How to modernize your IBM i backup environment

IBM i has justly earned many enthusiastic supporters among IT professionals today for its impressive reliability, scalability, and stability. More than 150,000 organizations worldwide rely on IBM i and IBM Power Systems to keep their core business services running with minimal interruption — services such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, banking applications, and health information systems. And given the continued innovation and development happening on the platform, many organizations foresee only growing the data center footprint dedicated to IBM i in the future.

The applications hosted on IBM Power Systems are the most business-critical, so it follows that protecting the data hosted on these systems is key. The problem is that until recently, tape backup has been technology many organizations rely on as their primary backup method. Tape is no longer an adequate solution, however. With exploding data growth, backing up a system running IBM i can frequently take as long as 12 hours. That is simply too long and can create business disruption.

Other challenges associated with tape backup for IBM I include:

  • The struggle to meet defined SLAs for recovery time objective (RTO) and recovery point objective (RPO)
  • The need to reduce or eliminate the use of physical tape due its associated storage and transport costs
  • The need to be able to quickly find and access data for compliance or regulatory reasons.
  • The slow speed and unreliability of physical tape infrastructure

FalconStor Virtual Tape Library (VTL) to the Rescue

Fortunately, FalconStor has a great solution to modernize IBM i backup environments and allow businesses to meet their backup windows. FalconStor VTL emulates all IBM i – supported tape drives and libraries in a modern, disk-based solution.

High-speed backup -FalconStor VTL offers dramatically improved backup and restore speeds compared to legacy tape drives. To begin with, the disk-based storage used with FalconStor VTL supports much higher data throughput rates than is possible with tape. In addition, FalconStor VTL works through Fibre Channel (FC) or iSCSI networks, which delivers ultra-high speeds of 40TB/hour for backup and restore operations. Finally, data deduplication is used to eliminate redundancy and make restores faster by reducing the amount of data that needs to be transferred from backup by up to 95%.

Seamless compatibility – FalconStor VTL emulates over 60 popular tape libraries and 50 tape-drive formats in addition to IBM i – specific formats, so it fits easily and transparently into the entire existing IBM i backup environment. Extensive certification testing has also validated FalconStor VTL operationally with all major backup software packages across multiple operating systems and environments. This operational consistency allows FalconStor VTL to seamlessly integrate and interoperate with open system backups as well as IBM i and mainframe systems, allowing backup operations to be consolidated on a single platform.

Tape-to-cloud option – FalconStor VTL also delivers the convenient feature of backup to cloud. Using the FalconStor VTL tape-to-object capability, you can end the cumbersome procedure of archiving by physically moving tapes offsite for archival and instead simply archive virtual tapes in the cloud. With support for AWS (Amazon Web Services) S3 and Glacier object storage, along with Hitachi Content Platform – and support for other prominent cloud service providers coming soon – we’ve got you covered.

FalconStor VTL: Benefits To IBM i Environments

FalconStor VTL offers a clean and simple way to modernize backup environments that currently rely on tape, offering the following particular benefits to IBM i environments:

  • Non-disruptive operation – IBM i does not see any difference between a physical tape and a virtual tape
  • Native emulation of all IBM i tape drives and libraries, including IBM 3580, 3590, 3592, TS1120 tape drives; LTO-1 to LTO-7 tape formats, and IBM 3583, 3584, and 3590 libraries
  • Supports all IBM i backup tools and methods (BRMS, LXI MMS, SAVLIB, Robot Save, media policies and IPL) without any process change
  • Supports mixed open system, IBM i, and mainframe system environments
  • Offers the flexibility to create as many tape targets and libraries as needed
  • Higher performance (write and restore) with connectivity across 16Gb/sec FC links
  • Integrated deduplication to retain backup data on capacity-optimized disk for longer periods

FalconStor VTL Is a Great Way to Modernize Your IBM i Backup Environment

Many organizations continue to rely on tape backup for their IBM i installations – if that’s you, it’s likely you’re looking for ways to modernize that environment for faster backups and cost savings. The FalconStor VTL solution is an ideal backup-to-disk target for IBM i backup environments, allowing you to meet your backup windows, reduce backup storage requirements by as much as 95%, enjoy the flexibility of being able to backup and archive to the cloud, and eliminate offsite tape management costs.

For more information about modernizing your IBM i backup environment with FalconStor VTL, read our white paper.