IBM and EMC Cooperate on Support and Fast Copy Utilities

Big Blue is planning to share technical data needed to allow EMC to work with FlashCopy, Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy, and Extended Remote Copy functions.

It’s not much good introducing a variety of rapid copying software which support disaster recovery on your IBM mainframes if clients keep their key enterprise data on EMC drives that won’t support that copying software.

That’s what’s behind a new initiative announced this week between IBM and EMC phrased as “an agreement to extend interoperability and compatibility for their respective storage systems, servers and software.”

During the summer, IBM made a big push to improve and extend its FlashCopy and Remote Peer-to- Peer Copy after lessons learned in the light of the 9-11 U.S. terrorist attacks.

They allowed datasets from IBM mainframes, Unix machines, and Linux and Windows servers to be copied to remote offsite machines, both in nearby standby facilities and those farther away. The copy facilities were implemented on IBM ESS devices, previously referred to as Shark storage systems.

IBM talked at the time about companies which have a five terabyte mission-critical system needing more like an extra 50 terabytes of data to be copied in the event of serious disaster, where data from smaller machines would also need to be made available elsewhere.

In the wake of September 11, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve, and the U.S. Treasury Department joined together to begin a process that will culminate over two or three years in best practices for recovery and resumption of clearing and settlement activities in financial markets. IBM was responding to this in its summer announcements.

Now the company is planning to share much of the technical data needed to allow EMC to work with FlashCopy, Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy, and Extended Remote Copy functions as well as Multiple Allegiance and Parallel Access Volumes (which are now licensed to be supported on EMC Symmetrix systems).

The deal also includes interfaces that conform to the Storage Management Initiative Specification.

The two companies have also agreed upon a framework to extend their existing cooperative support agreement to include a wider range of servers, storage, and software products to support more rapid escalation and resolution processes for issues arising in joint installations.

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