Friday, October 24, 2008

October 2008 Announcements : Tape Storage

This week we also had our share of Storage Announcements. Some are in line with the expectations, others are completely new. I’ll start by giving you the information on the Tape Storage announcements in this post. They focus on the TS7700 Virtualization Engine.
Here are the two announcements :
The Virtualization Engine (TS7740) does no longer need the separate 3953 Tape Library frame with the Library Manager, the System Console and the switches to connect the Virtualization engine with the drives. There is now an ‘Integrated Library Manager’. It’s integrated into the TS7700 frame along with its associated components. You still need the 3953 Tape Library frame when you want to connect drives natively to the mainframe via a 3592-C06 controller.

The current Virtualization Engine gets a cache expansion with 2 additional CX6 cache expansion drawers. You can now have one cache controller (CC6) and 5 cache drawers (CX6) of 1,5TB giving you a maximum capacity of 9TB. This will be available in 2009Q1.
However when you order a new Virtualization Engine, it will come with new models of cache. The new cache controller (3956 Model CC7) and the new Cache Expansions (3956 Model CX7) have 16 300GB 15k rpm fiber channel Hard Drives. This gives us approximately 3.43TB usable capacity (after RAID and spares). For the moment you can have one controller and three expansions providing a maximum capacity of nearly 14TB. These new models cannot be intermixed with the current CC6 controller.

The first announcement (ZG08-0851) also adds a completely new storage component to the IBM System Storage offerings. It’s the TS7720 Disk-Only Virtualization Engine for mainframe. The TS7720 Virtualization Engine gives you the same functionalities and benefits as the TS7740 Virtualization Engine, but without the attachment to physical tapes. The setup and configuration are the same as with the TS7740 and there’s support for z/OS, z/VM, z/VSE and z/TPF.
As nothing is written to physical tape, this asks for a larger cache. So you can have 40TB or 70TB of usable, non-compressed capacity. The disks are 1TB Raid-6 SATA drives.

Other features
  • Four 4Gbps FICON interfaces
  • 256 virtual tape devices
  • Maximum of 1.000.000 logical volumes
  • Logical volume sizes up to 4.000MB
  • Stand-alone or Grid configuration (two and three site configurations)
  • Intermix "of full TS7740s with TS7720s is not supported at this time".

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