Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about LVBackup, our TCP/IP based backup for IBM i and iSeries systems.

What is LVBackup?

LVBackup is a disk-to-disk (D2D) or disk-to-disk-to-tape (D2D2T) backup system for IBM midrange computers (AS/400, iSeries, IBM i) with features similar to a virtual tape library. It runs on a Windows server platform to provide backup and restore functions to the iSeries host.

Does LVBackup include hardware?

LVBackup is a software only solution that can run on any existing Windows-based server.

How does LVBackup connect to the iSeries host?

LVBackup connects through TCP/IP. Most users will connect with an Ethernet card.  We recommend 1 gigabit or faster Ethernet. You can also use multiple Ethernet connections to the host or 10 gigabit Ethernet (10 GBE) for faster backups and restores.

What releases of OS/400 and I5/OS does it support?

Every release from V4R3 forward.

What sort of compression ratio can I expect?

You should see at least 4 to 1 compression on an average set of saves – more on databases, less on program objects. Our sample results have been 3.6 on run-time objects, 8.0 on a library containing database records, and 10.7 on program source. Your results will vary. Users have reported compression ratios in the 4x to 12x range.

Will compression slow down my other iSeries jobs?

Absolutely not. Since the compression occurs entirely on the LVBackup side it does not cause any overhead on the iSeries.

Will compression increase my download time?

Usually it does not affect download speeds. If this is an issue, you can set LVBackup to compress after the download is complete.

Does the SAVF get written to the iSeries first?

No. The software intercepts the SAVF write and transfers the data directly to the server via TCP/IP. It does not create a SAVF on the iSeries host. Therefore, you do not need to allocate space for a SAVF on the iSeries.

Is LVBackup as fast as my current tape drive?

Most LVBackup customers see a significant time savings when compared with tape. Users report that a single 1 gigabit Ethernet connection is generally faster than an LT03 drive while performing the same backup. For even faster performance, you can set up multiple Ethernet connections, or 10 GBE.

From what media can I save and restore?

Anything that the server considers a drive, including internal hard drives, removable hard drives, USB ‘thumb-drives’, NAS, RAID arrays, etc.

How big is my IBM i backup?

To see how much data is stored on your AS400 you can run the following commands:

WRKSYSSTS – This command shows the system disk space in the upper right corner of the display (% of ASP).

WRKDSKSTS – This command shows you these same stats on a per drive basis

What does “% of ASP” mean?

ASP is the auxiliary storage pool or disk storage space you currently have installed. The % used is the amount of data stored on the ASP.

How big a ‘backup file’ can I create?

As large as the available storage on your Windows server, SAN, NAS or dedupe appliance.

Can I copy the data catalog for a second backup?

Yes. You can copy the files to another server device.  You must include the file ‘CATALOG.LVB’, which contains the pointer to the SAVF files. Each new SAVOBJLVB or SAVLIBLVB creates a numbered SAVF data file and a list with the extensions SVF and LST.

We have had success using SynchBackSE to backup our backups across the network, making second copies of our iSeries backups. You can also use it to copy across the Internet.

You can also set a second copy path in the Properties that will cause LVBackup to write a second copy of the ‘save file’ after the download process.

Can I use the LVBackup Server software on more than one server?

LVBackup is licensed to imitate the virtual tape libraries it is designed to compete with.  That means you need a license for each server that performs the SAV function.  This helps us keep the price of the software as low as possible.  When you license the software, we give you a key that corresponds to the MAC address of the TCP/IP adapter in the server, or to the hard drive serial number.

However, we realize that many iSeries users will want to use the software for off-site backup and file distribution.  To help make this easier, you can use the LVBackup Server software on as many servers as you want for restoring files to any iSeries server.  You only have to license the software when you are saving files from an iSeries host.

So if you want to SAVLIBLVB and distribute the result to 5, 50, or 500 iSeries hosts, you only need one licensed copy of the LVBackup Server software. Restore-only copies of the server software don’t need a license key and we cannot give them support.

How much does it cost to add more storage space?

Nothing but the cost of the drives. LVBackup supports as much storage as you can attach to your server. At the present time, one catalog cannot span devices, but multi-terabyte RAIDs, SANs and NAS devices are available for servers.

If you use our compression, you should see between 4 and 8 times the raw capacity of the device in iSeries backup. In a real world situation, a 500 GB drive should give you between 2 TeraBytes and 4 TB of iSeries backup storage.

Will I be able to restore my libraries on future releases of OS/400 or I5/OS?

We are using IBM’s own software to do the saves and restores. We expect IBM’s software to remain compatible in future releases of the operating system, since IBM also depends on its use.

Will I be able to eliminate my tape backups if I have LVBackup?

Eliminating tape is possible depending on your situation. Many of our customers totally eliminate using tape for their backups. However, some industries require tape for auditing purposes and those customers choose to use both tape and LVBackup. Our live on-line demo
is available to show you just how easy it is.

How cost-effective is LVBackup?

LVBackup software itself is extremely affordable, especially when you consider the benefits:

  • backups can be stored with much higher compression on disk rather than on tape.
  • significant time and labor savings when the manual handling and processing of tapes is eliminated
  • LVBackup provides functions similar to virtual tape libraries (VTL’s) without the expensive price tape of a VTL

Every company is unique as to what savings they experience. To determine how much you may be spending on tape backups, complete our Cost of Tape worksheet.

How much training is required with LVBackup?

LVBackup uses commands very similar to IBM tape backup commands, so the training to use LVBackup is minimal. Operators who are familiar with the IBM commands quickly become familiar with the LV commands. See the simplicity of LVBackup with our on-line demo

Can I use LVBackup as part of my disaster recovery plan?

Yes, many customers use LVBackup as part of their DR plan. LVBackup stores each backup as a file on a local or network attached disk array that can be copied or restored to the iSeries quickly.

How will I know if LVBackup will work for us?

We have a 15-day free trial period so you can make sure it works the way you want. After 15 days, you will no longer be able to save libraries or objects, but you can still restore them. To receive instructions on how to download the free trial, please email us at

How much does LVBackup cost?

Backup and recovery is unique to each customer. We configure each LVBackup solution to fit the specific requirements for your business. Ask for a customized quote today.

How can I learn more about LVBackup?

Our LVBackup Solution Brief contains additional information. Request a copy here.

If I don’t like LVBackup, can I get a refund?

Returns are accepted within the first 30-days from the date of installation. All returns must be pre-authorized and are subject to a 30% restocking fee.

Who makes LVBackup?

LVBackup is a product of Electronic Storage Corporation (ESC). Since 1989, ESC has been creating and selling backup and recovery and document management solutions primarily to the IBM midrange market. We support all of our products in-house. Our other products are Universal Backup Device (UBD), ViTL, LVDMS10 Document Management, LVReports, and Content Express.

Have a product question not listed here? Send us a quick email.


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