News in Brief

EMC improves Symmetrix arrays; IBM updates VSE/ESA operating environment and introduces new DB2 for VSE and VM; Texas Memory Systems ships 1 TB memory cache

EMC Enhances Symmetrix 8000 Arrays

New pre-packaged z8000 systems to ship with integrated ESCON, FICON

EMC Corp. last week announced several enhancements to its Symmetrix 8000 line of storage arrays. New features include native Gigabit Ethernet connectivity for remote replication, along with the addition of new, larger 146 GB drives.

For mainframe customers, EMC unveiled the Symmetrix z8000, a pre-packaged network storage system designed to support Fibre Connectivity (FICON) and Enterprise Systems Connection (ESCON) interfaces. Although both interfaces have been supported on its Symmetrix 8000 arrays for almost a year, EMC anticipates that the availability of pre-packaged FICON and ESCON arrays will help to drive adoption in some environments.

Symmetrix 8000 systems outfitted with Gigabit Ethernet connectivity can exploit EMC’s Remote Data Facility software to replicate data asynchronously to remote systems using IP networks. This capability previously required a channel extender, EMC said.

Symmetrix z8000 series arrays will be available in at least two different packages: the Symmetrix z8530 (available in 2 TB and 3.5 TB configurations) and the Symmetrix z8830 (in 5 TB and 10 TB configurations).

EMC says that a Symmetrix z8830 system can scale to support more than 27.2 TB of protected storage capacity. The same system will support up to 16 FICON or 32 ESCON connectivity ports and up to 64GB of cache. The Symmetrix z8000 series arrays are fully compatible with the z/OS feature set.

In early February, EMC unveiled its next-generation Symmetrix Direct Matrix Architecture (DMX) systems ( Ironically, EMC doesn’t currently support FICON or ESCON connectivity on Symmetrix DMX, although it has promised to deliver support for both interfaces sometime this spring. The upshot is that for the next few months, anyway, mainframe customers must purchase EMC’s aging Symmetrix 8000 systems—rather than its cutting edge Symmetrix DMX arrays—if they require new storage.

IBM Revamps VSE/ESA for Linux on zSeries

IBM Corp. recently announced VSE/ESA Version 2 Release 7 (V2R7), an updated version of its VSE/ESA operating environment that boasts enhanced interoperability between VSE and Linux images running on Integrated Facility for Linux (IFL) engines on Big Blue’s zSeries mainframes.

VSE/ESA is a low-capacity operating environment for S/390 or zSeries mainframes that lacks many of the more sophisticated features associated with OS/390 and z/OS, but which is optimized for use in batch environments.

IBM says that Linux running zSeries has an important role to play in its long-term VSE/ESA strategy and vision. Because there’s no need for 64-bit addressing in VSE/ESA itself, new applications that require a 64-bit address space will be better suited running in Linux, Big Blue says.

Possible deployment scenarios include using HiperSockets to link VSE/ESA V2R7 running on standard engines with Linux images running on IFL engines, with both environments running under z/VM V4R2 or later.

New in VSE/ESA Version 2 R7 is support for zSeries 800 and 900 mainframes—running in 31-bit mode, of course. VSE/ESA V2R7 also supports zSeries-specific features, such as HiperSockets and PCI cryptographic accelerator, along with Web services standards such as SOAP and XML.

V2R7 will also support S/390 Multiprise 3000 and S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server G5 and G6, or equivalent.

Big Blue also updates DB2 Server for VSE and VM

In other VSE news, IBM announced version 7.3 of DB2 Server for VSE and VM, which is said to boast enhanced availability, in addition to new support for alternate logging, along with the ability to cancel and immediately release resources for a TCP/IP agent connected to DB2 Server for VM.

DB2 Server for VSE and VM 7.3 also features compatibility with DB2 Universal Database (UDB) V8.1, with the capability to access DB2 Server for VSE and VM databases, including stored procedures from CLI/ODBC/JDBC/OLE client applications

In addition to VSE/ESA V2.5 and later, DB2 Server for VSE and VM 7.3 runs VM/ESA V2.4 and later.

Texas Memory Systems Ships 1 TB Memory Cache

Texas Memory Systems (TMS) Inc. last week announced the availability of Tera-RamSan, a 1TB memory cache for high-performance computing environments.

RAM-based disks are typically used to maximize the performance of online transaction processing (OLTP), data warehousing, non-linear video editing, and numerous other applications.

TMS’ Tera-RamSan uses 32 RamSan-220 (SSD storage) modules, which can support up to 2 million I/Os per second (IOPS), a 1024 gigabyte capacity, and 128 2-Gbit Fibre Channel links. Tera-RamSan can be administered by means of a Web browser interface or by using MTS’ client software.

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.