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CA Tweaks Its Mainframe Storage Tools

CA is pushing out new versions of CA Vantage Storage Resource Manager and CA Vtape Virtual Tape System with the claim the upgrades boost data protection while streamlining storage management in the mainframe environment.

"These products now offer great visibility into the storage environment and illustrates our strategy of unified storage methodology," Stefan Kochishan, director of storage product marketing, told InternetNews.com.

Kochisahn said the mainframe environment, while typically heftier in terms of data loads and data-processing workload, faces the same storage challenges that open systems face. The problem, though, is that the operating environment is often bypassed when it comes to new management technologies and tools.

Describing Vantage SRM as a "dashboard," Kochishan says the tool now not only offers automated monitoring and analysis across a z/OS storage environment, it can help predict and prevent outside storage events. It now integrates with CA Disk Backup and Restore and eases management of IBM's DFSMShsm.

The Vtape release, which uses software virtualization and TCP/IP, now has a new peer-to-peer option for real-time tape mirroring. Users can build a tapeless storage environment or share virtual volumes in or between a Sysplex, no matter what tape system is in play.

[cob:Related_Articles]Kochishan says this capability lets storage managers centralize physical tape processing and support remote sites that don't use physical tape.

Such enhancements are helping storage leaders at the UC Davis teaching hospital, a 150-acre campus in California. The campus houses a IBM z9 server with a second data center in a nearby facility for disaster recovery and failover .

Estimating that his data loads grow about 10 percent to 20 percent annually, Tony Pinnillos, manager of technical support services, told InternetNews.com that the CA Vantage and Vtape products have been valued tools for years.

"We were users before CA bought the vendor who made the products, Sterling, and it would be difficult to manage our storage environment without these technologies," he said.

Storage mainframe manager Lucy Arnold, told InternetNews.com that the ability to consider "what if" scenarios helps her team prepare better and assess future storage needs.

"We can run a report on what would happen if we archive the last five days data, or find out quick how many data sets are in play right now," Arnold explained. "It also helps us keep to standards and enforce standards."

According to one industry analyst, the CA updates are significant in that they provide a proof point that mainframes, despite the repeated death knells rung now and then, are not going away.

IDC research analyst Noemi Greyzdorf told InternetNews.com that virtual tape technologies help create efficiencies in storage management.

"In the mainframe environment you have applications that are customized, designed for given enterprises. To port those applications to another platform could be expensive, so using a tool like this can make it much more efficient," she said.