TSMagic Unleashed!

The event at IBM Bedfont went well today, thanks to all for supporting us.  The day was essentially to layout Silverstring’s RAP framework for Storage Management Automation(SMA). 

RAPRAP stand for Reduce, Automate and Protect.  We figure these are the three results people look for from a successful SMA engagement.  For instance under the “Reduce” element we will put TPC data audits for identifying archivable data and dedupe for reducing primary and backup storage.  For “Automation” we will discuss the PREDATAR suite for automating TSM management.  Finally for “Protection” we will discuss our automated TSM recovery tool (PREDATAR Recovery Tracker) and consult offerings such as TSM Health checks and Recovery Audits.  So enough of the ramble, basically we based the day around the RAP theme.

We used the “Reduce” section to cover the official launch of the TSMagic product (we didn’t get the same cheers and clapping Steve Jobs gets, how does he do it!?).  It was nice letting the product out into the open for general inspection and prodding, we got some good interest in the product that is very encouraging! (phew, we didn’t waste months of development).

Ronnie De Giorgio covered the “Automation” section of RAP by giving us a comprehensive run through of the PREDATAR product set.  He gave an insight into the future of PREDATAR wearing his hat as PREDATAR Development Manager.

thalesThe final section of RAP, “Protect” was covered with one of the products from the security and encryption giant THALES.  Simon Taylor presented on the TEMS key management appliance that will allow a fully secured and offsited method of implementing key management for tape and disk products.

If anyone wants the materials that we used or other marketing bumf on the products then email me –

All in all a tiring but enjoyable day that will hopefully lead to some business…


TSMagic Launch 10th June



Just to give you all an update on the developments of the TSMagic product.  I have been working on the marketing material and doing webinars on the product.  Things are shaping up we and we have a good set of marketing collateral.

I am also putting together the presentation material for the launch day at IBM Bedfont on June 10th. The agenda for the day is below:

10:00 – 10:45 Coffee and Registration
10:45 – 11:00 Session 1 – Welcome to Reduce Automate Protect
11:00 – 12:00 Session 2 – Reduce – exclusive TSMagic launch – TSMagic is the complete consult offering for identifying, improving and protecting your entire TSM infrastructure
12:00 – 12:30 Lunch
12:30 – 13:15 Automate – Service Management for storage and backup
13:15 – 14:00 Protect – find out about the latest options to safely encrypt your data
14:00 Close

I will be presenting in the 11:00am slot on TSMagic.

If you want more information then drop me a mail (


TSMagic – save 20% of space in TSM

Wow it has been a while since I last posted!!

Life the Universe and TSMagic!

Life has been crazy busy over the past few months, in a good way though.  I have been working with the software guys here at Silverstring (the PREDATAR team) on our new product, TSMagic.  This new PREDATAR module is really rather fun!

Firstly I will tell you what the software does and then go onto explain the consultancy spin that we have put on it.

The Software

So imagine being asked the question:

“how many versions do we keep of the file quantum_bananas.pdf in TSM?”


“TSM person, tell me the percentage of data in TSM that hasn’t been read in the last year”

These specific questions may not crop up regularly but you will almost definitely get questions about what data is in TSM, how many version are being kept and how much a particular application is occupying.  TSMagic uses the TSM database and gives a visual representation of the contents of usage of TSM storage.  So for example the screenshot below is one of the highlevel views that shows the breakdown of the backup data within a TSM system:


Breakdown of the file types using TSMagic

Breakdown of the file types using TSMagic

The particular designation of data types comes as a number of defaults that can be altered and added to using a nice easy GUI driven wizard.

Another couple of Screenies:


Breakdown of space occupied by the different application types

Breakdown of space occupied by the different application types

Split of application data types (SQL, Oracle, Exchange etc)

 Analysis of data by Created Date

A useful Storage Resource Management type report showing the age of the data that is resident in TSM.


The Consultancy Spin! 

It is all very well having access to a load of pretty pictures, but what are you going to do about it!?  That is where the work that I have been doing comes into play.  Rather than deliver TSMagic as a software product, we have built it into a consultancy offering that uses the data to give a view of the following:

  • Capacity – data and facts about the current capacity and storage use of TSM and where savings can be made. Our experience of the tests we have performed is that massive savings can be made by identifying all the unnecessary backups that occupy space that would never usually get spotted. One instance we saw a 25% storage saving. This was all unnecessary backups such as backing up the disk based TSM DB backups, back into TSM (eh, good idea!!).
  • Compliance – we use TSMagic to check the required version and retention against what is really happening. This is one better than the usual test which is to check that TSM is configured to have the correct policies. The usual tests completely ignore if the right data is bound to those policies.
  • Archiving – Using the SRM type reporting we can give a view on the age and profile of the types of data in TSM which gives a very good indication of the types of data on primary storage. Who cares!? I hear you cry! Well it gives you a very quick and accurate picture of what primary storage can be freed up by archiving unused data!
  • TSM 6 readiness. Using the data type breakdown we can give a view of the level of dedupe that can be achieved in your TSM 6 environment. Usually this figure is based on a “finger in the air” estimate and not actual data from your own environment.

So the plan with the TSMagic Consultancy is to present, in an innovative way, the reductions in cost by managing TSM storage wisely and the reductions in compliance penalty payments by being able to rapidly identify and fix compliance issues.

The launch is on the 10th June…

…to be continued