• Reduced CPU cycles and Tier 1 storage requirements. HSM moves infrequently accessed data from Tier 1 storage to an alternate Tier 1 location and then to tape; these activities consume mainframe CPU cycles. Instead, a Virtual Tape Library (VTL) can skip the intermediate step and go directly to virtual tape; this frees up Tier 1 storage, relieves the mainframe from handling the processes involved, and ensures data can be swiftly recalled. Similarly, check images, brokerage transactions, insurance policies, and other fixed content objects must be quickly accessible for a period of time, after which regulatory long-term retention requirements kick in. This disk-based system maintains fast recall time, but without having to keep the data on Tier 1 storage.
This type of system would reduce costs, simplify management, and relieve mainframe systems from several significant burdens while improving protection and recovery times. When selecting such a system, several other features are important:
• Easy/seamless integration with existing applications. To avoid business interruption, your primary/deduplication storage should be easily integrated, requiring no changes to your current applications, tape management systems, or work processes.
• Data security. Features such as data verification, encryption, and Write Once Read Many (WORM) support should be available to ensure data security.
• Scalability. It should be simple to add storage capacity, tape libraries, network connections, etc. to accommodate growth.
• Highly available design. With multiple processes depending on this system, it should use redundant components, hot sparing, RAID data protection, fault detection and healing, and other features to ensure data access. DR testing should be supported without interrupting replication processes.
• IP-based replication. This should be part of the system, and users should be able to prioritize data for replication.
Systems combining standard and deduplication storage with these features would provide a firm foundation for mainframe data, while delivering storage efficiency, bandwidth reduction, and lower TCO, thus providing both operational and financial benefits. Consolidating and optimizing storage for backup, archiving, batch processing, and HSM into a single, efficient system can offer a management nirvana, and would enable mainframes to deliver the levels of service expected from them in the contemporary IT world.