Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM)

Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM)

A remote file backup service, TSM stores data on Penn State servers for Penn State faculty and staff. Several versions of files can be backed-up and restored in the event of component failure, accidental deletion, file corruption, or another type of damage sustained to the original file. To ensure full data restoration, both a primary copy of backed-up data and a secondary, off-site copy are maintained.

Progressive Incremental backup methodology is used to store files, where an original file is backed-up, and any subsequent changes to the file results in a new version being backed-up. As a result, the latest version of the file is recorded as the active version. Any previous version is then labeled as inactive. The process can be repeated several times depending on the version limit, as preset for the node in question. Both active and inactive versions can be restored through the TSM client.

It is important to note that the user is responsible for the proper classification and handling of sensitive data. TSM is recommended for public and Internal/Controlled data only, as defined by AD71. To ensure backup integrity, it is recommended that users periodically test the restoration of files.

Obtaining Access

To begin using TSM, submit an ITS For-Fee Services Request Form to the Computer Accounts Office. Additionally, a TSM Authorization Form must be submitted to the appropriate Dean’s office as well as the Computer Accounts Office (204 Wagner Building). Both forms can be found under the Documentation & Resources heading below.

Please note that an ITS Charge Account must be established prior to obtaining service.
Existing TSM subscribers can request additional nodes by contacting the Computer Accounts Office through accounts@psu.edu. When submitting a request, users should include the desired node name, existing charge account number, and a list of PSU user IDs permitted to reset the node password.

To change or deactivate TSM service, a TSM Deletion Form must be submitted to the Computer Accounts Office (204 Wagner Building). Service charges will be billed until explicitly cancelled with the submission of a TSM Deletion Form. The form to deactivate TSM can be found under the Documentation & Resources heading below.
Assistance with form submissions can be achieved by contacting the Computer Accounts Office via accounts@psu.edu or (814) 865-4772.


Automatic backups can be configured to run at defined times. Scheduled backup times allow for data to be stored without manually initiating the process. Additional configuration is needed to initiate scheduled backups. All instructional information and contacts can be found under the Documentation & Resources tab below.

Image backup is also supported through TSM. An image backup is the replication and storage of an entire file system as one object. Instead of backing up individual files, a point-in-time “snapshot” of the file system is taken and sent to the backup server. The storage method provides many benefits including quicker backup and restoration than the file-by-file method, conserving database storage resources on the server by only requiring one entry to the server for the entire image. Users should be aware, however, that the total amount of a node’s data utilization might increase as a result.

Alternatively, an archive process can be used to copy client data to server storage for records retention. The process is useful for compliance with legislative and policy-based retention requirements, which keeps files for a period of time that is specified upon archiving. Newly created archives do not affect pre-existing archives, therefore, once created, files will remain until the expiration period has elapsed.

Service Rates

Storage space is available at $0.02/GB/month.

TSM is billed based on the amount of storage used by primary data on the TSM server for each node.


Previously called Workstation Data Save Facility (WDSF), the IBM software was implemented to Penn State’s mainframe in 1980, as a first backup solution for the University. In subsequent collaboration, Penn State and IBM teamed up to write the Mac Client for the software later in the decade. WDSF then became known as ADSTAR Distributed Storage Manager (ADSM) in 1993, before a rebranding in 2001 as TSM.

Documentation & Resources

Supported Operating Systems for TSM
ITS For-Fee Services Request Form
TSM Authorization Form
TSM Deletion Form

Help & Support

TSM Support

IT Service Desk
(814) 865-4357
204 Wagner Building
W130 Pattee Library

ITS Computer Accounts Office
(814) 865-4772
204 Wagner Building