Disaster Recovery Using the TSM Disaster Recovery Plan File

Disaster struck! What do I do now? First, don’t worry! STORServer has your back. Each day, your STORServer backup appliance runs an administrative schedule that creates the components that you will need to restore your data in the event of a disaster. These include:

  • A backup copy of your primary storage pools
  • A backup copy of the TSM database
  • A recovery plan file

Best Practices for Disaster Recovery

Plan for Recovery

The daily administrative schedule backs up your primary storage pools to a disaster recovery pool (DRPOOL), which is typically tape media. The TSM database is also backed up to tape each day. This media is then sent to a safe, offsite location, such as a vault. The recovery plan file is also written to an offsite location and/or sent to a remote e-mail account. These best practices ensure that the critical components for disaster recovery are always available should a site-wide disaster occur.

Restore Button

The TSM database contains all of the information necessary to locate and restore your data. Without it, data in the TSM storage pools is unusable. The recovery plan file, created by the TSM disaster recovery manager (DRM), includes instructions for disaster recovery, information about your particular appliance, and scripts that can be used to rebuild your TSM server. If your recovery plan file is designed properly, it will also include information about specific servers that need to be recovered, the restore priority, and the media needed for their recovery. Additional information, such as administrator names and telephone numbers, the location of passwords, the offsite vault location, and the courier’s name and telephone number should also be recorded in the recovery plan file.

Follow your Recovery Plan

After a disaster, the first thing you need to do is get a copy of the latest recovery plan file. It identifies the media that is needed for recovery, and where that media is currently located. Once you have retrieved the appropriate media (from the offsite vault, for example), you can begin the recovery of your TSM server.

The replacement server must have the same operating system version and patch level as the one that was used when the TSM database was last backed up. You must also install the appropriate TSM server and client versions. Refer to the recovery plan file for installation information. Once the required software is in place, you must then configure a new TSM server instance. Review library-related commands in the newly created device configuration file to ensure that TSM can mount the database backup tape, and edit the file as necessary.

The recovery plan file also includes a recovery script that runs a series of macros to restore your TSM database. Before running that script, you need to review the macros to ensure, for example, that they don’t require DR tapes that may be unavailable. Update macros as needed for your situation.

Now you are ready to restore the TSM database. Halt the TSM server, remove the temporary database, and invoke the RECOVERY.SCRIPT.DISASTER.RECOVERY.MODE script. This process restores the TSM database as well as the server options file, volume history file, and device configuration file from the production server. (Changes that you made to the device configuration file for the database backup tape mount are overwritten.)

Once the TSM database is restored, review and correct the device configuration file as necessary to ensure that the library and devices are properly identified. At this point, the recovery of client data can begin.

STORServer Support Services can help

Those of you who are not fans of the “DIY” (do-it-yourself) approach may want to consider one of the following DR services offered by STORServer:

  • Disaster Recovery First Response: Provides 24x7x365 on-site response in the event of an actual disaster.
  • Disaster Recovery Consulting and Support: Provides assistance with developing a disaster recovery plan, a remote test of the plan, and remote assistance in the event of an actual disaster.
  • Disaster Recovery STORServer Installation: Provides remote installation of the TSM software and restoration of the production database onto the DR system.
  • Disaster Recovery Consulting: Provides assistance with developing a disaster recovery plan.

Visit our Data Protection Consulting Services section to learn more about DR services, as well as other services offered by our consulting team.