A Vision on Offering Cost Effective Disaster Tolerance

Moving to address the needs of a specific niche of the AS/400 marketplace, Vision Solutions, Inc. (Irvine, Calif.) recently unveiled a new addition to its information availability management solution portfolio with the introduction of Vision Express. A cost-effective disaster tolerance solution, Vision Express is designed to meet the needs of both entry-level AS/400 users and multiple-site enterprises.

“A lot of AS/400 users were telling us they wanted a disaster tolerance solution, but didn’t need the advanced features of Vision Suite.”
Vision Express is built upon the Vision Suite technology and contains many of the same core features, such as disaster tolerance, system load balancing and reduced applications downtime. It does not, however, contain features such as clustering and role swap that many of the larger scale companies require.

“A lot of AS/400 users were telling us they wanted a disaster tolerance solution, but didn’t need the advanced features of Vision Suite,” says Frank Espinoza, product-marketing manager, Vision Solutions.

By adding Vision Express, Vision Solutions is now able to offer smaller AS/400 sites an affordable solution at a much lower price than Vision Suite. “Vision Solutions recognized the needs of a specific segment in the AS/400 market, namely the cost-effective segment. These customers cannot afford the detrimental effects of downtime, but have not had disaster tolerance in their budgets. The software was viewed as too expensive to install and maintain,” says Larry Laurich, president and CEO of Vision Solutions. “Vision Express is a cost-effective solution; it not only ensures these companies have disaster tolerance in place, but leverages the hardware to reduce application downtime and split workloads between systems.”

Although the AS/400 is known for its reliability, there are still instances in which it can experience downtime. In those cases, Vision Express enables users to mirror the role of one AS/400 to another. Vision Suite’s roll swap capability performs this function instantly. Vision Express contains the same objects and functions to facilitate the role swap, but it must be done manually.

“Vision Solutions has hit a ‘home run’ with their new Vision Express,” says Jerry Munson, VP of sales and marketing, Enterprise Systems Group for Data Systems International (DSI). “Vision Express will be a welcomed solution to protect vital system availability for a greatly expanded segment of our IBM AS/400 customers.”

The other area that Vision Solutions is targeting is multiple-site enterprises, specifically those that already have Vision Suite. “We had some Vision Suite customers with multiple-site enterprises tell us they are interested in installing Vision Express at some of their remote locations,” Espinoza says.

Another feature of Vision Express is that it offers an upgrade path to Vision Suite. Because it is built on the same architecture, Vision Express users just have to change access codes to get the advanced features offered in Vision Suite.

The addition of Vision Express enables Vision Solutions to meet the needs of all AS/400 users when it comes to disaster tolerance, says Espinoza. “By adding Vision Express to our Vision Suite and Vision Suite clustering products, we feel that combination covers all ends of the market,” he adds.

To promote the launch, Vision Solutions has rolled out a Q1 worldwide promotion on its Vision Express, Vision Suite Clustering and Vision Suite products, ending March 31, 2000. The offer allows businesses to purchase: Vision Express for 50 percent off all systems up to and including a combined CPW rating of 500; Vision Suite Clustering for 30 percent off all new systems (target and source); and Vision Suite for 30 percent off all new systems and 20 percent off all upgrades and migrations.

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