Post by Alan Radding (thank you)
Huh? Mainframe storage has been virtualized for decades. In a presentation at the latest SHARE gathering, however, Dave Lytle from Brocade and Bill Smith from Hitachi Data Systems gave a joint presentation about bringing virtual storage to the z.
In the presentation they explained how the Brocade DCX 8510 Backbone switch combined with the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP) provide an alternative for mainframe-attached storage environments. They aren’t suggesting you replace the workhorse DS8000 mainframe storage but, rather, augment it.
They call for an open virtualized storage infrastructure that makes it possible to deploy lower cost storage devices in conjunction with automated data tiering to lower the overall total cost of storage. The cost savings result from shifting more of the storage to slower but less expensive open systems storage through the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP). When a piece of data needs the faster, more costly primary z storage, the automation brings it back. Without the automation, this would be a slow, error-prone operation that almost nobody would bother with.
The promise, say Lytle and Smith, is faster deployment of new applications and non-disruptive re-deployment of storage assets between mainframe and open system environments. This kind of dynamic tiering already has gained traction in the open systems world. Even the big mainframe storage players, IBM and EMC, have products there. IBM has the automated System Storage Easy Tier offering and EMC brings its Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) product.
In addition to the HDS VSP offering the approach described by Lytle and Smith is built around a new 16 Gbps Fibre Channel Brocade DCX 8510 Backbones switching infrastructure. According to Brocade, they match the industry’s fastest and most scalable System z mainframes with the highest-performing and most reliable FICON infrastructure to maximize consolidation and virtualization of traditional mainframe and emerging Linux and Windows workloads. All the while they simplifying fabric management for FICON and Fibre Channel intermix environments. The Brocade DCX 8510 directors have been qualified for mainframe environments, allowing enterprises to fully exploit the capabilities of the IBM zEnterprise FICON infrastructure.
Read on here