In the past, according to Randy Kerns, senior partner at The Evaluator Group, Greenwood Village, Colorado, enterprise class storage was usually developed for mainframe System/390 environments, and then adapted as well as possible to open systems environments. But open systems tended to have different architectural needs than S/390 making it a questionable compromise.
Now, according to Wayne Giroux at Amdahl (Amdahl Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited of Japan, and will soon be renamed Fujitsu IT Holdings) Fujitsu for the first time has designed enterprise class storage specifically for open systems but with connectivity to System/390. Giroux explains that the GR740 was designed with Solaris and Windows first in mind, and other open systems platforms next (i.e. HP/UX, AIX, Linux) though with connectivity to S/390 always in mind (therefore the massive caches and embedded replication functions along with DFSMS compatibility).
"The result is that customers no longer have to give up performance or systems management in an open system environment in the name of consolidation and resource management," says Giroux. He says the system has all the functions you would expect in terms of cross-platform data exchange and a variety of local and remote data replication capabilities, and thus becomes a powerful tool for anyone implementing a high availability mission critical open systems application.
Central Illinois Light Company (CILCO) has implemented a Fujitsu GR740 Storage System solution to simplify access to critical business data through a Storage Area Network (SAN). "Through Amdahl IT Services, we were able to develop a solution that used the Fujitsu GR740 to consolidate data on one platform and add and reconfigure storage as needed," said Cliff Pickens, CILCO Senior AIX Administrator.
Kerns, says he is also impressed with the GR740. According to Kerns, the product has been sold in Japan for about a year. "The bottom line is that the product is designed for open systems and is not cache-centric but is still well adapted to mainframes," he said.
Kerns says he expects it to be priced competitively since Fujitsu is strongly vertically integrated.
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About the author: Alan Earls is a freelance writer in Franklin, MA.