IBM has reduced Tivoli Storage Manager's long restore times by adding in a disk cache for recently backed-up files.

TSM is big blue's tape backup software and has reduced backup times by only backing up changed information after a first full file backup. This trade-off means that a file restoration involves reconstructing the file by sequentially applying the incremental backups to the first full backup. It can take hours.

The new disk cache in TSM 5.4 only stores recently backed-up files. As new data comes in the older data in the cache is overwritten. In this sense it is a limited virtual tape library or VTL, although IBM does not use that term, preferring instead to talk of 'data pools'.

TSM 5.4 also takes advantage of encryption in the LTO4 specification to cause data going to LTO4 drives to be encrypted if desired. The software also provides encryption key management. TSM now also supports application-managed encryption with the ability to generate and send encryption keys to the encrypting IBM TS1120 drive. This capability helps improve performance by allowing encryption on the tape drive, rather than on the backup server.

Data security is also enhanced by having a data shredding capability; data to be destroyed, either in the disk cache or on tape, is over-written by new backup data. This helps with compliance policies mandating data destruction after specific retention periods.

The updated TSM supports the NSeries, IBM's resold NetApp filers, with capabilities such as off-site vaulting and inclusion in disaster recovery plans automatically generated by TSM.

In addition TSM provides support to IBM Storage Process Manager, enabling functionality for secure storage provisioning and data clean-up processes. For example, storage process flows can be created to integrate TSM with other storage infrastructure management tools so that customers can manage their storage infrastructure better.

TSM 5.4 is available for purchase now through IBM and IBM Business Partners.