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What a Difference a Decade Makes

There was an interesting phenomenon occurring a decade or more ago.

SAN’s and Open Systems were in their heyday (still are, but much changed) and everyone was rushing to update their skills and get certified for this and that, including myself. Those were fun times (and still fun, in my mind). This was also the time that the sage analysts, consultants, and media were proclaiming the mainframe was dead and was totally un-cool. End of debate.

Those of us that grew up on mainframes retreated into the shadows. Many folks even went so far as to remove this skill from their resumes (I know that to be true) and dye their hair (OK, so I’m exaggerating a bit on this one). But the future turned to a NEW set of challenges, problems, issues, and concerns as mainframes were relegated to the dark ages. But were they new? Read on…except for you non-mainframers, you can stop reading now….

One thing that always amused me was everything had to have a new term. DASD became disk, datasets became files, VTOC’s became file systems, and pretty much every accepted term was changed. But as time has passed, it strikes me we’ve gone full circle. We’ve finally seen long-standing mainframe functions appear in the open space. Decades later, we’re seeing concepts like thin provisioning (RLSE), archiving (HSM migration), disk tiering (SMS Storage Class), LUN expansion (secondary allocation), security (RACF), and the like.

But I think 2011 will be an exciting year for the mainframe again, at least on the storage side. A few weeks ago, we had a “mainframe summit” here at HDS to discuss where the mainframe market is going, and you know what? You just might see some interesting announcements from HDS in this space. Actually, you might even see some exciting developments. While we’ve ported many of the concepts of mainframe to open systems, in the last decade, we’re now poised to take what we’ve learned to reapply to the “zSpace”. Stay tuned for more information on these developments. I know I’m pretty excited.

shareAlso, and this is good timing. As I write this post, I’m heading to the SHARE conference in Anaheim. I have 2 gigs there. The first is Tuesday March 1st at 9:30 a.m. presenting:

Storage Virtualization with the HDS Virtual Storage Platform: Saving time, Reducing costs, and Transforming the Data Center to the Information Center

And the second is on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m:

9018: Replication Vendor Panel

We started this a few years ago, and it involves violating a bit of SHARE protocol by putting six folks (two each from HDS, IBM, and EMC) on a panel debate. And debate it is! We’ve had some memorable moments – not exactly of the Lincoln-Douglas variety – but we’re not afraid to take a few shots at each other, and the audience is not shy at trying to stump us. It’s all good fun and the feedback we’ve received has been great. In spite of the jousting and poking, we’ll generally retire over a glass or two and continue the debate. This debate is never over!

So if you’re in Anaheim, please stop by the sessions. There’s a lot of fun to be had.

And while you’re at it, try to imagine what HDS has up its sleeves this year…

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Comments (1)

Anita O'Malley on 10 Mar 2011 at 9:35 am

See Claus discuss the role of storage in a transforming data center…….http://vimeo.com/20045218

Claus Mikkelsen

Data Center Advisors

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