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Well Scripted

TTI Inc. uses virtual I/O as part of its disaster-recover regimen

TTI Inc. uses virtual I/O as part of its disaster-recover regimen
Brent Fortman, TTI senior systems administrator, and Janelle Johnson, TTI systems administration manager, credit Power Systems servers and WebSphere software for helping with disaster-recovery efforts.

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HEADQUARTERS: Fort Worth, Texas
BUSINESS: Electronic components distributor
HARDWARE: Two IBM Power 550s, a System z 890 and an IBM System Storage DS8100
SOFTWARE: A proprietary warehousing application and an IBM WebSphere sales ordering processing system
CHALLENGE: Ensuring disaster recovery while keeping costs down
SOLUTION: Using virtual I/O and some clever scripts to automate the re-creation and repopulation of Power Systems server-based LPARs

Tell some people they can’t do something, and they’ll go out of their way to prove you wrong. This isn’t uncommon in IT departments, because staff members often relish a challenge. That may in part be why TTI Inc.’s Power Systems* IT employees scoffed when told using virtual I/O (VIO) for disaster-recovery (DR) purposes may be too complex to deploy—and then proved the doubters wrong. Of course, TTI took on the challenge for other reasons, most importantly to improve the organization’s overall operational goals.

As TTI’s IT department has demonstrated, a VIO-based method for DR and backup has the potential to save companies much time and money when it comes to multi-partitioned IT environments. In the case of TTI, it decided to use a single, virtualized backup point rather than backing up each of its AIX* OS-based partitions individually, which would require the use of separate I/O devices for each of its LPARs—a potentially expensive undertaking.

Now, thanks to VIO and some crafty coding, the company can re-create all of its LPARs at the same time, “within two hours,” according to Janelle Johnson, systems administration manager with TTI, instead of much longer and at a much lower cost.

"If someone needs a testing environment, we can create a partition for this within an hour, without having to run cables and find other resources." Janelle Johnson, TTI systems administration manager

Jim Utsler, IBM Systems Magazine senior writer, has been covering the technology field for more than a decade. Jim can be reached at



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