LV Backup FAQ

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about LaserVault Backup, our TCP/IP based backup for IBM i and iSeries systems.

What is LaserVault Backup?

LaserVault Backup (LV Backup) is a disk-to-disk (D2D) or disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T) backup system for IBM midrange computers (AS/400, iSeries, IBM i) with features similar to a virtual tape library. It runs on a Windows server platform to provide backup and restore functions to the iSeries host.

Does LaserVault Backup include hardware?

LaserVault Backup is a software only solution that can run on any existing Windows-based server.

How does LaserVault Backup connect to the iSeries host?

LaserVault Backup connects through TCP/IP. Most users will connect with an Ethernet card.  We recommend 1 gigabit or faster Ethernet. You can also use multiple Ethernet connections to the host or 10 gigabit Ethernet (10 GBE) for faster backups and restores.

What releases of OS/400 and I5/OS does it support?

Every release from V4R3 forward.

What sort of compression ratio can I expect?

You should see at least 4 to 1 compression on an average set of saves – more on databases, less on program objects. Our sample results have been 3.6 on run-time objects, 8.0 on a library containing database records, and 10.7 on program source. Your results will vary. Users have reported compression ratios in the 4x to 12x range.

Will compression slow down my other iSeries jobs?

Absolutely not. Since the compression occurs entirely on the LV Backup side it does not cause any overhead on the iSeries.

Will compression increase my download time?

Usually it does not affect download speeds. If this is an issue, you can set LaserVault Backup to compress after the download is complete.

Does the SAVF get written to the iSeries first?

No. The software intercepts the SAVF write and transfers the data directly to the server via TCP/IP. It does not create a SAVF on the iSeries host. Therefore, you do not need to allocate space for a SAVF on the iSeries.

Is LaserVault Backup as fast as my current tape drive?

Most LaserVault Backup customers see a significant time savings when compared with tape. Users report that a single 1 gigabit Ethernet connection is generally faster than an LT03 drive while performing the same backup. For even faster performance, you can set up multiple Ethernet connections, or 10 GBE.

From what media can I save and restore?

Anything that the server considers a drive, including internal hard drives, removable hard drives, USB ‘thumb-drives’, NAS, RAID arrays, etc.

How big is my IBM i backup?

To see how much data is stored on your AS400 you can run the following commands:

WRKSYSSTS – This command shows the system disk space in the upper right corner of the display (% of ASP).

WRKDSKSTS – This command shows you these same stats on a per drive basis

What does “% of ASP” mean?

ASP is the auxiliary storage pool or disk storage space you currently have installed. The % used is the amount of data stored on the ASP.

How big a ‘backup file’ can I create?

As large as the available storage on your Windows server, SAN, NAS or dedupe appliance.

Can I copy the data catalog for a second backup?

Yes. You can copy the files to another server device.  You must include the file ‘CATALOG.LVB’, which contains the pointer to the SAVF files. Each new SAVOBJLVB or SAVLIBLVB creates a numbered SAVF data file and a list with the extensions SVF and LST.

We have had success using SynchBackSE to backup our backups across the network, making second copies of our iSeries backups. You can also use it to copy across the Internet.

You can also set a second copy path in the Properties that will cause LaserVault Backup to write a second copy of the ‘save file’ after the download process.

Can I use the LaserVault Backup Server software on more than one server?

LaserVault Backup is licensed to imitate the virtual tape libraries it is designed to compete with.  That means you need a license for each server that performs the SAV function.  This helps us keep the price of the software as low as possible.  When you license the software, we give you a key that corresponds to the MAC address of the TCP/IP adapter in the server, or to the hard drive serial number.

However, we realize that many iSeries users will want to use the software for off-site backup and file distribution.  To help make this easier, you can use the LaserVault Backup Server software on as many servers as you want for restoring files to any iSeries server.  You only have to license the software when you are saving files from an iSeries host.

So if you want to SAVLIBLVB and distribute the result to 5, 50, or 500 iSeries hosts, you only need one licensed copy of the LaserVault Backup Server software. Restore-only copies of the server software don’t need a license key and we cannot give them support.

How much does it cost to add more storage space?

Nothing but the cost of the drives. LaserVault Backup supports as much storage as you can attach to your server. At the present time, one catalog cannot span devices, but multi-terabyte RAIDs, SANs and NAS devices are available for servers.

If you use our compression, you should see between 4 and 8 times the raw capacity of the device in iSeries backup. In a real world situation, a 500 GB drive should give you between 2 TeraBytes and 4 TB of iSeries backup storage.

Will I be able to restore my libraries on future releases of OS/400 or I5/OS?

We are using IBM’s own software to do the saves and restores. We expect IBM’s software to remain compatible in future releases of the operating system, since IBM also depends on its use.

Will I be able to eliminate my tape backups if I have LaserVault Backup?

Eliminating tape is possible depending on your situation. Many of our customers totally eliminate using tape for their backups. However, some industries require tape for auditing purposes and those customers choose to use both tape and LaserVault Backup. Our live on-line demo
demo
is available to show you just how easy it is.

How cost-effective is LaserVault Backup?

LV Backup software itself is extremely affordable, especially when you consider the benefits:

  • backups can be stored with much higher compression on disk rather than on tape.
  • significant time and labor savings when the manual handling and processing of tapes is eliminated
  • LV Backup provides functions similar to virtual tape libraries (VTL’s) without the expensive price tape of a VTL

Every company is unique as to what savings they experience. To determine how much you may be spending on tape backups, complete our Cost of Tape worksheet.

How much training is required with LaserVault Backup?

LV Backup uses commands very similar to IBM tape backup commands, so the training to use LV Backup is minimal. Operators who are familiar with the IBM commands quickly become familiar with the LV commands. See the simplicity of LV Backup with our on-line demo
.

Can I use LaserVault Backup as part of my disaster recovery plan?

Yes, many customers use LV Backup as part of their DR plan. LV Backup stores each backup as a file on a local or network attached disk array that can be copied or restored to the iSeries quickly.

How will I know if LaserVault will work for us?

We have a 15-day free trial period so you can make sure it works the way you want. After 15 days, you will no longer be able to save libraries or objects, but you can still restore them. To receive instructions on how to download the free trial, please email us at info@laservault.com.

How can I learn more about LaserVault Backup?

Our LV Backup Solution Brief contains additional information. Request a copy here.

Does LaserVault Backup software come with a guarantee?

We offer a 60-day money-back guarantee on all our software products.

Who makes LaserVault Backup?

LaserVault Backup is a product of Electronic Storage Corporation. Since 1989, ESC has been creating and selling document management software, primarily to the IBM midrange market.

Our other products are:  LaserVault Universal Backup Device, Replacador, LaserVault Document Management, LaserVault Reports and Content Express.

Have a product question not listed here? Send us a quick email.

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