IBM introduces cloud tiering for better mainframe storage

Get a free Techzine subscription!

IBM improves the performance of mainframe storage by adding cloud tiering.

IBM has improved the functionality of the mainframe storage and the virtual tape library (VTL). For instance, the DS8900F flash array gets an improved memory cache. It will be up to 70 percent larger (from 2TB to 3.4TB). It is now possible to consolidate eight DS8870 arrays into one DS8950F.

IBM mainframe solutions

The DS8910F integrates with the Z15 T02 mainframe and LinuxONE III LT2, as announced in April this year. The DS8900F has improved integration with the TS7770 VTL. It can also compress data before sending it to the TS7770 via TCP or IP link. The TS7770 can now store up to 3 times more data than before.

The required SP 800-131A encryption is now live on the DS8990F, which means that all data sent to the TS7770s is also encrypted. Finally, there is cloud tiering, also called Transparent Cloud Tiering (TCT), which fully automates data movement to and from the cloud. This reduces mainframe utilisation by 50 percent as a result. TCT, in combination with the Data Facility Storage Management Subsystem (DFSMS), is also used to make backups to the cloud.

Disaster recovery via TS7770

It is also possible to deploy disaster recovery; data sets are copied from a grid of TS7770s and sent to the cloud. The cloud is divided into several pools, each with a different retention time. The cloud pools include IBM Cloud, AWS S3, IBM Cloud Object Storage on-premise and RStor. If recovery is necessary, the data sets can be restored to an empty TS7770 that is outside the grid.

An analyst from Mesabi Group, David Hill, claims it’s a step in the right direction for the IT company: “IBM has done a good job in providing a comprehensive portfolio of storage for IBM Z solutions to address every enterprise data storage requirement and meet the demands of a modern, agile and secure to the core infrastructure.”