Use Case Scenarios for Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files

Abstract

This Technote describes typical use cases where Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files can be deployed in various configurations and settings. In some cases, only Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files is deployed, and in some it is integrated with the use of Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM).

Contents

This Technote describes typical use cases where Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files can be deployed in various configurations and settings. In some cases, only Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files is deployed, and in some it is integrated with the use of Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM).

The following use cases are described in this document:

  • Using Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files in a single-user environment
  • Using Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files in a multiple-computer home or small business
  • Using Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files for multiple users in a large enterprise environment

Using Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files in a single-user environment

Because Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files is a highly flexible product, it can be scaled to be useful both in a large corporate environment as well as on a single computer that is used either for work or at home. Two likely scenarios are discussed here:

  • Single computer with no network connection
  • Single computer with an ISP connection to external storage

Single computer with no network connection

Even though it seems like most computers are connected to a network of some sort, there are still users who have a single computer and who store all of their information on the computer’s hard drive. This computer could either be a desktop or laptop computer. Two use cases fall under this description:

  • Stand alone with no external storage
  • Stand alone with removable storage device (USB or firewire drive)

Stand alone with no external storage

Even without access to a network with remote storage capability, Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files can be configured to provide a high level of protection. In this case, the recommended settings are:

  • Local Continuous backup: Enabled. 2 GB pool. Include MS Office file extensions and other user-created content that is considered high value.
  • Remote Continuous backup: Disabled. No network.
  • TSM Continuous backup: Disabled. No TSM.
  • Scheduled backup: Disabled. No network.

In this scenario, the local pool of versioned backup files provides the highest level of protection on a stand-alone computer. One important consideration in this configuration is the file list for files included in continuous replication. In the case where there is a remote backup location, the scheduled backup provides a safety net to catch files on the computer that are not caught by the local continuous backup file list. So it may be advisable to perform the fine-tuning exercises fairly frequently after the initial installation to make sure all of the important files are being saved (and non-essential files are excluded).

Stand alone with removable storage device

This scenario is similar to the case above, with the addition of some sort of external, removable hard drive. This could be a USB device that connects through a USB port, or a device that connects through a firewire port. In this scenario, the external drive is not always connected to the computer; most likely this would be the case with a laptop computer that is moved around.

For this case, the recommended settings are:

  • Local Continuous backup: Enabled. 2 GB pool. Include MS Office file extensions and other user-created content that is considered high value.
  • Remote Continuous backup: Disabled. In this case, since you will only be attaching the storage device periodically, this option would be unnecessary.
  • TSM Continuous backup: Disabled. No TSM.
  • Scheduled backup: Enabled. Daily or Weekly. 10 GB pool (or approximately a sixth to a tenth the size of the source disks). Versions optional. Broader inclusion list than local, or consider and asterisk (*) as the file list.


Note: When you configure your removable storage device, make sure that you select it from the Remote location Browse list. There is currently a bug in the software that allows some removable devices to show up in the local backup list. You should not select the removable device from the local pick list.

In this case, there are a few options that depend on how large your external storage device is and how often you plan to connect and back up to it. If you are working on critical files and make numerous changes every day, you might want to set the backup period to daily and make sure that you have a large pool, with five versions. This requires significant space on the external drive, but it does provide a very high level of protection.

If you are confident that your local backup is generally sufficient, you may want to set the remote backup schedule to weekly and reduce the versions to 0. This will still provide an extra layer of protection, without requiring either a large external storage device, or that it be connected every day. In either case, if you are not connected when the scheduled time is due, Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files will keep the list of files to be backed up and wait until you are connected.

Single computer with an ISP connection

This scenario represents a user who has a single computer, either a laptop or a desktop, that has access to external storage through an ISP. For this user, all files are saved on the local machine, and the remote storage on the ISP’s server is used primarily for occasional backups. The local backup repository still provides the primary method of protection, but the remote backup location is important for providing off-site storage.

In this scenario, the recommended configuration is:

  • Local Continuous backup: Enabled. 2 GB pool. Include MS Office file extensions and other user-created content that is considered high value.
  • Remote Continuous backup: Disabled. It is unnecessary to add this load on the Internet traffic and the ISP storage site.
  • TSM Continuous backup: Disabled. No TSM.
  • Scheduled backup: Enabled. Daily. 10 GB pool (or approximately a sixth to a tenth the size of the source disks). Five versions. Broader inclusion list than local. Alternatively, set the inclusion to an asterisk (*) and schedule a weekly backup.

If the storage space you have available on your ISP is limited, you may want to narrow the inclusion list for the scheduled backup to save space. Alternatively, you could set the versions to 0.

Multiple computers in a home or small business

In this scenario, there are multiple computers connected to a single network with a file server. This could be in a home or a small business. The setup includes ample storage space connected to a network file server. This could either be a single computer with a large internal hard drive or an older computer with an external hard drive attached to it. This latter case is shown in Figure-1, but it could also represent a small business configuration.

Each computer will have Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files installed locally and configured for each user’s needs. In general, the recommended configuration is:

  • Local Continuous backup: Enabled. 2 GB pool. Include user-created content that is considered high value.
  • Remote Continuous backup: Disabled. It is unnecessary to add this load on the network traffic.
  • TSM Continuous backup: Disabled. No TSM.
  • Scheduled backup: Enabled. Daily for laptops, which are disconnected from the network at different intervals; weekly for desktops, which are consistently on the network. 10 GB pool (or approximately a sixth to a tenth the size of the source disks). Five versions. Broader inclusion list than local. Alternatively, set the inclusion to an asterisk (*) and schedule a weekly backup.

