manual intervention
    necessary only when you run out of resources such as enough disk or
    tape. I would go weeks or months without having a problem or having to
    touch or look at the system. NetBackup, on the other hand, is
    incredibly in need of hand-holding and getting it out of bad
    situations. I've had nights where everything went well, but I've never
    had a week where everything went w/o intervention. This is a shop with
    a couple of terabytes of data and about 100 clients of most every

    For example, this has been a particularly bad week, with an (LTO-1)
    drive going bad. NetBackup has used over 20 hours of my time this week
    and I've restarted it several times due to apparently hung jobs. One
    day last week a (VAULT) duplication job seemed to hang. It had chosen
    to duplicate a tape (first of several) that was still in use by a
    long-running backup. One day last week I defined a disk staging
    storage group and tried to test it using a test policy. Many of my
    production backups crashed and burned that night, complaining about no
    storage group available. They are all set to use a specific storage
    group, but somehow this didn't matter.

    TSM uses a real database internally and has an excellent SQL query
    interface to everything. Back up the DB at any time and you get a valid
    dbbackup. TSM was built to backup to disk and migrate to tape, so its
    disk staging is a decade ahead of NetBackup.

    Of course, the biggest difference, after managability, is that TSM never
    backs up the same file twice. This means that you can successfully
    backup file systems over slow links, even though you'd never attempt a
    restore over that slow link.

    I could answer most of the points by the recent poster that doesn't like
    TSM, but I don't find that helpful given what I have written above.
    Your experiences may vary substantially!

    Pardon me while I go restart NetBackup to eliminate the 6 current hung
    Active jobs, so those machines will backup tonight (I *think* they are
    hung because one of my 4 drives is in DOWN status and the main storage
    group was set for a maximum of 4 drives when they were scheduled.
    That's only a conjecture though, as I haven't seen a clue as to what
    those 6 jobs are waiting for ... even though having debug level 1 set
    and all log directories defined.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Bismarck, ND
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    I have found that in my experience of past employment that going with BE in a medium shop with 1 or 2 drives and say a few slot library is a great way to go. In each of those environments, we had about 20 servers which were all backed up nightly to the 2 drive library we had.

    I also worked in an environment which we used BE to backup about 60 servers and each of those servers had it's own DLT tape drive. Needless to say that was quite cumbersome and administrator intensive. Not to mention it was quite tape cartridge intensive.

    Now that I have been turned on to TSM and it's abilities I would highly recommend it for a larger enterprise level environment. If you have more the 50 servers, invest in the hardware to make the job easier on yourself with TSM. My current employer has about 600 servers that backup nightly to an IBM 3584 - 3 frame library with 12 drives. We run TSM on linux and aside from having a few database problems, we have grown quite nicely and are able to take a minimal hands off approach.

    It all really depends on your environment.

    Hope that helps a bit! Happy backups

  4. #4
    Moderator moon-buddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Somewhere in the US
    Thanked 236 Times in 231 Posts


    Backup Exec is just a backup system. Period.

    TSM is a Data Management System offering Disaster Recovery and BCP.

    If you are bent of recovering your system with only your backup to lean on, then TSM is for you. If want to take chances, then use another system.

    I learned the hard way years ago.

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