IBM FlashCopy Backups: Is it Amazing Technology or Houdini Magic?
I remember when I first got was introduced to IBM’s FlashCopy backup technology roughly 8 years ago. An IBM i engineer who started to embrace external storage for small to mid-sized IBM i shops said to me one day, “If we went with SAN storage, we could flash out a full backup of their whole LPAR in less than 15 seconds”. To which I responded, “Say what?! That doesn’t sound possible! It sounds like some Houdini magic or something”.
Being the guy that needs to know how everything works, I was launched into a quest to understand FlashCopy. Almost like a child running onto a new playground for the first time.
What is FlashCopy?
FlashCopy is typically used for Point in Time disk backups or creating a clone of a system or IASP for development, testing, reporting, or data mining purposes. We use FlashCopy mostly to make a copy of the disks for Point in Time backups to tape or VTL but Flashcopy is a tool you can get very creative with and drive some big-time value.
Think about these scenarios: