News Column

Patent Issued for Backup Copy Enhancements to Reduce Primary Version Access

June 19, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- International Business Machines Corporation (Armonk, NY) has been issued patent number 8745345, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventors are Reed, David C. (Tucson, AZ); Smith, Max D. (Tucson, AZ); Trader, Thaiese N. (Tucson, AZ); Elaiho, Robin L. (Tucson, AZ).

This patent was filed on March 13, 2013 and was published online on June 3, 2014.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "The present invention relates in general to computers, and more particularly to apparatus, method and computer program product embodiments for implementing backup copy enhancements to reduce primary version access in a computing environment.

"Computers and computer systems are found in a variety of settings in today's society. Computing environments and networks may be found at home, at work, at school, in government, and in other settings. In many computer systems, an operating system (OS) helps to share computer resources (processor, memory, disk space, network bandwidth, etc.) between users and application programs. Operating systems may also control access to the computer system in a security-related function.

"Generally, computing environments known as servers store data in mass storage subsystems that typically include a number of disk storage units. Data is stored in units, such as files. In a server, a file may be stored on one disk storage unit, or alternatively portions of a file may be stored on several disk storage units. A server may service access requests from a number of users concurrently, and it will be appreciated that it will be preferable that concurrently serviced access operations be in connection with information that is distributed across multiple disk storage units, so that they can be serviced concurrently. Otherwise stated, it is generally desirable to store information in disk storage units in such a manner that one disk drive unit not be heavily loaded, or busy servicing accesses, and while others are lightly loaded or idle. Operating systems may be used, along with storage-specific applications, to facilitate the data storage."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Customers today create multiple copies of their data for backup/disaster recovery purposes. In many cases, these backups are made from the primary version of the dataset on a direct access storage device (DASD) such as a hard disk drive (HDD) or a redundant array of independent disks (RAID). However, in order to perform such a backup operation, the applicable DASD is typically in use and must be, in many cases, taken offline for the dataset to be retrieved. In situations where thousands of datasets are backed up at a single occurrence, the applicable DASD may be taken offline for an excessive time period.

"In light of the foregoing, a need exists for a mechanism to allow for backup copies to be performed from a variety of sources other than the original dataset on the DASD, such as an existing backup version. Accordingly, this mechanism would reduce the amount of input/output (I/O) to the primary DASD and reduce enqueue contention to the primary version of the dataset.

"In one embodiment, by way of example only, a method for performing a backup operation in a computing environment is provided. A dataset corresponding to a backup copy is examined to determine if the dataset has changed since a previous backup operation. If the dataset has not changed, a backup inventory registry is consulted to determine a current version of a backup copy. The current version is one of a plurality of available versions. The backup operation is then performed using the current version of the backup copy.

"In another embodiment, again by way of example only, a system for performing a backup operation in a computing environment is provided. A backup module is operable on the computing environment. The backup module is configured for determining if a dataset corresponding to a backup copy has changed since a previous backup operation. If the dataset has not changed, the backup module is further configured for consulting a backup inventory registry to determine a current version of a backup copy. The current version is one of a plurality of available versions. The backup module is further configured to perform the backup operation using the current version of the backup copy.

"In still another embodiment, again by way of example only, a computer program product for performing a backup operation in a computing environment is provided. The computer program product comprises a computer-readable storage medium having computer-readable program code portions stored therein. The computer-readable program code portions include a first executable portion for determining of a dataset corresponding to a backup copy has changed since a previous backup operation. If the dataset has not changed, a backup inventory registry is consulted to determine a current version of a backup copy, the current version one of a plurality of available versions. The backup operation is then performed using the current version of the backup copy."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Reed, David C.; Smith, Max D.; Trader, Thaiese N.; Elaiho, Robin L.. Backup Copy Enhancements to Reduce Primary Version Access. U.S. Patent Number 8745345, filed March 13, 2013, and published online on June 3, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8745345.PN.&OS=PN/8745345RS=PN/8745345

Keywords for this news article include: International Business Machines Corporation.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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