Home or small office configuration
Figure-1 Home or small office configuration

In this configuration, it is important to make sure that each computer has a file list that includes the file types and directories used most by the particular user. For example, home users might have files from digital cameras, music files, or other proprietary file formats that could be stored outside of the \My Documents\ directory structure. Each computer is configured to back up to the remote file server.

If you want to have extra security on the backup server, you can also install Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files on the server and set up the vault function. You can disable both local and remote replication and go directly to the Vault panel. In the file list for the vault function, add in the top folder for each computer that is currently backing up to the server if you want to lock down all of the files. Alternatively, you could only add particular file types or directories (for example, your digital pictures or mp3 files) if you want to limit the extra protection from deletion and alteration to certain files.

Tip: If you are going to invoke the vault feature on a backup location, you will have to remove the \RealTimeBackup\ folder from the default exclusion list. Otherwise, none of your files will be included in the vault function.

Multiple users in a large enterprise environment

If you are going to deploy Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files in a large environment (without TSM), we recommend that an administrator sets up and deploys the installations. In the simplest case, Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files can be installed on a file server and configured to send protected files to a backup file server. In a more complex environment, especially one where laptops are used and systems are often off the network; Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files can additionally be deployed to each user’s computer. With the use of push installation and automatic upgrades, it is relatively easy to deploy Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files to a large number of computers.

Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files on a file server

In this scenario, all computers in the network are already saving their files to a network location. The use of local files is minimal and the network file server is the primary work file location. See Figure-2 for a diagram of this setup. The administrator only has to install Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files on the file server and set it up so that it is backing up all directories that contain the user’s data.

Simple deployment of Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files in a large environment
Figure-2 Simple deployment of Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files in a large environment

In this scenario, the recommended configuration is:

  • Local Continuous backup: Disabled. Files are protected on the remote server.
  • Remote Continuous backup: Enabled (optional). If this is the only backup utility for the file server, this would be desired. Include all users’ directories.
  • TSM Continuous backup: Disabled. No TSM.
  • Scheduled backup: Enabled (optional). Daily. Pool should be approximately five times the space allocated to all users. Five versions. Include all users’ directories.

You may want to configure the product differently, depending on how much storage space you have on each server. We recommend that you use either the continuous or scheduled backup to the backup file server, depending on how current you need the backups to be. You could set the scheduled backup to hourly if you prefer. However, continuous backup would spread out the traffic over the network to the backup file server more evenly.

Distributed installation of Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files

If you are in an environment with a large number of computers, possibly both desktops and laptops, then you should consider using a centralized configuration and deployment. Although it does not take a lot of time to install and configure Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files, if you need to deploy the product to a large number of computers, this could add up to a significant amount of time. Also, by centrally administering the deployment, you can set up corporate-wide configurations and ensure that all computers are being protected in the same manner. Thus, once the administrator has found out which are truly the highest value files, the configuration can be tailored either to the whole environment or by user profiles. See Figure-3 for a diagram of this deployment.

Distributed deployment of Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files in a large environment
Figure-3 Distributed deployment of Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files in a large environment

To deploy Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files in this type of an environment, there are several steps involved in the preparation, installation, and maintenance:

  1. Install Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files on a single machine (master computer) that represents a typical configuration in the work environment.
  2. Configure Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files based on your requirements.
  3. Once you are satisfied that the Tivoli Continuous Data Protection for Files configuration is optimized for your environment, open the user interface and go to the Reports panel. Click the Publish button. This will create a file called fpcommands.xml in the global download directory, for example:
    \\MyServer\MyShare\RealTimeBackup\BackupAdmin\Downloads\fpcommands.xml
  4. Copy this file to your local system, rename it fpa.txt, and package it with our push installer program (or another commercially available software distribution tool).
  5. Either run the push install to each target computer or create a batch file to install to all computers at once.
  6. Once the installations are complete, check the network backup location to verify that each computer has a directory under the top-level \RealTimeBackup\ folder.
  7. If you need to make changes to the configuration, make them on the master computer and click the Publish button again. This new configuration will be automatically recognized and updated on all remote installations.
  8. When there is a patch or upgrade installation of the product, copy the installer to the \BackupAdmin\Downloads directory (see step 4 above). All remote installations will detect this, download the installer, and install it automatically.

These steps describe deploying a single configuration to all computers. It is also possible to have several different configurations if you have several different profiles you need to take into consideration. You can distribute different configurations from the same file server, but each configuration will have to come from a different top-level share on the backup server. For example, you might have:
  • \\MyServer\Sales\ for sales people with laptops that are frequently on the road
  • \\MyServer\Admins\ for office administrators with desktops
  • \\MyServer\HR\ for specific applications on desktops

Each share can have a specific configuration that is tailored to the applications being used by each group, their general accessibility to the network, and other considerations.

Note: These instructions are intentionally general and do not provide exact details on how to package the installer. For detailed information on this topic, consult IBM Support or review the Technotes provided on the support Web site:

http://www-306.ibm.com/software/sysmgmt/products/support/IBMTivoliContinuousDataProtectionforFiles.html

Special Notices

This material has not been submitted to any formal IBM test and is published AS IS. It has not been the subject of rigorous review. IBM assumes no responsibility for its accuracy or completeness. The use of this information or the implementation of any of these techniques is a client responsibility and depends upon the client's ability to evaluate and integrate them into the client's operational environment.

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Publish Date
05 May 2006


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