Cut the Tape, Defrost Your Mainframe


You might be wondering: Brain freeze and mainframe – what’s the connection?

The brain part should be obvious. Mainframes process the most critical transactions and store the most important data to many organizations. Therefore, the mainframe is the “brains” of key operations.

The not so obvious part is why your mainframe is not delivering to its fullest potential – suffering from “brain freeze.” The reason is simple: tape.

To read more of the post on our sister site Thought Feast, click here.


Lady Backup
Lady Backup’s career in IT dates back before the time of the Spice Girls. Initially I started in high tech journalism in the US and eventually transitioned to become an industry analyst. My analyst years also coincided with my education – during this period of my life I was working on my MBA. After 7 years of going to school at night, I graduated with distinction with an Information Age MBA degree from Bentley University (at the time it was still Bentley College) located just outside of Boston. With degree in hand, what’s a restless girl to do next? This is where networking with fellow classmates led to a job at EMC. Starting our Hopkinton headquarters, I moved outside of the US with EMC International when I felt it was time for my next change. Today, Lady Backup is an American on the loose in the world. Living outside the United States has been a fascinating experience. For the moment I call England home. But I’m feeling my next wave of restlessness coming. Here are two hints: I love sunshine and I’m improving my Spanish.

Move Like Jagger

By Sherry Davenport, Sr. Technical Marketing Manager, EMC Backup Recovery Systems

Isn’t it funny how when you are prepping to go to a conference, it’s the prospect of the live entertainment that is many times what gets you jazzed?  Well, maybe it’s just me?  … And, as you may already know, MAROON 5 is scheduled to play Wednesday night during the upcoming #EMCWorld!  How cool is THAT???

Well, we are looking to create some exciting buzz for you around all the other great opportunities you will have related to EMC Backup and Recovery while attending this year’s conference.  As a result, we will hopefully see you ‘moving like Jagger’ in the hallways of The Venetian toward all the great sessions and activities planned around the EMC Backup and Recovery portfolio.

We will be very social at EMCWorld, and are encouraging you all to be so as well.  So, for those among us that love to socialize, there will be tweeting, blogging, buzzing, and gaming!  Join us for BJ Jenkins’ Keynote on Monday from 2:30 – 3:30 and his Buzz Session on Tuesday from 5:00 – 5:30 PM where he will be discussing and answering questions on newly announced backup and recovery products.  Meet us during showroom hours in the EMC Backup Freedom booth (#761) and talk with EMC experts regarding your data protection challenges.   In addition, there will be a ‘BOF: Ask the Execs’ offered staffed with an EMC Backup and Recovery Executive Panel on Tuesday at 1:30 PM and ‘ESG on Backup Redesign’ on Wednesday also at 1:30 PM.

Now, let’s discuss the sessions you should be planning for—please, bear with me and go get a pen and paper right now ‘cause there is a lot of ground to cover!

Start the event off with a bang and get up early on Monday (I know, it’s VEGAS, man!)… you won’t be sorry that you did!  At 8:30 AM will be a session on ‘What’s New in EMC NetWorker?’  We’ll get you up to speed about all things ‘NetWorker’ since last EMCWorld.  This session will be repeated on Wednesday at 4:15 PM for those of you with other things to do first thing Monday morning.  Additionally, not to be missed are the ‘What’s New’ sessions for EMC Avamar on Monday at 10:00 AM and Tuesday at 4:15 PM, and EMC Data Domain on Monday at 4:00 PM and Tuesday at 11:30 AM.

If you are managing the protection of Microsoft applications such as Exchange, SQL, and SharePoint, you should plan around the session entitled ‘EMC Backup—Strategies for Backup and Recovery of Microsoft Applications’ on Monday at 10:00 AM or, alternatively, on Tuesday at 4:15 PM.

NAS – now there’s a challenge when you start talking ‘backup and restore.’  Come to the ‘EMC Backup:  Protecting Unstructured Data on VNX and VNXe’ session and learn how EMC solutions can help to dramatically reduce the amount of data that you will need to backup.  This session is offered on Monday at 4:00 PM and Wednesday at 8:30 AM.

Do you have the need to better understand how the two industry-leading backup appliances – EMC Avamar and EMC Data Domain – are integrated to provide you with a high performing, yet simple and efficient, deduplication backup solution for a broad range of applications?  Then ‘EMC Avamar and EMC Data Domain – Integrated Backup Systems Take Application Performance to the Next Level’ will walk you through the use cases and benefits for this dynamic-duo.  This session will be offered Monday at 8:30 AM and again on Tuesday at 10:00 AM.

