I know you have a lot of data you rely on for your work or research.
Do you know where your backups are? Do you have backups of this irreplaceable data? How old is that backup? Is it a clean backup? Can you get to it from anywhere? Do you ever consider backups as part of the cost of a system when you purchase one? A lot of questions... yes, but they all need to be considered when your only copy of important data relies on a magnetic pattern/image on some type of media somewhere. How about that disk full of historical spreadsheets or databases? Where are you going to put the new datasets that you are working on?
The answer to all of these questions is ADSM (AdStaR Distributed Storage Manager), a client/server system that can backup or archive the data from your desktop or local LAN server to disk and tape in another building. This is all very easy and convenient because you do not have to mount tapes or floppy disks and wait for a message to mount another one, and another one. Therefore you can have little or no intervention in the running of your backups. ADSM can save you money also because you won't have to purchase a tape backup system and tapes or diskettes, and you won't have to pay someone to mount those tapes or diskettes. Backups are quick because ADSM connects over the backbone and dumps the requested files to disk storage and then it moves it to tapes as needed. And after your harddrive is backed up once, ADSM only gets the new or changed files making subsequent backups very, very fast in comparison. ADSM is also very secure in case of a catastrophic event such as fire or water damage at your office or building. Because all backed up and archived data is located in another building, all of your important work and research data would not be destroyed from one unfortunate event.
ADSM is a service provided by the Center for Academic Computing. It has an array of features that allow you to do many things. You can archive older large files to make room on your disk for current more pressing work. You can run your backups from the Web, all you need is a Web browser. You can authorize other users on other machines to have access to the data you have backed up or archived. You can compress your data if your local network bandwidth is a problem. You can select how many versions and how long to keep individual or groups of files. You can run automatic scheduled backups so you don't have to worry about remembering to do it.
The ADSM server is running on an IBM R50 model 9076 with 1GB memory, a 140MB/sec network connection, 24GB of disk storage space, and over 2 Terabytes of stored data on tape with a capacity for over 50 terabytes. The server is located in the Computer Building with tape libraries located in 2 buildings. The client part of the software package can run on many systems, including OS/2, DOS, Windows, Macintosh, HP-UX, Novell, AIX, Ultrix, IRIX, SunOS, and Solaris. The client and server can communicate via TCP/IP, IPX/SPX, NetBIOS, APPC, PWSCS or 3270 emulation depending on the platform, software and connection available to the client. These communication protocols make it possible for a client machine to be located practically anywhere. The primary and default method of communication is TCP/IP and the only one used here at Penn State.
Client software is required for your personal system to run ADSM. You can obtain a copy for your machine by contacting Jay Holdren at firstname.lastname@example.org, 224A Computer Building (865-2964) or by FTP'ing it from ftp.cac.psu.edu (login with a user ID of anonymous and a password of your ID and mail address (in the form email@example.com). Go to the appropriate directory under pub/adsm/fixes/v3r1 for the client software you need and get the related files you need; don't forget to get the README file. After you install the client software, you simply need to edit the sample options file to customize your system (dsm.opt for DOS, OS/2, AIX and SunOS; ADSM Preferences for MAC). Then type the appropriate command on the command line or double click on the appropriate icon to start the interface and begin backing up your hard drive. The first time you run an incremental backup, it will take some time because ADSM will back up your entire local hard drive by default. You have multiple options that allow you to pick and choose what and how much of your disk drive is backed up. Subsequent backups will be quick in comparison to the initial one because only files that are new or changed will be backed up.
For additional information about ADSM you can check out IBM's ADSM Web pages at http://www.storage.ibm.com/storage/software/adsm.
And now for the paper work... ADSM is available to departments, faculty
and staff through a P
account. You must have a "P" account to use ADSM. A "P" account is a funded, research account which is for use by faculty, staff, and their assistants on projects supported by external sources of funds such as grants and contracts, or by departmental funds such as the General Fund. The application should be forwarded in duplicate to the appropriate Dean or Administrative Officer for an approval signature. All computer costs on a funded account must be paid by an Interdepartmental Charges and Credits (IDCC) which will be prepared monthly by the Center for Academic Computing. No monies are encumbered or transferred from the user's budget until the IDT is processed. The account is valid until the account termination date specified on the application. This date should normally be the expiration or renewal date of the contract or grant.
All Center for Academic Computing facilities are available to users with P accounts. If you already have a P account, you simply need to complete an ADSM Authorization Form available from the Computer Accounts office. You can request forms by calling (814) 865-4772 or by sending electronic mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Your usage of ADSM in megabytes of storage per year is charged to your P account. The current cost is $.10315 per MB per year. After your P account is established or verified, you will be sent a password that will allow you to access the ADSM server from your personal system (Macintosh, IBM/DOS or compatible, or workstation).