Storage

My May column discussed tape Network Attached Storage (NAS)—a hybrid platform that combines a tape library with some front-end disk caching plus a tape file system and a network mount to create a really high-capacity file storage solution that doesn’t consume a lot of power. Among other things, I noted that this “NAS on steroids” configuration might be a great solution for storing less frequently accessed data sets, delivering to users who require an occasional look-see at the stored data with response times approximating that of the Web…

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Equens SpA, the leading company in Italy in Automated Teller Machine/Point of Sale (ATM/POS) authorization and back-end payment process management, has spent the past few years consolidating its business and IT operations while orchestrating its strategic card processing transactions around zEnterprise technology. Reliable transaction processing and quality services backed with a comprehensive plan for Disaster Recovery (DR) and failover are critical to the company’s growth and market share…

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The delivery of IT services is more difficult today than ever due to several factors. First is the constant growth of data volumes that not only stress primary storage but also make backup and recovery extraordinarily difficult. This is exacerbated by users’ much higher expectations for data availability that in turn severely restrict backup windows and restore times. In addition, the expanding use of virtualization and cloud-based services give users a taste of immediacy and location-independence they lap up like hungry dogs; virtual machines can be created in minutes, and data can be accessed via the cloud rapidly from any location, with multiple devices. Mainframe systems aren’t immune to these new developments and are increasingly being asked to provide unprecedented services and service levels, particularly in terms of data availability and protection. As the business becomes accustomed to secure, scalable, efficient backup procedures and instant recovery of applications, mainframe systems must adjust…

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Storage Attached Network (SAN) is an efficient solution for many storage needs, especially where hundreds of gigabytes or even many terabytes are required. Linux running on z/VM can use SAN nicely, and System z provides Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP) adapters to connect to the SAN fabric. But is it that easy? Connect it and it’s done? Not even close. From a z/VM perspective, if you have more than a handful of servers using SAN, things can get daunting quickly. This article describes some of the pain points associated with managing direct-attached SAN (not EDEVs, otherwise known as VM-emulated devices) from a z/VM perspective and how to overcome them…

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My March/April column started a discussion of file archive, which we suggested might well be the real killer app this year. The simple fact is that in most businesses today, the volume of data being stored as files exceeds the volume of data being stored as transactional, or “block,” data. Given IBM’s efforts to expand the role of the mainframe to shoulder more of the workload currently hosted on x86 server platforms (its zEnterprise kit and strategy), where much of the file-based data is generated today, it seems likely that mainframers will soon confront the problem of what to do with all those pesky files…

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My team of solution architects frequently design and implement z/OS disk migrations as part of storage upgrades or new implementations. After performing many migrations at small to very large installations, we’ve learned the many trials and tribulations of disk migrations along with ways to deal with the different challenges that always seem to occur…

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Capacity planning today is anything but “business as usual.” Forward-thinking organizations are already redefining capacity planning as “capacity management” because performing capacity work effectively in an environment that will feature on-demand provisioning and private cloud services involves more than just looking at MIPS consumption for annual budget planning…

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The August/September 2011 z/Journal article, “Understanding Persistent IU Pacing (aka Extended Distance FICON)” (available at www.mainframezone.com/operating-systems/understanding-persistent-iu-pacing-aka-extended-distance-ficon) explained the basics of Information Unit (IU) pacing and the newer persistent IU pacing mechanism. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) T11 FC-SB3 standard was amended (FC-SB3/AM1) in January 2007 to incorporate changes made with persistent IU pacing…

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