Briefs: IBM revamps Shark storage for disaster recovery; BMC strengthens DB2 expertise

IBM upgrades TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server Model 800; BMC acquisition improves its position in the performance management segment of the enterprise data management market

IBM Revamps Shark Storage for Disaster Recovery

IBM Corp. last week announced upgrades to its TotalStorage Enterprise Storage Server Model 800 (also known as Shark) designed to enhance the suitability of Shark systems for disaster recovery.

Some of the new Shark improvements leverage an IBM tool, called FlashCopy, that enables storage administrators to take snapshots of data. Big Blue introduced an incremental copy feature that backs up information that has changed from an earlier snapshot to a second set of disks at a remote location.

IBM also announced an upgrade to its Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy facility, a technology that allows Shark systems to backup data to remote systems. Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy exploits a new “cascading” enhancement that allows an organization to back up data to one site, which can then back it up to another. Previously, long-distance remote backups couldn’t be performed with confidence, and most backup or mirroring operations were geographically limited to a relatively short distance.

BMC Acquisition Strengthens DB2 Expertise

BMC Software Inc. this week acquired Database Guys Inc. (DGI), a company that specializes in performance management tools for the DB2 Universal Database (UDB) from IBM Corp.

BMC says that the acquisition will strengthen its SmartDBA data management solution set, along with Project Golden Gate—a BMC initiative to provide a complete framework for enterprise data management (EDM)—and the company’s Business Service Management initiative.

“We think that this announcement will help to improve our position in the performance management part of [the enterprise data management] sector. DB2 UDB has been one of the fastest growing database platforms of the past couple of years, second to Oracle on the distributed side,” comments Devon Shows, director of strategic planning for BMC’s EDM unit.

BMC also expects SmartDBA and other initiatives to get a lift from DGI founder Scott Hayes, who brings extensive DB2 UDB expertise to BMC’s Enterprise Data Management team. “One of the big things that we get out of this deal is thought leadership in the UDB space, because the CEO [Hayes] has been a recognized industry leader in DB2 UDB performance management,” Shows explains.DGI markets several products, but its flagship offering is Flight Deck, a Web-based, GUI performance management tool that’s built on Java and HTML. Flight Deck supports performance management in UDB on Unix, Linux and windows environments. The company also markets several command-line DB2-specific products aimed at what Shows describes as “hardcore Unix DBAs.”

Flight Deck will be incorporated into BMC’s SmartDBA product set, Shows says, and once his company completes the integration, customers will be able to upgrade to the new version at a reduced price. He says that the fit between DGI’s and BMC’s technologies is “highly complementary,” largely because both companies have approached DB2 from different perspectives. “DGI has done a much better job than BMC on collecting exactly the right pieces of data and turning that into usable information so that the DBA knows what to fix to get at the root problem of his performance issue,” he concludes. “Where BMC has been really strong is that we’ve got tools to allow the DBA to fix these things.”

About the Author

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