IT Management

An Interview With IBM Distinguished Engineer David Petersen

David Petersen is an IBM Distinguished Engineer currently working on the System z platform. He has more than 20 years of experience with IBM and is recognized as a continuous availability and disaster recovery expert. As chief technologist and program manager of the Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex (GDPS) Continuous Availability/Disaster Recovery (CA/DR) solution, he’s responsible for the overall strategy and leads the worldwide development organization. Additionally, he’s responsible for the System z Platform Business Continuity strategy.

Mainframe Executive: Please tell our readers briefly what GDPS is all about.

David Petersen: GDPS is an integrated and automated CA/DR solution that manages application and data availability in and across multiple computing sites. GDPS provides the ability to monitor systems, including disk and tape subsystems, and makes it easier to manage planned maintenance activities and unplanned events, such as failures, at any level of the system. The GDPS acronym originally stood for Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex, but the scope of our GDPS solutions deal with any and all systems, including those geographically dispersed.

ME: Do you agree that the more advanced the solution, the greater the knowledge gap that must be overcome to get marketplace traction?

DP: I agree, and over the last 10 years, we’ve established traction in the form of more than 500 GDPS licenses in almost 40 countries. However, a lot of customers still aren’t aware of IBM’s CA/DR capabilities and the advancements that have been made.

ME: What key messages do you have for readers?

DP: First, I want all IT executives to know that GDPS is strategic to IBM, it’s growing, and it’s mature.

Second, GDPS will be the basis of future extensions to BC [Business Continuity] within IBM. GDPS is foundational and we continue to build upon it.

Third, customers have different needs for high-availability, continuous operations, and disaster recovery, Under the GDPS umbrella, there are different products to meet all these different requirements (see the accompanying sidebar).

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