CATEGORY: Data Acquisition, Transformation and Replication
REVIEWER: Paul C. Taylor, computer scientist for Computer Sciences Corporation.
BACKGROUND: Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), one of the world's leading consulting and information technology services firms, helps clients in industry and government achieve strategic and operational objectives through the use of technology. Having guided clients through every major wave of change in IT for more than 40 years, CSC today is well positioned to develop and apply IT strategies and technologies, particularly in the e- business area. CSC's capabilities span a full range of technology disciplines including management and IT consulting, systems design and integration, applications software, Web and application hosting, and IT and business process outsourcing. Since its formation in 1959, CSC has been known for its flexibility and customer-centric culture. Through numerous agreements with hardware and software firms, the company develops and manages solutions specifically tailored to each client's needs. With more than 61,000 employees in locations worldwide, CSC had revenues of $9.9 billion for the twelve months ended September 29, 2000. It is headquartered in El Segundo, California.
PLATFORMS: CSC has a global license for TDMF and has deployed the product in a number of data centers in North America, Europe and Australia. CSC is continuing to install TDMF in additional centers around the globe. We run TDMF on OS/390 systems and use it to manage point-in-time backup and disk migrations across the full spectrum of HDS, IBM, Amdahl, STK and EMC disk models.
PROBLEM SOLVED: We must respond to constantly changing disk capacity demands, perpetual upgrades in hardware, varying disk requirements, point-in-time backup requirements for data recovery and the migration of data across telecommunications lines. TDMF was the only product that enabled us to migrate data regardless of the vendor's disk storage hardware on an OS/390 platform. This gives us wide flexibility in achieving data movement and backup needs for our customers. It also enables us to migrate MVS disk volumes within and across different disk hardware brands and models. We perform disk migration and backup (point-in-time) services transparently to our customers.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: CSC required a vendor- independent, nondisruptive data migration utility, and TDMF does this nicely. TDMF eliminates our need to purchase multiple replication products, and TDMF also communicates seamlessly with our backup software to create usable copies of business-critical data.
STRENGTHS: TDMF gives us the ability to move data from one vendor's hardware to another without the need for cabling and outside professional services. Strategically, we replace our disk hardware on a three-year cycle and purchase in excess of 100TB per year. TDMF eliminates vendor lock-in, so we can leverage our buying power and get the best price on disk equipment. We are also investing heavily in refreshing our tape technology, and this is expensive due to high costs of virtual and high-density tape. Performing point-in-time backup to disk using TDMF allows us to reduce the number of tape transports needed, mainstreams our backup process and lowers our net cost. Therefore, TDMF maximizes our return on investment by ensuring 24x7 data availability without losing the flexibility needed to capitalize on technology investments.
WEAKNESSES: TDMF is very sensitive and will not move anything that is invalid. We see this mostly where there is an invalid count file on a CKD volume. We would prefer to have a tolerance parameter to only "warn" versus fail.
SELECTION CRITERIA: The ability to operate independent of a hardware vendor is critical for us as well as being able to perform data movement without impacting availability. TDMF performs these functions at a low cost.
DELIVERABLES: TDMF delivered exactly what we requested hardware independence, customer transparency, low cost and simplicity of use.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Amdahl's pre-installation education and support were the best we've experienced from a vendor. Both were thorough, enabling us to develop internal standards worldwide and eventually mass deliver the product to our data centers around the globe. Anytime you work with a software product, there are always maintenance issues. Every time we've had an issue with the TDMF software, we received an excellent response.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation was easy to understand and follow. In fact, we've tailored it to fit our own standards for internal use.
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