IBM Adds Dedupe to Tivoli Storage Manager

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IBM (NYSE: IBM) has released its first major overhaul of Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) in seven years, adding sought-after new features like data de-duplication.

Version 6.0 of the data management software also offers integration with IBM’s DB2 database and adds new reporting and monitoring tools.

A great deal has changed in storage since TSM version 5.0 debuted in 2002. Companies are struggling to contend with increasing amounts of data that require more storage hardware and management tools. IDC research reported in August that the amount of global digital data created and stored on a worldwide basis has increased over 3,000 percent in the last three years, a trend that is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

Not surprisingly, it’s that trend on which IBM is seeking to cash in with the latest upgrade to the 15-year-old TSM.

“We’re providing needed capabilities at a time when enterprises most need them,” said Ron Riffe, manager of IBM’s storage software product management.

One capability is simply faster throughput: According to IBM, beta TSM 6 customers have achieved as much as a 300 percent improvement in backup performance.

But with database integration, de-duplication and greater reporting features, TSM has other enhancements as well — several of which have come into vogue only recently, and which are in high demand among enterprises.

“The database integration increases storage scale and performance, de-duplication is hot given its cost efficiencies, and the lack of reporting tools have been a longstanding complaint with TSM,” said Dave Russell, an analyst at Gartner. “Given the macroeconomic environment, all these are attractive features. This is a bigger bang for the buck than some other offerings.”

De-duplication, or “dedupe,” in particular has become a hot spot for storage vendors, who realize the technology can help businesses eliminate redundant data in their storage, thus freeing up space and saving money.

Dedupe is typically an add-on feature, but IBM is hoping TSM 6.0 wins converts because it now offers the technology built-in.

“TSM will find replicate data after the backup is completed to disk and eliminate redundancy. That means that capacity of the backup data is optimized,” said Lauren Whitehouse, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group. “It’s unique.”

While IBM may be one of the few offering dedupe as a built-in feature, a number of other vendors deliver de-duplication as an add-on, including NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP), Data Domain (NASDAQ: DDUP), Storewiz and FalconStor (NASDAQ: FALC). Storage giant EMC (NYSE: EMC), too, is also getting into the game, and even plans to join NetApp among the few vendors offering primary data de-duplication later this year.

Russell said he also sees TSM 6.0’s other enhancements gaining traction. With the DB2 integration, enterprises can manage twice the amount of data objects as before — as much as one billion objects in a single system, IBM said.

Russell added that the inclusion of reporting tools should be well received, since users have had to rely on third-party offerings to make up for their lack. TSM provides a range of predefined reports that users can also customize.

“It has been worth the wait,” he said. “This will have market appeal.”

IBM said there are currently 20,000 TSM users. Version 6.0 of the software will be a free upgrade to users under a maintenance plan. Pricing varies depending on processor power, with a license for six quad-core Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) Xeon servers running about $4,470, the company said.

IBM also made news with Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) this week, as the two are collaborating with the Continua Health Alliance on new software that will allow personal medical devices used for patient monitoring, screening and routine evaluation to automatically stream data results into a patient’s Google Health Account or other personal health record (PHR). Once stored in a PHR, the data can also be shared with physicians and other members of a user’s extended care network.

And in other news, the assets of file virtualization startup Attune Systems have been acquired by F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV).

Article courtesy of

Judy Mottl
Judy Mottl
Judy Mottl is an experienced technology journalist who has served as a senior editor, reporter, writer, and blogger for InformationWeek, Investors Business Daily, CNET, and Information Security Magazine, as well as other media outlets.

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