Do you have enterprise software and database applications you lay awake at night worrying about protecting?  Then the session entitled ‘EMC Backup:  Planning for Oracle, SAP and Sybase Backup and Recovery’ is for you and scheduled for Tuesday at 10:00 AM and again on Thursday at 11:30 AM.

Speaking of database applications–are you an Oracle DBA?  You absolutely need to find out how Data Domain Boost for RMAN can provide faster Time-to-DR and catalog awareness for effective disaster recovery by Oracle and Data Domain experts.  Join in for ‘EMC Data Domain Best Practices for Oracle (including RMAN Incremental Update)’ on Tuesday at 2:45 PM and Wednesday at 10:00 AM.

We cannot forget about virtualization!  Have you heard that NetWorker + Data Domain = DYNAMITE?!!  Come and learn what you need to know about using this winning combination to protect your VMware or Hyper-V environments in the session called ‘EMC NetWorker with Data Domain:  Best Practices for VMware and Hyper-V Backup’ on either Wednesday at 2:45 PM or Thursday at 10:00 AM.

Are you using VMware and VCE Vblock in your virtualized environment?  Then you absolutely must make time in your busy week to attend ‘EMC Avamar: Backup Built for VMware and VCE Vblock (including vCloud Director).’  It is being offered Tuesday at 11:30 AM and again on Wednesday at 4:15 PM and will outline for you the level of integration between Avamar and VMware for faster and very efficient VMware guest and image backups.

What?!  EMC supports IBM i?  Yes, it’s true–bringing the value of deduplication into the homes of IBM i operators.  ‘EMC Data Domain and IBM i – Backup and Recovery for VIOS and IBM Power System Environments’ should be considered a requirement.  Don’t believe our spin?  Hear it straight from Steve Hall from Arcadia Group.  Offered Monday at 4:00 PM and Thursday at 8:30 AM (come on, you won’t be out THAT late rocking to Maroon 5! … will you???).

For those of you who have BIG problems trying to protect BIG DATA, the session ‘EMC Backup Meets Big Data—Strategies to Protect Greenplum, Isilon and Teradata Systems with Data Domain and NetWorker’ was developed especially for you–Wednesday at 11:30 AM and Thursday at 10:00 AM.

Maybe your largest concern of the moment is how best to archive your data while meeting government regulations and enabling fast and reliable recovery?  If you are particularly concerned about your Exchange 2010 data store, you will want to ensure you pen in the session entitled ‘EMC SourceOne Fundamentals: Archiving and Information Governance in a “Microsoft 2010” World’ being offered Monday at 10:00 AM and again on Thursday at 1:00 PM.  ‘EMC Data Domain: Deduplication Storage for Long-Term Retention of Backup and Archive Data’ will discuss new, cost-effective long-term retention solutions using Data Domain.  It’s available Wednesday at 11:30 AM and Thursday at 8:30 AM.

Learn how Data Domain can easily integrate with TSM environments and the benefits of doing so based on a variety of use cases in the session ‘EMC Data Domain – TSM Best Practices.’  It is offered Wednesday at 8:30 AM and Thursday at 1:00 PM.

If the mainframe is your cup of tea, there will be a room dedicated to EMC’s mainframe portfolio for the entire show. BRS will present five sessions throughout the week. Learn about the latest advancements, listen to customers who have successfully implemented our technology and even talk to the developers to see where it is all headed.

Ending this line-up of sessions is ‘EMC Data Domain Performance Optimization with Data Domain Boost’ running on Monday at 8:30 AM and again on Thursday at 11:30 AM.  You will learn the key Data Domain integration points and their correlation to performance and ease of management.

Seeing is believing… if demos are of most interest to you, then you will be in heaven (albeit quickly J) in the session entitled ‘EMC Backup—20 Demos in 60 Minutes—A Technical Tour for the Attention Span Challenged’ on Tuesday at 2:45 PM and again on Wednesday at 10:00 AM.

And fear not, for those of you who actually have to touch, along with see, to believe… you will have the opportunity to sit in the driver’s seat for an hour in the Hands-On Labs.  Hands-On Labs have proven to be extremely popular in past years and, for some, the entire reason why they attend…  Due to their popularity, they are open at 7:30 AM each morning and run most of the day, every day of the show.

