zHyperLink: The Holy Grail of Mainframe I/O?

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By Gilbert Houtekamer, Ph.D.

Now that it has become harder and harder to make the processor faster, IBM is looking for other ways to make their mainframes perform better.

This has resulted in new co-processors for compression and encryption and now also, with the z14 processor, in a new technology called zHyperLink. This new I/O connectivity aims to significantly reduce the I/O response time, while at the same time not increase the processor (CP) load.

This new technology comes with a set of promises and restrictions that will cause you to rethink the design of your storage and replication infrastructure. The days of distance limitations are back, which has big implications for synchronous replication in particular.

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HDS Pools Hit the Target in RMF for Hitachi Dynamic Tiering

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By Gilbert Houtekamer, Ph.D.

In previous blogs we talked about metrics that we would like to see added to RMF and SMF records. We also discussed the challenges that EMC and HDS face fitting their measurement data in the IBM-defined RMF instrumentation.

A good example of what can be achieved given the constraints is what HDS did for their Hitachi Dynamic Provisioning (HDP) pools. HDP pools are the basis for thin provisioning and dynamic tiering in the Hitachi architecture. An HDP pool consists of a number of array groups. Arrays with different drive technologies can be combined in a pool with dynamic tiering, in a mix that you feel is appropriate for your workload. Continue reading

Does everybody know what time it is? Tool Time!

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By Lee LaFreseiStock_000016017745Small

Home Improvement was a popular TV show from the 90’s that lives on forever in re-runs. Usually, one of the funniest segments was the show within a show, “Tool Time”. During Tool Time, Tim Taylor (played by Tim Allen) would demonstrate how to use various power tools, often with disastrous and hilarious results. If things were not working right he would often exclaim “more power” as if that would make everything right. Unfortunately when you are not using the right tool in the right way, more power usually does more harm than good. The expression “when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” comes to mind.

Some of our prospective customers in the z/OS space use IBM DS8000. They often ask why they would want IntelliMagic Vision if they have IBM Tivoli Storage Productivity Center for Disk (TPC). The answer is very simple – for z/OS environments IntelliMagic Vision is clearly the right tool to use. There is no reason to pull a Tim Taylor and force fit something else for the job. Here are some of the reasons why IntelliMagic Vision is the best choice for this environment.
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