Mainframes are for Kids
by Claus Mikkelsen on Feb 17, 2012
I’ve been spending a lot of time on mainframe activities over the past 6 months or so, which is totally fine with me. This year alone I’ve visited 8 very large customers wanting to improve efficiencies. What seems to be getting the most traction are a few very unique products of ours, namely Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP), Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning (HDP) and Hitachi Dynamic Tiering (HDT).
I’ve blogged about these products on numerous occasions, as has Hu Yoshida and David Merrill, but the latest news here is that HDP now works on z/OS (and soon HDT will as well). The response from the customers I’ve been with, just in the past few weeks, has been extremely positive. Everyone wants to save money, improve storage performance, and reduce OPEX, whether open systems or z/OS. I’ve blogged on the notion of the Storage Computer, and this now applies to the “big iron” guys as well.
We are the only vendor to have these features available on the z/OS platform. EMC does not have it, but even more surprisingly, neither does IBM—and they own the platform!
To those of you that have read this far and assume that the MF platform is going away: think again. I came across this article from Forbes entitled Mainframes are for Kids that strongly indicates otherwise. New “mainframers” are being trained as we speak. How cool is that!
The truth is that z/OS pretty much runs itself and has solved many of the issues we’ve struggled with in open systems, so it tends not to get a lot of focus. So this new news, is big news.
Basically, VSP allows our z/OS customers to deploy much cheaper storage. Previously, there were only 3 storage options available, namely from IBM, EMC, and HDS, since they were the only platforms supporting FICON. Now, with VSP our customers have a much larger (and much less expensive) choice in storage.
HDP, through our unique data dispersion architecture, provides a significant improvement in performance, especially for cache-unfriendly workloads. DB2 performance improvements anyone? You’ll love it!!
And finally, HDT automates the placement of data on the most appropriate tier. I recently wrote in a post that roughly 80% of data residing on tier 1 disk, doesn’t need to be there. HDT will dramatically and automatically reduce capacity costs, and the power and cooling improvements that go along with it. All in support of our capacity efficiency efforts.
So there you have it. I’ve always wondered how many mainframers read blogs, so if you know one, please forward this around. I’ll be doing more z/OS blogs in the future, and if you are a big iron person (or anyone else for that matter), feel free to leave a comment.
I want to know if you’re out there!!
For other posts on maximizing storage and capacity efficiencies, check these out: http://blogs.hds.com/capacity-efficiency.php
Comments (5 )
As one of the mainframe kids, I remember the old UCB limitation with 3390 disk formats. HDP provides a neat way to support Extended Addressable Volumes (EAV) and Dynamic Volume Expansion (DVE). Grow your mainframe volumes!
Of course mainframers read blogs. We use IEBGENER to a PDS as a feed reader, obviously.
I was under the impression that IBM supports thin provisioning for z/OS volumes as long as they aren’t in a Copy Services relationship. Unfortunately, nearly all of our volumes are both PPRCed and XRCed.
Claus, as at December 2012, 814 schools with MF program 32,941 students from 17 countries participated in Master the Mainframe contests.
Hu, I think you and I have just redefined the term “Mainframe Kids”. But your comments are totally right on.
Having been a mainframer (admittedly 20 years ago) and defected to the open systems dark side there are definatly plenty of us out here who read blogs!
HDP for mainframe attach is very interesting but I’m curious can it transition from say Model 9 -> Model 27 as part of the transition process or will that still require manual changes after the fact?