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Look before you leap on a TSM 6 upgrade [IBM]

Servers, Storage and Networking | Posted on March 17, 2011 by Jeff Kroth

After wrapping up IBM’s annual Pulse conference a few weeks ago in Las Vegas,  one thing in particular stood out for me: people are very enthusiastic about the latest Tivoli Storage Manager solution TSM 6.2.

But while it’s good to hear all the positive feedback, my word to the wise: do your research.

Talk to someone that is familiar with the upgrade and the changing system requirements as upgrading is not something to be taken lightly.

What’s the big deal with TSM 6.2 anyway?

Short answer: lots. Despite an uncertain economic climate, data growth continues unabated due to the digitization of information worldwide, the need to keep more copies of data for longer periods and the rapid increase of distributed data sources. Not to mention, IT organizations need to adhere to higher service level agreements, including higher availability and zero data loss requirements.

>> Related: The Four smartest ways to straddle your storage and Why Storage Virtualization is like Charlie Sheen

As is often the case with new products, a lot of customers held back when TSM 6.1 was introduced last year, waiting for IBM to iron out any potential kinks. Now many more are paying closer attention to TSM 6.2’s new benefits over older 5 and 6 versions, including enhanced data management through built-in deduplication, simplified management of virtualized environments, a reduced storage footprint, increased scalability and more.

Do you really need a TSM upgrade?

Short answer: probably. As support ends for older versions – 5.4 is already off support and 5.5 support ends in 2012 – an increasing number of organizations are considering TSM 6.2 to manage their growing needs for data backup and recovery.

Where to begin?

Short answer: a TSM assessment. Migrating to any TSM 6.x version (the latest is 6.2.1) can be a challenge. A TSM upgrade can potentially touch every server in your environment, with significant downtime, so it’s crucial to have a roadmap to help get there. Wait until 2012 and it could be too late – you’ll be running unsupported backups and asking for trouble.

With the added functionalities of TSM 6.2, you may need to expand your server requirements to maintain response times. To learn more about whether your hardware might need an upgrade, you can email

How do I get an assessment and how will it help?

Softchoice can help with a comprehensive TSM Validation Offering. (See details here: IBM TSM Validation Offering PDF).

It’s a one-week health check, where we dive into your TSM managing server and look at all configurations, settings and environment to make sure your existing platform is stable and can handle the upgrade. The assessment will analyze whether:

  • current TSM server capacity meets growth requirements
  • disaster recovery plans allow for successful recovery of both TSM servers and clients
  • data retention policies meet current business requirements
  • backup windows are being met
  • any unsupported software is running
  • daily processes are running efficiently

The TSM Validation offering includes a formal written assessment report, observations, finding and recommendations on the most efficient way to upgrade to TSM 6.2. Contact a Softchoice account representative to find out more.

Sponsored message:  Assessing your TSM? Save on IBM hardware when you upgrade For information on Softchoice’s TSM upgrade assessment and to find out if you are eligible to save up to 10% on IBM Power Express hardware when buying this solution, reach out to today.  

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