2021. What an interesting year. With the world turned upside down by a pandemic that seemingly had its sights set on...
TSI sees greater alignment between NonStop and IBM
With its Power Systems (formerly iSeries) and both are seeing movement to the cloud!
Tributary Systems, INCDan
There continues to be a large overlap between enterprise customers using HP NonStop and IBM Mainframe z/OS and IBM iSeries. However, virtualization of each of these platforms may not necessarily promote the continued joint use of these so called legacy platforms in modern IT environments. In our opinion, there is a bigger overlap between HP NonStop and IBM iSeries than NonStop and Mainframe. What we have seen in the market place is that customers steadfastly use each of these proprietary platforms to run certain mission-critical applications that are recognized by customers as strengths of each platform. NonStop today is particularly strong in payment processing applications. Similarly, Mainframes still run batch processing in many customer environments. Virtualizing NonStop as VNonStop, as previously discussed, has many advantages in allowing customers to quickly and cost effectively set up test environments and POC environments. But production use of NonStop in true mission-critical environments will likely remain on physical servers in customer owned or managed datacenters. I recall hearing a while ago that NonStop will be offered on one industry standard hardware platform with the capability to be logically partitioned to enable running different operating systems on different blades, like IBM had done with their Power systems platform which can run Linux, AIX and IBM i (AS/400/iSeries) operating systems simultaneously. While that did not happen, virtualizing NonStop to run on KVM or VMware environments is a significant step up in offering customers flexibility and cost effectiveness in test/dev environments. Today neither IBM iSeries nor Mainframe z/OS environments are capable of running on a hypervisor such as KVM or VMware like NonStop is even though they support logical partitioning within their compute platform. But the future of NonStop beyond preventing attrition still depends on offering a variety of critical applications that run on NonStop that customers can recognize as having a well-defined and readily transparent value proposition over other operating systems and platforms. This is easier said than done…
As a data storage technology solution provider in the market place focusing on the backup, recovery and archive value proposition, Tributary Systems is extremely excited to see a meteoric shift happening in the market place today in virtualized and physical environments! That shift is the movement of backup and archive data from traditional deduplication disk media to OBJECT STORAGE format. Here is what happened to the backup/archive use case in IT: First came reel to reel tape which in turn evolved to highly automated and relatively streamlined tape libraries and ever faster and higher capacity tape drives. While there still is a use case for archiving certain types of data on tape, the majority of the market made the jump in the late 90’s and early 2000’s to disk based virtual tape library solutions or VTLs. VTLs continued to evolve as a backup/restore and archive medium to incorporate data deduplication. All the major vendors jumped on that bandwagon and so did most customers. The concept of deduplication of data so that any given block of data is not written more than once on a disk array at a time when disk prices were still relatively high and disk capacities were relatively low made a lot of sense to customers. But dedup disk solutions were not without their issues and flaws. Backups were slower with in-line deduplication and restores were even slower taking 2-3 times longer than backup. This is due to the need to rehydrate data prior to hand-off to the backup application that requested the restore. Additionally, dedup disk solutions spent increasing amounts of time nightly going through a process called garbage cleaning when the entire system was down with no backups or restores being able to execute. Then EMC purchased Data Domain, around 2007, and ran riot over all its competitors in the enterprise market place and ultimately secured close to 65 percent of the PBBA (purpose built backup appliance) market. Flash systems became more common and with ever decreasing cost, but as a primary backup medium it was still way too expensive.
Today, the dominant trend among enterprise customers is the movement of data from enterprise computing platforms running on premise to object storage in the cloud. All cloud providers offer object storage via a protocol we all know as S3. Object storage suddenly became highly visible to customers because it is by far the most flexible, lowest cost storage medium for data archival. Hence all public cloud providers offer object storage to customers of all sizes as the data repository. Pricing models vary and that may be a dedicated discussion by itself. But object storage as the most cost effective and scalable data repository is still in its infancy. Customers who are running compute nodes in the cloud and hence are generating data in the cloud have a different set of challenges than those of the typical HP NonStop, IBM iSeries and IBM Mainframe customers who have on-premise compute nodes generating data from various mission-critical and non-mission-critical applications. This on-premise generated data, for cost and manageability reasons really needs to go to a public, private or hybrid cloud and be stored in object storage format. Customers have known this for a while but what we are seeing in the market place is a significant acceleration of this trend in recent times – such as in the last 18-24 months.
Recognizing object storage as the future of data backup and archive, Tributary started both developing and adapting backup solutions to utilize object storage and interface to all public cloud tiers. Furthermore, we partnered with new and innovative companies to bring cloud data management solutions to market for enterprise computing customers. Finally, Tributary has a partnership with IBM to promote the use of their advanced object storage technology called IBM Cloud Object Storage (formerly Cleversafe) incorporating erasure coding for additional security while simultaneously offering the most cost effective and the most scalable data storage and archival technology in the market place today.