Be sure to follow #EMCWorld for updates and @EMCBackup for Backup and Recovery News and Updates.  We are looking forward to following you all as well, so please tweet and blog your thoughts!

And, speaking of that…  @EMCBackup: The evolution of #NetWorker: ACCLR8… Stay tuned!…  On THAT note… join the conversation on the NetWorker Community at  We’d love to hear from you!

Sherry Davenport
I started in the IT industry over 30 years ago — it sure doesn’t feel like that long! I worked my way through the ranks starting at the old Digital Equipment Corporation in software sales support, sales training, channel training, product management and, ultimately, marketing. My background includes digital imaging, team productivity software, Alta Vista (remember that?), storage management, storage networking and most recently backup and recovery software. While I love my job, I love cooking and wine appreciation even more.

A Match Made in Heaven

By Jim O’Connor, Senior Product Marketing Manager, EMC Backup Recovery System

In the not too distant past backup was very straightforward; the mainframe backed up data to proprietary tape formats, UNIX and Windows had their own processes and IBM i (formerly iSeries or AS400 way back in the day) had its unique process for backup data. In effect separate islands but everyone was aware of where the lines of demarcation were drawn.

Well the lines have blurred considerably since those simpler times. Head counts were reduced, people were asked to do more with less, and new technologies emerged. Consolidation was the operative word as people began to understand that all of these islands of data had very similar characteristics and processing requirements.

Today, organizations are looking to reduce storage footprint, consolidate backup workloads and manage them all through a single interface. For mixed operating environments, EMC’s recently announced Disk Library for mainframe DLm1000 delivers on these requirements.  The DLm1000 is a standalone mainframe tape emulator that delivers gateway functionality between a mainframe and Data Domain deduplication storage systems. As a gateway solution, the Data Domain storage system being used by the mainframe can simultaneously be utilized as a backup target for open system servers, including IBM i.

Combining the DLm1000 with Data Domain storage systems, organizations can leverage common backup storage for mainframe and open system environments while taking advantage of all of the unique capabilities of Data Domain systems, including:

  • Scalable Deduplication Storage – provides 10 to 30x average reduction in backup storage required
  • Support for leading backup and archive applications
  • Multisite Disaster Recovery – 99 percent bandwidth efficiency for network-based replication
  • Flexible replication topologies for tape-free DR or tape consolidation
  • Data Domain Invulnerability Architecture  – for ultra-safe storage for reliable recovery

So now, rather than islands of backup data users can have all of their mainframe and open system backups stored together on the industry’s leading deduplication storage platform, ensuring their data is protecting while also dramatically reducing cost and complexity.  Sounds like a match made in heaven…

Jim O'Connor
It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been involved with Information Technology for nearly 40 years, 21 of them with EMC. Today, I’m the product marketing lead for the Disk Library for mainframe product portfolio, and in this position have the opportunity to help pioneer virtual tape solutions in the mainframe marketplace.

Good Things Come in Small Packages

By Jim O’Connor, Senior Product Marketing Manager, EMC Backup Recovery Systems

Virtual Tape Libraries have forever changed the landscape in mainframe tape operations. High-performance VTLs can shrink backup and restore times, reduce storage and replication requirements, improve RPO and RTO, eliminate drive contention, prevent lost tapes, and reduce the possibility of damaged tape media by storing data on RAID protected disk.

However one of the biggest advantages over tape is the minimized foot print in the data center, saving floor space costs, power, air conditioning and more.

The EMC DLm2000 Virtual Tape Library for mainframe environments delivers all of this functionality in a single data center floor tile. One customer reports a 95% reduction in floor space and a 75% reduction in power consumption.

Don’t let the small package mislead you, the EMC DLm2000 provides:

  • Up to 680 MB/sec throughput for faster backup and restore times
  • Up to 680 MB/sec throughput for faster backup and restore times
  • Hardware compression that reduces data size by a factor of up to 4 to 1, which minimizes storage and replication requirements
  • 512 virtual drives to eliminate drive contention
  • Data replication to a DR site, eliminating the possibility of lost or stolen tapes and providing an improved Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO).

The powerful EMC DLm2000 is an ideal alternative to mainframe tape systems for small to mid-sized mainframe data centers.  A fully configured DLm2000 can store the equivalent of over 175,000 full 3490E tape cartridges. Just imagine the reduced costs of storing that many tapes and the personnel costs to manage them.

