Model9 massacres Stone Age mainframe VTL

Sometimes you get reminded how decidedly old tech some tech is, and Model9’s ability to move data destined for long-term storage at 550MB/sec versus a mainframe Virtual Tape Library (VTL) product’s 27MB/sec is one such reminder.

Model9 produces software that replaces mainframe virtual tape backup by writing to object storage located on-premises or in the cloud. Because it doesn’t write to a serial tape drive it can and does use parallel IO streams, plus compressed data, which highlights the slow speed of the traditional VTL approach.

Model9 co-founder and CEO Gil Peleg is cock-a-hoop, and told us: “Over the past year, we’ve seen that we’re winning in performance in every customer POC or trial install where they compare us to other VTL-based solutions in the market. Mileage may vary, but we’re seeing backup, archive and recovery time improvements ranging from 4x to as much as 20x when comparing our software-only data management solution for mainframe to the existing players in the market such as IBM, EMC, Luminex, Oracle and others.”

 ADRDSSU is an IBM mainframe direct access storage device data and space management utility often used to backup and restore datasets or volumes.

Why are mainframe users still using relatively Stone Age technology to shift data to long-term tape-style storage? The historical reason may be that it’s faster than tape. That, and “We’ve always done it this way.” That may be true, but the realisation waiting ahead for mainframe VTL users is that it’s still horrendously slow.

Two customer examples illustrate the point. A US-based bank with a z15 mainframe replaced its Oracle StorageTek Virtual Storage Manager (VSM) system with Model9 software moving data across TCP/IP to Azure Blob storage. A full 2.2TB volume dump backup using VSM took 24 hours, with 27MB/sec ingestion and FICON throughout.

Model9 software sent data to Azure at 547.96MB/sec, with 102.89MB/sec network throughput, and the job completed in 1 hour and 11 minutes — a 20x speed-up.

An 18.46GB data set backup took 5 mins 34secs with VSM performing at 56MB/sec ingestion speed. Model9 and Azure did the job in 36 seconds at a 456MB/sec ingestion speed. It seems like a no-brainer.

A second customer — a bank in the EMEA region also with a z15 — used IBM Cloud Object Storage (COS) as Model9’s target and compared this to using IBM’s DFSMShsm hierarchical storage management software, again with COS as the target.

The result was almost embarrassing.

 ADRDSSU is an IBM mainframe direct access storage device data and space management utility often used to backup and restore datasets or volumes.

Both systems handled a 2.2TB full volume backup, with IBM’s software producing a 1.5TB archive in COS in 6 hours at a 70MB/sec ingestion rate. Model9’s software delivered a 1.1TB archive in 21 minutes at a 908MB/sec ingestion rate — 17x faster.

You can read Model9’s case study doc to find out more.