How to migrate to the new HFS on-site disk-based backup service: Background information


Migration to the new HFS onsite disk-based backup service requires a transfer of data from the old service to the new service, a possible upgrade of the IBM client software, and a reconfiguration of that software. The first of those is now complete. The last two of these are usually managed by the HFS Hub app, although for command-line only systems which cannot use the HFS Hub a slightly different procedure applies. 


The new service uses newer features of Spectrum Protect than the old and also has tighter security requirements. For this reason there is a minimum client version on the new service: the new service is only open to systems that can run a recent version 8 client. In practice that includes the vast majority of existing systems, but it excludes:

  • 32-bit Windows
  • 32-bit Linux
  • Windows 7, 8, 2008, 2008 R2 (and earlier)
  • OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) and earlier
  • Netware
  • Irix
  • Solaris SPARC

It may also exclude other particularly old Linux distributions but it definitely includes Ubuntu 14.04, Debian 8, and RedHat 6 and later.

IT staff may also need the following information. Systems must be able to contact the HFS Spectrum Protect servers on TCP port 1500. If you are configuring firewall rules the simplest thing to do is allow access to the whole HFS subnet at For configuration purposes systems should also be able to contact on TCP port 443.

The migration process

The migration process has taken about six months. During this process as we scheduled the migration of individual nodes we emailed node contacts to tell them:

  • the name their node would have on the new server (if it changed)
  • whether their Spectrum Protect client needs upgrading
  • if their system could not be moved to the new service, we told them that the node would be moved to a new server on the current service
  • the date of migration.

Data was then copied from the old service to the new and on the migration date

  • the old node got locked, preventing further access, and scheduled backups were removed
  • a final data copy took place to ensure nothing gets missed
  • the node was configured correctly on the destination server, including setting up a schedule (usually at the same time you had before, but daily)
  • the node was assigned to you in the HFS Portal 
  • you got mailed to tell you that migration is complete and you must now reconfigure your client software.

Please note the following:

  • Naming: The old service had different naming schemes for the server backup service and the desktop backup service. There is no division between servers and desktops on the new service, and so only one naming scheme. In many cases there needed to be a new nodename to fit the new scheme. The new nodename is based on the name of your computer.
  • Passwords: The client installation and configuration process performed by the HFS Hub app does not need to know the password generated at registration time.
  • The upgrade process: Prior to the upgrade process, do not be tempted to move your existing options file or indeed uninstall the existing IBM Spectrum
  • Protect client software. The HFS Hub will manage any required upgrade and will make the necessary edits to the options file in place, while also retaining a saved copy to allow you to check that any local edits to your previous configuration have been carried over correctly. 

Reconfiguring your system

For instructions on installing the HFS Hub and reconfiguring your machine to back up to the new HFS disk-based backup service, please see our page on instructions for migrating to the new HFS on-site disk-based backup service.

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