Serverless Data Movement for z/OS Archiving

By Glenn Wilcock, z/OS DFSMS Architect

Over the last two decades, data processing for replication, duplication and tiering has moved closer to the data itself and is now performed directly within storage controllers. This optimizes the flow of data by eliminating the movement between the host server and the storage controllers.

For example, non-disruptive point-in-time disk-to-disk copies can be made with simple application initiated commands to a controller, as opposed to the host applications having to read and write all of the data themselves. In the past, host applications had to create multiple copies of their data in order to protect against media loss. Now, both disk and tape provide various synchronous and asynchronous data replication solutions. Most recently, tape and disk controllers added storage tiering capabilities. Tape controllers can seamlessly tier data between disk and tape media and disk controllers can transparently move data between various tiers of solid state and spinning disk media based on data access patterns.

While powerful, none of these technologies enable seamless data movement between online and offline tiers of storage.

IBM DS8880 now provides transparent cloud tiering, which provides the capability to move data directly between online disk and cloud object storage, a highly scalable, low-cost storage tier. This enables the archival of inactive data directly to the lowest tier, without the data passing through z/OS. Besides reducing the resources required to manage inactive data, this solution enables z/OS clients to leverage the intrinsic value of cloud object storage. Among other things, cloud storage offers the flexibility of various implementations, from private, on premise solutions to third-party off-premise offerings.

Not quite ready to introduce cloud object storage into your z/OS environment? Transparent cloud tiering also provides the capability to move data directly between a DS8880 and TS7700. This exciting functionality enables data to pass directly between disparate storage controllers, as directed by z/OS. 

For z/OS, the transparent cloud tiering capability is seamlessly integrated into SMS and DFSMShsm as another migration tier, such that it is transparent to applications and users as to which migration tier the data resides (ML1, ML2 or Cloud). Any access to a data set migrated to cloud storage will drive an automatic recall back to primary online storage.

Transparent cloud tiering completes the capability for storage controllers to seamlessly duplicate, replicate and tier structured data throughout the entire z/OS storage hierarchy. This enables z/OS clients to truly focus the power of z/OS on their critical business applications.

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Glenn Wilcock is a Senior Technical Staff Member with the IBM Systems Unit, located in Tucson, Arizona. As a z/OS DFSMS architect, his primary focus is to create Data Availability and Information Life Management solutions. These solutions leverage the latest storage technologies to provide leading edge functionality for z Systems clients. He has over 25 years of experience with storage management technologies.

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