IT Management

Innovation, Performance, Availability & Automation With Compatibility!

Many of us have always thought of EMC as a supplier of mainframe disk storage. After all, the Symmetrix came on the scene in the early ’90s, putting EMC on the map. Shortly after, EMC introduced replication products such as the Symmetrix Remote Data Facility (SRDF) and TimeFinder that have stood the test of time, and are the most recognizable technologies when you think of EMC today. What you may not be aware of is that EMC has steadily built a very encompassing suite of mainframe solutions.

Today, EMC offers a variety of mainframe solutions unfamiliar to many IT departments that includes storage connectivity, a complete mainframe virtual tape library with de-duplication, and a services organization. The storage connectivity solutions are comprised of the Connectrix family, providing a variety of ESCON and FICON directors and switches delivering increased speed and manageability.

In the new millennium, EMC started its move on tape. EMC built a Mainframe Disk Library (MDL) in conjunction with partners. They then created the Disk Library for mainframe family of products. While they were building up the product families, a small service organization grew from the few that installed the disk to the many that install, migrate, consult, design, and plan any mainframe-related topic.

While they were building up the product families, the mainframe services organization grew from the few that installed the disk products to the many that install, migrate, consult, design, and plan any mainframe-related topic.

EMC has continuously introduced innovative solutions that meet or exceed the demanding requirements of mainframe environments—both in performance and high availability. The company has always been one of the first or the first vendor to introduce new solutions to mainframe customers, including such innovations as consistency technology across storage arrays, the use of flash drives, and the ability to have a tape library with no tape.

We will explore the EMC mainframe portfolio from the newest products, starting with the DLm, and finishing with some overriding products and services that enable you to migrate any storage to any storage non-disruptively, either disk or tape. Over the years, EMC may have been quiet but they’ve also been very busy. Since EMC is continuously expanding with IBM compatibility solutions, their solutions are worth exploring and understanding.

EMC’s Disk Library for Mainframe

The EMC Disk Library for mainframe is the industry’s first complete, self-contained, tape-on-disk system for use in IBM mainframe environments. The Disk Library for mainframe connects to the FICON channel on an IBM mainframe and looks to the mainframe as a collection of standard IBM tape drives. The Disk Library for mainframe uses primary and/or de-duplication storage to hold the tape images on near-line storage and not as a caching mechanism for migration to tape. As a result, mount requests are typically satisfied in less than one second, which accelerates batch processes as well as HSM recalls.

The Disk Library for mainframe is a unique virtual tape library solution in that it can concurrently support both primary and de-duplication storage in a single, manageable solution and dynamically direct tape files to the most appropriate storage on a file-by-file basis. In this way, the Disk Library for mainframe is making the most efficient use of the various storage types available to it. As an example, backup data would be directed to the de-duplication storage where the data footprint would be minimized, saving disk space and greatly reducing replication costs to your Disaster Recovery site.

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