Storage

Critics of infrastructure “clouds” often debate the prospects of the burgeoning infrastructure model to deliver its promised business value. Storage clouds, for example, are supposed to provide capacity on demand, dependability and predictability in terms of service levels, and, of course, secure hosting of irreplaceable data assets. All this is accomplished in a manner that facilitates ease of allocation and management, supports operational efficiency and agility, and delivers the kind of flexibility that enables IT resources to adapt dynamically to the changing needs of the business at a significantly reduced cost…

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My October/November column discussed the July 23, 2013 set of IBM System z announcements and how those announcements encourage channel consolidation by IBM System z customers. One of the items I briefly covered was Dynamic Channel Path Management (DCM) for FICON. Here I will discuss DCM in more detail and make the case for why you should seriously consider implementing DCM…

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Over the past decade, extension networks for storage have become commonplace and continue to grow in size and importance. Growth isn’t limited to new deployments but also involves the expansion of existing deployments. Requirements for data protection will never ease, as the economies of many countries depend on successful and continued business operations; thus, laws have been passed mandating data protection. Modern-day dependence on remote data replication (RDR) means there’s little tolerance for lapses that leave data vulnerable to loss. In IBM mainframe environments, reliable and resilient networks—to the point of no frame loss and in-order frame delivery—are necessary for error-free operation, high performance and operational ease. This improves availability, reduces risk and operating expenses and, most important of all, reduces risk of data loss…

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Enterprise Tech Journal recently spoke with Debra Costello, principal platform engineer GIS for CA Technologies, and Craig Guess, senior principal product manager for CA Technologies, to discuss the IT environment at CA and how their organization not only develops CA Chorus but is also a user.

Enterprise Tech Journal: Can you talk a bit about the IT environment at CA Technologies?…

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On July 23, IBM made a series of hardware, operating system and software announcements for the zEnterprise platforms. There were several parts of each announcement that pertained to I/O and channel technology. One common denominator of each of these parts was that they 1) encourage a movement toward consolidation of channels on the host, and 2) encourage avoiding direct attached FICON channels and adopting switched FICON architectures…

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The most common reason for extending storage networks over geographical distances is to safeguard critical business data and provide near-continuous access to applications and services in the event of a localized disaster. Designing a distance connectivity solution involves a number of considerations. The enterprise must classify stored data and determine how important it is for business operation, how often it must be backed up and how quickly it needs to be recovered in the event of failure…

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Modern Fibre Channel (FC) Storage Area Network (SAN) fabrics, both Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP) and Fibre Connection (FICON), have evolved from simple data transport mechanisms to much more complex infrastructure. Fabrics containing multiple hosts across a wide spectrum of operating systems and hundreds of storage ports are common today. I/O levels and data traffic volumes, particularly across the core of a SAN fabric, are much higher…

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The article “Performance Troubleshooting Using the FICON Director Activity Report” (March/April 2013 Enterprise Tech Journal available at http://entsys.me/c000r) is the latest in a series of articles on System z I/O performance. As a quick review, this series has assumed there was an application Service Level Agreement (SLA)/Service Level Objective (SLO) for transaction response time that wasn’t being met. Some basic root cause analysis was performed by checking the key RMF reports used in mainframe I/O performance management. The most recent article examined the RMF 74-7 record, the RMF FICON Director Activity Report, to determine if the FICON Storage Area Network (SAN) may have caused the performance issue…

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Back in the day, storage management at a large, multibillion dollar global enterprise was comparatively easy. Storage was directly attached to servers, networks were “hard-wired” in place and virtualization was a concept rather than a reality. You need more capacity? You buy more storage. You need a business continuity solution? You buy more storage. You need to back up data? You buy more storage. You need storage at a remote branch office? You buy more storage. Simple, right?…

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