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EMC all-flash strategy includes a role for mainframes

By hailing 2016 as the year of all-flash for primary storage, EMC set the expectation that hard disk drives will disappear soon from primary arrays. The mainframe is another story. That remains alive and well in the world that the VMAX occupies.

While launching its VMAX All Flash array Monday, EMC also said the SSD-only storage system would support mainframes. The vendor disclosed other VMAX mainframe enhancements, mainly dealing with data protection. Mainframe support has been one of the traditional uses for the VMAX enterprise array.

The enhancements included a new on-array automated snapshot protection tool for mainframes called zDP. EMC also added a global virtual library capability to its Disk Library for mainframe (DLm) backup product, allowing customers to share workloads across DLms for high availability. The EMC DLm uses either Data Domain or VNX storage hardware.

VMAX and VMAX All Flash for mainframe includes a new data protection feature called zDP, which can take snapshots every 10 minutes on the array to slash recovery point objective (RPO) times. Mainframe administrators can have 144 recovery points per day to restore from instead of dealing with potentially troubling business continuance volumes (BCVs) and gold copies.

Bill Leslie, VMAX product marketing manager, described zDP as EMC’s TimeFinder VP Snap application with an automated scheduler on top of it.

“This takes snapshots that can be utilized as business continuance volumes,” he said. “It enables much more granular data protection.”

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