News Column

Patent Issued for Snapshot Content Metadata for Application Consistent Backups

August 7, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- From Alexandria, Virginia, VerticalNews journalists report that a patent by the inventors Goodman, Daniel I. (Beit Shemesh, IL); Broido, Yakov J. (Tel-Aviv, IL), filed on March 12, 2013, was published online on July 22, 2014.

The patent's assignee for patent number 8788773 is International Business Machines Corporation (Armonk, NY).

News editors obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "'Quiescing' is a term used to describe pausing or altering a state of processes executing on a computer, particularly processes that might modify information stored on a storage device during a backup, thereby guaranteeing a consistent and usable backup. Quiescing typically requires flushing any outstanding writes to the storage device.

"In computer storage systems, application consistent snapshots comprise snapshots taken while an application is quiesced. Application consistent snapshots typically require special handling during both snapshot creation and snapshot restoration in order to maintain consistency. Part of this operation is to ensure that all application data is quiesced in the storage medium before the backup/snapshot occurs.

"A snapshot comprises a copy of data residing on a storage volume (e.g., a disk drive) that is created at a particular point in time. Since a full backup of a large data set can take a long time to complete, a snapshot may define the dataset to be backed up. Data associated with the snapshot is static, and is therefore protected from any subsequent changes to the data on the volume (e.g., a database update).

"One typical implementation of a snapshot is called a 'pointer snapshot.' A pointer snapshot records an index of data locations to be protected on the volume. Pointer snapshots can be created fairly quickly and require far less storage space than is required to maintain a separate copy of the snapshot data."

As a supplement to the background information on this patent, VerticalNews correspondents also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Method, system, and computer program product embodiments for processing a snapshot in a computing environment by a processor are disclosed. In one embodiment, by way of example only, at least one of configuration information of a storage volume stored on a storage system and characteristics of the snapshot, including characteristics of one or more files stored in the snapshot, are identified. Snapshot content metadata, including the identified characteristics and the configuration information, is created. The snapshot content metadata is associated with the snapshot.

"Other embodiments are disclosed and provide related advantages."

For additional information on this patent, see: Goodman, Daniel I.; Broido, Yakov J.. Snapshot Content Metadata for Application Consistent Backups. U.S. Patent Number 8788773, filed March 12, 2013, and published online on July 22, 2014. Patent URL:

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

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Source: Computer Weekly News

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