IBM adds cloud tiering to boosted memory mainframe storage array

IBM has improved performance and functionality for the mainframe focused storage array and virtual tape library (VTL) products.

The DS8900F flash array gets a 70 per cent increase in memory cache size from 2TB to 3.4TB, enabling the consolidation of workloads into a single DS8900F system. For example, IBM cites 8 x DS8870 arrays being consolidated into a single DS8950F.

David Hill, a senior analyst at Mesabi Group, provided a prepared quote for IBM: “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.” 

The DS8910F can be integrated with the latest z15 model T02 mainframe and LinuxONE III model LT2 product, which were announced on April 14.

The DS8900F now integrates more closely with the TS7770 VTL, a disk array with a tape library interface;

  • The DS8900F can compress data before sending it across a TCP/IP link to the TS7770, which is configured as an object target and can store up to 3 times more data.
  • SP 800-131A compliant In-flight encryption is added to the DS8990F for sending data to TS7770s.
  • Transparent Cloud Tiering (TCT) is introduced to the DS8900F and TS7770, automating data movement to and from the cloud, and reducing mainframe utilisation by 50 per cent for this work.
  • The DS8900F’s Data Facility Storage Management Subsystem (DFSMS ) uses TCT to create full volume backups to the cloud which can be restored to any DS8900F system. 

A disaster recovery feature involves data sets copied from a grid of TS7770s and sent to cloud pools where they are managed by DFSMS. These pools can reside in IBM’s Cloud, AWS S3, IBM Cloud Object Storage on-premises, and RStor. Version retention time is enabled within each cloud pool. The data sets can be restored to an empty TS7770 outside the original grid.

Minor storage news from IBM has SAS interfaces being added to TS1160 tape drives and the TS4500 tape library getting support for the TS1160 drives. 

You can read an IBM blog about these announcements and a wider scope blog for additional mainframe-related news.