We’ve looked at the EMC mainframe portfolio of solutions from the newest to the oldest. Let’s look at some of the other factors involved in a company’s products that are important to its customers. These factors are compatibility, innovation, and automation.
Many customers want a choice when it comes to mainframe hardware or software. To provide viable mainframe choices for customers, vendors must create products that are IBM-compatible. In the past, IBM made their interface or Original Equipment Manufacturers Interface (OEMI) available so vendors could build products. As products became more and more complex, the time taken to understand the new features or functions and implement them became known as the feature lag. The more complex the feature or function is, the longer the lag. To resolve this lag to the mutual benefit of EMC customers, IBM and EMC instituted cross-technology agreements that date back many years and are ongoing. This licensing agreement helps EMC remain compatible in a much timelier manner. As IBM adds new functionality to mainframe environments, EMC has the opportunity to be in sync to provide best-in-class capabilities and compatibility.
The following is a partial list of key technologies EMC licenses from IBM, ensuring compatibility with core mainframe technologies:
- Extended Address Volume (EAV)
- Extended Distance FICON
- High-Performance FICON
- IBM Metro Mirror (PPRC)
- IBM z/OS Global Mirror (XRC)
Another piece of technology used by EMC is its Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex (GDPS) lab, which is used to test and develop functionality in GDPS environments. This lab is the only one of its kind of which we are aware.
EMC and IBM have developed what’s called a coopetition model. The result of this model is that the two companies cooperate at the mainframe hardware and operating system level but compete against each other with disk, tape, storage connectivity, services, and some software. It’s a healthy relationship and keeps competition strong.
If you only sell compatible or “me too” products in the marketplace, you can only compete on price. Creating better, bigger, faster, more reliable products gets you market share. To provide customers with value-add capabilities, EMC’s mainframe strategy focuses on innovation. According to EMC, their mainframe product portfolio supports some of the largest and most critical mainframe environments in the world. EMC innovation has created many of the industrywide storage categories available today, such as high-end enterprise storage, true elimination of tape, advanced local and remote replication, advanced multi-site replication for disk or tape, according to the vendor. Business continuity and disaster restart software solutions—such as the EMC Geographically Dispersed Disaster Restart (GDDR)—ensure that information is constantly protected and exposure is limited in the event of planned or unplanned outages. This product is useful for demonstrating to your board that the solution works today without waiting until the day of a disaster to test. GDDR automates the entire disaster restart process, including the host system, applications, and storage and can also work with your open systems platforms.
EMC’s continuous availability, business continuity, and disaster restart software solutions have become much more sophisticated over time. The EMC GDDR brings automated event detection and incident management to the already sophisticated data replication and continuous availability suite. Automation ensures information is constantly protected and downtime is minimized or eliminated for both planned and unplanned event management, according to EMC.
Automating your EMC business continuity platform eliminates operational error as a cause of outages or outage escalation. The EMC GDDR automates the entire disaster restart process, including host systems, applications, and storage and integrates with other technologies such as open systems servers, networks, and tape infrastructure management. By using GDDR, the power of EMC expertise is brought right to the heart of critical event management within your data center operations, and shifts the accountability for successful event management squarely to EMC.
EMC has truly transformed its mainframe portfolio over the last decade.
The Bottom Line
While this article has provided an insightful look at the EMC mainframe portfolio of products, it’s by no means exhaustive. Yet, the work they’ve done in bringing quality mainframe solution choices to market is worthy of consideration.