With the DLm2000 it’s also no longer necessary to send hundreds of tape cartridges and personnel to the DR site for testing readiness; you can do it from your desktop. The Disk Library for mainframe has  allowed some companies to say that, for the first time they have complete confidence in their ability to recover from an unexpected outage.

When it comes to mainframe tape processing  – size DOES matter.

Jim O'Connor
It’s hard to believe, but I’ve been involved with Information Technology for nearly 40 years, 21 of them with EMC. Today, I’m the product marketing lead for the Disk Library for mainframe product portfolio, and in this position have the opportunity to help pioneer virtual tape solutions in the mainframe marketplace.

The Next Step Forward For Mainframe Virtual Tape: DLm6000

Mainframe tape is a funny thing. Or at least it can look funny to a person that doesn’t work with mainframes.

Funny because mainframe tape does a bunch of things. In the open systems world, life is simple by comparison. Tape does (or did!) basically one thing: backup. Yes, you could argue that it was used for archiving too, but that argument largely depends on the notion that backup and archive tend to be the same thing for open systems folks. Which isn’t necessarily a good thing, but it is certainly the case more often than not.

In the mainframe world however, tape does at least four things: backup, archive, batch processing, and migration (for DFHSM). Now some of these, it could be argued, are sort of suited to tape. And some are not. In fact, as time has moved on, the value of tape to each of these has degraded.

And as innovation has occurred, that value has degraded even further. Because mainframe tape is very much like open system tape in one key respect: it isn’t very much fun. It is unreliable (relative to other IT systems), it is insecure, it is slow, and it is an operational nightmare. And on top of it all, it makes disaster recovery planning, testing, and execution really really difficult.

Now, it has persisted longer in the mainframe world, for two reasons. One, there has been relatively little innovation, in the sense of a dramatic changes that completely changed perspective and technology on tape. Yes, VTS systems came along. And no, they weren’t all that interesting or radical—they were largely a relatively small disk cache in front of a whole lot of physical tape. Secondly, I don’t think it is any secret that mainframe people are a little more resistant to change than open systems people (and when you run the world’s most stable platform, why wouldn’t you be?).

So the status quo has persisted for a while. However, several years ago now EMC introduced a new product, called a DLm, or Disk Library for Mainframe. And the Dlm was different than anything we had seen before, because it didn’t use tape. It wasn’t just a cache for physical tape. Yes, you could still support tape if you wanted to, but the Dlm didn’t use it, need it, or require it in any way.

And today, we are updating the product again. The latest third generation release is the Dlm6000. Just like previous versions, the Dlm6000 doesn’t use any physical tape. It is a disk based replacement for tape. It uses disk: both primary disk and deduplicated disk. So it is here that the DLm6000 takes such a big step forward from the previous generation in integrating deduplication functionality: not only do you not need tape, but you don’t need nearly as much disk either.

The mix of the two will depend on your requirements, but by offering a mix, we can offer both performance and capacity. Performance that is better than 2x that of our competitors. And capacity of up to 5.7 PB per system. All of which can be managed from the Z/OS console—meaning that determining whether data ultimately ends up being deduplicated, or not, ends up to be trivially easy. As does determining which data gets replicated.

So the DLm offers a unique platform: a single virtual tape system that can fulfill all of the requirements that tape has traditionally met for mainframe users: it can be a target for data used in batch processing, it can be a target for data migrations performed by DFHSM, it can be an archive platform, and it can be a target for backups.

One platform, that does it all. And doesn’t rely on tape.

On top of that, the DLm is, I believe, the only mainframe tape virtualization product today that has no single point of failure, with no metadata that can be “lost” in the event of a component failure. Which helps contribute to another piece of functionality that is near and dear to my heart: the ability to do disruptive/destructive disaster recovery testing without impacting primary data functions, or replication, in any way. (This type of functionality is also found on the Data Domain platform, and in my opinion is hugely important. If you can’t test your DR plan without disrupting data replication, it is just not acceptable. If you have to break the replication, then resynchonize systems, and wait for replication to catch up after a DR test, this is just not good enough. And that isn’t a process you should accept from a modern tape virtualization or disk backup target.)

And in the spirit of just one more thing, the last major improvement the DLm brings is non-disruptive code upgrades.



Syndicated from: The Backup Blog

Scott Waterhouse
I am a principal technology consultant with EMC, focusing on backup and recovery solutions. I have been senior pre-sales technical consultant with EMC for 6 years. Currently, I focus on deduplication solutions, their business impact and the ROI associated with backup, recovery, and archiving.